Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
A few things to think about:
If your answers are...
... it's probably time to "make time for exploration".
I ask you to make a commitment within the next 7 days: Carve time out of the daily grind (1 hour should be possible) and dedicate yourself to working on something completely new. I guarantee you, it will be time well spent.
Report back if you want to, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thank you.
What? No replies??
I am fortunate enough to be able to make every project a bit of an exploration and to have a group of supporters round me who like what I do - mostly - and who are not afraid to tell me when I've done something they don't like, so it isn't really an issue for me. Additionally, working with students is a great way of getting to explore new ideas. When they are correctly encouraged, they can bring so much and challenge my practice and "tropes" (if you can really apply that word to metalworks!).
I think that everyone wishes for more time to "play" and try out new things, but it is not something any of us have enough of: many cannot even spare an hour to work on something new.
I sometimes give myself assignments to get away from myself. Some are fun, like, "Don't use solder." This lead to, among other things, raising a bezel instead of fabricating one. Not efficient, but a workaround. I'm currently in a non-fun assignment -- make earrings. Earrings have always been the last thing that jumps into my design mind so I'm using the discomfort to stretch.