ancient urban 3, photograph
“Its not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.”
– Edwin Land
What is your relationship with your past? With work you’ve done before? With the work of others you’ve been inspired by?
For me it’s a most delicate balance. I can get too enamored of what has worked for me in the past and find myself unconsciously repeating it. Or I’ll find myself emulating work I see that I like from others. This can hold me back from exploring new ideas.
On the other hand, it’s important to understand what I like and don’t like, what has worked or not. So the past informs me, it provides important clues about what I should do next. The trick is to extract enough from it to be the seed of new thought and work, but not to retain so much that it constrains.
I try to use the past as a springboard, not a hitching post. And like the experience of having just sprung from the board, the feeling of turning your back on ideas that have meant something to you in the past can be both exhilirating and terrifying.
A true leap of faith…