Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Shuffle in the Line

Why is it that sometimes a model takes years to complete, while others take mere weeks?

One of my most frustrating aspects of what I do is that I cannot control when I want to work on something. If I force myself, I get crappy results.

By the way: Best. Movie. Ever.

Now granted, there are some artists that can churn out perfect results or use an assembly line style approach to their work and it comes out great! It's rare, because most often... it doesn't turn out great, you can tell they didn't take the time, they rushed and didn't bother to fix certain things (or perhaps they thought it was fine, which is why they didn't fix it). But the ones who can honestly do it astound me.

That said, for me personally... I cannot be rushed. Even though yes, I need to wait for epoxy to harden or sealer to dry, there comes times when there is no excuse: the magic is just not there. I don't see it, I don't feel it, I become every stereotypical snooty artist in a black turtleneck and beret

Ok, maybe no turtleneck...
My "process" (wow, can't believe I actually used that word) is that sometimes, if I need to do something difficult, I do it in my head hundreds of times before I ever touch the epoxy. I think, I stew, I put it on the back burner, and finally, when I approach it, it's ready, and I feel confident I can do it. The problem with this is, it can take years... which if it's a commission, can REALLY screw with me. Because then I feel pressured to get it done. Someone is waiting for this!!! And in some cases, they've paid me up front. Not only are they waiting, but it's paid for, so I feel guilty and try to bring it to the front and tell myself I'm not allowed to do anything but this custom order.

That's when NOTHING gets done.

If I don't do what's speaking to me at the time, what's currently got my soul and attention, I don't feel like doing anything. A version of hopelessness sets in. Nothing sounds good. It's much like if you tell yourself that before you can have pizza, you need to eat your tuna salad first before it goes bad... yeah, you do like tuna salad... when you're in the mood for it. Sometimes, you actually crave it and want to eat it over pizza because you've just been eating too much pizza lately. But unless you're actually craving it, your heart's not in it. It may even taste bad. It may even put you off anything fishy for months....

And it's not even veggies...

That's much like how I work on anything. Now keep in mind, not all commissions are unappetizing. Many of my own ideas and projects don't inspire me and get shelved for months and years. The only difference is... no one is waiting for them. They're sales pieces, or perhaps personal pieces I'm making just for me (and don't get me started on how I can't push myself to make stuff for myself.. that's a whole 'nother round of guilt) with no one out there impatiently tapping their toe or out a large chunk in their bank account. So don't feel bad if you feel like I'm ignoring your piece... I'm ignoring about quadruple that in my own ideas.

So imagine my further guilt when some random model (either future sales piece or later-received commission) jumps in the line.

Sometimes, when you work on a model, it just *clicks* and you work on it faster than ever. Everything flows, everything's fun, and it gets done before anything else. Before you know it...

Named "Belafonte" for he was a "Jump In the Line"
(and now that song is stuck in your head, ha!)
Something you never planned to even do or touch grabs a hold, smacks you around, and demands to be done and in record time. The guy above skipped in front of *several* commissions. Started and finished in exactly one month (two weeks of that was fighting with his paintjob). TOTAL accident.

This guy? Started and finished in one week. One. WEEK. Including the paintjob.

Granted he didn't have much done to him, but I'm still going "Who was that spotted masked man?"

The latest one to seize me is this handsome rogue.

Idocus to a Mustang Stallion. A little over 2 weeks of work, almost done, just needs a tail.
Granted, with this latest one I am getting two commissions and another sales piece almost ready to go as well (the last couple weeks have been very good flow-wise) But seriously: I had NO plans for this guy to ever happen. But once the idea planted itself, it grew and I had to tend to it. Because I did, my flow has been GREAT! I mean, seriously, I'm working on more than one thing at a time! Stuff is getting done or close to it.

I really hate to be the kind of artist where I say "you can't rush art." But it's just so true for me. It would be so wonderful if my talents were convenient and efficient. Car broke down? Whip up a custom and sell it, boom, done. Friends want a custom? Churn them out! Commissions? Yes, everyone's on the list, you'll have them in two months tops!

But I just CAN'T do that. And by gum I have tried.

But I do hope that the results that happen in their own time are worth it.


Four Corners Tack said...

I am EXACTLY the same! I've tried to learn not to worry about it, but I still do. And the worst thing is I seem to have a hard time saying 'no' to commissions, especially if they're small items.

Kismet Lodge said...

Yep, I'm exactly the same, if inspiration or motivation is not there, it is pointless forcing myself to do things, I just get fed up with anything I try and things then turn to custard. But yes, I have horses deciding to jump ahead of commissions, my Rose Oberon did that last month, all of a sudden decided he had to be a blue roan and so he got his wish as he was all I was inspired to work on.

So glad I'm not the only one that can take forever on commissions etc!

Dressagekid said...

What. Ever happened to that lovely mustang custom? I'm in love!!!!