some help for the weary
“Being an active artist/photographer has such unpredictable ebbs and flows. In order to put 100% in, it seems you sometimes have to pull 100% back to stop and look at where you are. Perhaps this is all babble that others don’t relate to, but lately I’ve just really felt the strain of wanting to produce new work beyond the capacity I’m able to. In shooting lulls I’ve found such importance in looking back at work and reconsidering it. I’ve been reading, writing, watching for inspiration. It becomes so easy to want to shoot, shoot, shoot. I think often all these steps before and after get neglected due to time restraints.”
“What do you do when you’re a photographer whose pictures are somewhat reminiscent of other photographers who have gotten more exposure than you?
“It’s a problem that I’m sure affects many photographers and I guess the only advice is to keep taking pictures and looking for places to photograph that differentiate your work based on the originality and freshness of the subject/location. In the face of so much photography, it is increasingly clear that we are in a post-post modern world where concept comes first followed by execution. After that it’s a race to the finish line. It doesn’t matter if you’re Hillary Clinton, the Zune, or ‘Infamous’. ”
– James Danzinger
“Photography is a reason to go somewhere and to develop a relationship with somebody or something.”
– Tema Stauffer
“Watch films. Track down some art films. Documentaries. Fantasies. Seek out your local art house cinema, or download some films that you’d not ordinarily put atop your list. Reach out to friends and colleagues for their most inspiring flicks.
“Become a voracious reader. I chow down on a steady diet of biographies of artists I admire, classic fiction, philosophy, books on cultivating creativity, and monthlies in design, obscure fashion rags, or inspiring foreign design magazines. Blogs too – especially ones that keep me guessing on their content – less how to and more ‘why’. Whatever your ‘thing’ is. Read about it.
“Do something creative everyday as a practice. If you sit around waiting for the perfect inspiration, you’ll make a lot less stuff, and the stuff you do make will be of a lot lower quality because your skills will be in the gutter. Creativity can be fostered.”
– Chase Jarvis
The only thing that I would add is just to take a look at what’s going on in the world and find something that interests you. Then creativity a focused and sometimes urgent process of making a statement about something you care about rather than a search for a new style or look. It is that too, but there’s nothing like having subject matter you care about to fan that fire under your ass.