Make from the picture what you will. There are two layers. The base picture and a slight sprinkling of flower petals on top of it. That’s it. That’s the picture.
Once again, most of the words do not match the picture.
This post is about creativity. It is driven by a number of other blogs, emails, texts and so on.
From the blogging world, two people are giving up (they say slowing down, but we know what that means) because they needed a break from “creating content.” A phrase that sends chills down my spine. I don’t create content. I make pictures. Other artists make paintings. Creating content in the digital era means filling up space so that a large company can make money from it. They don’t care what the content is. Just keep it original. No heart. No soul.
Then, there are four photographers with whom I talk a little. They are all suffering from a kind of writer’s block. They are uninspired. Can’t seem to take pictures. Are casting about for a solution. Any solution. Not one of them ever took a course in photography. They are “self-taught,” which is fine if you live what you are learning. But, taking pictures is easy now. And, inexpensive after the initial investment. Like so many others, they bought cameras thinking that anybody can take pictures. If they had learned the old-school way, when every exposure cost money, they’d have a learned a lot more than they know now.
Then, there are the writers that I read here, on WordPress. They read, so they want to write. That’s great. Most of them write similar kinds of books. There are variations on themes, but not much. Their submissions to professional publishing houses are routinely rejected. And, why not? It’s a buyers market. So, they self-publish. They don’t understand the marketing lift it takes to get a book into the general public’s hands. Or, even a medium-sized audience. They either sell about ten books, or they sell to other like-minded authors who support each other.
I suppose that they are all trying to express themselves, but not everybody is an artist, a writer or a musician. It would be a pretty boring world if that’s all we did.
Of course there is a point to this. I don’t write my truths without a point. Time is short.
Creativity is not for the faint hearted. Doing whatever artistic work people do is all-consuming. You live with it from morning until night. Sometimes, it shows up in your dreams — as it did this morning for me. It takes years of practice to learn your art.
Usually, it takes some kind of formal training even if it’s only to help you build a foundation. That doesn’t mean college. It could be a voice coach, a painting instructor who comes to your home or even a more veteran photographer who becomes your mentor. YouTube is fine for many things. Human interaction is way better.
No matter what, it doesn’t happen overnight. You mess with it. You tinker with it. Sometimes you even succeed. Mostly you fail. But, you keep going and going. And, when you get there you find another ledge. Another new high point.
And then, you have to tell people. In person. Online. Through social media. You have to sell. And, sell. And, sell some more.
It never stops.
It’s about a 16 hour a day job. That doesn’t count the time your brain is spinning around and around.
That said, according to WordPress data, the lifespan of most blogs is less than two years. Some of them are project-specific and close when the project is fully realized. But, most of them just sort of wither and die. To be sure, there are plenty of blogs like Storyteller. I’m headed into my seventh year. I post every day. Only once per day. I try not to wear you out with endless daily posts. That’s what Twitter is for. I really haven’t tried to sell anything from here. I use it to test ideas. And, the pictures that come from those ideas. It doesn’t take me as long as it seems to take many of you because the pictures are made in the course of my everyday life because that’s who I am. And, my words are sort of thought out during the days events. I don’t sit in front of the screen and think, “what am I going to write about?” My biggest issues are that I am a horrible typist. And, I can’t spell for dirt.
There you have it.