On creative force and conservatism

I’m afraid to say that admirers can be a tremendous force for conservatism, for consolidation. Of course it’s really wonderful to be acclaimed for things you’ve done – in fact it’s the only serious reward, because it makes you think “it worked! I’m not isolated!” or something like that, and it makes you feel gratefully connected to your own culture. But on the other hand, there’s a tremendously strong pressure to repeat yourself, to do more of that thing we all liked so much. I can’t do that – I don’t have the enthusiasm to push through projects that seem familiar to me ( – this isn’t so much a question of artistic nobility or high ideals: I just get too bloody bored), but at the same time I do feel guilt for ‘deserting my audience’ by not doing the things they apparently wanted. I’d rather not feel this guilt, actually, so I avoid finding out about situations that could cause it. The problem is that people nearly always prefer what I was doing a few years earlier – this has always been true. The other problem is that so, often, do I! Discovering things is clumsy and sporadic, and the results don’t at first compare well with the glossy and lauded works of the past. You have to keep reminding yourself that they went through that as well, otherwise they become frighteningly accomplished. That’s another problem with being made to think about your own past – you forget its genesis and start to feel useless awe towards your earlier self: “How did I do it? Wherever did these ideas come from?”. Now, the workaday everyday now, always looks relatively less glamorous than the rose-tinted then (except for those magic hours when your finger is right on the pulse, and those times only happen when you’ve abandoned the lifeline of your own history).

Brian Eno

3 thoughts on “On creative force and conservatism”

  1. do what you feel .. not what is expected of you .. what people admire is your own unique work not your sense for mainstream :) or ability to smooth out words gracefully.
    my humble opinion if you are interested in it is that for everything there is a time. and time is ever changing. one day you will look back and ask yourself how come i did write this or that or stopped this wonderfull project… there will be only one answer which satisfies.. it was time to change!
    art is what friends are not – formless, undefined, it is completely your own to model. and please do form it to your wishes not to those of others. you will be all the more happy and we will appreciate you because of you .. as we should :)
    admirers who admire only part of your creativity .. well they admire a certain style. not a certain person or lifestyle, while they are static you move on and my god why not ? noone suffers from that :)
    do not let us down and more importantly do not let yourself down by striving only to please.
    thank you

  2. oh yes it is a quote :D thierry you are a bastard .. well whatever i still mean what i said :D

  3. Why am I a bastard?

    Even if you replied to a quote doesn’t mean your thoughts are less wise. :) And thanks for the compliments. :D

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