How to destroy ideas.

How to destroy ideas.


First up, a little disclaimer.

I’m shit at writing and English is my second language, so please bare with me while I’ll try to put my thoughts on paper.

Last October (2018) I had an idea of making a series of tree Shepard paintings. The goal was, to pick different tree types, research their different characteristics as well as their illnesses and humanize them like ents from lord of the rings.

I talked to my family on vacation about this idea and then started researching as soon as I came back home.

The goal was to make them look like ents but not use the exact visuell language as lord of the rings.

I made dozens of sketches, gathered lots of references and then after finding a design of my liking I started painting the first one. Starting with the king of the trees, the oak.

And then I made the mistake and talked to my friends at the bar of what I’m currently working on.

Somehow by talking about my idea, my intent and the overall process, I destroyed every spark in me that I had for the project.

I tried to force myself to keep painting because I felt I was now accountable for what I had started and talked about.

But soon I realized, that it was more of a chore than actual enjoyment.

This and some skill roadblocks that I hit, were the reasons I stopped working on it at a 80% finish and moved on to other paintings.

Loosing my passion for the project by talking about really bummed me out. I was excited for the project ant thought I was on to something. All that turned itself off after I said it out loud.

It has since been 10 month that I have opened the file. It always felt I had unfinished business but never got around to revisit the project untill now.

This happened to me again two more times with different paintings that I started.

I can’t really tell why that is the case. Maybe it’s the expectations that I feel or put on myself to live up to. To proof that the finished painting is as good as the idea that I told someone.

Or maybe I don’t like to be accountable and pressured to finish something I wanted to do for myself.

To avoid this from happening, I stopped talking about what I’m working on. Which is somewhat sad to be super vague with your friends that show genuine interest in my work and in today’s social media world it’s not the easiest thing to do.Every social media algorithm works best with daily posts to stay relevant. But that’s a topic for another day..

If you have similar experience with personal projects, please let me know.

Maybe you even have a solution or further reasoning why it is happening.

Down below is the version of when I stopped working on it in January as well as the references and sketches I did.

This was my progress when I stopped working on it in January (2019)

This was my progress when I stopped working on it in January (2019)