Courage to Create - 22 March 2012
WhiteSands Color - White Sands National Monument, File # 0707784
I get inspiration from lots of sources. I guess that's no different than anyone else. Inspiration is one of those hard to quantify things out there. This leads to a thought inspiration is hard to train for. When you're in a business like I am that has athletic features to it--being a pilot--there are clear methods and techniques on the better ways to teach people to be pilots. Mostly, you start small and move up in complexity until your student is at the level you need them to be. Teaching inspiration, that's a different story. The same "start small and build up" technique doesn't seem to apply. This results in a problem when a Creative is not being so creative and is waiting for inspiration to grasp them by the hand and pull them into being artistic.
I'm thinking there's very little to train to be inspired other than to just "do it" which leads to the topic of today's blog, having the courage to create.
I'm writing this as I'm also doing research on the web for a couple new photography tools. For those non-photographers out there, photography can be an intensely technical discipline. If you let it, you can let the pursuit of the technical understanding of the tools of photography completely distract you from photography's artistic characteristics. If the tools of your particular art-form get in the way of the creation process, that's a problem. It's especially a problem if you don't even know you're having a problem.
In my case, I'm exploring a new technique for making panoramic images. Panorama's are the format of 99% of my scenic images. The process I've been using for 10 years has been stitching several images together that have been shot next to each other after twirling/rotating the camera on a tripod. Each image is shot just with enough overlap with the previous image until the desired framing/composition is made (this is the 10 sec explanation that took me years to perfect and would take hours to explain fully). Today's research is about doing something completely different requiring a few new pricey pieces of equipment.
Why am I bringing this up? I've known photographers that all they did was search the web for the latest and greatest but not really get out there to do shooting, let alone create the art. While there's no common thread to them--except the geek/gadget factor most men seem to have--it did bring up comments I've heard many people say to such folks "just get out and shoot". You see, some of these folks assess their art as not being up to snuff simply because they hadn't acquired the latest and greatest in technology. It's almost as if there's a blockage to be willing to get out there and practice their art with the tools they have. It's almost as if they're afraid of having making a mistake with the equipment they have. That somehow they're whole experience of shooting will be short circuited by not having that last piece of gear.
While I've acquired a lot of gear over the years to tackle specific problems I've found out in the field--I'm not unfamiliar with the geek/gadget factor--I did make those acquisitions based on deep practical knowledge of those problems. I was able to precisely collect the right equipment/tools because of hours and hours of first hand shooting out in the field.
Here's where the title of the blog comes into play, courage to creat art. The courage is to get out there, to setup your scene, to push the trigger. It's to accept what you have and create with the tools at hand.
Courage is not simply over-coming the lack of tools, my example. It can be about technique. The courage to overcome a feeling of inadequacy of lack of technique to keep a writer from putting pen to paper, a painter from putting brush onto canvas, a photographer from pushing the shutter button. For some of us, it's simply boils down to whether you have the courage to accept what might result from the active pursuit of your art.
Here's something interesting. You've heard me talk about the 10,000 hour rule where it takes 10,000 hours of intense active work before someone really can be a master of what they're doing. If courage is keeping you from practicing your art, then all it's doing is keeping you from being that master you might desire to be.
The point here is don't wait. Don't wait for the next "thing" or the right "technique". Just "do it" as the Nike commercial so famously says.
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