Recently, I came across a web article dealing with the pros and cons of posting “work in progress” or WIP. Aside from piquing my interest in how acronyms are designated, and who decides, I was quite interested in the topic. After all, I’ve made it my mission to post my own work in progress over the past few months. So naturally my first thought was, “Wait, there are cons?”
As usual, I had forged ahead with my good idea, not stopping to think it through. And now that I have, I’m right back where I started.
Posting work in progress. Why the heck not?
What follows are the main objections stated in both the article and the comment section, in no particular order, and my response to them.
1. fear of ruining the “magic”
I have spent years debunking the myth that art is magic. As a teacher, I observed how this kept many away, operating under the assumption that you either had “it”—meaning talent— or you didn’t. Also, the artist in me wanted due credit for all the hard work and perseverance. If I’m doing it right, it will look easy. like magic. But it’s not.
2. fear of the process being uninteresting
Speaking strictly for myself, if my process isn’t interesting, my product won’t be either.
3. fear of revealing the “ugly” phases
All the better when you end up with something good. Also: refer back to objection #1.
4. fear of losing quality control
So someone googles you and sees a WIP and assumes it’s finished. Judgement is passed accordingly. Horrors. As far as I’m concerned, the random person googling me is just as likely to think I’m a genius as a failure. There’s no accounting for taste.
5. fear the piece will be a failure
Don’t be such a chicken. If there is still a viable surface and breath in the body, failure is not an option. Keep working towards some sort of resolution. Maybe turn left instead of right. And if it doesn’t work, so what? Cut the thing up and make a collage.
To be perfectly clear, I’m not suggesting everyone start posting their WIP, simply reaffirming my personal commitment to sharing the process. It’s not about what I want from social media, it’s about what I have to give.