THROW IT AWAY
This was BY FAR the toughest art challenge yet. From the moment I set out to make these challenges, this was the one that scared me the most but it was also the one I felt I needed the most. Before I go on to tell you how colossally I failed this challenge, I think it’s important to share why I felt I needed to do it in the first place.
When I make art (I think this is true for most people but I can’t speak for them) there’s a delicate balance between calculation and intuition. You want to go into making a piece with an idea of what you want and how to make it happen but also with enough uncertainty that there is space for the magic of artmaking to happen. This is extra hard with pieces that are more time consuming, which my graphic elements are. To save time or resources, the calculative side takes over and experimentation stops. Can’t risk it. My art professors used to say that this was letting the work become “too precious.”
And that’s where this challenge comes in. The theory was that if I knew I would be throwing away every piece I made, good or bad, I would free myself up and prevent each work from being “too precious.” I would experiment more, without fear of ruining a piece and I would rely more on my intuition than my calculations. Let’s just say that’s not exactly what happened.
Right from the start, I had a hard time. Instead of freeing me up, it froze me. There’s this piece in my mind that I want to create but why would I want to make it now when I know that it will just get tossed. So I held on to ideas and inspiration instead of letting it flow.
When I finally got to work, I had to tell myself that I wouldn’t throw anything away right after I made it. I would wait until the last day of the month and then toss it all. This helped me move past the fear this challenge had gripped me with and let me get back to making art.
Now that the month is over I can definitively say this challenge was a failure, but a failure that I have learned so much from. I learned that I wasn’t precious with my work but with my ideas. Because of that, all the things I thought this challenge would do didn’t happen at all. It was a flawed hypothesis because I realize now that I don’t have a problem with this at all. The challenge to “Throw It Away” was supposed to release me from the fear of failure. I realize that’s not my fear. I’m afraid of unused potential. I guess just found a new and creative way to fail.
Oh and in case you were wondering, I still have all of the work I made this month. I have no plans about throwing it all away.