A while ago the Huffington post had an article on the 18 things Highly Creative People do Differently. To see it go HERE. It is worth a read!
It got me to thinking about the Photo group I am in, and the many artists I know, and the different approaches we are all taking to the challenge of taking a photo each day.
In the article it says:
"Openness to experience is consistently the strongest predictor of creative achievement," says Kaufman. "This consists of lots of different facets, but they're all related to each other: Intellectual curiosity, thrill seeking, openness to your emotions, openness to fantasy. The thing that brings them all together is a drive for cognitive and behavioral exploration of the world, your inner world and your outer world."
I figure anyone who signs up for the picture a day must be also exhibiting the "openness to experience"! What is interesting to me is how all of these creative minds interpret the experience we call life! The faces above are an example of one of my favorite things; a variety of interpretations of a particular, singular subject by a variety of artists.
It is not the accurate representation of subject matter that makes for interesting art - or photography - it is the artists hand and heart being evident in the documentation that makes it art. It is like hearing a particular idea expressed in a myriad of languages and accents, each with a nuance and reaction particular to both the speaker and the listener. The same vocalization can mean "home" to one and "enemy" to another, to one is is romantic and soft, to another incomprehensible.
For now, I just want to talk about the artist, not the viewer who may have his or her own criteria for enjoyment or interest. There are as many reasons for creating art as there are artists, but I have noticed some loose categories before, and they are really evident to me as I watch a oeuvre of work unfold from the various photographers in our group.
Some, like me, are The Dilettante: rolling around in something new and different whenever they come across it. For me it is the new found media, and all the facets it offers in techniques, subjects and other possibilities that makes finding a particular voice probably premature. I am sure, sooner or later, one facet will shine more than others for me, but until then, I am happy to experiment.
The Geek: Much like the painters who know the formulas for each of their colors, and the thread count and archival-ness of their canvases, and are concerned with the differences between a matter or gloss varnish, these photographers both understand and love the technical aspects of photography. They have tried every filter and filtering program. The lighting set up and the post work are as exciting to them as the subject and shoot are. They embrace every aspect of the science as well as the art of photography.
The Serial Shooter: Like Degas drew and painted dancer after dancer, or haystack after haystack, each time exploring a different aspect of the subject or scene, these photographers embrace a subject with all their heart. Some do it for a month, some for a lifetime. It is so interesting to see both what they hone in on as a subject, and what within that subject they then focus on for the study.
The Designer: These are the people for whom the composition and elements of design take forefront. They often have the more minimalist take or the most unique viewpoint. The subject matter is secondary to the impact of the design.
The Journalist: For them the recording of an event is important. The event could be monumental or momentary, but noticing it and recording it is their joy. Whether it is the genre art of everyday living, or the fleeting moment of a rainbow or sunset, or a newsworthy event; it is captured by them.
BUT no one is really just any of these, and truly great artists are all of these.
The journalist who doesn't know how to compose or capture the lighting will not make a provoking photo. The designer with no intimate knowledge of his subject will often resort to trite. and so on it goes... but there is something that starts the creative juices to move, and that is usually remains high on the hierarchy of the finished art work's presence. I am just finding it fascinating - and always have - to see how the individual stacking of these priorities creates an amazing array of creative output.
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !