After spending two years on the creation of a few large format mixed media artworks, each measuring 28x40 unframed, I indulged the short and sweet pleasures of small works.
When it was liberating to just draw for the joy of it, it was just as liberating to make art without the massive time commitment that my larger works required. These pieces, some that fit in my hand, took less than a day to create.
Art as experiment
Most of my larger mixed media collages took several months to complete. At some point, I get attached to the vision that’s unfolding throughout the process and that is when risk enters the picture. With such an investment in time, you carefully consider what you’re going to do next. Fear is not a particularly creative element. It restricts. And playing it safe is not my thing.
But these small works. They’re like sketching. They are fast, free, and invite experimentation. So I tried new things. Acrylic paint. Cutting up drawings from my sketchbook and giving them context with collage elements. Drawing a new subject. Using a different color palette. Experiments are valuable. It’s how you learn. And when failure is a welcome learning experience, you lose the fear.
A reset button for creativity
Small works are liberating. With less of a time investment than my larger pieces, they reminded me of how art, risk, and experimentation interact. My first large format piece started off as an experiment. But as I spent more time developing that theme, attachment grew, along with expectations. For me, this is a creativity killer and slows down the process. Moving to these smaller pieces, all intended for gifts, was like hitting the reset button on my creativity. When there is nothing to lose, you are free.