I think I mentioned I’m working on a number of different projects at the same time recently and that involves getting feedback from different people regarding how they feel about the way the idea develops. Yesterday I got out of a call with the goal of “being more shocking, more creative, this is looking too simple, doesn’t look like you”. Today I heard almost the exact same thing, regarding a similar project (on a much smaller scale, though), from a different person. “Be more daring. Less predictable, like everything you do”. Well, crap.
In the past I’ve worked on some pretty crazy projects with both people. They turned out to be awesome in the end, but I was in a different stage of my life and being digitally careless had no serious consequence other than multiplying the amount of time in front of the screen fixing all the stupid mistakes and non-organized animation. I look back and see things that I could easily fix or improve today, and that’s fine, I guess this is how it should be in an artist’s career. The point now is that being reckless with creative work drove me down some crappy roads recently. Let’s rephrase that, being reckless with several aspects of my life got me in so much trouble this past year that after things started to improve and I felt I was getting better, I started to be careful. During this “recovery phase” – as I feel it – I decided (not consciously) to play safe. Play safe with work, play safe with food, with people and friends, play safe with my plans or even with my bike rides, and that’s precisely from where I should be learning.
What? How would you learn anything from playing safe with bike rides? Of course I don’t want to die on the road, so I play safe, but sometimes the bike doesn’t like the idea, or the road, and I have to either strengthen my grip through the wreck and do my best not to fall or deal with the consequences. To illustrate the matter: I’ve fallen twice recently. The first time, the road was frozen and the tires lost grip, so I fell. The second time I went over an obstacle that was a little too tall and that sent me flying in one direction and the bike in another. I’m ALWAYS afraid of falling, even before these two occasions, but hitting the ground was much less scary in real life compared to what I had imagined.
It means I’m very likely playing safe because the possible outcomes for taking risks are way too worrisome. Following this train of thought I should take the damn risks and deal with whatever comes afterwards because even if it turns out bad, it won’t be as bad as I think. Of course, I can be mistaken about my own internal motivation and the reason I’m playing safe is because I wanna do more things, different things, and taking risks on every single one of them isn’t creative, it’s just stupid. I know I’ll hit walls once in a while, roll on the ground, get a few bruises here and there, scratches, but nothing is likely to kill me or crush my dreams in a very definitive manner.
The main problem is saying is way easier than actually doing it. I’m wired to take the safest route recently and willingly drive towards risks and challenges doesn’t come naturally. I’ll try taking the hands off the wheel for a while and see where that leads me.