Artists Need to Specialize

When I was younger, I delved into all sorts of artistic endeavors: painting, music, poetry. Yet I couldn’t get any traction and create authentic art unless I picked one and committed. The more you spread your time over different projects or media types, the less you can focus on one. For me, it’s writing.

I’m often tempted to jump art forms. Pick up the paintbrush or compose a song. However, I’m well versed enough to understand these distractions for what they are. It’s a subtle form of writer’s block. My brain, forced with creating, would rather sidetrack to another creative venue. It’s the same temptation that makes me want to switch novels rather than complete the one I’m on.

You have to stay firm and commit for the long haul. Finish what you started. If you want to switch to another art form, do it when you’re between projects.

Tim Kane

6 comments on “Artists Need to Specialize

  1. Thanks for this! I am constantly distracted away from writing to pursue my scrapbook fetish – and it doesn’t help to have a huge family and lots of friends who expect home-made cards, whether for birthdays or Christmas!

    It’s interesting to note, although I know a lot of my female writer friends have other creative hobbies like painting, creating chain mail art, and music, that you have similar interests too. Must be that left-side-of-the-brain thing as opposed to a gender thing. 🙂

  2. Hmm, I’m not so sure I agree with you. I think it is possible to work in varying mediums IF THE TALENT IS THERE. What I’ve observed is that often folks who think they are multi talented are not. There are those, however, who have both the gift as well as the discipline to develop expertise in more than one medium.

  3. Erika Franz says:

    I, too, think I have to disagree. I recently rediscovered comic books (the reading of which, absolutely constitutes a fairly reliable distraction if I don’t watch myself). The art form has encouraged me to find ways to fuse visual arts with my writing. This may or may not prove ultimately productive–too soon to say, yet–but, it should lead to some pretty interesting experimentation. Also, I find that I really missed engaging in that particular artistic expression I once used to dabble in fairly frequently (as my rather large, and at times angst-laden, black sketchbook from high school will prove). It may just serve as a temporary diversion that lets my creativity out for a stroll in old territory, or it may launch me toward whole new projects I couldn’t have conceived of previously.

Leave a Reply