Being a creative can be difficult at times, an it’s been a rough few months. Not with commercial assignments, you’re told what is needed and it’s your job to make it happen. I’m talking about exploring the creative side of your craft. The things you do for yourself. You and you alone. Sometimes, life gets in the way and blocks the path to creativity… if you let it. Unfortunately, of late, I’ve let it. I’ve gone out and just not seen anything. And the more I go out, the more discouraged I get. “What’s wrong with me?” I ask myself. Is my muse gone forever? Have I lost the love and passion for my craft. The more I allowed myself these thoughts, the deeper I find myslef inthe abyss of creative darkness. I’d go days, even a week, without picking up my camera for fun.
I’ve talked to quite a few of my photog friends. Each and every one of them has been through the same thing. I think all creatives go through periods where they can’t find their mojo. Even the greats, like Sonny Rollins or Peter Gabriel, have taken extended leave from their craft sometime in their career.
This week, I decided I would not let it get the best of me. I had to go out and I had to shoot simply for the love of shooting… of finding the moments, light and gesture. Whether or not I got any images I liked was besides the point. I was out there, camera in hand, waiting for my muse… trying to get my mojo back (whatever that means). So I did. I went to Pike Place Market thinking, “ugh… again?”. But I knew there would be crowds of people. I walked around for 3 hours and felt like I was not seeing anything. I snapped anyway. I had a coffee, absorbed the environment, and kept walking. When I got back to my car, I felt like I hadn’t gotten a thing. It was days before I even took the images off my card. The only reason I did was because I wanted to use the shoot as a workflow example in my Lightroom class at Bellevue College last night. I prefaced it to the class by saying it was not a great shoot, but as I got more and more into the workflow, the images started to come alive and my students were making positive comments. It felt good.
Are these great shots. Not really. But, they represent, to me, a renewed commitment to finding my muse. The bottom line is that I’ll never find it if my camera sits in the closet or, as it has been for the past few weeks, on the table by my door taunting me each time I pass. We are all going to have times where we just aren’t feeling creative. Those are the times where you really have to force yourself to be vulnerable and keep on trying. While not my best work, it was work done and a step in the right direction. I’ll be getting out there again and again and keep on opening my eyes and my soul to the possibilities before me. Only then, will I find my muse, my friend.