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Link WIP by AlvinRPG

I love seeing those three letters 'WIP.' Work In Progress.


It may seem weird, but I love it when an artist shares their incomplete works! Think about that for a second. When someone makes a film, they don't release any of the footage that hasn't been touched up or hasn't had any of the VFX elements placed in yet. Why would you? Remember the leaked footage from "Wolverine: Origin"? Nobody would understand what is going on. And it doesn't help anybody to see the piece, as it's meant to be seen in an objective way. Well, to me, that is half the beauty!

I've mentioned this before, but I'd like to reiterate that art is personal, emotional, and completely objectified by the viewer. Something I see as beautiful and moving might be just mundane or over exaggerated to you. That's because we both have different viewpoints and perspectives. I may look at a piece a certain way because of what I might have been going through at that particular time, or that it spoke to me during a creative block, or whatever. Like-wise, you have your own specific reasoning of why you like or dislike a piece of work.

(a few of my favorite pieces of work from over the years)
Mushishi by Kuvshinov-Ilya      dark side of the moon by len-yan     Noir: Quiet by bagelwhore      The Time Traveler by xetobyte      Mara Jade by nbashowtimeonnbc     untitled by kargapolovR     untitled by kargapolovR

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We all have an innate desire to be appreciated.

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That being said, we are all afraid of criticism. Whether you think you're open-minded (like myself :P ) or you think you don't care what people think about you, think again. We all have an innate desire to be appreciated. That's us. That's the human instinct. So when we choose to open ourselves to the public's eye, we know we are becoming more vulnerable than anybody else because as an artist you are now sharing those feelings you put on your canvas.

Some of us have gotten pretty good at losing our nerve to such a monster of emotions. I know I have. I used to try and hide the sketches I would do in high school. Because, no matter how hard I tried, there was always someone who had an opinion. That person who just looked at the drawing and saw what was on the surface and didn't consider the underworld of emotions it was harboring. So I didn't share my work with anybody with fear that it would be misunderstood and criticized. I went to school where 95% of the student body had no aspirations or otherwise didn't care where they would end up in life. And instead of searching for the thing they were passionate about, they turned to the people who had found something and made fun of it. It wasn't easy, but it taught me a lot about myself, my work, and communicating with others.

Loraine  WIP 1 by kyle-culver

But it still does scare me. To share something with people I don't know and see what they think.
Most cases I truly don't mind what their opinions are because - as an artist - I look for people who can challenge me. People who know me, my personality, my like and dislikes, so they can adequately give me the advice I truly need. It's the relationship between this person that I thrive on in bettering myself in my work. But be careful that they are one of those friends who agrees with you on everything and only gives you positive feedback. I've worked with a lot of people and the best experiences I've had was when me and this other person would argue over a certain detail in a script, or a color, or whatever creative choice it is we are examining. We argue respectively to share our views and perspective on the matter to get a rounder picture on what is possible and isn't. SO much better than someone who agrees with you ALL the time and doesn't ever have a different thought.

But I have digressed...
So, to share my work is one thing, but to share an incomplete version of that piece is daunting! At least to me it is.

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Being an artist is about being free from the traps of 'thought' and transcending into 'feeling.'

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Eren WIP by Brilcrist

But I get excited when I see other artists post their incomplete version and talk about how excited they are about the process and getting it done! I feel their energy and it feeds my own desire to complete my own work! Plus, after everything I mentioned above, they HAVE to be totally divorced from the idea that someone won't give them helpful criticism, or tear them apart completely. I love that! Being an artist is about being free from the traps of 'thought' and transcending into 'feeling.'

          Cry: Slash WIP by Kiwa007          WIP by ephemeralciel

On top of which, I'm always interested in other artists' work process. What techniques they use. And a lot of these WIP's can tell me something about that. (If the artist hadn't already in their description.)
Not to mention, the best place to share your works in progress are with other artists who can weigh in on what technique you may be using. What an incredible resource! Community is so important to artists. I don't know about you, but I thrive off of other pieces of art. I get inspired! I look up to a lot of other people, and I feel like if they didn't exist I would not know if I was heading in the right direction or not in my own work. All the while understanding what my OWN techniques are and can be used for. It's not always about what will appeal to most people. Sometimes you just have to create. Anything.

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Sometimes you just have to create. Anything.

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So, don't be afraid my fellow creative imaginateers! A work in progress is a wonderful place to be! And I hope you feel encouraged to be proud of your work and share it whenever you want!
And thank you! Thank you for pursuing your passion of art and creating. Whether you believe it or not, YOU inspire ME! 

-Kyle-
  • Listening to: 8Dawn
  • Reading: Honor Harrington Book 2 "Honor of the Queen"
  • Drinking: Casi Cielo
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Submitted on
January 28, 2015
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