Embrace Change

May 03, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

The risk of sticking with what is workingEmbrace changeMany times we photographers and creatives get stuck in doing the same routine over and over again, especially if we are doing something that is liked by others. Chances are that you get bored if you have to do the same thing all the time and not making changes becomes riskier than changing

For many artists and creatives curiosity is the fuel for their work. A little idea pops into your head :" I wonder what would happen if I....." and if you follow this thought, your work starts to evolve. If you get busy or a bit too comfortable in your ways, in your style of creating, you might not be that open anymore to these little whispers of curiosity and they simply float by. At one point this means that you run out of fuel though. You can only create on willpower for so long before you are starting to feel uncomfortable. (Check out my previous blog post about comfort zones if you want to read more about this)

Fairytale Forest in morning lightMeandering path in a pine forestSoft golden morning light in a pine forest in the Netherlands

You might also hear the "I wonder" messages clearly, but you are afraid this will change you, that it will lead to changes in your work. If your self is attached to your work, it is very scary to start doing something different. It might indeed change your work, it might put people off who had been following you, it might put your customers off as well and if you depend on an income from your art, the more risky it feels to follow new ideas. You start calculating that it will cost you time, effort, perhaps materials and even worse....self respect if you fail horribly and you are quickly starting to convince yourself that change is not a very sensible decision.

Creativity though is not that rational. Of course some people will not follow you anymore on social media if you make changes to your work and some buyers will loose interest. The point however is that no one gets these ideas without them pointing in the direction of your own full potential. I think of them as little sign posts along my way. I don't have a clue most of the time where the road is going, but I do know that if I follow these little messages I grow into myself a little bit more every day. If some people don't like where I am going, than perhaps we were not meant to travel together anymore. We might have been perfect travel companions for the first part of the journey, but then the roads diverge and we take different routes. Other people will be attracted to your new work though and as you grow into a better version of yourself, you will attract people that are more and more like you. 

Painterly forest scene with meandering streamCharmedBeautiful meandering stream in a forest

Change can be scary, it involves risk, but how large are the risks if you don't embrace change? Stagnation is one of the worst enemies of creativity. You will eventually get bored with your own work or run out of creative energy altogether. If you catch yourself creating on auto-pilot, if you are looking at your recent work with a distinct feeling of: "Bleh, been there, done that...", it is a sign that you have ignored your curiosity for a bit too long. 

I am embracing change big time at this moment. I have had to take some huge leaps this year and this did lead to some initial stressful thoughts of how everyone might react to what I was about to do. The thing is however that the stress around not changing was way larger. It felt like I had this thing I wanted to do in life hidden inside of me and I had kept it in a cage of sorts and it was starting to protest a little louder every single day. In the end the cost of not changing was too high, as it would mean me not being the person I feel called to be. 

What changes are calling you at this moment? And do you see a way of honouring these urges of creative curiosity? Leave a comment below if you would like to share...

The risk of sticking to what is workingEmbrace ChangeWhen we stick to what is working and what we are experienced at, there is always the risk of ending up feeling stuck and losing your joy in creating. You might even think that photography is not your thing anymore


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