I can’t get no satisfaction

I’m sitting here in my apartment, eating dinner and watching some TV to relax on Sunday night. I’ve been working a lot this weekend. It’s actually been all work. I worked till midnight Friday on a run of prints, woke up Saturday, and headed over to Dan’s house (my former roommate) to work on a new demo for our band.

I had a little powwow with Dr. WordPress afterwards, and we talked business plans and such. Got home Saturday night, printed up another run on my prints, and got to sleep.

I cleaned up my apartment today (it needed it), printed yet another run of prints, just a few today, an additional run on about 10 prints. I’ve been carving a woodblock for a few hours, and that brings me to where I am at the beginning of this post, dinner and TV.

I just looked over at this block I carved this afternoon, and I know I am gonna print it tonight.

And I won’t be satisfied.

I know artists are always self critical. Yesterday, with Dan, we were listening back to one of the takes we recorded. He mentioned that he messed up his drums a few times, but I didn’t hear it. He was far more critical of his craft than I was, because he was closer ot it.

This is a plague that infects a lot of artists, from what I have noyticed. I know I have it.

Pulling that first print off the block is exciting, but once it is hanging to dry, I start to see all the flaws. I see every misstep with my carving knife, how the color would look better if it was a shade different, the uneven pressure I put on the block when I printed it, making the final ink coverage inconsistent, or the lack of balance in the overall image.

I can’t get no satisfaction from my work.

When I say this, I hear the song in my head, except I hear the version by Devo, rather than the original version by the Stones.

Actually, I hear that version now, since I threw on Q: Are We Not Men? onto the speakers.

Usually I would sit around and stew in my dissatisfaction with what I am making, but instead I think I can address it by writing up this post and letting you sit there and read about how art is such a frustrating endeavor.

I think that the frustration that I feel with the art I make is the entire point.

If I could make the perfect print, then I wouldn’t need to make any others, I would have “accomplished the goal”.

Creating a work of art may be a goal in some respects, after all, I want to make art, give you an inside view of what it is about, and get it in to the hands of you folks. That certainly is a goal.

The entire reason I make art, however, is a process. I could be making tons of other things that might be far more profitable than art, but art is what I like to do. I’ll just have to work ten times harder to get rich off of my art.

The process of creating has meaning to me, and that process wouldn’t be important if I was satisfied with everything I do. I guess that lack of satisfaction makes it worth doing.

Anyway, back to dinner and Devo.

Are we not men?

We are Deacon.

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