Artists need to edit, too!. Of course, we’re all familiar with the idea of editing as it applies to writing. It is often said that every author needs an editor to make sure that their writing is technically correct, cohesive, and impactful. But as visual artists we don’t typically involve anyone else in that kind of role --it's up to us to do it ourselves. Today we will talk about editing our work for stronger and more consistent results and point out that it need not be a chore or necessary evil.
Why is editing so important for us as visual artists? Editing brings clarity to our work and allows our viewers to enter without confusion. It is a powerful tool to emphasize our intention and purpose. Editing our work with a clear vision helps provide cohesiveness within a series or a larger body of work.
With all its benefits, why do many artists resist the idea of editing--that is, removing parts of their work that don't contribute, or not pushing on with additions or changes that could be helpful? A common reason is becoming overly attached to certain parts of our work that we see as exceptional. -- a particular combination of colors, a beautiful mark or texture. We hate to get rid of them, even if they are distracting have a random look. Also, settling for "good enough" can seem very appealing, when you know that one small change may lead to many more, and you may find yourself almost starting over. It can be easy to rationalize keeping things that will be difficult to correct. Yet taking the easy way in any of these situations weakens the work and limits your growth.
How can editing be enjoyable, energetic, and exciting? By making it integral to your process and editing with energy and spontaneity throughout your work sessions. Long deliberations, hesitations, and second-guessing yourself are what make it seem like a chore. Listen to your intuition and don't be afraid to make a decisive move, and proceed with positive energy. As with writing and other creative endeavors, early drafts of a project are seldom as strong and satisfying as what you develop through edits and changes.
Ross mentioned Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" in this episode. For more info on the depth and complexity of Stanley Kubrick's visionary horror masterpiece check out the documentary, "Room 237". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL1fTlH81gU
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