Making art is a very personal process that oftentimes borders on mental masturbation. Maybe that’s why I like it so much >grin<.
Creativity can be seen as a dialog you are having with yourself, with the dialectic centering around finding balance between your own skills and the qualia of the medium your dealing with. For me, there is a fine line between craftsmanship and fussiness – perfection is an idea, not a reality. If your work is exclusively about dotting i.’s and crossing t.’s, expressing nothing more than “look how good I am”, then it’s appeal to an audience that is not you becomes pretty limited. Striding the razor’s edge between craft and expression can be seen as the fundamental struggle of artistic endeavor. I have learned to trust my eyes and my hands to produce that which I see in my mind’s eye – but I’ve also payed a price physically while developing that trust. Both wrists and my right shoulder are permanently damaged from pushing just a little harder to get that piece done. Growing older and becoming more involved in large Public art projects have forced me to outsource the fabrication of the bigger sculptures, with a commensurate loss of control. I’m still learning how to make this new process work.
The above pictured piece, “Together”, was fabricated by Master Metal Works here in Fort Collins. They’ve done a good job – but not as good as I would have done. That’s the crux of the issue: surrendering just enough control to get the work done without sacrificing the overall quality of the sculpture.