Thursday, March 7, 2013

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

In case you haven't noticed I've not had an incredible amount to report in my blog postings latetly, but that is somewhat due to being overwhelmed with another project, albeit a personal one, in a different visual form for me.  I thought once I finished the project, which happened to be yesterday, I would get back to writing about photography on this blog.  But on second thought, I think my most recent venture has application in a more global sense than originally perceived.

In the spirit of sharing my "aha" moment, here's my story. I've spent the most recent years taking a few graphic design courses and putting it to practical use designing and creating a memoir my father has written about my recently deceased mother.  I'm providing the background story here because I'm predicting this slight detour will have impacted my photography in ways I'm not yet sure of.  I know that sounds a bit crazy but getting my hands dirty with another medium has forced me to use more and/or different creative muscles, perhaps forming new neural networks or pathways as I approach visual problem solving.  Also as I write this I'm thinking about my earlier profession prior to creating art, specifically that of an Exercise Physiologist where I often educated and encouraged my patients to use different exercise modalities to cross train.  Also, in today's latest research "muscle confusion" is all the rage as it appears to have more benefits than devoting oneself to just one type of exercise or equipment.

That said I can now clearly see the benefit of putting down the camera and pursuing graphic design and bookmaking as a way to freshen or reboot my visual storytelling.  Getting out of my comfort zone of photography, I expanded my visual acuity, intelligence and overall sense of space by applying my skills within the confines of the graphic design world.  I now have a visual space that not only includes imagery, but also by thinking with type I now consider the space of letter, text and grid.  Although photography and graphic design share some identical elements, I've added even more elements to my toolkit so when I approach my next visual challenge I will have an expanded field of view and vocabulary. This is just my opinion, but my guess is that when I pick up the camera again, I will have developed more creative muscle that will allow me to perhaps look at things from yet another perspective on the prism of intent.  I can only imagine, should I experiment with painting or other fine art it would also enhance my field of view providing perhaps an unlimited ceiling of visibility.  So bottom line, get out of your comfort zone and try to shake things up a bit, maybe:

  • focus on how other art forms can influence your visual storytelling
  • identify a favorite artist and interpret their style or theory with your camera (for example, how can Van Gogh's pointillism or Kandinsky's color theory be applied to a photographic image)
  • take a class in a different art form and incorporate it into your next piece
  • collaborate with another artist representing a different medium

1 comment:

  1. diane cockerill/curbitureMarch 12, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    all we do enriches what we see and photograph! looking forward to getting a glimpse of your future works!