The Creative Process: Gotta Start with a Mess

Why is a blank page so intimidating?  Whether it’s here or at work, the blank screen sends my heart racing.  Sometimes I will write words–words of no significant meaning on the page just to fill it up a bit and take the pressure off.  An outline, notes, old documents to use as a starting point, anything will do.

With photography, I begin a shoot with test shots.  I aim at the ground, adjust my white balance, focus on a few inanimate objects to check my exposure and focus.

It takes a while for me to begin to see.  Whether it’s to find the words to shape what I want to communicate or to find the light to create the image I want to capture, I have to mess up things a little bit before I get started.  In complete opposition to my approach to housekeeping, I find it easier to organize and clean up my thoughts/ideas once I shake them all up and splash them around a bit.  Actually, upon writing that that’s how I clean too.  I have to get things all out in my vision so I can organize them and find their homes.

Assuming not everyone approaches their creative process this way, but it works for me.  As I’m sloshing around poking at things from different directions, all of the sudden I find what I was looking for.

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3 Responses to “The Creative Process: Gotta Start with a Mess”

  1. Diana

    I LOVE that picture. LOVE.

    My creative process never seems to be the same, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really paid attention. Now I am going to have to try to be aware. If there’s a pattern maybe I could use that to my advantage…

  2. Elaine

    Wow! That photo blows me away.

  3. Cactus

    Yeah that’s what I’m talking about baicb-n-ye work!


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