Originally uploaded by misphit
I started this piece a few months ago. I was craving to do something different, something brilliant...and I ended up freaking myself out so bad i could not continue. For a long time only the 2 pen and ink trees and the photo were the composition. This morning, I just said to myself, Hey, this doesn' t have to be your own personal Mona Lisa. Just do something you feel like doing. Finally, I was able to get by my whole aspring to new heights anxiety and finish it. I don't understand the tension that exists within myself to do things. I really want to do something so unique that it is unheard of. And then when projects start to look strange on the paper, I can't stand to leave them that way and explore it. I end up making everything look so much like this piece. It's obvious that I did it. It looks similar to countless other pieces I do. It's difficult to break out of your own mold. I don't know if I can. or should.


tgarrett said...

I feel the same way about my work- I reached a comfort level in an approach- and it is hard to move on- I don't know whether I should let go and just go for it or stay with the comfort. For what it's worth I love your work- Terry

Anonymous said...

I think you should take some risks and get out of the comfort zone. This has nothing to do with the quality of work now but about the process and how you are feeling about it....

Short term results (for getting out of your comfort zone) are making work maybe not as good as usual, because you are doing something different and you're not a master at it yet. The road is new.

Long term results are that you do not get bored of your work (which can happen as you age... I think some people actually quit because they lose interest; they didn't change...) and you discover new things. There's a reason to go to the collage table because you have new problems to solve.

I actually did the Judd Montages with this in mind. I just wasn't sure what to do with myself, but I knew I could not look back. I had to make some changes. So I thought I would cut him in up, just for something new to do.


Mick said...

I like what Eve has said. In addition to that, I used to do what another artist (sorry, I forgot her name) calls COLLAGE-A-DAY. It's a fantastic exercise for soothing, not shutting off, the little voice in your head that seeks perfection.

How it works:
1. Collages should be relatively small - 3" X 5" or 4" X 6"
2. Pick the first five elements that you come across (this step is important - only five and they must be the first five)
3. Arrange these elements in any way you like within 15 minutes
4. You're done!

This only needs to be once a day. In short order you'll quite likely see that your mind will give itself permission to do some very different work without the angst!

Anonymous said...

I do what Mick does too....

but you can do it with even less! Sometimes my idea was TWO elements... that's all... believe me, it works. You can start thinking in a new way... happy new year!....Eva

julie said...

"Short term results (for getting out of your comfort zone) are making work maybe not as good as usual, because you are doing something different and you're not a master at it yet. The road is new."
This is exactly how I am feeling Eva...The pieces ended up looking so damned strange (well duh! That's the idea silly!) that i ended up "taking them over" and going back to where I usually go. Although the piece felt okay in it's own right, I did not achieve my goal, which was to create something totally different.
Somewhere in there I have to get the head to understand that hey, this isn't going to look normal so I can stop fussing with it and let it be something new and different.
I think it's all a matter of exploration to some degree. As I looked back at the 100s of collages I have made in the past 10 years, I can see where I have explored different techniques, and then moved on (or evolved on). I am thinking that the restless soul inside of me is wanting to explore something more. Each person comes up with their own reasons for doing things, and I feel we must all have our own creative timeline. When the times ripe, I think we just decide to move on...
I like your suggestion. I have imposed rules on myself as a way to stimulate creativity. For example, I have been heavy into using food labels and victorian imagery. I decided to do a few pieces using only photos and paint or pen and ink. No other ephemera. That's when the strangeness started to happen! The piece currently sits half complete on the studio table. I will attack it tonite with new fervor! Break in the new year right!
Happy new Year to you all!

Laura said...

Hi Julie,
First off great topic to share and thanks to Mick for the little instructions. I've used something like that with my scape box on the work table, I give myself a 3 x 3 and time it for a couple of minutes too, Great creativity stretcher and some sell, some don't and some get reused later but it is a wonderful exercise. Did you every check out this site? http://www.zentangle.com/index.php

Zentangles, some thing like what is shared there.
Well thanks for your inspiration.

julie said...

wow, that Zentangle stuff is pretty intense. I am amazed. Thanks for sharing...

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.