Let me start with the admission that most artistic projects are abandoned by their creators at a certain point. That doesn’t mean they’re unfinished projects: it just indicates that the artist moved on to other pastures of inspiration, style and interest.
Everyone who’s artistically active, knows how difficult it is to resist the tsunami of new ideas and inspiration in order to muster the time and discipline to finish first a work under construction. Very often projects are abandoned in a half-finished state to start with great enthusiasm on the new project … till some new idea comes around… repeat.
Creating something meaningful is mainly an act of 2% inspiration, 48 % concentration and 50 % transpiration. The artists who can’t muster the discipline to finish a project they’ve started before losing themselves in another one, will just leave behind them a trail of wreckages. Who doesn’t know the archetype of the would-be artist with thousand ideas and nothing to show for?
Artists can’t create nothing meaningful if they don’t have a vision that they want to explore in their works. Through their work the artists connect to the world and offer other people a new perspective upon the reality.
When your work coagulates around a certain vision, you will very often find out that new inspiration will bring forward fresh ideas that will help you to define more precisely what you want to understand and express through your work. To me it has happened that I had to rethink a whole project that was already over half-way and to adjust.
At this point some people lose their courage, since adjusting often involves elimination and weeding. However, when your focus is upon creating something that helps you, the artist, to gain a better understanding of the reality, it invigorates your drive to bring this project to a good end. As the saying goes: it doesn’t make sense to keep digging at the wrong place because you moved already so much soil.
Last but not least: artists don’t live in other people’s head, but in their own. Those who create art with the hopes to gain fame or fortune, walk a different path than that of the artist. They don’t want to create a vision, but a mass consumption product. They’re trying to establish themselves among the fast food chains of the cultural establishment. They’re already failed as an artist and will probably also fail into their venture, since the copycat market is one of fierce competition.
I’ve said it before: art is for people who pay attention. If you’re involved into an artistic activity, you need to keep thinking about what you’re creating and have the courage to adjust a project when you perceive that the line of your work isn’t expressing the vision you want to express. On some rare occasions, you will find out that through your work, you start to see things in a new perspective and that you must adjust your vision. The artist and his creations very often coexist into a symbiotic relation.
As such, most artists will consider no project as finished, just abandoned in order to explore new venues. Nevertheless, the artist has created something that other people can relate to. For this reason, are there so many artists that are very reluctant to explain their work. For them previous work expresses a vision they’ve left behind and now relates to everyone else in different ways, depending upon the context into which it is considered.
An unfinished art project relates to nobody: even not the artist. In most cases, it even doesn’t exist in a more substantial form than a superficial, meaningless, sketch of a project.
2 thoughts on “Abandoned art vs. unfinished art.”
Schubert’s symphony eight
The great unfinished
Clear example of an abandoned and unfinished piece, although no-one can accuse this composer of procrastination since he finished some other projects in the six remaining years of his life after he threw this unfinished project aside.