Archive for February 17th, 2022




n. the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself

–The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

The artist forever wants to be original. Unique and different from the pack of other artists with that same impulse.

And this desire applies to their own work, wanting each piece to be absolutely distinct and unrepeatable, totally different from their other pieces of created art.

But despite all best efforts, for most artists there is a dreadful feeling that is often near at hand.

The fear that everything has already and always been done.

It’s can be a crippling feeling for an artist.

Why go on when everything has been done, when there is nothing new under the sun?

Standing in front of the easel holding a blank canvas, that question and many more often arise.

Will this piece be something new, something never seen before? Or will it be a reworking of a theme and a pattern that has been repeated numerous times through the decades and centuries before this moment? Or a repetition of a similar work or pattern of my own?

Why go on?

That’s a good question. And an existential one for an artist.

The answer, at least in the way that I see it, is that it doesn’t matter whether it has been done once, twice or a thousand times before, either by myself or artists of distant past generations.

The simple act of creating is what counts. This moment with this thought, with this effort and concentration, with this interpretation of how it feels to be in this moment, is what counts.

Attempting to reach out from this moment and connect with another mind and soul in whatever manner and form is possible within our limited abilities– that is all that counts.

Everything has been done. But it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t done in this place nor point in time.

The opportunity comes in this distinct moment.

Knowing that takes away the fear, allows the artist to continue. And to do so with the hope that today is unlike any day before, that something new and never seen before will come to life.

And if that doesn’t happen, that’s okay because the artist fought through the fear and made the attempt.

There is always a new opportunity to contribute to the continuum of creation tomorrow.

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