Creativity inspiration comes in many forms and often amazes me what may ignite it. We just celebrated a holiday weekend when amidst fun, food and frolic I experienced I heavy sensory stimulation to my taste buds; I was on the verge of orgasm. Now that may be a little bit of an overstatement, however, I did get your attention!
Just like anything else, creativity inspiration needs attention and enrichment. Here are a few techniques I have found to help jump start mine.
- Keep an open mind.
- Look at others work. As Salvador Dali once said “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” Looking at art always simulates ideas, often unrelated to whatever I was looking at. I may be reminded of an idea I previously had or a technique I want to use again on a specific piece.
- Read about other artist’s creativity inspiration. There is a lot of great information out there on the web and also many wonderful books, iBooks and podcasts regarding this subject. One of my favorites is “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon.
- Write. This is very effective for me. Get a notebook and everyday write down all the miscellaneous thoughts and issues that keep playing in your head. The result is you purge your brain of some of the small stuff, which, allows room for creative thoughts to surface.
- When all else fails just get in your creative work space or on location and just do busy work. For me I may straighten up my studio or clean my camera or maybe even sharpen pencils. Many times this sparks creativity!
So to bring this full circle what exactly cranked my creativity this time? As mentioned, we just celebrated a holiday. Of course, there was a wonderful meal and for dessert we had eclairs that were actually warm. Now, I have not had an eclair in years, probably since my childhood. And, although, my Mom was a dessert nut and did make eclairs along with many other delightful desserts, I can not remember experiencing a warm one. My mouth was watering as I ate it. Now that was a first for me and just goes to show new experiences are open to you at any time, if you let your creativity loose.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any eclair photos to share, but I wanted to post a few other dessert images from my extensive stock image library. Maybe I can get your mouth watering also! Enjoy!!
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Here lately I have allocated some time everyday to “studio time”. Although I am usually in and out of my space everyday for a number of reasons from getting equipment to doing a shoot, I wanted to see what happens it I just sit in there and think, read, write and look around. I was amazed at the amount of creative thoughts that come my way by allowing myself to just pause for a little while stay off the iPhone, iPad, computer, camera and just sit in an area where I create. It actually has become a sort of a refuge now. Instead of craving the evening television, (I am a bit of a TV addict) I go to my studio and sit. I found I love to have coffee in my studio with pen in hand and do some writing. I am making an effort during this time to keep off my electronic toys. Like a lot of other people, all of my devices have become a bit of an addiction or here lately I am thinking maybe a big distraction. So leaving them behind during this special studio time is very beneficial.
Now my studio is in my home, so having a morning cup of jo is pretty convenient, but the thought behind this message is to stimulate creativity sometimes we need to disconnect from our electronic toys and busy lives and get back to some analog activities such as reading, writing and pondering in a designated space and new thoughts will emerge. At least for me this special studio time has helped stimulate my creativity.
Thanks for stopping by and more of my work can be viewed at susanmcanany.com.
Have you ever witnessed the yin yang effect in your life? Well, I believe I experience it frequently or maybe it is some kind of mid life crisis. I especially see it in my creative interests. One month I am photographing prisons and graffiti and the next I am mixing paints to create some vibrant macro abstractions guaranteed to make your eyes pop.
Or maybe the swing in interest is due to my birth date, which happens to be right on the cusp between the Zodiac signs of Cancer and Leo. I have been told at certain times it can (and does) create conflicting feelings and actions. Cancer being the conservative homebody and Leo the outgoing risk taker.
There’s a theory in photography, a person should totally embrace what they like to shoot and focus only on that one interest in the hopes of achieving perfection. I certainly see merit to that, although, for me I also see a certain amount of boredom setting in. I look at my portfolio and see a huge range of diversity and that is only viewing what is online . Maybe it is due to the length of time I have been shooting or maybe it is the yin-yang effect in my life. I just don’t seem to be able to settle into something permanently. Once I shot a magazine containing portraits of 100 different woman from all walks of life. While the experience was fun, I learned a lot and met many different, wonderful women, I was happy when it was over. Ready to get back to art.
Regardless of the cause, I am happy with opposite interests in my life. Here are a couple of examples of what I have been working on from the Abstract Category on my website.
Master of The Month
A few months ago I started making a conscious effort each month to look at an Artist whose work inspires a level of excitement deep inside me. I find looking at different Artist’s work takes my work to a higher level and helps me define my personal vision. I haven’t really sought out a specific artist, they usually just show up in my life. All I have to do is take notice.
One month a friend wanted to visited the new Dali Museum just built in St Petersburg, FL. I was so taken with Salvador Dali’s work, we spent all day there, which is odd for me because I usually can only handle a couple of hours in a museum and my mind begins to roam. In addition, I bought books and continued to research more on the internet when I came home. At the time I was very focused on compositing images and Dali’s work unleashed so many ideas in my head I felt on fire. He was ahead of his time in thinking and creativity and would certainly be a superstar in today’s Photoshop world.
Another month I stumbled across a PBS special on Francesca Woodman, a dedicated Artist and Photographer best known for her black and white images mostly of herself and female models, often nude. She would use long exposure and movement to capture incredible blurred images of her subjects and their environments. In her short life she produced a huge volume of work that is unique and quite powerful. Unfortunately, she committed suicide at age 22, but her life and struggles touched me as I too struggle with the mental aspect of balancing that inner artist with the outside world.
This month I came across a more current Artist/Photographer, Jerry Uelsmann, in my Digital PhotoPro magazine. Uelsmann’s work is phenomenal and all done in the darkroom. I admired that right away. The darkroom is truly magical, but he takes it to another level. Beautiful, thought provoking photo montages of surreal imagery, with the interpretation left to the viewer. I liked reading about his unique approach to forming an image with the final step leaving it Untitled so not to influence the viewer’s perception. Now, that’s deep! I definitely will be looking more into Uelsmann’s work this month.
View my work at http:www.susanmcanany.com.