The artist and the work

There is an important relationship that develops between the artist and their work.

Perhaps it is more of a feeling than a relationship but the idea remains the same.

I have this idea about the artist needing to gain something from what they create in order for them to value it or feel good about it.

And what they need to gain often changes with time. It could be needing to feel like they created something magical or never been done before, knowing that their work has changed people, popularity and recognition, disruption of the status quo, shocking people, a sense of satisfaction, the feeling of release, connecting with the consumers of their work, making enough to live off their work, helping people or just feeling like each piece they put out is better than the last.

But when an artist puts in the time and labour to produce something from which what they gain does not satisfies them, there is an emptiness. This is sometimes followed by a lack of desire to create more because the artist doesn’t always know what they’re looking to gain and so to keep creating is a risk, it may just lead to more emptiness.

It can be hard to have passion and vigour for something when you don’t know what you want the outcome to be, when you don’t know what the purpose is or what you’re heading towards.

And the solution to this is reflection.

If you’re able to see that there is a problem then you’re able to find a solution. Ask yourself questions like:

When did I last feel good about my work, what has changed?

What do I want to gain from the work I produce?

What can I change about my work?

Does this work still fulfil me?

Is it time for me to give up this work?

Whatever answers come up, use it to better the relationship you have with your work.

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