What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.
Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. – Kurt Vonnegut
This is an except from a letter written by Kurt Vonnegut to the students of Xavier High School in New York in 2006, the year before he died. I stumbled across this the other day as it was making the rounds on G+ and I thought I would share it here with you.
Continue reading Do art and do it for the rest of your life
“We are our choices.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre
As an artist, as a photographer, as a human being – we continually make choices. The sum of these choices, both big and small, define who we are. Continue reading We are our choices
A creative crisis can hit anyone at anytime. I know, I’ve had many a creative crisis throughout the years, and I always seem to get through them, somehow.
If you don’t know what I mean, check out this handy illustration found in Steal Like an Artist. Continue reading A creative crisis can hit anyone
Instagram is no stranger to challenges. Some are organized events that take place once a week/month while others come on like a covert operation with secret instant-messages, planning and coordinated drop times that end up becoming an inside joke to a select few. These challenges are a key cog in the comradery that makes Instagram a special place for artists. Continue reading #jANTMANuary
The creative process is never linear. Since it’s the end of the year and a convenient time for self reflection, I’ve recently realized something about myself: I like to shoot my photos within the loose framework of a series. I may shoot under the larger umbrella of toys (or LEGO) but within my photographs you will see consistent themes running through my frequent social media posts. Continue reading the creative process is never linear
Now that have I laid out my personal theory regarding creativity and the joys of choosing your own problems, I will tackle the second and third questions recently presented to me. These have to do with developing and maintaining the rhythm of creativity in your day to day life.
So lets get started. Continue reading Creativity (pt 2)
(ˌkri eɪˈtɪv ɪ ti, ˌkri ə-)
1. the state or quality of being creative.
2. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.: originality, progressiveness, or imagination.
3. the process of using creative ability.
I was asked to write about my creative process, specifically “When and where am I most creative?”, “What do I do to cultivate/develop creativity?” and “How do I maintain / sustain my creativity.” Wow, nothing like asking an artist to peer behind the proverbial curtain.
Continue reading Creativity (pt.1)
While we await news of +me2’s grand adventure, I’ve been having a small adventure of my own.
When I left town a few days ago, I packed a wonderful collection of Lego and all my camera gear with grand intentions. My family and I would be driving nearly 1800 miles (2824 km) across the US and we would be passing by some of my favorite places in the country like Yellowstone National Park and Moab, Utah. I was going to be ready!
Five days later, not a single Lego picture was taken, not even a quick iPhone photo. What happened? In our spare time we decided to do stuff a 9 year old boy wanted to do: a train museum and a dinosaur museum were the highlights. Besides having fun I realized I was actually taking a much needed mental break. I have enough photos on my iPad to feed the Instagram beast for a couple of weeks and it was more important for me to take a breather.
When you embark on your creative path, it’s important to realize that when you’re not working on your work…you probabaly still are. Even when taking a break, your mind will continue to be working out those artistic road blocks. And this is what happened to me this week. At some point while driving I realized where I wanted to go next with my Lego photos and what my project would look like. Now I can’t wait to get home and get started.
If you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated, simply kicking back and relaxing is the best course of action. Let your subconscious work it out, more than likely it’s already got the answer. Sometimes you have to do nothing to move forward.
I have had a request to do more photography tips on the blog. If this is something you would like to see, please leave a comment below.
I can relate to +Me2 and his Sunday Painter plight. I am not sure any of us has the stamina or the time to create meaningful art on a daily basis. It is so much easier to do the laundry, cook a meal, play video games or any of the thousands of distractions we encounter daily.
Before anyone gives up on this so called battle lets talk about what creating art on a full time basis looks like. Because sometimes I think people have a grander notion of what being an artist is. What it’s not: painting every day in your studio, listening to classical music while your faithful cat keeps you company (or insert personal fantasy of your choice here). What it can look like is thinking about what you want to make, planning out your image, gathering supplies and props and sketching some ideas in a work book. Often it means simply staying caught up on what’s going on in your field, understanding the changing marketplace and researching the past. Day to day tasks often involve organizing work, matting final images, networking, bookkeeping, meetings, phone calls and e-mails like any other grunt worker.
Finding success in the market place is a mixed blessing. The process of creating and selling the same old same old that pays the bills can be a soul deadening experience. For most artists creating new, exciting and challenging work on a regular basis is the exception. In a way relegating them back into the category of the “Sunday Painter”.
For the working artist (or the Sunday Painter) the greatest luxury is creating art that inspires you.
What does your perfect artist life loo like?
I chose this image by +Gordon Webb to illustrate another time suck that is a big part of our weird Stuckinplastic world,,,forever sorting.