Do We Slowly Become Less Creative?
Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.
Do We Slowly Become Less Creative?
How Creativity Can Fade Over Time & How To Be More Creative As A Photographer
Isn’t it interesting how when we first start creating, there are no boundaries? No barriers? No right or wrong – Simply the drive to create, and shape and innovate.
Then, as you grow up iny our creative journey, you forget how to create – Instead you get bogged down with rules and concepts and techniques that slowly but surely box you in and stop your progression. Your work starts to look like everybody else’s.
In this video, Tao Crawford shares some thoughts on how to stay inspired and how to be more creative as a photographer.
Artistic Progress or Self Confinement?
As creatives, we generally all experience the fear that comes with creating art and sharing that art with the world. It is vulnerable, emotional, and personal. While creating art that we love and are proud of, there is always that fear that it might not be received well or liked by the public eye. We have set self made standards and the standards of our employers, peers, and customers.
But do we start out creating this way?
Very early in your creative journey, you might have been very influenced by all sorts of sorts of artists – Including ones that today you might dismiss as trashy or amateur. The irony is that as we grow as creators, we tend to start rejecting art that has imperfections or mistakes. But of course, sometimes the imperfections, mistakes, and embracing of “real life” is what serves to create the deepest, most impactful and fulfilling work.
Are you shutting down creativity in your pursuit of perfection?
For example, if you’ve seen any Vaporwave music styles you’ll see examples of what it means to create grungy, raw, real work that is less concerned about getting every detail by the book and more about pursuing what really impacts and inspires YOU. Innovating, not simply recreating.
Experimentation without expectations
The creative process where you experiment without expectation is creating where there is no shame for producing something stupid or bad. Teo identifies that he used to create this way, and that while this is different from how he creates now, that isn’t necessarily good for his art. He used to simply play around with different settings, tools, visuals, colours and sounds all without worrying about the final product.
”I just made something…I just created without thinking of the end result and simply letting it come to me, instead of looking for it”
As a new artist, he was learning as he was creating, so the art took on an experimental form. While his creative process has changed a lot over time, looking back at those pieces Teo can tell that he used to create more through emotion and how he was feeling and less from planning or logic.
Fear of creating art that is ‘bad’ or not up to current self standards is probably what keeps the developing creative from freely experimenting like they used to. When starting out, Teo notes, less standards existed. His observation is that the creation of art after being an artist for a while is much less experimental, and if it is, the fear of not reaching set standards is there.
Why do we become less creative?
After the experimentation and emotion of starting out as a new artist faded, Teo narrowed the scope of what he focused on producing in his photography, giving himself a more focused niche as an artist. But while this is helpful for finding what you specifically want to develop in your creative skills, he has also observed this as a reason for losing the variety of creative expression he had in the beginning. His narrowed creative focus has made him become less creative overall.
Asking the question again: is this narrowing of focus of the art progress of the artist or self confinement into a niche which loses creativity over time? Would experimenting again positively affect the art created?
Becoming more Creative (again)
Many viewers of Teo’s video commented that they have experienced something very similar in their journey of developing as an artist. The excitement to create is there in the beginning, but slow fades over time. They agree that sometimes narrowing the focus of the art confines your creativity into a small space, with little room for alternatives. So what can we do?
In order to get that free flowing creativity back, we need to create time to be experimental. To create art freely, without self set standards or fear. You have permission to set aside some creative time to be intentionally experimental.
Do you feel you’ve become less creative since you started?
What’s one way you can find fresh creativity TODAY as a creator? Share it in the comments below!
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