It may be a childish analogy however despite the interconnectivity of the whole thing, our minds really can be seen as two distinctive thinking tools. One side is good at seeing patterns, listing information, and doing logical thought experiments. The other side is good at seeing things in a non-linear and non-rational way. When we look at the world around us, we see many unique things which could never be repeated and we see many similar things which seem to be repeated often. Sometimes things have both of these qualities together and we can focus on one or the other. Think of plants for example, each one is the same as others of the same species however depending on soil, light, genetics, and things like bugs and herbivores, each plant will have a slightly different and seemingly randomly created shape. Our minds can work with both of these qualities, and it's the creative non-linear side that does it the best.
The first thing to remember is that your dreams and fantasies are based on real desires. There is often a common ground between what you dream of doing and what you can do now. Rather than putting it off or subscribing to catastrophist thinking, we can actively seek a way of doing what we want to do at the degree available to us. Maybe we dream of being a musician, so learn to play. It will be hard, it won't make you famous to begin, but if you begin and then refuse to stop then we all know how far people can get. Napoleon the pig would say I can but you can't but that's only because he wants it all for himself. We're all equal and if we do the work, we can all achieve things.
Curiosity may have killed a cat once upon a time however in most situations, it's actually really healthy. Nosiness and gossip of course don't count, but learning really matters. When we learn things, we increase our power to do things. Sometimes it's a way of looking at a situation that helps us to overcome it, sometimes it's the knowledge of a tool that helps us to use it, when we combine thinking methods with tool application the world is ours. Creative minded people love an opportunity to learn, especially when it's from world class universities like these affordable online courses.
Believe in yourself! It may sound cliché however it's clearly something many people have trouble with. You are here and you are real, just as here and real as the other people you meet. You matter and if you want to take a path, walk in a direction, learn a new skill, improve your outlook, then do it. Don't fall into the prejudicial trap of writing yourself off before you even begin and don't hesitate to see your ideas through.
Creative people are really observant. They pick up on nuances, behaviours, phrasings, subtle dramas, and quirky sayings all with the intrigue of a chef in a herb store. When creative people see a style they think about how it applies to their own work. When they see a method of telling a story, they think about how they can tell their stories in ways like that, what would work best? The local and international soup of ideas and creativity is nourishing when we drink.
Thinking up ideas takes time and care, and all of it happens in what others might call time off. By sitting down with some music or in silence and switching our gaze to the inner world, we discover a huge universe of creative inspiration. Don't be put off by accusations of daydreaming or time wasting when the mind is your office.
Learning how to fail is essential, we all want the best outcome and rarely get it. Any outcome is good and it's something we can work on. Often when we go back to something a few weeks later, we have a whole new way of seeing it. This is the best time to give ourselves an appraisal. Every time something doesn't work out the way we want it to then we must ask why. We have learned first of all that this particular method doesn't work. That's a useful piece of information worth the time taken in learning it.
Creative people have taste and they're not afraid to say when something is in or out in their eyes. They'll say when they love something and when something doesn't go with their tastes they'll say so. It's not seen as ugly or uncaring to disagree and to not just stay quiet for politeness. For creative people, being dishonest or giving the wrong impression is uglier by far.
Creative minded people don't get full of themselves, if they do, they lose something special. Remaining humble and continually assessing one's own work is part of remaining ahead of the pack. It's not a good idea to say to yourself “This is perfect” because it probably isn't but it's okay to say “This is terrible” because if even you think so then most others will too. Learn to be your own nightmare critic and it will keep you on your toes for a good reason.
Do things in the way you want to, in the time you feel most comfortable, and don't get lazy. Dreaming and planning, and looking out of the window only works for the first phase of creativity. At some point we have to get started. A clear and comfortable routine is a big part of ensuring we do our work and do our thinking in the proper amounts. A strong work ethic based around your own creativity and not around a 9-5 lock down is always more productive in the end.
One more thing, never give up! Adapt, grow, make intelligent decisions, and keep doing your best. That way you'll only go somewhere not nowhere.
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As I have been browsing various resources online and making use of the different snippets of information I find, I came across a wonderful idea. It's fairly simple yet I think could result in any number of useful or enjoyable (hopefully both) experiences. It's suitable for all ages, in fact I was reading a lesson plan for 8 year olds which I will link at the end. Anyone with decent self-reflecting skills can take part in this activity. The goal is to work on your empathy, help to connect the neural pathways that encourage us to think about things from the perspective of another person.
First of all, we must make a mask. This can be from a paper plate and a stick that we cut holes in and stick together, or they could be pieces of card from a cereal packet. There are face shaped masks available to buy as well. When making the mask, encourage everyone to be as inventive as they can. Show them some Picasso cubism or some monsters from The Gruffalo. When it's dry, glued, and ready to be used, it's time to take the next step.
Ask everyone to imagine their character, put a voice behind it, a personality, feelings, thoughts, and ideas. What do they like and what don't they like? Then it's time to role play. It might be hard at first, getting into the character and learning to flow as if you were them, but soon enough it will become more natural. Play at being the person your mask represents. Then, something you might like to try is swapping masks with someone else and getting into their character instead.
How cool is that?
Via The Art of Ed
All photographers want to take brilliant photos, and many of us do. However, there is always room for improvement. Photography isn't like a car that doesn't need mending, of course if we fiddle with it under the lid then who knows what may go wrong. Photography is more like driving the car. Most drivers are comfortable going down minor roads, using the signals, and obeying the law, then there is motorway driving, which is a little more intense. We have to use our brain a bit more when going quickly. Then, there's race driving. That takes a whole new set of skills, many of which may be counter-intuitive to the basic minor road A-B journey we grew up on. This is where we have to adapt a whole new mindset and learn new skills. Photography is like this, the more we want to excel at our hobby or profession, the more we have to learn, acknowledge, and take on board. Here are some rules of thumb that help people stay on the right side of fresh and within the boundaries of quality.
Get A Teacher
Find someone who has been doing it for longer and has more clicking hours than you, and listen to them. It's easy to get a free place on a real-time educational photography course, and it may tide you over for the duration. While you're doing that, network and discover people who take photos like you, or like how you want to, and then simply make contact. You'll know soon enough if they're prepared to give any advice or time to you. Take it easy though, no one likes a bull in a china shop or an excited puppy wagging its tail in their face. Be smooth, genuine, and relaxed. Then just mention your photos and see if any wisdom comes your way.
Learn To Spot Constructive Criticism
No one likes to be told they're no good or that they should just try harder. Better luck next time is not a good way of helping someone out. If a person is genuinely your friend or at least has enough decency to be real with you then they will offer constructive criticism. Rather than saying it's poor, or that it's rubbish, or any other negative point of view, constructive criticism is positive. It doesn't put it in a way that takes away from your work, but in a way that adds to it. A well stated piece of constructive criticism will begin with an if. If you change this, or do this other thing, or adapt this method, etc. then you will have this (example). This is a way of assisting without downgrading, and when we can learn to accept positive critique in this way, we will immediately begin to benefit.
Seek Out Fellow Photographers
Now is the time to join a group or a club that takes photos. You will find them online and if you're lucky in your local community. If there really are no photography groups where you live then you've just found a hole in the market. OK it may not be a paid one but that doesn't matter if you enjoy it. A small subscription fee for photography outings may not be a bad idea though, as long as it's not extorting people. Be fair. However, once you are in a community of photographers, you'll find a mentor or teacher figure, you'll find constructive criticism, and you'll find ample opportunity to learn new tricks of the trade. You'll make lots of new friends too.
Don't Just Take Photos
If you're serious about photography then it must be your medium for expression. Choose a project and do it, show your work,and aim for heights not reached before. Think about clever or interesting things to photograph. Choose themes that speak volumes beyond the pictures themselves. It's always worth remembering that with your project, you want it to be seen and explored. This means it will inspire and encourage others to follow in your footsteps. So choose wisely, and think about things that leave plenty of space for further perspectives and discussion. This means that when/if a person chooses to do something similar, likely they might mention your project giving you more exposure. No pun intended.
Don't Go Round In Circles
We all have our local patch and we tend to walk the same routes to various places. This means that we'll likely have loads of photos of the same place or the same thing. This is okay, it's normal to be like this. However we need to expand our horizons a bit more if we want to make an impact. Try to find something new for you and look into ways of exploring something not necessarily what you'd first pick. Be inventive and creative with your destinations. Sometimes asking why a photographer chose the shot is enough to make it a good photo.
Spot A Genius, Stick To The Genius
Masters are the ones to watch. When we find someone who is really good at what they do, we naturally absorb their techniques, methods, and mentality from continually seeing them. We watch and we learn. Being able to do this is natural for all of us however spotting the ones to watch is the real key. Ask what we want, find someone who has it, and see what we can learn from them about how to get it. This could be a style, a technique, a fanbase, or a stall somewhere that people buy from Whatever it is you're looking to grow into, find the person who did it before you. We don't have to know them, or actually talk to them, we just have to pay attention to what they put out, read what they say, and revise their work.
There's nothing that will stifle a career more than thinking we have it all already. We know that there's always something more to learn. People are constantly putting out new ideas, perspectives, and even reasons for being, so we can constantly take on more and more knowledge Read as many books about your subject as you can, keep them and read them again. Check out this article about photographic theory. If you see an opportunity to learn something or try a new style, take it. Complacency is killer for any artist. Go now and find books. And don't forget to grab your free course in it.
Rowan Blair Colver for Alternative Fruit
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