Back in December I wrote a little bit about a "slump" I was in creatively; and in a choppy sort of weird way I expressed that and some other things in that post. When I wrote that post I closed the comments portion. I felt like I might not want to know what people thought about all that. There was some pretty good fear happening at that time. As I think on it now, I should have let people comment (as long as it's not spam, or random links to anti-virus software websites-what's up with that?).
Creative slumps happen on and off for lots of people, not that many people actually talk about it. Anyway, I have been following some photographers blogs (as noted here) and recently one of the guys I follow has started talking about inspiration for his work.
In the first post he says:
The purpose of this post is not about the merits of all the great, traditional photography-related stuff that's available online. It's about the unmistakable absence of an important factor in all those "how to" blogs. That factor is the lack of discussion of artistic inspiration and the challenges faced by such a profession that depends on it. How do we, as artists, harness and hone our creative vision? It is innate? Is it learned? What are our struggles? In what forms do they present themselves to us?
In my opinion this is a gutsy move. I mean here is a guy who has worked for some big name corporations; and here he is baring his soul. The reason I think that a lot of people don't talk about inspiration is that it's just HARD to express that. It's hard to talk about how you can't think of anything new, it's hard to express what you feel about your passion. I find it much easier to talk technique then to talk about what my images are communicating It's easier to talk about how then it is to talk about "why". It's easier to take criticism on the technique of how I did something then it is to take a critique on the emotional impact of something I've created.
I find this to be true in photography but even in my sermons. I mean there is a creative element to preaching, not in how I bring meaning out of the scriptures, I try to remain true to the text but the illustrations and stories, the way I structure my points and words.
Chase notes in the second post:
I think that the majority of us--from time to time, in whole or in part--find our potential creative motivators falling into two categories. One pile of us thinks our lives or thoughts or desires or fears are entirely too weird, unusual, or unsafe to be interesting. The other pile of us thinks of our lives or thoughts or desires or fears or motivations as far too normal to be interesting.
If I may attempt my own paraphrase: I'm either too weird or too boring to be creating anything or doing anything of value.
He has some good things to say following that part, but I'm very interested in looking at the discussion that ensues on this one.
As far as I'm concerned he's stepped way out on a limb and made himself vulnerable; likely there is more than one person from the large list of his clients who will read what he is writing.
I have not always considered myself creative, for some of these same reasons. I realize now, that while not everyone will appreciate the things that come from my creativity, and that's okay. I am who I am. My life, while it may be a little crazy to some and a little too boring to others is my life. I will endeavour to grow in all kinds of ways, but I am coming to realize that I must be true to myself and to my God. Maybe that makes sense to you maybe it doesn't.
At the end of the day, I guess I'm growing. It's hard, it means I keep having to ask tough questions.
[edited because it made even less sense before]