about creativity and how nothing is original anymore
Well now, I have seen this, heard this over and over and not just pertaining to Photography but music, writing heck we might as well just give up cause we’re just doing the same ol’ thing over and over, we are the same . . over and over, Hmmm perhaps we should just die off and leave the planet to the cockroaches ya know! That is, if it doesn’t matter because we’re all just repeating everything over and over . . . so goes the mantra of academia and all those disenchanted seminar speakers (professionals turned teachers) . . . spreading discouragement to the newly minted artist to be . . . .
Why then didn’t Leonardo paint the “mona lisa” in contemporary clothes that would be relevant today? why didn’t Man Ray create his avant-garde photos? and why did Ansel Adams stumble around all the national parks to create iconic landscape photos? Not one of these aforementioned artist or others like them thought “well I should just not do this as it has all been done before nothing I do will be original” . . . right. The idea or premise that enters into the artists mind is new to him/her and how that individual brings that premise to fruition is in fact, their interpretation and therefore unique therein of itself because the creation will bear the mark and nuance of its creator.
I explore myself and how I interpret the world around me through the lens of my camera, it is a means unto and end where I can affect and perhaps share the emotion of the moment I felt with the viewer, or to evoke a feeling from the viewer. Each photo is both truth and lie as I have manipulated the image at the moment of capture to express my vision, my view. What I choose to add or subtract will affect the viewer and message of the image. This is unique to me, I choose the light, the subject, the title. I choose to include color or not, make the image Black & white, tone it warm or cold, print it upon a textured surface or glossy, perhaps I will print it small and mount it surrounded by a sea of white matt to isolate it and the viewer, or, I will print it larger then life so it and the viewer become intimate. All these constructs with the appropriate composition are of my doings.
Yes, I may shoot a portrait that may indeed resemble Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa“, or create some surreal work that will perhaps look to be in the style of Man Ray . . . or even a landscape that invokes a viewer to relate it to Ansel Adams work. The object is, in the end, that I have created something and it is original to me.
To accept the notion that nothing is new or original anymore would make for a dull world. To copy line for line, brushstroke for brushstroke, note for note is how we learn a technique. It is how we apply these learned techniques to our own work, understanding of the tools that opens the creativity for us. So I say to those who have thrown down their inner artist, just because you have become lost unto yourself and are no longer driven to explore or create . . . do not burn the bridges or sour the milk for the newly minted artist, for he/she is just starting the long and self rewarding journey .
I hope to never become so disenchanted that I advocate giving up, turning away from what brings me and countless others great joy . . it is the act of creativity. The making of something original just to me.
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I am out and about camera in hand being creative and making something original to me! Tim Scott . . aka “DigiPainteR”