On Posting Work in Progress: why the heck not?

posted in: All, Art Lessons, USA, Work in Progress | 4

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. 

“Coffee Shop” Phase 1

3.  fear of revealing the “ugly” phases

All the better when you end up with something good. Also: refer back to objection #1.

"Easter" ugly phase
“Easter” ugly phase

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. 

"Ocean City" don't settle phase
“Ocean City” don’t settle phase

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.

4 Responses

  1. Nancy Filsinger

    Your fearlessness is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thought process and philosophy on creating and sharing art!

  2. Ann Stuart

    Hi Amy. Good to visit your blog. Your sense of humor and lightness are most inspiring. Thank you. So interesting.

  3. simonetta

    yes! stay committed please! i love to read about your work in process, love to see it grow, and refine.
    thank you

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