“What is once well done, is done forever.” Henry David Thoreau (from Brainyquote.com)
Is there a little bird who says when its time to stop tweaking a work or a subject? When is enough, enough? Many creative people have a difficult time knowing when to stop. A tweaky little tweaker flitting in to let out a bit of tweak when the time has come to stop all tweaking would relieve a lot of the guess work. The little tweaker would pop out the tweak just as the temptation to add just one more bit, one more word, one more shot is about to takeover. The tweaker would bring freedom from the urge to tweak.
ArtNews has an article by Ann Landi posted about this subject. Landi talks to several noted artists about when they know the work is complete. Landi says, “for some artists, the work is done when it leaves the studio. Others keep tinkering in the galleries. One waits for the piece to “cry uncle.” The responses Landi got were as varied as the artists themselves. Artists are as creative in when to stop as they are in where to begin.
Artist Sandy Guthrie of Createx.com addresses the problem by identifying a “gut” reaction to the work in progress. Guthrie says, “what to do with the ones that are good, possibly very good—but just not grabbing you in the gut in the same way, is very difficult.” Guthrie “read about an artist who says she always hangs her new work in her house after she has finished. If after a few weeks she feels she loves it, then it can be sold. If not, it goes back to the studio for more work.”
When to stop tweaking is apparently one of those little oddities that only an artist can answer for him/her self. It’s a dilemma to be worked out on an individual basis. The problem could quickly be solved if the tweaker would just show up and tweak a little tune at the precise moment the work is complete. Harnessing the cheeky, tweaky tweaker is a difficult process. Just be careful not to mix up the tweaker for the twerker. You definitely wouldn’t want to go there