Andrew Polk

Finishing the Work

You always want to push the work to its limits, to make it as good as it possibly can be, but you don't usually know where that is. The only time you really know when a work is finished is when it is too late - after you have pushed it too far and it has lost its magic. The trick is to stop before it is too late.

When I push a work, I choose between two approaches. The first is to let it follow its own course – i.e., to embellish it on its own terms without changing its fundamental presence or direction. The second is to shift courses – i.e., to try something different by moving it from its where it was going. This approach is used when I have lost interest or hope in its current direction.