I am applying for an award. This particular award is for a twelve month project that will push the boundaries of your art practice into new and uncharted territory. It is an award presented to an artist with a desire to break new ground in their creating life. Part of the award is set aside for a mentor who will contribute to the development – a partner in crime, if you like.
It sounded exciting. My initial plans were relatively ‘out there’, although many of the details were unformed. That’s what the year of the project is for, after all – to explore, research, innovate. Having secured a fabulous mentor, however, the vision has taken on a life of its own through her enthusiasm and guidance. It is still exciting, but also now terrifying. I’m not sure I can live up to the confidence she has in my ability to extend.
She is absolutely right. If you are going to explore, then REALLY explore, actually step outside your comfort zone. Don’t just morph what you do now but turn it into something new. I’ve been playing it safe.
I am reading a book called Think Again by Adam Grant. In summary, it talks about reframing and re-thinking one’s often errant or outdated views and assumptions. But it also talks about the fact that we can be resistant. We are often happy in our bubble. Grant provides a glimpse into a way we can make a transition easier, that being to keep in mind the essential things that will remain the same while change happens around.
Without going into details here, I can now see more clearly that I can stretch my practice, break new ground, without having to change my core artistic loves. That fact is an eye-opener and a relief. I can now hop on board the excitement train and apply for the award with a whole heart. So, onwards and outwards!