I think anyone can expand their creativity and abilities by practicing. If you practice something, you will get better at it. Before the action, comes the desire or intent. It’s easy to say “I’m not creative” or “I can’t do that” and those become self fulfilling prophecies. A sense of urgency can fuel your creative practice. For me, the urgency comes from the limited time I have in this body, and the passion I have for capturing something in images or words… something that will express, in a unique way, what this experience… what this life means to me. Having said that, obviously my work reflects my personality or events in my life.
This can seem narcissistic, but I also have to remember that I am creating things to share in public. I try to find the balance between self expression and considering my audience.
30 years ago, I did a lot of self portraits. I tried to be deep and dark. Now I do very few pictures of myself, yet I see how everything I do is autobiographical.
No matter what I am doing in the course of my daily life, I try to keep my physical and spiritual eyes open. I can be inspired by the most unassuming things. I try to notice things. We’re bombarded with detail. My mind clips the pages of collected material when I am quiet, and sometimes I am able to connect and distill something that resonates with me.
There are many creative people that I am inspired by. Musician and friend Cheralee Dillon, short story writer Ben Loory, podcaster Ian Chillag, my father and my grandfather. I’m inspired by children, and their willingness to try things.
That’s the advice I’d give anyone wanting to be more creative. Get in touch with your inner child. Don’t wait for a degree or a license. Don’t wait for anything. Just do the thing, and see what you discover.
You are enough already.
Peel off the layers of rules and expectations. You don’t need them anymore. The orange peel has done its job, and must be removed before you can enjoy the fruit inside.