Lately I am spending a good deal of my creative time searching for something new. Over the last 2-3 years I have been working in the style found on this website, a style that evolved as I was intentionally trying to move away from my previous methods as well as find time to create finished pieces. But lately I have grown bored with my work and want to find another path. It is as if I have been mining a vein of inspiration, but it is beginning to run dry and I can see the end is near.
I wonder if other artists go through this crisis of inspiration. When I look at their work there seems to be consistency over longer periods than I am capable of artistically. When their work changes it feels more gradual and rooted in the work they have been producing. I, on the other hand, feel the need to break with previous methods and styles as soon as a new source is found. Until that point I find myself experimenting broadly, occasionally falling back on previous methods and styles when my frustration grows and my confidence dips.
Richard Serra says, “Work comes out of work,” but new work comes from operating outside of your comfort zone, taking chances and facing disappointment all while keeping your antenna attuned for a new vein of inspiration. It is like a quest for a specific treasure and part of that quest is recognizing the true treasure. But the only way to reach your goal is by examining other treasures along the way, while still managing to avoid waste of time side quests whose only reward is an arrow through the knee and a stupid tavern that you never wanted in the first place.
I’m not sure if that rings true for other artists, maybe they work themselves into a place of vast inspiration, but I find myself searching for something new every few years.