Why Productivity in Art is Overrated

Over the past few years as I’ve been doing more and more art, I have kept hearing comments like “You should start trying to sell that”, “if you finished enough pieces you could exhibit”, and similar comments that all seem tied to the idea that I should become some sort of art machine or production line. I have visions of the person talking to me assuming that I am in a little workshop somewhere churning out copies of Van Gogh’s Starry Night for pennies on the pound.

Recently I have been listening to an audiobook written by Nick Hornby called Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius. In this short tome (which I highly recommend, Mr. Hornby is a fine writer and observer of the British character, and no, I’m not paid to write this recommendation) the author makes the following points

Dickens' first long novel is The Pickwick Papers, before he finishes publishing it, he starts publishing Oliver Twist, and before he finishes publishing...

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