Wow! I have seriously neglected this blog. That’s probably not a good thing, considering I’m trying to promote myself and my new book. So it might seem odd that I’m now posting about taking some down time. But wait – there’s more!!Ok, since about this time last year, I have been engaged in one obligation or another related to my book and Photoshop in general. Articles, videos, webinars, and conferences have all added up to serious amounts of time. I noticed a while ago that I was spending so much time trying to figure out how to teach others that I completely neglected doing anything creative on my own. What really brought this home was being asked to write for NAPP’s Photoshop User magazine. That, and a conversation with Stephen Burns.
When NAPP asked me to submit a couple of articles, I wanted to use my own photography, which is rarely seen outside my own home. You see, most of what I do in Photoshop is develop techniques to solve problems and make use of unique work flows. I teach others how to express their creativity without letting the computer get in the way. But in doing so, I’ve lost touch with my own creativity. I had to dig through quite a few photos to find something I wanted to share as part of how I actually work. It was nerve-wracking, and a few of my friends can attest to my somewhat manic requests for feedback.
What I realized was that my work is not the issue – it’s that I haven’t felt creative in a long time. To make the articles work, I needed not only to select good starting images, I had to have a final result in mind. And this is where I kept falling down. I’m so used to helping others create that I lost sight of doing it myself. That’s what this blog entry is all about.
Part of the reason I stopped creative pursuits was lack of confidence in my artistic ability. Being around and interacting with so many amazing artists doesn’t help that, either. This is where Stephen helped me a lot, though he probably doesn’t realize it. In a short car ride, he described how he approaches his art, and how he basically leaves out any expectations of the audience. It’s not that he doesn’t care what people think of his art; it’s that he is more concerned with the process of creating. He knows his art isn’t for everyone – no artist should forget this. But Stephen is much more interested in making art, true to the nature of simply being a creative person. And he does so with gusto.
So I’m taking time this Winter to create. It doesn’t matter what. The important thing is just to do.