Tiffany Little

dilemma: when to begin again

Yesterday I started working on a new painting. I mocked up a bunch of reference images and deliberated for some time before choosing which one made the grade. When I got home I started to sketch. 3.5 hours later I felt like I’d made good headway, so toddled off to bed.


This morning when I woke up I reviewed the work I wasn’t entirely happy. It was off centre (and the image relies quite heavily on symmetry) and there were a couple of details I needed to correct. I took a few photos with a view to ponder it throughout the day. Preparing myself before setting to work this evening.


Following this, I am in two minds. The misplacement of the design irks me, but I am largely pleased with how the drawing looks. How do I play this? Do I ignore the fact it’s off centre and just correct the issues within the sketch, or do I start over completely?

The dilemma for me is largely emotional. I’ve invested time and effort to get this far. I not only gained a sense of achievement but a sense of pleasure. To start over can make those first efforts feel like a waste of time and it’s frustrating. There’s also the fear of not being able to do as good a job as second time round… You invest emotionally, you pour in your heart and soul and still didn’t get it quite right. What can you possibly do now?


Funnily enough—especially as I consider art to be a largely emotionally driven process—the answer is… Switch off. Take the plunge and start over. Likely obvious to those less emotionally centric, if you’ve done it once, you can do it again. Not to mention that the lessons learned the first time round will be invaluable, ensuring that the outcome is more favourable. Iteration is key in securing enduring success. It’s something I’ve learned during my time here at MetaBroadcast and a lesson I carry forward into other areas.

So tonight, after staring at the tiny images on my phone, trying to make sense of where I went wrong, I shall get home, re-prime my board and start over. If I don’t, who knows what I might have achieved…

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