Being original as an artist, and constantly evolving can feel like a major challenge. One of the most common fears connected with this is the fear of repeating yourself, reproducing the same artwork over and over again.
Think of this as being productive, because you're continuing to make stuff, but not being very creative, because what you're making seems like the same stuff over and over.
The first tip for dealing with this situation is to look at the reality.
Are you REALLY creating the same art, writing the same story, painting the same canvases?
Take a look back over the last 6 to 12 months of what you've been creating. Even if on the surface the work may look similar, once you review a little more closely you'll inevitably find small details that are evolving.
For example, you might have painted 5 portraits of young women posing by a lake. You look more closely at their hands and notice each time they've become a little more detailed and more realistic. Look at the colors of the lake in the background and they've become slowly more vivid and transmit to the viewer a greater depth with each successive painting.
And this is just the surface impression. Maybe you also realize that your ladies of the lake have helped you come to terms with the loss of a childhood friend that you enjoyed spending long summers at many a water's edge with. Each new piece has brought you a little more comfort and a little more acceptance at their passing.
Creating multiple pieces is often like an aeroplane circling a runway, waiting to land. Sometimes it needs to go around a few times and get the best viewpoint, getting closer and closer with each fly past, before it's ready to make a confident landing.
Each circling gets you a little closer. You can't go from having never painted a brush stroke in your life to producing masterful portraits in a single painting. It takes many attempts, which each bring their own challenge and enjoyment.
So the next time you feel you're stuck in a creative rut and repeating yourself by recreating the same art over and over, ask yourself if you really are. If the answer's yes, you can take a new direction.
It's more likely that, once you review your recent work, you'll find you're simply evolving with each orbit, and each new piece, becoming a more accomplished and enriched artist as you go. And that's something to be praised and celebrated.