Should I Destroy My Old Art?

The time has arrived once again.

Like most artists I found myself looking back through some old boxes of  art I have worked on over the years reflecting on the creative journey I have taken. While adding my current batch to the 2017 pile, I decided to scrutinise every piece from a past and present perspective and the strangest thing occurred to me.

Out of all the work, the hundreds of A5 and A4 pages, I felt the same way then that I do now.

“Let me explain”

The pieces that I thought went well, still look as good then as they do now. On the flip side, the pieces that were failed then are still a failure now and eye sore to look at. The difference between then and now is my attitude towards how I approach a piece of art.

When I was, lets just say “Younger” if I started a piece of art I would be committed to finishing it, no matter how bad I felt it was going to turn out. Usually, I was right too.

I’d invest several hours of penciling and inking, pull back and after one look know I had wasted my time. “We have all been here”

These days, I try to work a little smarter and make sure that the concept is as solid as the execution. Good planning goes a long way and I learned this the hard way.

So here I was, going through all these works and I found my self creating a pile that held sentimental value and a pile that I always knew were failures from 9 years ago to 9 days ago. I had to get rid of this burden so started tearing them up, unsure if I was making the right decision at the time, 15 minutes later it was done.

Artistic Junk Pile

After looking at the pile for a solid 10 minutes, I decided to put all these failed pieces to good use in the only way I knew (See above)

Many people choose to keep every single piece of work they ever create, both digital and traditional but I couldn’t so the same. Some times looking back at piles failed work can subconsciously make you take steps backwards.” This was the case with me anyway”

I wouldn’t advise anyone do the same as I did but I thought I should share my experience all the same as it’s a cross-road all artists cross at some point.

I suppose scanning  your work could also be an option that covers both choices to keep & destroy.

I’ll leave that decision up to you…

The Few That Survived

These are the ones that made it through by the way!

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