Note: The original version of this article was posted in March 2012.
As creatives, every album/ novel/ painting that we create should move us one step closer to connecting with our Muse.
We can start our careers imitating the work of a favourite mentor. We can make stuff that is trendy at the time. With every stride we take, however, we want to progress toward making art that aligns with our deepest, truest selves.
This is hard to do. For some, it takes a lifetime to make work that is true to their soul.
Every artist will have a different reason for why they struggle to make work that they can claim as theirs (and only theirs).
Introducing Late Bloomers
One reason making authentic work is hard is because some artists are Late Bloomers.
In one of Malcolm Gladwell’s articles from What the Dog Saw, he explores the question of why some artists are able to make great, authentic art right from the get-go, while others take years to hone their style.
Genius, in the popular conception, is inextricably tied up with precocity—doing something truly creative, we’re inclined to think, requires the freshness and exuberance and energy of youth.