My Hungry Heart

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category


Posted by shermancharles on April 3, 2008

© Sherman Charles

I spent yesterday evening walking along the Raritan Canal catching the last few rays of light cutting through the bare treeline.
The quiet and fading light usually puts me in a contemplative mood. Last evening the thought that came into mind was faith.
I thought about it’s power, it’s demands. This is not only about religious faith, but the faith it takes to believe,
to be confident, to be secure. That faith is a mighty force. That faith alone could decide your success or failure.
Your joy or sadness. Faith can be a challenge for me. I tend to be too practical sometimes – I call it being a realist (read pessimist).
I tend to think too many times of the things that can go wrong and not dare envision the things that can go right.
Those things, the right things, seem so distant sometimes. They seem like foggy shapes floating on a distant horizon, far from my reach.
A very common thing said amongst champion athletes is the idea of envisioning the win. Seeing yourself crossing the finish line.
Envisioning the ball going throught basket. You have to believe that you can. That this thing is possible.

Sometimes to achieve what we want, what are so afraid to believe is possible, is a little faith. Have the courage to lean on it.


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Thoughts on creativity

Posted by shermancharles on February 24, 2008

“Ignore everybody”

“A fancy tool just gives the second-rater one more pillar to hide behind. Which is why there are so many hack writers with state-of-the-art laptops”

“Don’t worry about finding inspiration it comes eventually”

The quotes above are all from Hugh MacLeod and included in his brilliant How To Be Creative manifesto. Excellent read for anyone in the creative arts.

We all have to find for ourselves where we are to be. The internet can’t tell us. Flickr comments can’t tell us. It is our own path that we must seek out and walk. Sounds like a fortune cookie but I really believe it to be true. My own photography got better when I stopped trying to be like everyone else and I started seeing for myself. I started focusing on what I felt came naturally to me. It’s ok to like what you like. It may not be the trend right now, but if it feels real to you, good to you, then it will be worth your exploration. One of the negatives of all this inter-connectedness (newly minted term) is that we have so much access to so much creativity. Generally this is good. We get to appreciate and learn from others. We get to share our own work. The negative comes in when all that creativity becomes noise that deafens our senses and hinders our own development. Noise that blocks the path from mind to soul with doubt, envy, worry and confusion. On flickr I see so many photographers trying to emulate some other photographer’s style. Especially through photoshop. True it can be a learning experience to do this – but for the most part they are focusing on the “what” or the “how” as opposed to the “why”. Creativity is more about the why. Any creative has to define the why of what they do. Walking through a museum, I often ask myself, why did the painter paint this way? Why did he choose this palette? Why this subject? Maybe even why did he paint at all? The Masters – they all had vision that was guided by specific intent. They wanted to paint a specific way, they wanted to use certain colors and paint certain subjects. They manifested their own intent. Their own why. If you don’t pursue your own, all you’re doing is copying the work of someone else. Mastering the how of their work. That may make you a better craftsman, but not a better artist. My father being a musician told me this – in music, being able to play a song that has already been written and played by others is craft, being able to write and play your own that others will want to play, is art.

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