Yesterday morning M and R came over to see my new work and talk about the show and the catalog that we're putting together. I walked them through my process and answered questions, and then we piled into a cab and went over to M's studio to see what she's been cooking up. I was totally impressed with what she's putting together – it's somewhat related thematically to the kind of work that I do, yet very very different, and it struck me that between the work that she's doing and the stuff that I've done, this show is not just going to be a good show, but a GREAT show. I'll post some images of her work in a couple weeks when she's got some finished pieces (they're all works in progress right now).
M just got married in December and only got back from Panama a few days ago, so I don't think she falls into the only-work-when-there's-a-show category, but I feel like I know a lot of artists who only really produce work if they have a show coming up. And I can kind of understand that. A show gives you a goal to focus on, and I can see how motivation could wear thin if there was no reason or purpose to keep forging ahead. Art is an expensive hobby, too, and I can see how dwindling finances could force production to come to a halt.
About 14 years ago I met a painter who gave me some great advice: You can't wait for inspiration to strike, because if you did you'd never get a thing done. You have to just work every day, whether you feel like it or not. I've never forgotten that little nugget of wisdom.