Artists do THE WORK

Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.
- Chuck Close

I’ve been a practicing artist my entire life and a professional artist for 13 years, and I have found this statement by Chuck Close to be very true.

I think sometimes the life of an artist is romanticized. You envision an artist being struck with inspiration. They then get to studio and channel that inspiration into a beautiful piece of art.

I don’t think that has ever actually happened to me.

Yes artists experience things they find compelling and interesting. Images, colors, objects, scenes, figures, shapes, words, stories, sounds… the list is endless. Anything and everything can inform how an artist works, what they make art about, and how their art takes shape.

However, I’ve found that “inspiration” only gets an artist so far.

So what really gets an artist from point A, an idea, to point B, a finished piece of art?

The answer is THE WORK.

The act of making, the process, the doing, is far more necessary than inspiration.

THE WORK is where you experiment, fail, grow, learn, and discover. It’s where you uncover your voice as an artist, and figure out how best to share that with the world.

THE WORK is where you find creativity.

THE PROCESS is where art takes shape.

In the business world, you often hear successful entrepreneurs talk about the magic of taking action. Great ideas are just that, great. Taking action on great ideas is what really makes people successful.

I find this to be true of artistic practices as well.

Yes, artists give their work a ton of thought. Of course they plan, research, and strategize. But most importantly, they take action on their ideas.

They do good work, bad work, and everything in between. They know that THE PROCESS is their vehicle for growth and improvement. It’s where they find the best ideas.

It’s not always fun or exciting. In fact, it is often disappointing and frustrating. But still, an artist does THE WORK.

Thanks for reading!

~ Claire

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