"Your job as an artist is about making choices. To go more to the point, your ONLY job as an artist is about making choices." ~Bill Wadman

Quick Sketch

Some of your work, ideas, and/or art is bad. Get rid of it and show us the good stuff by choosing!

When to Use

At any point in the process.


American portrait photographer Bill Wadman wrote a great post to his On Taking Pictures blog titled "Choices Are Your Job as an Artist" recently. He bemoans what the ease of taking and storing photographs has allowed in the digital age: noise. He's not talking about loudness or about the fuzzy pixelation often seen in nighttime photographs. Instead, he is talking about the hard drives and photo streams filled with twenty pictures of essentially the same moment and the frequent blurry shots kept "just in case." The consequence of cheap and prevalent gear (included on every phone), cheap storage (as digital files), and easy dissemination (via the internet) is that there is a lot of "noise" instead of editing and choosing (which he notes is an artists real job).

While this is clearly an issue with internet era photography (where one could take and release thousands of photographs each day if they desired), the idea of making choices and being selective applies to all art and artists. Do you have more signal, or more noise?

The Exercise

Making choices has the prerequisite of having multiple somethings to choose between. We're going to quickly create some versions of your script to choose from.

  1. Re-read your script.
  2. List three positive things about your script.
  3. List three negative things about your script.
  4. For each negative thing about your script quickly propose an alternative positive (location, characteristic, whatever).
  5. Spend two minutes working out how that change would affect your script (and try to keep the positives).


Yes, this exercise forced you to artificially create alternatives so that you'd have decisions to make. The better position (I think) is to have a large set of alternatives in place before choosing. I think Samuel Beckett might have said it best: "No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."