by Richard A. Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
“A work of art is never finished, only abandoned.”- Paul Valéry, or Leonardo Da Vinci, or Picasso, depending on who you ask...
This aphorism has been paraphrased and attributed to several people. Paul Valery, the French poet and essayist, and the famous artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci are the two main ones. Some have even attributed the saying to Pablo Picasso. In any case, whomever said it, and all three of them could have easily said it, it's a concept worth thinking about.
Google defines an aphorism as "a concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by an ancient classical author." Nothing in creation is ever truly complete, and this is something that Valery definitely wrote about.
This is a quote from one of Paul Valery's dramas, Le Cimetière Marin:
“In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned; and this abandonment, whether to the flames or to the public (and which is the result of weariness or an obligation to deliver) is a kind of an accident to them, like the breaking off of a reflection, which fatigue, irritation, or something similar has made worthless.”
There comes a point where a work of art must be abandoned in order to move onto another thing. This usually happens when improvement upon that work does not seem possible at the time. No work is ever truly perfect. But, there is always a sort of forced completion to every piece of art, whether it's painting, sculpting, writing, or otherwise.
Something to keep in mind for all of the writers and artists out there: you can always come back and improve something later. Some people obsess over perfection, but sometimes the flaws are part of what makes art what it is. The best part is once the artist or writer abandons a piece of work, sometimes others will continue to enjoy it for many years to come.
Not every piece of art or writing will turn out as you might expect. But, when you abandon your perceived failures, make sure to keep in mind those things that seem failures now could one day be improved upon to become wild successes.
Writing has always been the perfect vehicle for me to best express myself. While I'm definitely happy to talk, I tend to be quite the rambler and I am not exactly the most polished conversationalist. I'm certainly no public speaker, either. While I also love to doodle, it's more of a curiosity for me, although at one time I did take it far more seriously. Other art forms seem to confound me. I simply just write because it's what comes most natural to me. In particular, web writing has become one of the best ways to express my creativity.
So, the question I'd like to ask is this: "Is what comes natural to you the best way to express your creativity?" I think that this is very likely the case. While it's good to dabble in other areas to expand your horizons, it's always best to default to your best form of expression.
It's interesting because even within certain disciplines - writing, art, music, photography, or otherwise - you will discover niches within those disciplines. Some are better at poetry, others at prose, others at free writing or stream of consciousness. Some are great sketch artists, others painters, and others masters of mixed media. In music, it can be a particular instrument or instruments that seem to fit your personality and mannerisms best. Photography can be just point and shoot, but the possibilities of subjects are limitless. It's whatever feels natural. If it's feeling forced, then it's not the best vehicle.
Of course, there are the performing arts, as well: dancing, singing, theater, and many more. Even then, there are niches within those, as well. It's all about finding the category of expression that fits you best, then find the best avenue in which to excel in that particular performing art.
While it's awesome to be good at performing arts in addition to other forms of expression, it's not one hundred percent necessary. It's also not good to spread yourself out in too many directions at once, and the performing arts especially require a great deal of time and dedication to perform at a high level.
Then, there are the crafting arts, and there are too many of those to list. The interesting thing about crafting is that the time and energy you put into it all depends on what materials and methods you’re using. Of all art forms, it may have the most limitless permutations ever.
I'm not saying that writing or traditional art take less time and dedication than the performing or crafting arts - that's certainly not true. But what I'm saying is that it's best to focus the most time on whichever "feels" the most natural.
What do you feel is your best vehicle to express your creativity?
Welcome to Crafting Successfully ! Here you will find articles about art, art history, art philosophy, DIY crafts, project ideas, lesson plans, material suggestions, and more. If it's related to art or crafts, you will find it. All ages, stages, and grade levels will be represented from 0-1000!
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