Self-Portrait in Spring, paper collage, 2022
As I was preparing to post this collage and another one (which I’ve decided to publish at a later date, alongside a poem, methinks), I remembered that I made another Self-Portrait in Spring at this time last year.
And how different it looks. I daresay, how far I’ve come in a year. In my collage practice, anyway. Indeed, I’ve dedicated a great deal of time to developing style and improving technique over the past year, on trying to develop a kind of identity as an artist.
And I have a tendency–especially when I become consumed by a project or a goal like this one–not to look back. Not to revisit my earliest collages and remember how much fun I had making them. How freeing it often is to feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Or to stop and take time to appreciate the progress I’ve made.
If I am to be transparent, I sometimes refuse to look back at previous work (poetry, prose, or collage) because I feel uncomfortable about it. That is, it makes me flinch. Makes me feel a bit embarrassed, a bit like I don’t even want to look! I can’t believe I made (or said) that! But those feelings, I think, are a natural part of dealing with creativity. And of learning not to be too hard on ourselves. And they should be treated as such.
So, in this post, I thought I’d put forward a gentle reminder that it’s not only acceptable, but also necessary to look back, to take the time to reflect on our hard work, and congratulate ourselves for our accomplishments. I still like last year’s Self-Portrait in Spring, by the way. I had fun making it. And while this year’s looks very different, I think it is worth mentioning that I still have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to collage. And I I think I’d like to keep it that way.
Prints for the 2022 Self-Portrait in Spring are available in my Etsy shop.