We know that we become most adept in the things about which we feel most passionate, and that as we age, we often get better at these things. Obviously in areas of physical prowess this is not the case, but for those in the creative arts it’s true that we improve with age. I’ve been lucky enough to have a publisher who has supported me for a long time, a degree of faith I’ve always tried to return by delivering the best work I could produce.
But our styles do change. Our prose becomes more sophisticated, our artwork develops a new level of subtlety. Graham Humphries has recently redesigned his old poster for the excellent horror-comedy ‘Return Of The Living Dead’, and the resulting new image is slicker and more stylish, very close to the look that Will Elder developed. But there’s something raw and energetic about his earlier painting that I like as well (click on image to enlarge).
My first novel, ‘Roofworld’, was a pell-mell assault on the senses which I have subsequently found almost impossible to reread. Now it seems to me naive and not terribly good – but a lot of people tell me how much they like my early work. Woody Allen was faced with the curse of the ‘early, funny films’ that he eschewed for something that he felt was more sophisticated.
But wheres the question – do we lose more than we gain?