As an artist, I find myself constantly curious about other media and how artists are able to paint, collage, draw, photograph, weave, felt, sew, etc... to create the incredible art I am blessed to observe in person. I crave more information. I want to learn more and cannot soak up enough experimentation with media, ideas and instruction.
It has come to my attention that many artists are satisfied to settle for what they know and with the art they produce. I don't see the excitement, enthusiasm, energy or passion for their art once they have reached that dreaded comfortable stage. I observe art that has grown a bit stagnant. It can be nice; however, I am wanting to see something different, something more. I want to get to know that artist and understand what they are trying to say through their art. I want to see and experience going somewhere that I haven't been before.
Complacency can sneak up on us when we least expect it. We want to produce more art and it's easy to rely on what we already know. It's also easy to believe that we already know everything we need to know to create the art we want to share with others.
It happens. We want to get out our supplies and do what we have been doing time and time again without really taking the time to think, maybe it would be fun to try this technique with this media and see what will happen. It's easier to say to ourselves that our art is so precious that every time we are working on something, we don't want to take the chance of making a mess out of it. That could also be the time you make a new discovery and change how you want to approach your next piece. Think about what you could be missing from not taking those chances!
So, how does an artist fight that stagnant sense of complacency?
Go out of town and check out the galleries and see what artists are doing in other cities
Take a class or a workshop
Take a real hard look at what is happening in the art world (magazines and online)
Look online, buy some books, watch YouTube and expose yourself to new ways of doing art
Experiment, experiment, experiment
Talk with other artists to see what they are doing
Let yourself go and follow the flow
One artist will never know everything about their media. Be an adventurer in your art and see where the path takes you.