Sunday, February 26

idiot savant inspiration #585: king of the hill

I've been watching some old King Of The Hill episodes on Netflix. Some of the first ones are super raw – especially the animation – when Hank's eyes move his whole head stays static except for a clearly discernible portion of his cheek, eyes and forehead.

I didn't dislike it, it was just interesting to see the older episodes right there with the more recent ones. Sometimes I can get obsessed in my head (well, that's where it happens, right?) with having a visual united front for my work, even though I know it changes with each piece I make. It was humbling to see the evolution all laid out at once and remember that as a viewer I have much more latitude and compassion for a changing body of work than I do as a maker.

It's more than compassion though – I crave these changes. Isn't that the way with any artist you follow? There are musicians, potters, painters, designers, whose work I have loved for years and part of the love is following their path and responding to their choices – being amazed, disappointed, fed, reassured – it's like the best parts of getting to know a friend without the burden of having to talk on the phone.

And it reminded me that we always start where we are and end up somewhere else. Of course. (Didn't I say idiot savant right in the title?) Our work changes just like we always change. That's where some of the fear in getting started comes from isn't it? It's that attachment, the tenacious barnacle of time clinging to our bow. Once you start creating a body of work it changes with you – it's a constant reminder that we're being propelled forward toward the inevitable. (Although instead of feeling propelled I tend to picture us winding in a graceful spiral, which helps me feel more calm about the whole deal.) But here's the thing: you're going to keep changing anyway, so start making stuff that thrills you. Now.

p.s did I really just say "tenacious barnacle of time?"