What artists do

From the Guardian: "What does an artist do, mostly? She tweaks that which she's already done. There are those moments when we sit before a blank page, but mostly we're adjusting that which is already there. The writer revises, the painter touches up, the director edits, the musician overdubs. I write, 'Jane came into the room and sat down on the blue couch,' read that, wince, cross out 'came into the room' and 'down' and 'blue' (Why does she have to come into the room? Can someone sit UP on a couch? Why do we care if it's blue?) and … the sentence becomes 'Jane sat on the couch – ' and soon we have arrived, simply, at 'Jane,' which at least has the virtue of brevity."

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