I think there is always the temptation to be someone you are not, all throughout life, whether it's adopting a certain persona in various social settings, staying in a job that is a poor fit, or giving into others' demands even if it violates your own inner convictions. There are countless ways to project a false self into the world. That's why it's so important to know who you are and live accordingly.
I'm still in the midst of finding out who I am as an artist. Although my work has a certain feel to it, it is still evolving, and I'm trying to listen to the evolution and let it happen the way it needs to. But, there is also a pull I feel, at times, to have my work look like this artist's or that one. A desire to have my art be more like his art or her art. Sometimes this can stem from insecurity, and sometimes it comes from admiration of other people's styles and consequent inspiration. But it can also get in the way of me just being who I am in what I create.
I guess the good thing is, whenever I try to create something that is in a similar vein to another person's style, it never, ever turns out like the other art. It always ends up somehow coming through my own filter and being adjusted. So even if I don't start out with a clear perception of my own voice, it seems to ultimately express itself anyway. That is comforting to know. Because more than anything, I want to have an authentic voice that people respond to and connect to. And I think I find the greatest pleasure in my art when it is most "me."
Stay tuned for part 3...