I'm still in the metaphor of sailing (from the previous post).
Even those who have not experienced sailing can identify with the thrill of it (put aside seasickness and stuff), on this journey to the horizon, to new worlds.
Those for whom adrenaline does not obscure rational thinking will surely also feel the fear that accompanies this excitement. The moment we leave the land, the safe ground, and surrender to the movement of the waves ... But whoever is led by curiosity, whoever is looking for adventure, interest, excitement, must set off.
"One cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." Andre Gide
And if we go back to the world of art:
Each painting is a new adventure, but over time we adapt working habits and techniques, which we begin to feel comfortable with. The painting is no longer so threatening. We feel (almost) safe. Like living on land. Paint with confidence, feeling in a well-known territory.
The thing is, that a truly creative life requires us to step out of this comfort zone from time to time. We need to challenge ourselves with new experiences. We need to be curious. It can be a new technique, a different material, an extra-large format (or an extra small one, or just different...) and it can be a different way of working.
When the director of the local library approached me and offered me to make a solo exhibition in the library space, I decided I am going for it. I will not offer her from my collection of existing works, but rather create something new especially for that space.
I had three months to go before the opening day. She was afraid I would not meet the schedule. This was the point where I left the mainland. The adrenaline disrupted my rational thinking and I did not feel fear.
Six weeks later the exhibition was ready. It happened because I dared. Because I was carried away with the thrill and sucked into the creative process. I also discovered along the way a new form of work, which I invented. I guess it was done before, but I did not know it, and for my part I invented it. It's part of the thrill.
I think had I stayed with the collection of works I had before, I would not have experienced this excitement. I would not feel growth.
The exhibition, by the way, is called An Ongoing Story, and it deals with the subject of the path, or the process. But that is for another post.