When preparing my students for their culminating interviews I always ask them,”How do you know when your work is finished?” Half of them stare at me in fear (is there a right answer?) while others comfortably share (its a feeling, when I start to destroy by adding more to it). And I wonder how many professionals would share the same look of fear and hesitation in their answers?
I have a work I’m still unsatisfied with that has gone through many progressions:
So, I ask you creative readers, how do you know when an artwork is finished? Do you believe it is an amorphous thing or does it come by a specific set of strategies or through containing certain qualities?
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: What do you do to determine if your artwork is finished? When you are feeling stuck, try a new strategy! Maybe it will better inform your decision “to be done.”
An excellent question. Love the top piece. With “straight” photography, “finished” was a matter of having an excellent negative to print from. With collage, it’s funny, I look at pieces I made several years ago … and I’d still change some things. I wonder if any visual piece is ever truly finished.
I sometimes wonder if artwork is more of a reflection of our moment in time and that is why it never really feels finished… because as we change our interpretation of our work changes? Thank you for your thoughts!