Friday, 15 April 2011
How often do you take risks in your creative work? By this I mean do you find yourself mostly working in a way you're comfortable with, same method, same materials, same approach? What does it take for you to step outside your comfort zone? Are you prepared to take big or small risks in your creative work?
When I think about the way I work it's usually in quite a tight, fairly small scale way. I draw and print with quite a bit of control. But I love looking at loose, 'messy' drawings and love prints that are layered and built up in a seemingly uncontrolled (or loosely controlled) way. I try to push myself to work against the way I'm used to, not to try to consciously change my 'style', but more as a way of stepping outside my comfort zone, take a few small risks, experiment, play, see where accidents take me.
It's not easy! It can even feel a bit crazy. But it can be a lot of fun.
When I lived in Kyoto I knew a printmaker who worked in a very tight, controlled way basing his prints on intricate, finely detailed drawings. His prints were incredibly detailed and accurate. He told me he was in awe of another printmaker we both knew who worked in a very loose, organic, experimental way. She would sometimes do wild things like blow torch the surface of her woodblock to get a certain texture, or add chemical substances to the wood and then sandpaper them (or then blow torch them) all in the name of texture. She rarely worked by drawing first. She usually just approached the block and started. Her prints was quite abstract but very, very interesting. I was also in awe of this kind of risk taking. To her it was very natural to work in such a way. She probably didn't even see it as taking risks.
My point is, sometimes it's good to step away from the safe, the known, the familiar patterns of working. Sometimes happy accidents can often follow and new ways of working can open up.
What do you think? How open to risk taking are you?