Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Fun

Fun! Fun! Fun!
I saw this image from Breedstock and the above is the result of me having Fun.
This just may be the most important rule in life.  Whether it’s writing, painting, acting or singing, pressure puts a huge damper on your work and tempers your creative flow.  The greatest decision I ever made was to drop a photography class in college and never take another art or photography class again.  I had a professor in the mid 70’s who would never give me an “A”.  I would get an “A minus”, “B+” but never an “A”.

I asked her one day what gave her the right to give me a “B+” on a project when it met all of the criteria.  She very nicely told me I was a great photographer but my work was too much like Look or Life magazine and she wanted to see more creativity.  I explained to her there were 2 types of photographers, one that creates and one that observes.  I was the latter.

Armed with her criticism our next project was toys.  I wish I still had the photo.  I had my brother color half a page of Mickey Mouse, broke a red crayon in half and hollowed out the center.  I used red nail polish as blood and took a picture of my brothers hand holding the snapped crayon and red nail polish coming out of it on Mickey’s black ear and titled it “Mommy Why Do Crayons Have to Die”.

I finally got my “A”, my photo was the topic for the next 45 minutes of the class and then I proceeded to drop the class and never return again.  My reason was, if this is what I have to do to make others happy I’d rather do art for myself.  The decision paid off.  While I struggled mightily in the beginning and made a living everyway but art I started to find myself, my style and my passions and was able to refine my skills the way I wanted. 

For the last 25 years I’ve been paid for my creativity or lack of it if I am to believe my professor.  I basically do what I want with little or no questions and have fun doing it.  The lack of pressure and expectations has allowed my creativity to flow and flourish.  I wasn’t looking to make money from my art and I have.  If I was under a gun and had to produce like a factory doing projects I had no passion for I doubt if I would have ever made a dime.  Staying true to myself brought the best out in me.

Rule #5 have fun! 


Elise Fallson said...

"The lack of pressure and expectations has allowed my creativity to flow and flourish." I think this is part of the reason some writers take a step back. When we remove the pressures of everyday life, words like art, tend to flow more freely. I love how the visual arts and writing have so much in common.

Val Fox said...

Enjoyed your blog! Thanks for sharing your work and for the inspiration.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

When writing starts to feel tense and stressed and that shows up on the page, I know it's time to step back a bit and find the creative spark again.

Sylvia Ney said...

Great pictures! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


Editor and Publisher Shelly Burke said...

Congratulations for having the passion to drop the class and do what YOU wanted to do with your gift! It takes courage to go against what the "experts" say, but it means doing what YOU love and are talented at.

Shortly after I began publishing my newspaper I met with a guy who was an "expert" at newspapers, advertising, etc. He took a red pen to my paper and told me all that I was doing "wrong." I almost got up from the table and left the meeting...and I should have. A friend of his wrote for the paper for a very short time before she, too, began to criticize even the tiniest changes I made in her articles to make them clearer, and then she began to criticize the other people who were writing for and setting up the layout of the paper. It was a very hard time; I wondered if I truly was meant to be a publisher and author. However, thankfully I saw past their "advice" and continued doing it as I felt in my heart I was supposed to.

The paper is breaking even, with a little bit extra every month...and growing! And I am doing it according to MY vision, with advice from a very few, TRUSTED friends. And...the people who gave me such *great* advice...sure aren't publishing their own newspapers or books!