My Hungry Heart

Posts Tagged ‘Art’

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.

Posted in Art, Creativity, Inspiration | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Posted by shermancharles on September 27, 2007

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© Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

I was introduced to Timothy Greenfield-Sanders at my local Barns & Noble. During one of my frequent visits to the Art & Photography sections I came across his book of portraiture,
Face to Face . I was amazed at the elegant beauty of his images. Unlike so many of his contemporaries his portraits are not overly stylized. His subjects are not doing anything weird or animated. There is the sense that his portraits are more so of his subjects that of himself. To me there is a natural intimacy in his work, the sense that you are looking at an individual, a human being, and not simply a fabrication of publicist, stylist, make-up artist, creative director..and so on.

The portrait above is of Jake Schick, an American soldier injured while serving in Iraq. Timothy photographed 13 soldiers for a HBO documentary – “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq”.

“This documentary surveys the physical and emotional cost of war through soldiers’ memories of the day in Iraq when they survived near-fatal wounds. In a war that has left 22,000 wounded, with more than half the injuries too severe to permit a return to active military service, the documentary looks at the advances in military medicine that allow soldiers to return home and celebrate what they call their “alive day.” James Gandolfini conducts interviews in which the soldiers share their feelings on their future, their severe disabilities and their devotion to the country.”

Read more on Timothy’s website

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