Thursday, December 24, 2009

simplify, simplify, simplify

Sometimes, life gets too complicated.

And then we simplify.

When i look at the Etsy sellers who do major business, I see that they do a small painting of an alligator in the middle of a big sheet of paper. Maybe he's carrying a salt cellar or something equally random, but he's quite understated.

Then I look at my alligator, who is wearing a party hat amid palm trees and yodeling about a cupcake, and I think that I need to get out the gesso and white out 85% of the painting.

Back in art school, they told us that the hardest part of being an artist was knowing when a piece of artwork is done.

Well, maybe the hardest part is actually getting a paying job, but they neglected to mention that in college.

You have to know the exact moment to put down the brush. You have to kill your darlings, go back and remove even more of the meat. I've got a chapter in the new book that I have to kill tonight, and I'm not looking forward to it. I'm going to miss that chapter.

Because as much as I like taking action, I find it very difficult to simplify my life further. A trip to Ikea and a paper shredder might be key, but I think I need to accept that it's just in my nature to always have slightly more on my plate than I need.

I should be relaxing, enjoying the holidays. But my mind won't stop spinning.

My new mantra will be simplify, simplify, simplify.

And my next mantra will be get the book published, paint that painting, and do more crap.

See the problem?

*Yes, even after hitting PUBLISH POST, I still went back and cut out some more.
As an object lesson.
For myself.


Alissa said...

I love the idea of simple, but "simplify" is such a scary word. I wrote this absolutely brilliant first chapter for my current work in progress. It has mood, it has symbolism. I doesn't have a whole lot of action. It has to go.

Virginia Valerie said...

From your data preservationist friend: please don't truly kill your chapter! Just save it elsewhere to be pulled out on some other occasion. Just because it's not right here doesn't mean it's not right somewhere.