Execution Isn’t Glamorous

Yesterday I had to do some troubleshooting with two pieces of art. With my cards, I had to figure out why the service bureau I’m using prints my images off-centered by 1/32 of an inch. Is it because of a mistake in my file or because of a mistake being made by them? The cards come off my printer at home perfectly centered. So I brought those test prints with me when I went to pick up the job. Hammering it out at the print shop isn’t what you think of when you think of an artist doing work. But it is, it’s part of the work.

My second piece of art is a kinetic sculpture. Yesterday I designed and fabricated a few more iterations of the control box to figure out the “best” way for the components to fit together. “Best” means a few things: how the arrangement of components affects the motion of the piece, the look of the piece, and the durability of the piece. The only way for me to figure that out is to make a bunch of different versions and test them.

This work isn’t glamorous. And 95% of people seeing the finished work won’t notice or appreciate that it’s been done, at least not consciously. But hopefully, it will elevate the work. One benefit I know for sure, it’ll help me sleep better!

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