an oh, duh moment for your reading pleasure

just a sipI’ve felt inspired recently, which is a nice turn of events, all things considered. I keep a file of ideas for photo shoots, and lately it’s growing and growing. I like when this happens. Sometimes I think I’d be content to collect ideas and leave the picture-taking to someone else… but there’s something so satisfying about seeing the images in your head unfold in front of the camera. Usually they surprise me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the process of making art–more specifically, my process, which isn’t much of a process at all, truth be told. I’m too passive, in that I’m content to wait for ideas to come to me rather than actively seek them out. I’m content to dabble but never commit fully, because I’m afraid that the results won’t be what I’m looking for. I’m afraid to fail, and you can’t fail at what you don’t start.

Thinking creatively doesn’t come as naturally as I’d like it to. There was a point in my life where it did, when I was very young–too young to truly understand the meaning of “not good enough”, and making things was an act that gave me the purest pleasure. I held up my craft paper sculptures and little felt dolls and was proud of them simply because they were mine.

(Just imagine what I could do if I had that kind of innocence now! What any of us could do, for that matter.)
Fear gets in the way of good art-making. It’s hard to push past the doubt, to acknowledge the prospect that all your hard work could be for naught. I spend far too much time arguing with myself. “That one’s a good idea, but it’s been done before.” “I could do that, but I don’t have X, Y, or Z.” And there are the old standbys: “I’m not talented enough. I’m not good enough. I don’t have enough time.”

Excuses. Lies. Fear.

But I’ve found that the simple act of acknowledging that fear is enough to help me push it aside, if only a little. And it’s so much more fun having ideas when I’m not afraid of failing them before I’ve even tried!


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