I’m talking fine art here, but these thoughts could apply to numerous creative pursuits.
Have you ever looked back over your creative time and noticed unintended links and developments in your work?
Often it’s not until some time later that you realise previous work has led to or influenced new work. Follow the progression through these pieces that I worked on over a period of eight years from 2014 to 2022.
It makes me think about the times when you think there’s nothing exciting to do. All the old things seem boring, like they’ve run their course and there’s nothing new presenting itself that’s worth attacking with gusto.
It’s times like those when devotion to making art comes into play, consciously or not. Not just for the fun, exciting times, but the whole box and dice of good and bad times. Those weeks, months or years of work sit quietly in place influencing you. That place can be a box, a sketchbook, your photos, in a frame on the wall, or your subconscious, your journal, your memory, anywhere!
When I say devotion, I realise you cannot know whether your subconscious is playing the game. But, it seems to me that if I’m consciously focussed on art, my subconscious is too. I know this because art ideas will spring to mind and I can tell they’ve come from past work. And, it won’t be ideas for sewing, which I’ve done in the past, or what to eat for dinner that night.
Of course, being “in” and doing your work helps your conscious brain think about what’s next too. It’s like two brains!
When you realise you’ve been working on a piece and have been influenced by past work it feels somehow comforting. It’s knowing there’s a thread running through things that is yours and yours alone. You’re creating authentic, original pieces that nobody else ever could. Sure they can copy afterwards, but it was yours first.
I can hear you asking, “But what about artists you’ve been influenced by?” Fair question. I don’t copy other artists, but I’m obviously going to be influenced by them. But, it’ll be in a way that is individual to me, combined with all my other influencing factors.
The good thing about all this is that things beget things! “Working” creates momentum, internally and externally. You just have to keep going for it to happen!
For the Hobartians among you. The Art Society of Tasmania’s Annual Exhibition is opening on Friday night. Click here and scroll down to find out about it.
New art on Bluethumb
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