There’s a time in an artist’s life when the artist has to clean out her studio and throw stuff out. That time has come, my friends. Ever since my art ‘career’ began in high school I’ve kept everything I have made (actually just the good stuff). Last night I found the good stuff from high school just sitting in the back of my closet and I was so annoyed with myself! I had dragged high school art from my childhood home in Tennessee, to my student apartment in Idaho, and now they continue to take up precious space in my apartment in Utah. I don’t know why I was holding on to these things. I don’t look at them anymore, and as great as they were six years ago, I’m so embarrassed by them now because they don’t represent who I am today. So what did I do? I took a knife and slashed them to shreds (now I know how the 1990 Thieves of the Isabella Stewart Garden Museum feel) Good riddance!
I make it sound so easy, but it wasn’t! Although I don’t enjoy looking at these old pieces, they show how far I’ve come! In college, I was taught to never treat my art like they’re my children because it will be hard to part with them on the day they ‘grow up’ and leave (sold or thrown out). So even though I had to tell myself “Just do it! Cut it up, it’s ok” as I held a painting in one hand and a knife in the other, I’m glad I did it.
There’s a sense of relief knowing that you can just throw away your work, old and new. You can make more! You can’t be so sentimental of who you were or who you are now as an artist that you can’t move on! To know that you are constantly growing and changing is refreshing and it’ll help you become a better artist!