Freedom from the leash of admiration
I've been having some deep thoughts lately about admiration of others and how technology puts everyone within reach of one another. I believe this has it's downfalls in the sense that admiration of any capacity is limiting.
It's as if you're walking along leashed to another person, as long as the two of you agree, then you can continue walking, but if you reach a point where you want to go your own way, then you are pulled back by a mental leash. Sometimes the directions correlate, but it limits innovation in many ways.
I used to keep a folder of "works that inspire me," much like many people do. And it's in many ways a repository of brilliant works of art from Bouguereau to Rockwell that I have poured many hours into. Again, this is a power of technology that creates an overwhelming stimulation, in a negative way, I believe. I recently deleted the entire album and subsequently had very extreme breakthroughs in my sketchbook. I am still trying to figure out why this is, but I have a feeling that it may be because the mental box that I have created filled with those artists whom I love, is now gone.
The difficulty in this is that I do honestly think that that period of intensely studying these artists (Bouguereau, Rockwell, Caravaggio, Mozart, etc.) was a benefit to me. But maybe I'm reaching a point in my career that I define myself in order to take the next step. All I know is that the sketches that I was working on today, along with a new commission has been some of my best work to date.