For the past four and a half months, you’ve read my ramblings as I etched my thoughts on here, one post at a time.
Looking back at them I see this has been a practice in sharing and reflecting, which developed into a daily ritual. Posting the blog created structure amongst the empty space I was in. It was a voice I didn’t know I had.
Now I feel it is time to say goodbye. I am grateful for anyone who read my blog, took away from it, and I can say I enjoyed every minute of it.
Go well and kill it in the game 🙂
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
Creativity for me usually starts without an idea, without assumptions or preconceived beliefs. I let everything go and start fresh. I feel my way through something until a pattern emerges. This only starts when I physically start, never in my head.
As I move through the process of creating something, I don’t steer myself in autopilot mode because then I become unaware. One of the hardest things to do, especially when you become more experienced in your craft, is learning how to discover it all over again as if it were the first time.
When you first discover your passion, everything else fades away. It makes you feel everything, and you’re intensely aware of what is going on. It’s a great state of focus coupled with curiosity. You are held in anticipation constantly. I strive for this always.
Consume and digest. Create and discard.
Self discovery, self reflection, beyond the surface, beyond material.
I have recently started to pick up my camera and shoot every morning, just around my neighborhood. No coffee, no paper, no email – just photos. The majority of these are throwaway frames (I shoot on film), but it’s not about the end result however, but the process. I recently read a book called The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, as it came highly recommended by my dear friend and mentor, Adrian Malloch. In the book there is a notion of the Morning Pages, which acts as a effective tool for curing a creative block. It’s like meditation for creatives, and it works by focusing your attention at such an integral time of the day in order to express everything that is on your mind, almost like a purge. It’s therapeutic, self caring, and life giving.
It can be an incredibly difficult task to put pen to paper, camera to subject, oil to canvas, but Motion creates Emotion and I truly believe it.
So get up, get out, and create a stream of consciousness through your morning pages. Then let it go. Do this over and over and you create a routine which will cure any creative slump you may have.
From the moment I picked up my first SLR camera, a Nikon FE10 which I borrowed of my friend Toshi (and soon to be replaced with my first SLR purchase, the Nikon FE2), it all suddenly made sense to me. The world I saw in those four corners of the frame made everything comprehensible, in a way.
For a while I thought I was the only person who felt like this, that is until I discovered ‘the greats’, which to me were (in no particular order) Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, and Gary Winogrand. I became obsessed, I was hungry for information, for pictures, for the technical wizardry that became my craft. So every other day I would pour over the catalogues of art photography books at the University library, then I would hit the streets to practice. My nights were mainly spent in the darkroom, printing rolls and rolls of film, all black and white then.
Years later I discovered studio lighting, and my photography took new levels of craft and technical ability. But there was still something that I longed for. Something that touches on the deep psychology in each and every one of us, in our humanity, and that is the search for ourselves in the world around us.
I just finished watching the documentary “Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable” Directed by Sasha Waters Freyer. An absolute must watch for anyone with even a slight interest in photography… or just pre entertainment and depth for that matter. Winogrand gave you a sense of himself in every photograph, and that in turn gave him a sense of belonging, or grounding.
You may chose photography, or maybe writing as your creative outlet. But whatever it is, I believe that our expression is what fuels us, what energizes, and revitalizes us. It’s what gets me up in the morning, knowing that there’s a whole world out there, unscripted, and ready for the taking. In one shape or another.