A friend once said that love and art are crap shoots. You take your chances, weigh your odds, and hope for success. And it seems that in art, a piece more often than not, doesn’t turn out that way you expect and sometimes the results can be pretty awful.
But awful results are just fine–although it took me quite a while to accept that. “It’s all a part of the process,” they say, a phrase I dislike and which by now has become a cliche. And, ” you learn from your mistakes,” another phrase I dislike, but which is sometimes true. (Sometimes you don’t learn from your mistakes.)
But I like to gamble and what better way to fulfill my risk taking behavior than to make art or write. The odds are often against me for any kind of quick success, but still I plunge ahead…figuring it’s worth the risk.
A number of my ideas for art pieces come from seeing photos of other’s people’s art. I use that photo as a jumping off point to make my own piece. Sometime ago, I saw a photo that combined torn paper with wood. I love combining paper and wood and spent several hours hand-tearing the colored paper, punching the holes and getting it just right. But when I put it all together, it sucked. I tried it another way of assembling the piece and it still look awful. I huffed and I puffed and nothing happened.
So how do I change my odds? What I did, was to make another piece that combined paper and wood, and in short order it turned out great. Ironically, I didn’t even fuss or fret over the piece, and the whole gamble proceeded quite smoothly. You can see the result in the top photo of this blog post.
It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; you just have to play hand after hand in the art game to increase your odds of getting what you want. Because we don’t get it right, until we get it wrong.