Artists think too much.  Not all, but many spend far too much time in their heads.  This is not to say that you should not have some kind of a plan, some direction, an idea to pursue. Just don’t drown it by thinking it to death.  A concept needs room to breathe, to grow, to possibly change direction, and it can’t if it is nailed down.  Overanalyzing, excessive worrying, too much deliberation will drain the life out of your art.  I think it is possible to concentrate so hard that you can lose sight.  You can go artistically blind.

Josef Sudek, who saw and photographed Prague unlike anyone else, felt that theory was alright but, “it is like over eating: when you overeat, you get sick”.  Andre Kertesz felt that he was a lucky man because, “ … I can do something with almost anything I see.  Everything is interesting to me.”  He had confidence in himself and in  his ability as an artist, because he had honed his craft.

Get out of your head.  Do your research, sketch out an idea or approach, give yourself a direction and GO!  Do, react, respond … play with your art, experiment.  Let things happen.  Do not put yourself in a tunnel. Do not nail yourself against a wall. Creativity needs to be untethered.  To run wild, to float into uncharted territory, one must get lost first.  It is in the finding that you find yourself as an artist.  Trust in your process that something will happen with your art if you give it a little freedom.  A butterfly preserved on the head of a pin the may be a beautiful specimen to an etymologist but it is an entirely different act of creativity and expression to allow it to dance spontaneous and free.

You can’t pre-ordain your art and you shouldn’t try.

“My instinct about painting says:
If you don’t think about it, it’s right.
As soon as you have to decide, it’s wrong.
And the more you decide about,
the more wrong it gets.”             Andy Warhol


“Make photographs and worry about the meaning later.”

Keith Carter

Categorized as Process

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.