I strongly believe that the joy of creating in and of itself is the driving engine for artists. We create because creating is fun, is uplifting, is developing, is opening our minds, is exciting, is a way to express our innermost feelings. My motto has always been that we do not create because we hope for success, but because we enjoy the creative process itself. Creativity is its own fulfilment.
Success, however, is of course not a bad thing, but it becomes a road to frustration if that is what drives our creativity. If we start to look for ways to make our creative work more popular we lose that which is our genuine expression, and thus what could make it stand out from everything else. This much said, I also acknowledge that approval is something we all strive for and something that can spur our energy towards the creative process.
Some of my photos from Cuba have earlier this year been invited to participate in the 4th Biennale of Fine Art & Documentary in Berlin. The exhibition takes place in October and of course, I am very pleased to have been asked to participate. As you may know if you have read my posts lately, I have been in a bit of a creative rut lately. Having worked with preparations for the photo exhibition in Berlin this week has been good for me; it’s been inspiring and energizing. I have to admit that.
The invitation to the 4th Biennale in Berlin came as a result of a competition I took part of last year. Three photos I had sent to the Jacob Riis Award had been picked out. I didn’t win the award, but my work was rated among ten finalists. I didn’t know that at the time, though. I registered that I hadn’t won, and thought no more of it. That was until the invitation from Berlin came and I was made aware of the fact.
I have not done much creative work as of last week when I wrote about the rut I was in, but I feel my mind is lifting, that I am about to break lose from the straightjacket of negative thoughts I have put myself in. Working with the preparations for the 4th Biennale of Fine Art & Documentary in Berlin has definitely helped, but also small pleasures in daily life, that has nothing to do with photography or creativity as such.
For instance, yesterday I overcome a big inhibition I have fought with for a long time. I like skiing, and I am quite okay—in all modesty. However, in one of the areas I go skiing there has been a black double diamond run that I have not dared to even make an attempt to negotiate. I have done all other black double diamonds in the area—and in many other ski areas as well, but this one, was really pushing my limits. It’s probably the steepest run I have wanted to give a try, coming out through a narrow shoot, and where falling means not being able to stop before the slope evens out a bit. Yesterday I finally did it. I had my heart up in my throat, but I did it. Moreover, I now know that the inhibition has been broken. Next time will be much easier. In the bigger picture, breaking the impediment has giving me some confidence, giving me energy to think in positive ways again, is helping me to breakout of the before mentioned creative rut.
Thank you to all of you who sent encouragement to me after last week’s post. It means a lot, and gives and impetus to move forward again. Stay creative!
Facts about the photo: The photo was taken with a Canon EOS 5D MII and a 24-105 mm lens set at 24mm. Exposure: 1/160 of a second and f/8. It was processed in Lightroom and the app Snapseed with the filter Drama and Frames.