I was looking over my portfolio. The one I created solely to submit for a class aptly dubbed Portfolio. I’ll include images below this post. I was just trying to find images to share on Instagram. But my actual take away was much deeper.
I always need distance from my work, by that I mean time. In the moments during and after creating something I always seem most excited about stuff that is not successful and most critical about pieces that are good. I’m not certain why I lack perspective in the moment to see clearly my own successes and flaws. I don’t think it’s entirely unusual and it’s part of the reason I take classes. But it’s interesting.
I also realize I am a sculptor. I think in the round and compose well when I’m dealing with space. My brother had mentioned it to me recently. He didn’t exactly say I shouldn’t bother with two-dimensional art but he hinted at it. I think his intention was to say that I should stop trying to fit myself into a box that will never quite fit. And I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t think it was right at the time.
So I was actually surprised to see it. My 2-D art is underwhelming at best. People are always excited to see my art and then vaguely confused when I show them, say, a painting. This bothers me because I want to be able to represent what’s in my head with precision and accuracy. I don’t think that will ever happen when it comes to pencils, charcoal, and paint. I could probably become a proficient draftsman if I put my mind to learning certain principles about art. I could learn how to make accurate drawings if I continue working. But there’s really nothing special happening when I put any sort of mark onto paper. It’s simply not an art language I understand.
That might sound too harsh but I think it’s true. On the flipside, I might sound arrogant when I say there’s definitely something happening when I deal with space and the physical world. Something that I could really expand upon and get something special from if I kept at it. There’s a certain sensitivity I’m picking up from my 3-D work that’s really interesting.
Which leads me to the original title of this post, “the importance of being prolific.” Looking back on the last few years I wish I had made a ton more art. I think I could’ve developed a much stronger body of work and just found more personal fulfillment in creating things. I’m glad I’m starting to understand the importance of just making things but I feel like it took too long.