ancient urban 3, photograph
“Its not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.”
– Edwin Land
What is your relationship with your past? With work you’ve done before? With the work of others you’ve been inspired by?
For me it’s a most delicate balance. I can get too enamored of what has worked for me in the past and find myself unconsciously repeating it. Or I’ll find myself emulating work I see that I like from others. This can hold me back from exploring new ideas.
On the other hand, it’s important to understand what I like and don’t like, what has worked or not. So the past informs me, it provides important clues about what I should do next. The trick is to extract enough from it to be the seed of new thought and work, but not to retain so much that it constrains.
I try to use the past as a springboard, not a hitching post. And like the experience of having just sprung from the board, the feeling of turning your back on ideas that have meant something to you in the past can be both exhilirating and terrifying.
A true leap of faith…
I think it’s all part of the learning process. The past, the present, the work of others…I think they are all pieces that help shape our own voice and the work that results because of it. Terrific image.
“What came first – the chicken or the egg?”
We all have to start somewhere and have foundations of fundamentals that we have embedded into our memory. From various genres, styles and applications that attract us… We hopefully take many leaps of faith, try something new, experiment (trial and error) and ultimately find something that we call our own or have learned (inspired by) from. However it all comes together, the journey of doing is all a continued process that ultimately guides us to something new… or to revisit the old and incorporate it into the new. Knowledge, experience, visions and how we blend it all into continuing to create to the infinite depths of our imaginations. May your leaps of faith be endless…
Bob, I apologize for being absent from commenting on your tremendous blog. I’ve been a faithful reader but just struggling for time.
This is a particularly good post!
My first thought was from Ansel. “You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, and the people you have loved” As such, I don’t think we can help but be influenced by our past… our experience, our previous image making, etc. You are correct in that we then need to be aware of all this and then make the leap to the next level without it holding us back…
Great stuff Bob.
Yes it can be terrifying, but that is where the new creations come from, not the past! This is such a brilliant image. Just bursting with motion and color. I think you push your art and creativity more than most. Keep em coming.