The artist on passion, perfection and the need to finish a piece
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
I’m hoping I’ll have time to work on a set of illustrations, and maybe call that my first art book. The most important part is the research I’ve been doing towards it. It feels like my first solo flight, and a big step!
How important it is to stay fresh as an artist?
Art is a passion pursuit. No one got in it to get rich, and keeping on top of your game as a pro is demanding. Staying fresh means you’re interested. Maintaining this momentum is important. If you don’t actively seek it, you stagnate.
Is there too much pressure on artists to keep evolving?
There’s more pressure to fit into a mould than to stay fresh – particularly if you’re starting out. Do more of this; don’t invest time in that. It’s jarring for anyone who’s already uncertain of their standings. My advice is to have a goal and work towards it: it’s easier to select feedback that works towards your goal and not against it. Ignore the rest as noise.
What advice would you give artists for developing their craft?
Work on small projects, and focus on that goal. If your plan is to finish one sketch every day for two weeks, concentrate on finishing – not on making them perfect. Done with that? Now do a set of 10 landscape studies in a month – the best you can, inside the time limit. Finished? Great job! Move on. Try new things. Work with something new. Keep in mind that the idea is to finish. Being perfect comes after you’ve experimented with new things, and found something that piques your interest. Good luck!