Experimentation can be scary

Updated: Apr 20

I attended a visiting artist talk today at Delaware State University. The talk was a lecture by artist Sam Whalen. During the Q and A portion of the talk Whalen hit on a point that I think we all have a tendency to forget during our time in academia. She advocated for artists not being afraid of experimentation. In school your are expected to always be working on a project for critique, a piece that has to work. As student artists we sometimes become fearful of wasting time trying new things in the case that it doesn't work out and you have to face the critique with essentially a failed experiment.

There is also a sense of pressure now a days that you need to constantly be producing/posting work online. Again Whalen reminded the audience, "you don't have to post it". Not being afraid of a failing at trying something out of the box is a very important mindset to get into. Otherwise your art practice becomes work. Falling into a repetitive routine of not taking risks and making creating "safe" work can make your portfolio stale. With experimentation comes growth. As Sam said, "You don't have to post it. If it doesn't work just throw it out."