The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
– Dorothy Parker
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past six to eight months about my photographic process. The concepts that drive creativity. If you’ve been following me here for any length of time you will have seen a number of articles about these sorts of topics. They are longer reads, but I feel they are good reads. I don’t claim to have all the answers, I’m just working through the thought process with you here, openly and publicly, in the hopes that it will help me figure out where I’m headed in terms of creative goals.
What I’ve found however, is that the more I think and write the more questions that pop up. New directions and explorations reveal themselves. It feels like a never ending labyrinth, and it’s fascinating. I’ve noticed a change in my approach to photography and my day to day creative outlook on life. I think it really is a matter of practicing creativity every day instead of waiting to be inspired.
I find myself listening to all sorts of creative people discuss their process and ideas. Shows like those from Chase Jarvis Live, Creative Pep Talk with Andy J Pizza(not his real name of course!), and the LensWork podcast with Brooks Jensen. I’ll link you up in a second to those shows, but it’s not only the podcasts. I’ve been reading more. The more I read, it makes me want to write more, so I’ve been writing more. I launched a new monthly bonus episode on our podcast over at digitalSoup in which I am sitting down for a fun conversation with different creative individuals. The more I absorb the episodes, the books, the writings, the creative work, well… the more I want to keep creating my own.
Before we go on, here are those links real quick.
So where were we? That’s right, I’m on a creative bender. I wrote previously about the idea that we all have limitless creativity and idea generating possibilities. The idea that as we act on one idea we clear out space for the next idea to form or move in. The more we act on those ideas, be they successful outcomes or not, the more we allow the flow of creativity to continue freely. The more ideas that we let flow, the better chance of us creating that handful of really great things over the course of our lives.
No cure for curiosity
Then I saw that quote that I opened this article with and it hit me. That quote combined with a comment I made somewhat offhandedly in a conversation with a friend just this morning made me realize something. I’ve allowed myself to explore all sorts of creative ideas over the last few months. I’ve seen my photography change a bit, more importantly I’ve had a number of ideas I’ve just said YES to doing.
Saying yes to the ideas has allowed me the ability to fuel that natural curiosity and enjoy the process of bringing exploration and playful experimentation back to my creative work.
This exploration has led me to start writing more and more, to try new things and step more and more outside of my comfort zone creatively. It’s led to some new things that I’m really enjoying and look forward to releasing. Most importantly, fueling my curiosity has allowed me to freely flow in whatever creative direction I want to explore.
Even better, I can do so without feeling the pressure of having to produce a certain type of project for the mysterious mass audiences. I am doing my best to remember to create whatever work I create for the most important audience. The audience of just one, myself. It’s hard, but remembering it’s impossible to make work that will please everyone is vital to a healthy and enjoyable creative life. Don’t worry, eventually those people that really love what you create will find you… or they won’t… either way is perfectly okay.
When you feed your own curiosity and keep exploring your own imagination, you’ll allow the flow of new ideas to continue. You’ll find that at the end of the day, you really won’t care if no one else “gets it”. Not all of those ideas will be great, you’ll have some you can chalk up to disaster level attempts. But the good ones, the ones you love, man…for those ones no one else’s opinion will matter because you will be PROUD of it.
At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. Being proud of the work you create and feeding your curiosity via creative exploration.
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