Are you a creative butterfly or evolutionary? Or something in between?
As I’ve been preparing for my show this weekend I’ve been choosing what pieces to take with me to create the best display I can and it’s been interesting to chat with members about why I choose what to take and what to leave. It’s fascinating to see how they view my work when it’s all together in the studio especially as I have my older work on display together with my new work. To me they are very distinct groups based on their inspirations and when they were made but it seems that others see them all more as part of one big group that is just work made by me even though they are very different subject matters.
This got me to thinking about what has inspired me over the years, how my work has changed over time and the ways in which how I work has changed. I’ve always been someone with lots of ideas and a want to explore them all, a bit like a creative butterfly fluttering between many different sources of inspiration creating lots of different pieces of work that aren’t necessarily related. After leaving Uni this was very much how I worked, flitting between projects and ideas, working to find who I wanted to be as an artist while also trying to earn a living. It was a time of high energy and busy living.
The creative butterfly is great for exploring ideas and trying new things, working in new mediums and generally growing your creativity but it’s not so good for finishing ideas and creating a body of cohesive work that looks good displayed together either for a show or an exhibition. It also means that people aren’t really sure what you stand for and what your style is if it’s constantly changing so if you’re looking to sell your work and build your name it can be counter-productive sometimes too.
At Uni we were taught a process to follow an idea through from initial concept to finished work and this is what I’ve returned to more and more of late. It’s a much more evolutionary approach to creating work where you begin with an idea, test it, learn from it, create the next piece, learn from it, and so on. It means I can play with subtleties and particular elements making each piece unique but interconnected.
I now have a family and some health issues that mean I don’t have the energy I used to (even if the enthusiasm is still there😏) so this evolutionary approach suits me better now. It could also be that, having been a creative butterfly, I now know what I want to say, my values and what I want my art to do, so that I now feel comfortable concentrating on one idea. I know it’s the right idea for me at this moment. So it could equally be that I’m a fair way along my creative journey.
In practical terms, it means I have been able to create a body of work that is connected and cohesive to take to the show that I’m proud of. It tells a story with a style that’s all me and each piece is related to all the others in the group. For me, there’s still a lot more to explore within my current Potential Inside work so I can see me evolving these pieces for many years to come yet!
So, are you a creative butterfly or more of an evolutionary? What do think influences how you work? Is it your point on your creative journey, training, your age, experience, situation or personality? Or maybe something else entirely!? It would be great to hear what you think 😊