This is a topic that we have considered covering for a while. It dovetails nicely with past episodes addressing what inspires and motivates our work. But it seems especially relevant now given the worldwide pandemic and recent social unrest, which have many artists thinking deeply about the meaning and honesty of their work.
Being authentic in your work means being true to yourself, and unafraid in your creative explorations. During this time when we are experiencing massive changes all around us, examining how authentic we are being in our work can lead to new insights and growth. The more challenges we are facing in life, the more important it becomes to bring our whole selves into our work. This results in better work and a better mental state.
It sounds simple, but understanding our true desires can be difficult and confusing, and forces us to be vulnerable. Being authentic in our work may require us to explore aspects of ourselves that would otherwise remain hidden. At the same time, it's good to acknowledge your natural inclinations as strengths. Work with these impulses rather than against them, but try to recognize when they are holding you back.
This doesn’t happen overnight. Like all processes in our work authenticity takes time and an open mind to develop. You may find yourself wanting to explore work that is a complete deviation from what you have done in the past. Going in new directions involves experimentation that doesn’t always work, and can be frustrating. Sometimes, these are important impulses to follow, and other times they are the result of an urge to please others or emulate what we like about another afrtist's work.
Our lives are dynamic and our work needs to change as we do. Being authentic is an ongoing challenge to bring out what is true and sincere. It means being very honest with yourself about who you are, and what motivates, inspires, and influences you.