Your work is not you craft.
It may look like I’m a photographer. But what I do is not about photography. What I do is about helping people remember what it felt like to be here. The “here” part changes, but the “remember what it felt like” part never will. The tools change, but the reason I’m using them never will.
Your work is not your systems.
It may look like the system you use is your work. But your work has nothing to with any system. It’s just a tool. It helps you make stuff you’re meant to make, but it is not your work. The tools change, but the reasons we use them never will.
What you make, what you share, what you change, what you give: That’s your work.
Your work will always be personal. It will always come from you but it will always be for others. Because if we try to make art about us we will never make art. If we try to make art about a system, about our craft, or about the tools we use, we will never make art. Art happens when you straddle safe and dangerous. Where there’s no more hiding behind your tools or process. When the curtain is open and you’re about to perform. This is what everyone has shown up to see. If you feel like you’re in that place, you can’t stop there, you’re about to make art. You’re about to do your work.
Don’t make about the tools. Make it about making.
Question: How would you define your work? Try to do it without including your craft, systems, or tools. Now how would you define it? That’s the real story you’re trying to tell.