I remember hearing or reading something like art is never finished, it just stops in interesting places.
The hours are counting down before my first gallery opening, and perhaps even especially as someone who works a lot with improvisation and indeterminacy, I agree with this. Deadlines are a Thing. The grant proposals tend to be done when we need to submit them and rarely before. The play starts when the curtain goes up whether you feel ready or not. The Artists on the Verge fellows all received an emphatic email this week reminding us of the deadline we’ve all had in the back of our minds for the better part of a year. A deadline doesn’t take away the urge to poke or tweak or keep asking “what if I did this?”
Does this mean I’m a perfectionist, a procrastinator, or indecisive? Maybe. Creating something can have endless possibilities, and deciding means consciously closing paths available. That can be hard – there might be something really great over there! A deadline makes decisions final, even if you might not want to be done exploring yet. And when something is declared finished, it also invites criticism and often an intimate look inside your mind – those parts can be debilitatingly frightening.
My deadline is very soon, but I think my piece has stopped in an interesting place. I’m excited for this weekend.