The Hardest Question for an Artist / by Chris Maynard

Blackbird Rain in process

Blackbird Rain in process

“How long does it take to make?” is an often-asked question of an artist during a show. It is difficult to answer because making art is not usually a linear process. Sometimes and artist will answer glibly, “All of my life.”. Which is true in the sense that an artist learns and gathers skills throughout their life. But it is not very helpful to the questioner.

When I am asked, I try to gage the level of the questioner’s interest. If it is casual question, I answer with, “It’s a long process.” If the questioner is more seriously interested, I go through the steps in the process from inspiration to photographing the final piece. But I find that for me, the question is often aimed at finding out how long it takes to cut the birds out with my scalpel.

For my next post on November 27th, I will go through the creative steps from concept and inspiration to completion