If you’ve been following along, you should be really excited for this step. You’ve done an incredible amount of planning on your piece, from finding a good idea and purpose to building a foundation. Now it’s time to dig in. It’s time to choreograph the steps, write down the notes, or get out the paintbrush. It’s time to bring your work to life.
But why did I wait so long to get you to this point? Shouldn’t you have been doing this stuff from the beginning?
Here’s the problem with jumping into the specifics right from the beginning: there’s no goal in mind. Without a goal, it’s nearly impossible to create a cohesive or even a coherent piece of art. Artists have the immense responsibility of communicating with their audience. In order to rise to that challenge, you have to first know what you want to communicate and how you’re going to do it. It’s not enough to carelessly arrange movements, notes, or shapes in a way that seems ‘interesting enough.’
In short, if you want your art to be meaningful, your approach to creating it should be meaningful as well.
Now that it’s time to dig in, the benefit of all this planning will show through – not only will it make your end product more meaningful, but it will make this part of the process WAY less stressful. With your goal in mind, you’ll have a better understanding of what movement should come next – because instead of trying to pull one movement out of the thousands of different movements you know, you’ll understand that only a handful of those movements will further your story, communicate your message, support your concept and aesthetic, express an emotion, etc. That makes the decision MUCH more manageable.
That said, this approach only works if you continually reference back to all of the planning you did. If you plan out the most amazing piece in the world but forget about all of your planning when you start choreographing the steps, your end product isn’t going to be anything close to the stunning piece you imagined. So before you run off and start digging in, here are a couple things to think about:
- EVERY DECISION COUNTS. Don’t let yourself slack off on the ‘minor parts’ of your work. Every part is important because the audience sees every part.
- DON’T FORGET YOUR PLANNING. Especially if you’re feeling stuck. If you don’t know what should come next, it’s probably because you forgot what your goal was. So go back, remind yourself of your purpose and of what’s going on, and let that steer you. It will always be right.
- TAKE A STEP BACK. Every once in a while, it’s good to take a step back and think about your work from an audience’s perspective. What are they really seeing? Do the movements make sense to an audience who doesn’t know my purpose as well as I do?
Now, it’s time to get down to business. So dig in, get your hands dirty, and bring your work to life.
Still need to build your foundation? Check out Step 2 here.
Ready for the next step? Move on to Step 4 here.