When I really want to push the envelope of creativity the means I use is Experimental Art – Getting past perceptual defenses
While I don’t do a lot of experimental art, I often try to break every rule when I do. It is like playing notes that are discordant – give people what they are used to and they are comfortable, make them uncomfortable and they might see in a different perspective.
This, for me, though does have limits based on my own values. You have to choose your own values in the creation of experimental art.
Here is my latest sample:
Always exploring “what is art” and the creative tools to make art a reality or virtual reality. Keeping raw edges and movement in a way that is not smooth can help art get past emotional perceptive blocks IMHO.
Seeing Between The Lines – Make sure your vision exceeds your cameras.
I hardly ever take an image to capture “just what is there” – except for wildlife. I often can feel an image in a scene but can’t see it until I process it. It is a hard concept to understand, but artistic vision is surely different than eye sight in the brain. How many times have you had to let an idea develop before you could see it clearly? Use your eyes/camera as a very large net and your mind to sort it all out.
Does your art still “talk” when you strip its color?
B&W for me is still the soul of fine art in photography
People as a species are very color sensitive (except for the men who are color blind) and many forms of art use color to provide emphasis for the message being created. As a long time devote of photographers such as Adam, Smith, Modotti, and Weston, I believe that the strongest images (Photography or other wise) that are the most moving are those that still grab your eyes in monotone. Somehow I find a richness in B&W that presents textures that I don’t see in color and it is those textures that make me move deeper into the image.
Take your favorite image and remove the color, does it still convey the artistic theme you intended it to?
Do you know when your creative mind wants its creative time? Everyone knows that there are certain parts of the day when you are “better” at doing things. For some people its early morning and for others it is late at night. But for everyone there is some part of the day when you more focused and filled with energy. Creative “slumps” often come for me when my daily rhythm is interrupted by “life stress”. In my opinion, identifying your Creative Time is one of the most important things you can do to produce art that speaks to your creative being. Protect your creative time – put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your studio/room door. Silence your phone – Don’t respond to text messages. Inspiration often comes at the strangest times, but give it a place to grow and your art will show it.
My family has Native American History (various nations on my Mom’s Grandmother’s side) and so the art of the various First Nation peoples has often been an interest for me. Petrographs (petrograph -plural petrographs- Drawing, writing or inscription on stone, as a painting on a cave wall) has always been of interest too me. As I explore ways to expand my artistic efforts I often try and develop a tone and style that is reflective of this portion of my heritage. I am working on a body of work which I call “DiPetrographs” and it embodies the notion of “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”. As I see the places I visit, I’ve often thought about the records I have seen on rocks in the American West and wondered how it differed from the current Graffiti work. I think I’ve identified, for me, the difference – one is a social comment of some kind and the other is a non-destructive recording of the nature of the things -both physical and ethereal- as seen by people living in a specific place at a specific time – and in our time and our place I have started producing DiPetrographs.
One of the great beautiful places one this earth is the American West. The Southwest is often a harsh but beautiful place. Life is hard there, even today, and often when hiking I look up and see that reminder in the wonderful birds called Turkey Vultures. They circle endless for hours watch the dance between life and death from a godlike perch so far above and in an Deus ex machina moment appears on the ground. The first in my body of DiPetrographs is a memory of the beauty of this harsh land and the ever present watcher in the sky.
The Artistic Burn Pile – is it a chain around your neck or a archive of ideas that just never fully developed?
If you are a 3d artist, 2d artist or photographer having a “burn pile” is imperative. A Burn Pile is where the bad, ugly, and half born belong. You don’t want a project to become a chain holding your creativity down ever time you see it. But should you cast that idea down the river Sphinx? Digital storage has made the decision to burn pile some so much easier. You can now create a digital image (by taking a digital photography of a dimensional item or just saving your bad images if you are a photographer). Storage is very cheap now and if some time you want to revisit something that has been destroyed physically or deleted from your active files if you are a photographer, all you have to do is look at your digital backup.This takes discipline and a management program like LightRoom – but in the end it will relieve the stress of dimensional artist who must physically destroy something because of the room an unwanted/unfinished project takes up or deleting a photograph off the disk drive to make space. Backup drives are inexpensive now and very large in capacity. Make a visual backup of your burn pile so you are ready for the moment when resurrection is needed.
Walt Disney created the concept of Imagineering and I think it is a powerful process for the artist to expand their creative process. We’ve all hit the creative wall and many have heard the phrase “thinking outside the box”. Well that’s great but how do you do it. You can check out the Wikipedia on Imagineering, but I’ll show you what it means to me as a artistic photographer. I do lots of standard landscapes, cityscapes, and wildlife imaging but when I think I am getting stale I turn to digital art to help me imaggineer better still images. I look at still images I have taken and try to develop an alternative reality for that image. I use a combination of Photoshop/LR and On1 software to create this Imagineering alternative vision. Here are a few results of what I have done to refresh my standard vision.
The African Queen
A standard image that did not have the visual impact I thought it would turned into the African Queen through Imagineering. Copyright 2012, all rights reserved on all images
Down The Rabbit Hole
A simple Jack Rabbit image was nothing to see, but using Imagineering I saw Alice’s place
So the next time that brick wall stops your vision try Imagineering to help you scale it…..