Can You Make Too Much Art?

For me, the desire to make is always there, and it’s especially pressing after coming into contact with the creativity of other artists, whether in the theater, a museum or book. But to actually make something I always have to scale a few obstacles.

#1 It feels wasteful to make more than I can storeI because I live in an apartment, use one room as a studio but storage is minimal and I’m a frugal, recycling kind of person.

#2 The feeling that art-making(includes all art forms) can’t possibly matter in a world so full of suffering.

I recently heard the Turkish writer, Elif Safak, tell a story on The Moth, where she mentions her struggle with #2, that push pull of whether or not to make art.  It’s always heartening to hear another artist mention it.

So is there ever a need to refrain from making? I don’t know. I can’t answer for others I just know it’s a question I ruminate over.

This world of dew is but a world of dew and yet…

This haiku was written by the Japanese master, Kobayashi Issa, after the death of his infant daughter. Everything in 12 words. A poignant expression of the constant tension between knowing the truth of things- the insubstantiality of all experience and the need to live deeply engaged.

Below, four new works.

The Joy of Impulsive Making

I’ve been in the middle of a job search–or a search for work (they’re not necessarily the same thing)–so posts have been irregular as I try to figure out a regular source of income. The one place I post fairly regularly is Instagram and have noticed an uptick in likes and comments the last few months.

My main art practice process is making marks without “thinking” or planning–to take whatever materials are close at hand and make an image– usually in less than 20 minutes. I deal with all sorts of negative questions as I work: “this is ugly, you should do something that takes longer (it’s not real art if it takes so little time to execute), etc.” 99% of the time I love the finished piece.

The piece below was an “ugly” piece in the beginning with lots of negative thinking to accompany the making. But it surprised me–as those piece almost always do–layers of unconscious meaning stared at me when I finished.