EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a guest post by Amar Ramesh. Amar is one of our Emerging Photographer of the Year finalists and a fine photographer. I hope you enjoy the post.
We are all born creative beings. As we grow and develop we either nurture this gift and it flourishes, or we neglect it and our creativity fades into the background of our lives. Our educational system, culture, beliefs and the people surrounding us all add to this. We either tell ourselves or let others tell us that we might go wrong and that fear of being wrong or being stupid makes us grow uncreative, if I may. We are forced to toe an imaginary line, taught to follow an unwritten rule and thus in the process, put an end to our creative aspirations. As Albert Einstein once said “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
So, how does one exactly honor the sacred gift? Creativity is a way of thinking and a way of life. It requires loads of passion, motivation and dedication. Looking at something in a way that reflects your thoughts, ideas, and views is the start. The ability to express what you see and what you think takes patience and constant practice. Above all its using your imagination without bounds and having fun while doing it.
So how do you get started nurturing your creative streak?
– Think positively and spend your time with positive people. Open your eyes, listen attentively, stand on your head, and record it!
– Ignore your doubts and let your instincts take over. Your instincts are often smarter than you are. Give yourself the freedom to try and sometimes fail with your attempts. That is how we learn.
– Be open to what you see and try to take away your personal filters for how you view the world and the things around you.
– Appreciate and follow other artists and photographers. Read, study, surf the internet, go to galleries, visit museums, and walk the streets where you live. Use others expressions and art to inspire you and to express your voice.
– Listen carefully to the critics around you with an open mind. Understand how someone else sees your work. This will let you know if you are expressing yourself the way you intended.
– Find a solution that is new and completely YOU, for a given problem. Turn an idea around and challenge it with your perspective. Make the shot your own with your interpretation, view, technique, and presentation. Bend the rules to shift perspective or perhaps break the rules all together.
– No idea should be left behind. Write it down, make a note, blog it, log it, or record it. A record will help you remember and track your progress and growth in not just creativity but in your journey to being a better photographer.
Creativity brings along with it so many perks. Embracing creativity removes the boredom and the monotony of life and makes you feel energetic and good about yourself. You also become more imaginative and try to add sense of reality to your thoughts. You will be able to stay away from stereotypes and become humble and proud at the same time and a whole new world opens up.
But like everything else in life creativity wanes and ebbs like the tides. There will be times when creativity is low and sluggish. You don’t have to be anguished. Instead get away from what you are doing and take a break. Assure yourself that this is something very normal. Think of it as a time to recharge your batteries, a necessary part of the process. Go do something else like taking a walk or watching a movie. Come back and alter your focus this time and try to take a different direction. Instead of panicking and getting anxious, step back, stop the mental process and get away from it. Just do your job and in the end, the desired creative output will come from within and everything would align.
I want to end this piece with a popular saying in my native tongue, Pasithiru vizhithiru. Simply put, it means “stay hungry for new thoughts and stay curious”. This is my mantra for improving creativity.