Although many artists write very elaborate vision statements when they show their art, I’m not one of them. I think a lot of what we do comes to us by accident. It isn’t planned out. We don’t write outlines of what we are going to do. At least not in the raw creation phase.
We see something. We hear something. We might even smell something that turns on that lightbulb in our minds. Then we pursue that idea. The hard part is having the discipline to see it through. It’s easy to self edit and decide the idea wasn’t a good one without knowing the middle and end. You just pivot. That’s the current word for changing in mid stream.
In some cases, that’s right. In most, not so much.
I always say that once you start something you should keep going until the end appears naturally. You never know what you have until you get to the conclusion.
A good case in point was yesterday’s post. I resurrected my picture from my Storyteller archives that are stored here, on WordPress. I worked through the pictures, one by one. I came to understand just how productive I’ve been since I started Storyteller almost eight years ago. Understanding is an understatement. More like shocked.
It also explained why I feel burnt out. I don’t think that I am, not after seeing all that work. It’s just that I’ve photographed everything I wanted to in New Orleans at least four or five times. Some subjects, like second lines, I’ve photographed at least 250 times. Sure, the people, neighborhoods and suits change, but the pictures themselves don’t.
I walk or drive by these common trash sites almost every day. I never thought twice about them, until I did. I liked what I finally saw. It was there all along. I just finally opened my eyes. Cleared my brain. I made one picture. Then two. On a different day. Now, I’m looking. I still haven’t come upon a consistent artistic approach. Maybe I never will. Maybe each picture speaks for itself. Or, maybe I find a suitable color palette. We’ll see.
This is picture number two.