Tips to improve your creative work!
I've got some tips to make your work look or read even better!
It starts with what fine artists call, "More look than put."
When you are in the final detail stages of a painting, or novel, or any creative project, slow down. Walk away from the work and sit across the room from it. Look, but don't touch. Okay, if you are a writer, you could substitute rereading the chapters that lead into the part you are completing.
Take breaks from the work, check the mailbox, take a shower, sleep. It's going to be that distance that you put between you and your creative work that will allow those final brush marks or typed in words, or the final flourish of icing you apply to that cake, to have the greatest creative effect.
There is more to this technique than just spending more time looking at the work than working on the work in the final stages. Knowing what to do in the detail stage is what makes the difference between a professional artist/author and an amateur.
A creative masterpiece is often about what the author/artist left out, and not so much about what they added. You can always add more but, will it improve the work?
Ask the right question!
If you ask the right question, you will get the right answer.
During this period of more look than put, ask: "What does it need?"
Do not ask, "What more can I do/add?"
There is always something more you can add. You can go on working, over tightening, fiddling with an artwork until the paint loses its integrity of adhesion. Wet oil paint over dry = cracked paintwork in the not so distant future, as I explain in my Summer Flowers video demonstration. And gosh, I lost count of how many times I rewrote my first book, and it wasn't as good as my last, which received no rewriting aside from the proofreader's suggested edits. That was the difference between my learning to not add things that the story did not speak to me and tell me it needed.
Listen to your work, not outside voices. Ask your creative work, "What do you need?"
Only if and when it speaks to you with a clear answer do you add or change anything. Yes, take your time with this. This more look than put process may last several days. It might result in two brush strokes on the painting, or a comma moved in a story, or it might be two hours of work, but you won't do that work until your masterpiece has spoken to you, told you what it needs, and you know you are working confidently—improving the piece.
Don't make another mark on the work if it doesn't tell you it NEEDS something. Resist the urge to fiddle.
When you down the bush or save the last works of the manuscript you will know you have done your professional best. I hope you will hear me over your shoulder as you reach the last lines, the last brush strokes.
"More Look than put!"
Ryn Shell artist-author.
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