Coping With the Loss of Your Work…

The past few weeks I have been working on hand building a fox-a life size fox. This morning I got up to go into the studio to finish up building the head and tail. Then get started on building an antelope skull that it would wear over its face and some other bone pieces as decor/armor- this is a warrior fox. As I was moving the fox to the area I work in, it fell right over! AHHHH! I could not believe it-literally, as I paced back and forth in the studio, I had to look back at the floor reassuring myself that it actually just happened! I have never really worked on something this large, or that took me this long and then lost it in a tragic crash to the floor. Needless to say it was a strange feeling to see my work splattered and broken into multiple pieces on the ground. I feel like I dealt with it very well though, I wasn’t mad or sad, I just started rebuilding-much smaller.
I guess the point of this post is, one- to help me deal with the loss of my work, and two- to talk about how even though it is a lot of work that seems like it was all for nothing, really in the end I am not that distraught about it. I started over, working in a smaller scale, and as I was working I realized that now I have the knowledge from working on the last fox to guide me in building the new one.  It was not all for nothing I will never lose the experience I gained from working on that life-size fox, and the things which I wished I would have done with that one, I can now change on this new fox.



So, now I am coming back to this post a week later to talk a little more about dealing with the loss of that first fox and having to start all over.  I was so optimistic a week ago- “its fine, its not a big deal, the second one will be better”-and while this is still all true, I did find that it was very difficult to keep my motivation while working on this second fox.  I found that there were times when I felt that the work was just dragging on and on.  I guess I learned that it is probably easier to see your work smashed on the floor than getting through the rebuild with all the time it takes.

Rebuild-still in the works.

Rebuild-still in the works.

Rebuild-still in the works.

Rebuild-still in the works.

Here is the few steps I have come up with to help deal with the loss of your art:

1. Breathe- Its not worth crying over spilt milk so to speak.

2. Yes that actually happened-realizing there is a problem is the first step to recovery.

3. If you cannot salvage your work, (as was the case with mine-although I did collaborate on a new piece with some of the remaining legs), just start over- taking all the knowledge you gained from building the first one with you, along with making those adjustments you wished were different on the first work.

4.  When the second project started to drag on and you think to yourself “I would have been done with this already”, just remember that you are creating art because you love it! The studio is the place you love to be and creating is what you do best!




This is a video to a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by the wonderfully talented Maxwell Hughes…see if you can spot me in this video.



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