Saturday, March 19, 2011

Showing work-in-progress

The Drawing Diva wrote something unusual about herself and passed it to me so I'll simply say that I'm so normal it's unusual. I'd probably fit in the middle of every test. I think the personality is the conscious mind (what you think), the unconscious (what your uncontrollable mind and feelings think) and your actions. When all three are aligned calmness results. Unfortunately my unconscious is often trying to do the opposite of the others, so I'm highly energetic. That very opposonification creates imagination which is probably common to all surrealist thinkers. When you can see every possibility, the best choice must be calculated and selected. That's why true surrealists dress neatly and behave like perfect citizens, because they are. True masters of civilisation.

I've been producing music over the last few days and have updated my software to help me. It's amazingly useful to have my own software to write music. I can produce a good quality pop song in hours and I'm so pleased with my own accomplishments that I might just award myself a new spring narcissus. Har har.

Anyway, the tunes are good and I want to share them! But then, like in painting there is a dilemma. There is a definite emotional "zing" when you see something amazing for the first time. That is due to the relative difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. Watch a sad film when feeling happy and the effect is all the more amazing. As such, it's always best to see an artwork for the first time in the best of circumstances. Ideally, after a humdrum ordinary day but when the mental facilities and senses are awake.

It spoils that special feeling to hear clips or see fragments instead of the final version. I never watch film trailers for that reason, and I regret hearing clips of great songs before hearing the final finished version (of course, you don't know if it's great without the clip; but I do my best to set aside special time for a first listen, through headphones in subdued light. I remember listening to Jean-Michel Jarre's Chronologie in those exact circumstances and it was worth it).

However, it's also good to share and understand... I'd like to hear the work-in-progress and thoughts of Jean-Michel while he worked on it... although perhaps after I'd heard the final version. The modern impatient human wants instant gratification and the number one key marketing tool is giving something. When I'm happy with what I'm making I really want to share that. Surely people can decide to watch a trailer, or hide their eyes?

When I made computer games lots of damage was done by releasing games early. The people who experienced an early flawed version never again tried the improved version, and instead would endlessly criticise the faults in their version. For similar reasons I rarely show anyone my half complete paintings. People tend to un-point out all of the lack of bits that won't be in the final version (I hope you can decipher that sentence).

So perhaps the best solution is to show work in progress only after the final work is finished, as Don often does on his blog...



-Don said...

I agree with Don.


Thanks for the mention. A couple times I've stepped out on a limb and started showing my work as it progressed, but I never showed the entire canvas until it was finished. I like to tease, but I don't like to show to much from behind the curtain...


Kelly said...

I have never thought about it in these terms and really wonder how other artists approach this. I'm a beginner artist and for me the process is the product at this stage. But I work with artists who have been painting professionally for decades and while they teach demos, I wonder if they'd be hesitant to show stages for this very reason.

Mark Sheeky said...

Hi Don, yes you seem to have a good approach.

Hi Kelly, hmm yes I agree. Some famous artists like to show what they are doing (Derren Brown springs to mind) but it seems that most don't. Perhaps it's best to show what you've done only when the final painting is finished... like Egmont did on his blog, going so far as to have two blogs; one for the finished art and one to explain it.