I have no shortage of creative inspiration as an artist, evidenced by the fact that I could realistically take a break from shooting self-portraits for [at least] a full month, and have enough material just from my backlog to keep posting content daily on my blog, and yet I still insist on taking more pictures (and videos) day after day after day.
Of course, that's not something I'm going to beat myself up about. But I was thinking about something. Nudity is a regular fixture in my life. I'm nude pretty much whenever I can get away with it, except when it's cold (and then, I prefer to wear loose-fitting robes). Which means I'm nude mostly at home. But I think it's safe to say that I'm nude every single day (especially if you consider showers and sleeping), and for a considerable portion of most days.
After all these years, I still enjoy nudity, and I'm still attracted to it. But you do have a tendency to start taking it for granted. From an artistic perspective, I find the naked human body endlessly inspiring - as an object of aesthetic beauty, I'm constantly striving to capture in my photographs (and, lately, videos) what about it I find appealing.
But beyond the artistic element, I was thinking lately about what I can do to recapture that excitement - the erotic element - that nudity entails (that is, besides the explicit approach of spreading my legs or adding an erection). I found myself wandering through the yard with a camera in my hands, compelled to document something naked and exciting, trying to put myself into the mindset of someone for whom being naked is novel and remarkable, and not the default state.
It's true that, to the chagrin of establishment nudists, nudity itself carries the potential for erotic interpretation in the minds of viewers, all depending on context and the viewer's frame of mind. But for me, as the artist who's constantly nude, sometimes I have to step back and think about what actually makes nudity exciting, as opposed to my mundane everyday reality. Because it's more fun that way.
And though I like the idea of a naked paradise, where everyone is unselfconsciously nude, I think that by contrasting nudity with most textiles' mundane everyday reality of being dressed, I can enhance that feeling. That's something I can do with clones, but as a single model, I can also focus on the transitional stage where one moves from the state of being dressed, to one where he becomes undressed - and play with the situations (appropriate or, especially, otherwise) where this might occur.
In this vein, I also like to think back to what it's like when you first discover the taboo appeal of being naked, when you're still a bit shy, just dipping your toes and testing the water. Certainly there's a different kind of appeal to an all-out balls-to-the-wall (not literally - well, okay, maybe sometimes) holding-nothing-back sort of approach, which I've kind of been edging towards all these years.
But I think it's fun - and a good idea besides, especially as an artist - to keep a hold in your mind of what it was like back in that early stage, and what it's like for those who might still be in that stage - to keep yourself young, in a sense. There's no reason you can't enjoy both approaches. Anyway, that's what I've been thinking lately. Maybe it'll show in some of my photography moving forward.