Artist | Teacher | Coach | Mentor

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Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


David Limrite-Artist, Coach, Mentor, Teacher

Untitled Drawing, mixed media on paper, 30"x 22"

Is it more difficult to start a new piece or finish a piece?

Both require confidence.

Starting a new piece requires a leap of faith. The blank canvas tends to frighten most artists. It does not have to. Focus on the excitement and the enthusiasm that you have for your new idea. Focus on the possibilities. Focus on how creating makes you feel. Focus on the process rather than the outcome.

Remember: Action quiets fear.

Finishing a piece requires that you make a commitment. Finishing requires that you make the ultimate decision. Finishing requires that you proclaim to yourself that the piece is finished. Finishing requires that you have the confidence to announce to the world that your piece is done.

When you decide that a piece is finished, you are telling yourself and the world that you are totally happy (at least for now) with what you have just completed and that there is nothing more that you can do to make it any better. This is what confidence looks like.

The good news is that each time you decide that a piece is finished and you announce it to the world, you build confidence.

Declaring that a piece is finished also requires that you have the confidence to handle the potential criticism that may come your way. Upon completion, you must judge your work and others will judge your work. As long as a painting is not completed, you tell yourself that it cannot and should not be judged. Do not fall into this trap. You do not want to end up with a storage rack of incompleted paintings. Accept that judgements are going to come.

Remember that you are not your work. You are not your painting. Two totally different things. Any criticism about your painting is not an attack on you or your talent. You cannot please everyone. You are the one that must be satisfied with your work, and you obviously are, otherwise you would not have announced that it was finished.

Do not be afraid of finishing. Work until you are finished. You have other paintings to paint. You have creative work to do.

Have the confidence to finish. You have other great ideas in you.

In the next post, I will attempt to answer the question, "How do I know when my piece is finished?"

Best, David