Like a tree

"The only way most people recognize their limits is by trespassing on them." -- Tom Morris
Sorry for the lack of posts. I suppose in the last couple of weeks I've dropped into the studio abyss. Or, forgive the cheesiness, the a-bliss? I'm hard at work, nose to the grindstone, with samples for a dummy -- some new collages that are just the right kind of harder-than-heck challenge -- and I'm loving every God-blessed minute of it. Sometimes life is difficult. Just the right kind of difficult.
Hey, on a similar note, I think it's fascinating to hear how long artists spend on any given piece. I know full well that I have many a practical peer who won't spend more than one day on a final piece (I've tried it -- I like it. But. The work I'm doing now calls for something different). I heard from an art director that one artist he knows only spent an hour on an award-winning cover. I've also watched a video of Eric Carle at work whipping out those fun and spirited collages he makes in a similar amount of time. How long does your art take? Are you fast? Or are you slow?

Me? With the work I'm doing now, I'm a bit of a glacier, or a redwood tree, I confess. I just finished a collage that I made while listening to 3 audio books, 11-to-14-hour-long audio books. That's right. Thirty to forty hours. And that doesn't even involve the prep work -- making paper, taking photos for the photo elements, painting the painted parts, drawing. Nope. That only includes cutting everything out and gluing it down. It's a rather embarrassing amount of time that, I'm certain, many people would chastise me over (including my family). But, whatever. It is what it is. I wasn't wasting time or anything. It's just what this particular piece called for (I use a surgical tweezers for small bits -- there were hundreds of small bits in this collage). It is what it is.

Some novelists write an entire draft in November (Nanowrimo anyone?) and others take years to finish a draft (even working constantly). And some of the results of both variety are amazing. And some of the results of both variety suck. It's just the way it is.

What works for you? And have you tried the opposite? What were the results?