I am near on obsessive in exploring properties of different equipment & materials I use for my art. This is one way of avoiding repeating myself or having the process, which in itself brings me great joy, from becoming mechanical.
There is the preferred equipment & materials I use but i constantly break things up. I utilize paper & pencils of drastically different quality over the course of my weekly woodshedding. The challenge of working with not so great paper or pencils makes it so that when i use my ideal it is easier. It also allows me to work under any conditions and to even improvise at a moment (in a bar, cafe or party) when I had no intention of doing so to good results.
The most important aspect for me in not being rigidly locked down in how i create is that I want a recognizable voice but to never slip merely into mannerism(s).
With my painting, for every piece i switch off the size and style of paper. It keeps me engaged in the work and far from mannerisms.
With Miles, he sounded great regardless of which of his trumpets he used. However, he did have certain trumpets he would use for specific pieces. Of course he could have used any trumpet for any song and sounded great but he felt that although his voice was ever present when playing, each trumpet had its own properties which it injected into the overall feel of the song.
So it is for me with the paper I use for painting. Different paper has inherent properties which add a component to the work. My voice is always there but effected to a certain degree by the medium.
Even with knowing this, I do not change my method of which paper I use. There is specific rotation regardless of which I feel is best for portraying flesh etc. This too is a nice challenge and discipline which I find invaluable.
“Hommage John Lurie” 9×12 Canson Multi Media Papper 98LB
“Foot Brace” 7×10 French Cotton Paper