I used to think I wasn’t creative. I’ve always loved to make things, but in my mind, making something by copying a pattern wasn’t creative. I considered creativity to be something akin to magic, where poets and writers and painters were inspired by muses and worked as though they were conduits through which novel and original works were transmitted.
But I’ve come to understand that creativity is, in fact, simply our brains doing what they do. From the knowledge that lives in our brains, we seek to make connections between different ideas, solve problems, or create.
Creativity is for everyone, not just a privileged few. It can be learned just as any other skill can be learned. And it can provide a life-affirming change in perspective. Author CJ Lyons defines creativity as “Living in possibility and abundance rather than limitation and scarcity.” This is my favorite definition of creativity.
Taking pictures every day is my way of practicing creativity. That practice is bolstered by reading, long walks, adventures, and heartfelt conversations – and really all of the everyday parts of life, because connections are everywhere.
I’m deep into the famous photographer Sally Mann’s memoir, Hold Still. I’ll confess I am conflicted in my feelings about her as a person. For all her candor in the book, it still feels like something is missing. Maybe it’s there and I don’t want to see or hear it, that creativity comes with a price. Even still, she writes words that add to my knowledge pool and the connections grow deeper as I reach in for my own creativity.
Photographs, and sometimes good ones, could be made everywhere, even in the most seemingly commonplace or fraught moments. –Sally Mann, Hold Still