Creativity. What does it mean to you? To me it means letting your self go. Getting out of the box. Pushing the envelope. Walking the path less taken. Opening your mind to accept new ideas and directions. Is it the release of creativity and artistic stagnation? Is that creative in and of itself? For those of you who follow the Red Dog News blog you have read similar posts from me about creativity.
Just a few months ago my creativity was definitely stagnated. I was publishing Red Dog News and I had just started Shadow & Light Magazine, but that was it. I really (In my mind) wasn’t being creative, although there are those who would disagree. It took a walk through my house to reignite my creativity. Just as I was walking around turning out lights and locking doors, something caught my eye (pictured, left). It was a graphic image created by the outside power pole-mounted security light, which is very bright. The light came into our enclosed back porch and the image was created by the shadows of window frames, shade pulls, etc. I hadn’t done any new photography for quite a while but that image ignited my creativity.
I immediately went into the room and started rearranging furniture so I could create what was in my mind. I set up tableaus of stuffed animals (pictured, left). I worked for about an hour setting up different scenarios until I had exhausted my ideas for the night. It was almost midnight! That did it for me, however.
From that point on my creativity has surged, but not necessarily by picking up the camera. Lately, I have been spending quite a bit of time going through my archives and re-imagining the finished images with a different “eye.” I have been very surprised and pleased by what I have found.
One “new” series is “French Noir.” Over the years I have been to France about a half-dozen times and have quite a few photographs from those trips. At the beginning of this year I spent about a week sifting through negatives and digital files and came away with about two-dozen pictures that I knew were good but needed some help. The door was opened and I gladly stepped through it.
The point being that we are all creatives and even though our main focus: be it printing, photography, writing, etc., may seem to get stale from time-to-time, we just need to get up and get out!
Brooks Jensen writes about this in the new issue (pictured, left) of LensWork, “Your Artwork, and Then Your Other Artwork.” He writes about using photography as an expansive tool and creative outlet in ways that don’t follow the norm. This is an article well worth the price of a single issue.
Whether you release your artistic stagnation and turn your creativity loose by creating bookmarks, prayer towels, silk-screened fabrics, or more, the message is in the act.
Go ahead… take one of your favorite images and do something entirely different with it, rather than “just” printing it. You’ve already done that!