In my last post I mentioned that the pictured art work has been destroyed and one of my readers/friends posted the following:
I'm enjoying your treasures from the vault. I gasped when you said you've destroyed it.
Terry, would you share your thoughts about doing that? How did you choose what to sacrifice? What feelings did you have about that? Any regrets? I'm on a quest to unclutter. I can hear my art instructor who said never toss out anything. But not everything is worth saving.
O.K., with pleasure.
First of all, if you work three dimensional it's an entirely different ballgame than working with artwork which can be folded, stacked or put in a flatfile. My work was hard to package, sometimes dangerous as it has sharp pointed projectiles, gathered dust and cobwebs like it was gold.
In my family we have the pleasure of both being artists so we also have twice the work to be stored. This was fine until we sold our studio where we had the majority of our work stored. We rented a storage unit for some work but because I was not showing or working at that time I simply had to sort and discard some work. It was not a matter of not being connected with the work, I was connected and I am still connected. It's just that I've always said that the most important part of my making art is the experience and not the product. I still have the experience.
I went through what I had, made sure I had photographs and we then took the items I was not going to keep to the dump. At that time it was a rather spectacular landfill with a cliff that you backed up to unload your items. We backed up to that, stood on the edge, threw things into the abyss and watched the massive crusher drive over the work. It was rather cleansing.
Some years ago I read a Fung Shui book titled Clearing Clutter. It's a small quick read. The one specific thing I recall from this title was that whenever you get rid of something it makes room in your life for something new. I've remembered that and I try to practice that. Right now I am sitting in my new studio room and the furniture is in place but there are piles of stuff everywhere. I have determined to sort these things before I begin to work again.
I don't know why we need to keep ALL of our artwork. Why not keep the best. We usually know which pieces fall into that category. I don't think it's necessary to give it away. I actually prefer to destroy it than have less than my best out in the world. The world has plenty of stuff. If you sell like hotcakes you don't have to worry about this but if you are stockpiling your art there will come a day when someone will have to make some hard decisions as to what to do with it all. Why not do them and yourself a favor and manage your inventory. You might be surprise by how refreshing it feels.
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