Most of the artists I know can get way too serious.
Though I don’t always practice what I preach, I’m always telling my students to lighten up, with the reminder,”People; It’s just a painting!”…or something along those lines… “You’re not on trial.” If that doesn’t work then I’ll belt out a bit of opera in my flat voice just to make them laugh.
Richard Serra, arguably one of the most serious artists in the business, has stressed the importance of cultivating playfulness in one’s work, and you can see it in his drawings. Rembrandt seems to have had a sense of humor and Dali could be just plain ridiculous. Some of the world’s greatest talents weren’t all work or all play, but a healthy mixture of both.
It all comes down to curiosity. You simply can’t be stressed out and curious at the same time. Curiosity and creativity go hand in hand. One leads to the other.
The word creative, to me, doesn’t refer to any finished product, but to the solutions that are born while doing one’s work, and doing it with enthusiasm. And the answers to whatever challenges one may face in work or in life for that matter will be found only by trying something different. “What if?”, is a wonderful question to ask throughout the day. “Let’s give that a try; see what happens.” And if it succeeds then congratulations, you have a new tool. If it doesn’t then remember…it’s just a painting.
A quote from R.C. Barker –
“A changed experience can only happen to a changed individual.”
Keep being the same and you’ll get the same. Put some fun into the process and you will naturally become more experimental. Then get ready for some serious…no pun intended…growth.