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The Skill Paradox

Bailey Kalesti

This week saw a ton of look development on the commercial project I've been working on for weeks. It's tough trying to find something that fits the company's vision, the music, the story, and ultimately my taste. I am continually reminded of how difficult this process is. Oof!

Still just a concept, but getting closer to something that I don't hate.

Still just a concept, but getting closer to something that I don't hate.

Oh hey, I also added a section to the site where I recommend my favorite books on business. Go here and read those books (if you haven't already).

Art Troubles

I recently saw a tweet from an artist named Dave Kellett. He made a comic strip that captured a feeling I've been having for some time now. You can check out his work here.

With each new project I embark upon, I have found that it becomes more and more difficult to feel like I'm creating something worthwhile. I have happy accident moments, but I was expecting my career to remain just as difficult as time goes on. Instead, it seems to be getting more difficult as I get better. So, perhaps the comic strip above explains this?

It's as if my increasing standards inhibit my ability to get excited about most of the stuff I create. I've always been hard on myself, but I remember past projects feeling more energized, like I was riding the edge of my skill set and everything was new.

I still push myself, and I always do as many new things as possible with each project. But it feels like when I understand how to do something, I'm no longer interested in making stuff like that again. Basically I worry that if I do something that I already know how to do, I risk making something that is too same-y, and ultimately uninspired. I fear making art that is soulless, so I'm constantly attempting to create things that interest me and are genuinely "me."

It's a tough business, I'll tell ya. I'll figure this out eventually (I hope), but these are my thoughts at the moment. Let me know if you have any insights? How do other artists create things that are similar over and over again, but are still genuine?

Bailey