Making art is always a weird and sometimes overwhelming process, during which we are very often tempted to just stop. How many times have I faced this point where I felt bad looking at what I was doing, and told myself : “bleh … it’s garbage”. But I’ve come to learn that finishing every piece is the key for many important thing in an art journey. So, here are 5 reasons why you should always finish your artworks.
Creating is building
It’s not necesseraly obvious, but when you’re creating art, you are really building something. And like any kind of thing that is built, it doesn’t look like anything during almost all the process. The first stages are almost always ugly, and the later stages are often “not what you were expecting”. I’s only when you reach the final touches that you can actually see the real result. Which leads to questionning your skills, comparing to others, feel discouraged, and just want to trash your art. But don’t ! Finish it first, and only then you’ll decide wether you like it or not. Most of the time you’ll be surprised by what you were able to do. And eventually you will clearly see where you have to improve. Before that, you cannot see what you need to work on, because the piece is just not done yet !
You have to train your brain
Finishing your art is like a good habit to take. So the more you force yourself to finish each piece, the more you won’t even have to think of doing it. And each time you push yourself to go further with your art, you take yourself a little closer to stop thinking crap about your skills. You will just be focused on going on, on doing your best, and on having fun while creating. Going through fears, doubts, and discouragement takes courage, so each time you get over all that, you gain confidence. And making art is scary and overwhelming, so you need to learn not only drawing/painting/ … skills, composition, color palettes, … But mostly you need to learn how to overcome all your fears and doubts, and learn patience.
For the lookback in the future
One thing that is important in your art journey, is being to be able to look back at all that you have already accomplish. There is nothing more satisfying (especially in moments of discouragement) than taking a look at where you begun, and where you are now. How many people on instagram are sharing their past artworks next to their actual ones. And it’s even better when you look at somthing that you were particularly proud of at the time, and that you realize that you are even better now ! Keeping archives of fully done pieces is essential for your journey, and the only way to do that is to finish your artworks !
To learn new things
Being an artist is most of the time, being a problem solver. You want to draw or paint butterflies, metal, gemstones, afro hair, … but don’t know how to ? Then the thing you want to do is find how to, not do something else instead. Your vision is what is important, and you shouldn’t be limited by what you don’t know yet. Make little studies on the side, look at tutorials (and OMG there are awesome tutorials to watch !). And sometimes, when you just make something you didn’t want, like a wrong line, a splash of color you didn’t want, this is where your creativity will help you. Learn how your different material can work, push its limits. You will learn how to fix your little mistakes instead of getting rid of the entire piece, and learn even more that way.
To know when it’s finished
This may sound weird, but knowing when to stop working on a piece is not an easy thing to do. Especially on the early stages of our journey, when we are tempted to work a piece over and over. Sometimes we don’t even know if we’ve done too much or not enough. This is really a key question : when to stop ? And there is no magic answer to that except that the more you practice, the more you will be able to find the answer. Some people feel an strong urge to stop working on a piece, some just know that it’s the end, but it really takes practice to learn when to finish your artworks. And I can assure you that ultimately you will find that answer by practicing.
So, here are my thoughts on finishing artworks. I hope you will feel encouraged to stick to your art projects and complete them. And if you want to learn more about my creating process, you can read my article about how I design my illustrations.
Let me know in the comments what are your thoughts and experiences about that !