From Whence Does It Come?

Inspiration is a fickle force.

I go through periods of time when I am driven to make images and do my thing. I can see so clearly and the motivation is so strong and I feel so creatively alive.

Then there are those times when I don’t pick up my camera for weeks other than for the day job. I’ve taken maybe 5 shots in the last couple of weeks. They were employee mug shots so we could check off a box for our PCI compliance that we have all of our employees’ photos posted. And believe me, with the run and gun pace we had to do it, there was certainly no art to it at all.

It’s times like those – times like these – when I don’t really feel all that creative. I can’t find my muse and everything I do either starts looking the same or just doesn’t feel right.

I’m never sure how to get myself out of the rut. I look at other photographers’ work, which often makes me feel inferior. I try to think up little projects for myself – finding circles, or the color yellow, or something like that – but it sometimes feels forced. It’s so frustrating!

What do you do to pull your creative self out of moth balls? Where do you turn to get back into it?

  • Looking for a creative spark with no narrow focus can lead nowhere; it’s too broad of a canvas. I think it’s better to make a very narrow, focused goal and stick to it, even if it seems artificial.

    Give yourself an assignment, such as photographing the next meal you have at home, regardless of what it is. That may force you (or your readers) to find a way of doing something creative with a meal that might not be.

    September 8, 2009 at 5:56 am
  • I remember reading a post by Micahel Van der Tol once where he said something along the lines of – get a couple of magazines, and from each of those magazines, pull out five images that you like best (could be adverts or editorial). Look at those images in depth, and you will probably see a pattern (in style, colour etc.) – then use that as your inspiration…..I use that technique and it works well for me.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:04 am
  • I have read so many blogs on this same topic lately. I guess a lot of us creatives are having a rough time right now. If you haven’t seen Zack Arias’ blog check it out and some of his other recent entries on this same topic. The video he links to at the very beginning of this blog entry really got me thinking about things.

    Also if you haven’t heard of Help Portrait, check out the site. It sounds like something that might help.

    September 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm
  • From Whence Does It Come?

    The question contains the answer. Site quiet for a while and find the inner voice.

    September 8, 2009 at 8:29 pm

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