To quote Mark Twain “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
So with this thought you should be liberated from the pressure of having to create something entirely on your own. To know that others have walked the path before you and can guide you to your own greatness, you no longer feel like you’ve been abandoned on a remote island.
In all aspects of photography, there are exceptional artists that can inspire you and influence your own work. Not only photographers can be sources of inspiration but also the centuries of artists before them that have shared their creativity on canvas. What you’ll do is ‘take the best and throw away the rest.’
Use what you learn from your Inspirational artists that appeals to you and then go forward from the idea and make it your own. Someone mentioned to me recently (and here I apologize as I can’t remember who it was) about a new book titled Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.
It is a great idea book and gets your creative juices flowing if you’re looking for a way to get started. One of the first points is that if you do piggy back off an idea that inspired you – make sure you give credit to the person you learned it from. While ‘Imitation is the greatest form of flattery’ theft is not the objective here.
This book also offers a fun journal that has daily exercises that help you even more with develop your inner artist. The Steal Like an Artist Journal: A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs
Both of these books are wonderful tools for you to develop your craft regardeless of what it is. Life can be so busy and we run from one place to another taking care our “To-do” list. But we can often forget the real reason why we are living this life…walking on this earth. And that is to learn and to grow into the best person that we can become. Life-long learning keeps things interesting, it keeps the mind challenged, and the spirit fulfilled.
So when you find something you’d like to try don’t be discouraged if what you start with isn’t anything like what your Inspirational Artist’s work is like. Keep trying and with practice you’ll get close to your inspiration. For me, I attempted some multiple exposure images of some flowers tonight and they were pretty much a bomb. Nothing like one of my floral Inspirational Artists – Denise Ippolito’s work is like. But I’m not giving up. I’ll keep trying it and one day perhaps I’ll get close to some of her stunning work.