After finishing "listener" yesterday, I was left feeling underwhelmed by the work and a little empty, but still itching with creative desire. Faced with yet another blank sheet of paper, I did what I often do these days to distract myself and started playing with my camera and past photos I'd taken...hoping to ignite some sort of spark.
There are only so many things you can do to a photo in preview, iphoto, and Word (that's right...I'm so unwilling to spend money on a real photo-editing program that I just stretch the limits of these less exciting options), and because I was starting with pictures taken with a rather sub-standard camera anyway, my optimistic fiddling still seemed to come up short. To me the results were contrived and kitschy--and even more so because achieving them took so little effort on my part. What was even worse, in my mind, was that I just seemed to be endlessly rehashing my old works...stretching thin what substance those efforts may have once had into pallid attempts at depth and originality.
Somehow I still found myself liking these digital doodles...and then blushing with embarrassment because of it. I felt I could see myself as another more authentic artist might: a zealous aspirant whose side-tracked talents had never progressed beyond the promise of mildly interesting juvenilia...an aging wannabe trying to pass off bored electronic fiddling as some sort of brilliance.
Though I've had a few public shows in the past, and I always love to hear that others appreciate works I've done, my prime creative motivation has always been personal expression. I feel that the end results turn out better when I'm not concerned about how others view my works. Such an attitude provides a safe stage upon which to experiment, fail, succeed, and try-try-again to my heart's content. As I age, however, I find this unselfconsciousness is increasingly harder to maintain.
Still, the creative urge burns on: whether--at the end of the night--fortune smiles and I'm able to complete something I consider a personal masterpiece, or I only end up writing mediocre poetry superimposed upon old photos overlaid in Microsoft Word.
...Try, try, again...