Making any art, be it a poem or a short story, a painting, a sculpture or a photograph is a lonely process, often riddled with more failures than successes. Every artist would have abandoned his work midway more times than he/she has finished work to show for. It does not mean something wrong has happened, or that the artist has failed. It simply means that it is the time to cultivate the next idea, building upon the one that just failed. But the important point to remember is that an idea failed, not the artist himself.
Start. Stop. Start. [Hit] Start Stop. Start. Stop.
That is how all artists (or wannabe artists) go about their work. They start on an idea, work on it until it stops working. Then you start again picking up another idea / viewpoint / approach and continue until the same process repeats. In the meanwhile, you may or may not encounter one or more hits, which are basically completed works which you actually like and showcase to the world. But we all know that for each big hit, there are many many failures.
Start. Stop. Start. Stop. [Quit]
Stopping is very different from quitting. Stopping happens all the time when an artist is at work. But quitting only happens once. Quitting means not starting up again, and I believe “starting again” is what art is all about. Every child is an artist. They start something, remain at it for a while, and then stop. Then they start again, and the process continues. Until they become “serious” about their lives and this takes a toll on their dreams and they Quit.
The decision to stop and start, or to quit once and for all, is the most difficult one which every artist faces many times in his/her lifetime. Keeping our inner child (artist) alive even with the daily vigour of life is the real challenge. It is said that when young, Picasso learned to paint like an adult, and when old, Picasso discovered to paint like a child again. But he didn’t quit. He was painting till his death at almost 90 years of age. Will we be?