Shop Talk

Open Discussion: How Do You Know When to Walk Away from a Project?

Following on from last week’s open discussion on figuring out how to stay authentic as an artist, this week we’re asking how you know when it’s time to abandon a creative work before you’ve finished it. Has there ever been a time when you just had to walk away?

There’s a lot of pressure on artists to finish off each and every artwork, even once it’s apparent that it’s going nowhere. How do you evaluate the situation and trust your own judgement that sometimes, dropping a creative job is ultimately the right decision?

"Venture" Scarf by Samuel Hardidge

One artist I know stopped working on a character design after it became apparent that the character had died as a source of creative inspiration. Another artist I asked about this said that he’s yet to meet an artist who hasn’t given up on a project after it becomes blatantly clear that it was an artistic dead-end.

Do you follow your intuition and walk away from artworks that aren’t working? Or do you always force yourself to finish what you’ve started?

Let’s discuss in the comments.