As artists we tend to find ourselves constantly in search of the next thing; the next project, our next endeavor. Moving each day from one idea to the next constantly in search of new, now, and next. Lately I have found that the best search comes from work. By continually creating, the ideas come on their own and although not every creation is gallery worthy, some of the smallest, simplest things can become portals to larger works or you might just be surprised at how interested people become with them.
For example, last week I had been feeling a bit creatively blocked so I looked at my desk, found a few nails that a professor had given me, and made a simple bracelet from them. Something that took me all of 20 minutes to make ended up catching the eye of my sculpture professor and she purchased one on the spot! Something that I found so insignificant made me a few quick dollars and really inspired me. Now, a week later, I’m using these nails in a new series of sculptures and I’ve begun the process of making a mould so I can reproduce them as many times as I want. Looking back, this was definitely 20 minutes well spent for the payoff and not just in a literal way.
On a similar note, my professor, Rob McKirdie, had a similar thing happen to him with a simple box he had made one night out of boredom. It didn’t take him much time or energy and it turns out it was chosen to be in a show! And then shortly after that a simple post on Facebook got it some attention and he’s now sold the piece!
These simple projects that are really only used to pass the time and to hone one’s skills can become something really great. It just goes to show you that practice makes perfect. (And sometimes profit!) So no matter what it is that you’re making, don’t think it’s all for nothing. Every small object that you make as an artist is time well spent.