It’s confession time. I’ve been struggling lately with my creativity. The client work is fine. It’s the personal work– the stuff that’s supposed to satisfy my soul between the paid gigs– that’s taken a dip. I have a few theories, but a funk is a funk and sometimes the harder you try pushing through it the deeper it gets. Chances are I’m just over-thinking it. After all, we’re talking about art, right? You’re supposed to feel it, not think it.
While creativity will mean different things to different people, I believe there are certain traits that are shared by highly creative people and personalities. Regardless of whether we’re talking about photographers, writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, designers, or poets, the creative process affects us all in similar ways. We may each see the world around us through vastly different lenses, but how we approach those visions can’t help but share certain similarities. Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this stuff. While I’m only speaking for myself here, I’m betting that at least a few of these apply to you.
I teach a kids photography class twice a week. In Digital Photo Challenges, my eager group of students range in age from 12-17, and are some of the most creative people I’ve ever met. Since they are kids, I’m not really in a position to require a particular level of camera. My only requirement is that they have some sort of digital camera other than their phones. Having some students with DSLRs and multiple lenses in a class alongside students with very basic point & shoot cameras poses certain challenges for me as a teacher. If I spend too much time teaching to the DSLR group, my p&s kids will quickly lose interest. Similarly, there is only so much detail to be explored with a p&s, which would mean not presenting challenging information to those students with more advanced equipment.