A Generous Crown

A royal portrait.

I’ve learned that when it comes to creating and curating art, it’s best not to judge a work without first giving it some distance. What it boils down to is there’s a difference between your brain being in creation mode, and that of editorial, and switching between the two is not instantaneous. In general, best practice is to give it a night’s sleep (or better yet, a month’s) and then circle back to evaluate a piece with fresh eyes.

The above picture, A Generous Crown, is a part of a larger series that I’m proud of called Hue Myth. In my initial curation of the series, I assembled my favorite outputs into a main folder, and left the rest of the collection haphazardly scattered about in other folders. When I periodically dipped into the main folder to select a picture to upload to my IG (@constructingwill), the thought never crossed my mind to peruse those other pictures, and in fact they might as well have been in the trash.

As I worked my way through using the main stash as content though, I noticed that despite the folder containing what I once deemed to be the best pictures from the series, I was losing enthusiasm with what I had to choose from. In search of perspective, I opened the other folders to examine the pictures that I’d previously decided weren’t up to snuff, and couldn’t believe my eyes when I found multiple images that lit up my brain with delight.

After some thought, I realized that what happened was having gone deep on a sliver of what this particular AI algorithm was capable of, I’d primed my brain to know intimately what the series’ qualities were, both good and bad. When I was then reacquainted with the rest of the outputs I’d curated, I was able to see them in a new light, and recognize some amazing pictures that I’d overlooked, including A Generous Crown.

When the Hue Myth series was first created, I didn’t immediately understand what it was. Not fully, at least, because I couldn’t see its edges yet. I mean it didn’t even have defined edges, as it was still growing in my mind’s eye. And yet I rushed to make proclamations of which ones I thought were best because I was being fueled off of the dopamine spike of short-term satisfaction. Over time, as the series was allowed to grow in stature as it established its place in reality, my estimation of it grew with it. Anything worth its salt has an essence of staying power, and committing to looking at a thing long enough to properly appreciate it is the price of quality.

Being patient is essential in art; not only for the mysterious process of creativity to ebb and flow inside of you, but also for you to understand what a piece actually means to you. It’s all too easy to swiftly move onto the next project, and it’s all too easy to miss something you might’ve otherwise loved.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t forget to be where your feet are, even if you have to walk backwards sometimes.

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