Brian's Origin Stories

Growing as an Artist

Growing as an artist - Custom Handmade Clock

When we have an idea to create something we haven’t created before, we often run into roadblocks.  Does the artist have the skills to create what is in their imagination?  Do they have all the tools they need to create it?  Do they have access to the materials they need, and do they have the time to explore this creative thought before running out of money and redirecting to something more profitable to keep the bills paid?

These are all the things needed for an artist to create new and unique pieces.  Often, one or more is missing from the artist’s studio, preventing them from growing their skills and portfolio.

Custom Furniture for sale in Colorado Springs, CO - Design and fabrication

When I dream up a new idea or see something inspiring, I set out to create it.  Sometimes, I don’t have the skills to create it, which takes me down a new learning path.  Sometimes, I don’t have the tooling to create it, so I have to buy a new tool or get creative in the tooling I have, which often eats up time trying to get a good result from an inferior or inappropriate tool or can even get dangerous using a tool in an unintended way.   Why not buy a new tool? Well, I may not have the resources.

This is where the struggle begins, and the timeline constraint begins to restrict an artist’s growth.  Can I learn the new skill, build the new idea, and find a buyer for the completed piece before the bank account runs dry, or my time amongst the living expires?

I think a lot of artists struggle with this.  They find a series of pieces that sell well.  Then, they become a production shop creating the same thing with slightly different variants to sell to make enough money to keep the lights on in their studios, losing sight of their imagination to create something new, losing the battle against time and resources.  Stopping their growth or, at most, bringing it to a crawl.

How much time can I dedicate to creating what is in my imagination before I am forced to call it completed and sell a work of art that is not fully brought to its potential?  The struggle is real but won on small iterations, slowly improving, slowly working towards the final piece.  However, it will never be completed as new skills are developed and new ideas are created in our imaginations.  Will we have time to create these new ideas?  We always imagine new things, always strive to grow new skills, always scavenge for resources, and always go up against the clock.  Having more time can fix it all; unfortunately, time is a relentless bitch.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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