I’m currently reading “The Meaning in the Making” by Sean Tucker, a photographer based in London and he talks about finding time for inspiration and that’s something I struggle with. The classic “I was in the shower and had a eureka moment!” which has happened to me so many times I’ve lost count. As a child I had a very creative mind. I grew up as an only child since there’s a very large age gap between myself and my sibling so I had to amuse myself, so to speak. I would create elaborate back stories for all my GI Joes, Legos and cars. I could play by myself for hours and hours and got to the point I preferred that. I would also write stories with myself and my friends as main characters and even won a state wide writing competition. As I got older that creativity was tamped down by the phrase “It’s time to grow up and be serious”. I often wonder where I would be now if I’d stuck with the creative endeavors I had as a kid.
He also talks about not wanting to “be alone” with our thoughts and wow is that something I avoid every single day! I realize that I’m afraid of not having distractions around me. My phone, tv, ipad, laptop, and all the gadgets that I’ve used to distract myself over the years. I’m actively trying to set time aside for thinking. That sounds weird to me as I type it but let me try and explain. This blog is the product of one of those “thinking sessions”.
I’ve always enjoyed looking at pictures and studying them and wanted to create my own but I always felt guilty about pursuing photography because it feels very self-indulgent to just sit around and “look at pictures”. In the last few months I’ve dug out some old photo books that I’ve bought over the years and just focused on them. Turned off the tv or music or whatever else I have as background distractions and actually studied the pictures. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it’s been to do that. I’ve found so many interesting things in pictures that I’ve seen, probably, hundreds of times. Different shapes, shadows, things in the background I’ve always just glanced over. On several occasions it’s made me want to grab my camera and go take pictures at that very moment.
I don’t know if this post is coherent but I’m going to post it and not put myself into “analysis paralysis” trying to get every thought as polished as possible. This blog is my journey to not only getting better at photography but to reigniting that creativity I had as a child. Who knows, dear reader, you might even see some creative writing on here!
One last thought, if you have kids or know of kids in your life nurture that creativity. Feed it. From my own childhood I find it extremely destructive to ask children what they want to be when they grow up and then scoff when they say something like an artist or painter or something else creative. When I was asked that as a child I learned very quickly to tell the adult what they wanted to hear. I vividly remember being told after I said I wanted to draw comic books that I could never make a living doing that. Saying things like that is actively harmful.
I will be doing a review of Sean’s book later. I highly recommend you check him out on Youtube. His sit down videos are some of the best I’ve seen.