Sometimes people ask me, how long does it take for you to do a piece? They always seem surprised when I tell them, on average it takes about 20 hours. But typically one piece takes anywhere between 6 and 35 hours. I’m not exaggerating when I say that. It’s also what makes it so transformative/existential/lonely/awesome/frustrating. You’ll probably go through ten iterations of change, badassery, and self-doubt by the end of it, but you finish with something you’re proud of. And that’s all there is to it.
I found a picture I took of the draft version of this piece I posted recently, and wanted to share what 10+ hours will get you if you keep going. I can’t tell you how many times I probably erased, smudged, marked this piece before I got it to something satisfactory. And who knows? Maybe I could have put in another 10 more hours. Who knows what it would look like then? I guess we’ll never really know. That’s kind how life works, too I think.
Anyway, I hope that’s a source of inspiration to you, in an era of instant gratification: Put time into the things you love. Sadly, when it comes to selling my pieces, I severely underestimate how much time I put into the process, how much I love it, and my need to have it go to a good home overrides my need to make a living. That’s life too.
I’ll leave you with these two quotes:
The longer you spend working on something – loving it into being, almost – the more you get attached. It’s silly, but you do hope they go to good homes. (Anne Desmet)
Artists want their work to have a good home because it makes their creative process worthwhile. Most artists put a lot of themselves into each piece they create. Your purchase reflects a subtle link between you and that artist. (Beverly Leesman)