Sunday, September 21, 2014

On Losing All Your Work

I just read this article that popped up on facebook called "Pixar, U2, and the Horrific Feeling of Losing all Your Work" . Not that much too it, just saying how it indeed, sucks to lose all your work. Just reminded me of my own experience losing an entire body of work. Here's the story.
This is what my house looked like while I was living in Madagascar. This is the "before" shot. Pretty gorgeous, huh? (Some days, it's painful how much I wanna go back to this exact spot and hang out.)
 Aaaaand this is the "after" shot: a bush fire rolled through the village and burnt my house entirely to the ground. I was out of town on business, but came home to this.
That's what the neighborhood looked like. :( My amazing friends and neighbors went into my BURNING HOUSE and rescued a lot of my belongings though, which I was so grateful for. They weren't however, able to rescue all the paintings I had been working on. I had them all hung up on my walls, and they were all done on paper, so I'm sure they were one of the first things to get swallowed up in the flames.

For me, the fire was kinda like spilling coffee on your laptop. And it was a horrible sinking feeling, knowing that all I had left were the fuzzy memories (no pictures) of what the paintings looked like, and some sketches in my journal (which thankfully, I had with me and was not in the house.) Anyway, I guess my point of this story is, things can get lost in an instant. A whole series of artwork can get lost in seconds. And it really sucks. But when I got home to the U.S., I re-painted them ALL. And you know what? Had I NOT lost those paintings, I never would have painted the following ones. And I really, truly, am much happier with the way the re-dos came out, rather than the originals (it helped that I had access to much better art supplies for the re-dos, too)

The series of paintings were all based on books I read during peace corps. I read a lot there, and just started painting the female protagonists of the stories, as I imagined them. I called the series, "Literary Heroines". Here's some of the work from the series. To see them all, clicky. 

So I guess my point in all this is: keep trying? Try again. Make it all the way over again. You might like things better that way anyway. :)

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