topic > creativity


Whenever you haven’t made art in a while — whether its been a few days or a few months — you get rusty. Starting again is always a slow and sputtering process. I can almost feel a coarse red grit slowing my creativity down to a crawl, hampering my ability to create. And with that grit often comes the same familiar doubts. But I have learned through experience that this “creative rust” is not a problem, but a necessary part of the artistic process.


When I was a kid, scarcity was part of the music experience. We’d scour used record bins in the backs of stores for quirky or interesting albums. We’d jerry-rig antennas to pick up that one crazy little radio station playing Frank Zappa. We save up…  read more

ignoring inspiration and getting to work

November 18, 2010 in Art as a professiontopics:

The comments on my previous post about inspiration being the reward got me thinking some more. I described inspiration coming as a result of my work, which is not the usual definition. “Inspiration” is usually defined as the ideas that initiate the creativity. And I…  read more

inspiration is the reward

November 15, 2010 in Art as a professiontopics:

Inspiration is a tricky thing, elusive, mysterious, and seemingly oh-so-necessary. As artists, we seem to be in a constant mad quest for it: despairing if we don’t have it, desparate to hang on to it when we do. Yet I have finally realized that this is…  read more

Getting past the overly-familiar

Certain scenes are so popular in nature photography, that their popularity drains them of any emotional significance. After years of seeing the work of Ansel and his imitators, I had felt this way about Yosemite. Over-familiarity had bred an indifferent attitude in me. I had…  read more

Fear, creativity, and the stock market

September 18, 2008 in Art as a professiontopics:,

While continuing our conversation on creativity and fear continues over on this post, I realized that the recent insanity in the stock market gives us as artists a good lesson on the nature of fear. (“What?,” you say, “artists learning from.. the stock market?” Yes,…  read more

Conversation on creativity and fear

September 15, 2008 in Art as a professiontopics:,

Two years ago I wrote about the relationship between creativity and fear. This past weekend, the conversation got reignited by a couple new visitors to my blog, and we’ve been having an interesting discussion about it. Check it out and join in!

failing in order to succeed

June 13, 2008 in Art as a professiontopics:,

There is a great video of Ira Glass of This American Life giving advice to people who want to create stories. He’s good some very down-to-earth advice that I think applies to all creative people and artists. One idea he stresses is that you need…  read more

back to making new art

This morning I started work on some new photographs. This is the first time in months that I’ve worked on anything new, and it feels good. The past few months have kept me very busy. A good kind of busy, getting things done that needed…  read more

I ain’t that deep (a mini-rant)

March 27, 2008 in Art as a professiontopics:

Why are visual artists always expected to have a deep pyschological or political meaning behind their art, while musicians are allowed to just play and enjoy the act of making music?