What is needed is an adaptive approach to creative processes, not an adoptive one. In the words of Bono – every poet is a cannibal, every artist is a thief. We all draw from sources outside ourselves. The challenge is in finding your own voice, in adapting elements, thoughts, processes – whatever – and not not in adopting them. One strips former things down, re-purposes them, combines them with parts from myriad other sources still, and takes us to a different place than when we started. The other just likes what he sees, gets “inspired”, steals the original idea, and makes it his own with a can of spray paint. One is creative, results in something new and comes from the in-spiration of many sources; the other is just imitation and while it might well be the first step in learning your craft, it won’t get you any further.
Can I be honest…this is a struggle for me. I’ve only been actively engaging photography for two years…I’m still at the beginning of my journey. I learn best by doing…not reading…so over the last two years I’ve spent countless hours on Flickr…being inspired and then copying. The process has been invaluable….by deconstructing and re-shooting an image I’ve seen I’ve not only learned a ton but I’ve also learned what to ask…and what I don’t know. I’ve enjoyed the process…and still learn from it….but it’s time to start adapting.
One of my goals is to truly engage photos that I see. To take the time to reflect on what aspect of the photo speaks to me…the subject?….the processing?….the framing?…..the emotion? I want to do more than imitate…I want to truly create photos that move me and move others….that tell a story.
quote by David duChemin