Audio Narration by Charles DuFont
Many amateur artists look at their artwork with a feeling of disappointment and dread..
They torment themselves with regret because they are not yet masters creating masterpieces or they are just plain unsatisfied with their progress. Ashamed of their work, they prefer to lock it up in a closet – to hide it from the world or destroy it by fire..
And I say hold on to it. Hold onto everything that you produce. You never know, if you continue on this path, those early “failures” might be worth something. If you continue for a few decades as an artist, building – creating – evolving, then it’s only a matter of time until your work reaches greatness. It’s inevitable. If you work at it daily. With consistency. Creating new pieces. Learning new techniques and styles. Experimenting. Apprenticing under those who have experience, success, and advanced knowledge in the arts and crafts. If you don’t stop, then every single piece that you make will be a literal reflection of your ongoing skills/thoughts/journey. Like a time capsule of who you are at the time of each pieces production.
I know that some of us don’t even want to think of our past. Perhaps our past is filled with too many painful memories. But if we don’t learn from our past, if we bury it away, if we destroy it and smash it into a thousand smithereens, then how will we grow? How will we learn? How will we change, evolve and prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes again? How will we become great, if we have no reference point to guide us?
When I used to build furniture, I visited many museums to see the world’s greatest pieces – the masterworks that have stood the test of time, that are still visited and revered by craftsman and art lovers to this day for their craftsmanship, impeccable design, and timeless beauty. I looked at them as a student, as a beginner, as a journeyman, and wondered how the hell did they accomplish such an amazing feat? And one of my teachers said, when you see a piece of such dazzling complexity and intricacy, remember that it’s only an accumulation of simple tasks and skills. Simplicity, piled on top of simplicity, on top of more simplicity. A prime example of evolution. It didn’t happen in one day. It happened over a long stretch of time. It took skills, knowledge, experience, resources. It took hundreds, maybe thousands of steps and many years to arrive into fruition and become a form that we can stand before to this day in reverence and appreciation.
So before you throw your work to the flames – destroying it permanently – your paintings, writings, engravings, etchings, carvings, or whatever it is that you do, remember that all of those pieces are just steps and parts of the journey. Like pieces of the puzzle. Pieces that will eventually become part of how you define yourself as an artist. Leading you to greatness, if you continue with perseverance on this noble and fascinating journey.
Never stop challenging yourself. Never stop growing. Never stop being the best that you can be. One day you may create that masterwork and in a hundred years people will be standing before your creation in awe, scratching their heads, wondering how the hell you did it!
And don’t forget that your “Abomination” could very well be someone else’s Inspiration – For beauty is in the eye of the beholder…