The Art of Timing is as important to an artist as the brush and the canvas. The true artist masters the Art of Timing. It is something that can be learned, but it must be learned slowly, over a long period of time.
The first thing a young artist learns about timing is how important it is for him to get a good night’s sleep. He must be well rested when he starts his day, and he must continue to get a good night’s sleep every night that he works on his art, because the fact is that there are many hours in the day when all an artist can do is rest and wait for the next moment when he can work on his art.
A good night’s sleep is critical to the artistic process because it takes a while for an artist to gain mastery over his art. This means that an artist will have to produce some bad art during his learning process and also that most of what he produces at first will not be ready for display.
The best way to tell if an artist has mastered the Art of Timing or not is by looking at how often he actually succeeds in getting completed works ready for display. Most artists fail at this, which gives you a good idea why most artists rarely show their finished works in
We are constantly being distracted by things we need to do. We eat, go to work, watch TV, and spend time with our families. But if you want to create something new, this is not the right time. The right time is “the last 5 minutes.”
This is a metaphor for what I call “The Art of Timing.” It’s how you deal with the fact that there aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything you want to do. You may have a full schedule already, but if you want to make art or music or write or start an Internet company or whatever else people think artists do, then you have to be willing to give up some of those things.
You have to sacrifice the best things in your life for the things that are most important. The best way to do that is not just by giving them up but by getting rid of them completely so they no longer distract you. And the way to make sure that happens is The Art of Timing.
The first thing you have to do is stop eating regularly. That will keep your body from distracting you while your mind is working on your art. If you eat breakfast at 8am every day and dinner at 6pm every night, then all day long you will
A poem with a good rhythm and rhyme scheme is pleasing to the eye because it has an aesthetically pleasing pattern. A painting with a good composition and use of color is pleasing to the eye because it has an aesthetically pleasing pattern. A song with a good melody and harmony is pleasing to the ear because it has an aesthetically pleasing pattern. These patterns are the result of time, or timing. The elements in these patterns are not arranged randomly but are placed in particular spaces at particular times for particular effects.
The first thing to note about timing is that there is no such thing as good timing. When you place elements in a pattern using time, there is no right or wrong way to do it; everything depends on what you want to achieve, and different effects can be achieved by different patterns of placing elements at different times.
A well-known example of this idea is the theme song from Star Wars. It’s an extremely simple song in terms of melody, harmony, and rhythm, but its popularity comes from its simplicity, which leaves room for the listener’s imagination and gives the song more depth than would more complex music on the surface level of melody and harmony alone.
This can be seen in how other artists have used this same theme song. For instance
The timing of a joke is often as important as the joke itself. A comedian who bombs with a particular line or joke can have a huge following but still not know why he didn’t get the laughs. He just knows it was a bad day.
What makes for good timing in art? The first thing to realize is that good timing is relative. It depends on your audience’s expectations. If your audience expects you to be funny at a particular moment, then missing that moment will be bad timing on your part. If they’re expecting you to be serious, missing that moment will be good timing.
You can also use anticipation to create good timing. In jokes this is known as “set up” and “punch line.” The setup creates anticipation; the punch line satisfies it. If the punch line doesn’t follow right away, or if it doesn’t fit the setup well, then what results is a feeling of let-down rather than satisfaction.
*Bad timing can be used intentionally to produce an effect of awkwardness or embarrassment; audiences don’t like this either, but it’s different from creating a sense of let-down.
*Audiences’ expectations are influenced by genres—like romantic comedy or spy thriller—and they can also be influenced by
Timing, like every other aspect of art, is subject to the Law of Diminishing Returns. There are times when being early is better than being on time; even more so if you’re late. As a general rule, aspiring artists need to cultivate a sense of timing.
Tick Tock Tick
There’s no such thing as an exact moment that can define the start or end of an art piece. That’s why it’s important to develop a sense of timing that allows you to be flexible. Even if you don’t start early, there will still be plenty of time to fix things up at the last minute.
The most important thing is that you leave yourself enough time to get everything done, whether it takes ten minutes or ten days. This may mean having to break a project down into smaller chunks and planning around natural distractions like eating and sleeping. Your efforts will be appreciated by those who have to suffer through whatever you make — for example, your roommates in college or your co-workers at your first job — but if you really want people to appreciate your work, then it’s worth the extra effort needed to make it happen on schedule.
The most important element in art is not the brush, or the canvas, or even the chosen subject, but the timing of each stroke. The brushstroke should be completed before the artist lifts his hand from the canvas; and sometimes it is better to hold back for a moment than to go on.
Taste comes only with experience. But every artist has a natural sense of timing. It is this which enables him to make rough sketches that are nevertheless impressive and effective.
If you want to learn to draw, you can start by just sketching things as they are, without trying to make them look like anything special. Just draw whatever catches your eye; the lines will probably be wobbly at first, but if you keep practicing your hand will develop its own natural rhythm, and you will begin to see things differently in a way that you can express in lines.
And when you look at what other people have drawn, try not to think about whether you like it or not; just concentrate on seeing how they handled their medium, how they chose their subject and what kind of details they chose to emphasize. You may not appreciate it now, but if you keep looking at it for a while you may find that gradually your appreciation grows too.
Art is emotion, but it’s not just emotion. It’s also form. Art is the deployment of both at once.
Most of what people think about when they think about art is the emotional part: beauty, or pathos, or whatever else you’re supposed to feel when you look at a painting. But it’s just as important to have the form right, even if it doesn’t make you feel anything in particular.
The trouble is that most people think only about the emotional part. They are artists who want to make pictures that will move you, and they’ll be happy if they can move you with their picture sometimes. But there’s no point in making a picture that will move someone once in a while when there are plenty of beautiful paintings that will move them every time.
They’re looking for an emotional effect without bothering to figure out how to get it to happen consistently. And the reason they don’t worry about form is because they never heard anyone explain that it matters, so they don’t know how much it matters.
It matters more than anything else.