Big vs. Small Projects

Akimbo ©2012 WTEK bronze, nickel, brass

It’s one of those questions that artists face – Which is more satisfying, working on a large, involved project or focusing on smaller pieces that have a more immediate result?

I think that I ultimately get more satisfaction from my larger pieces. They tend to be more challenging and help me to hone my skills. I love that feeling as I hammer the last rivet, polish the last surface, and get a good look at the finished work. It does take more out of me emotionally though. Sometimes I have to take a little time to get the creative juices flowing again. After spending two weeks, a month, or two months intensely focusing on one thing it can be hard to switch gears.

3 silver rings – 2 with garnets and 1 with a peridot

That’s where it helps to work on the smaller pieces. They’re quick, you get immediate results, and you can work through different design ideas without as much pressure. Sometimes these smaller projects lead to a series that explores one idea from many angles. And boy is it satisfying to end each day with something tangible and complete to show for my efforts.

Which do you prefer – working on  one big project or blasting out a bunch of smaller ones?

3 thoughts on “Big vs. Small Projects

  1. I agree with the basic premise that larger projects are often more artistically satisfying; however, I think that smaller efforts can have just as much artistic merit. And, thinking in crass economic terms, because smaller works can often – but not always – be priced at lower levels, that places them within reach of a broader patron base. That can be an important consideration in these challenging economic times.

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  2. Usually one big project leads to many related little projects, or vice versa. Recently, I was collaging tiny birdhouses (small project) and that lead to paper cutting an entire book of fairy tales and shadow boxing the altered book (big project). But I always have multiples going!

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