Share Your Creativity

One of the things I cherish is being able to share my photography with my girlfriend.  She also shares her artwork with me.  We give each other feedback on how the work impacts us, and from there we make decisions on where to take the artwork.  Being artists, we are used to feedback and looking at art with a critical eye.  This practice, however, did not start with my photography.

Almost a decade ago, like many people, I dabbled in screenwriting, and joined a screenwriting workshop.  Other than learning about the elements of storytelling, what I took away from the workshops is the ability to let go of ideas, even good ideas, if they didn’t fit into the narrative.  I learned to look at my own work with a critical eye, and to take criticism of my work without taking it personally.  I learned that critiquing an unfinished script is like critiquing only half a photo.

When I transitioned into photography as my art of choice, I quickly joined a local photography group.  We would critique each other, ask questions about technique, and also hang our work so others can see them.  Sharing my artwork with this creative community gave me insight into my own work, and also provided a glimpse into how others see the world.  Sharing my artwork with a photographic community pushed me to improve my craft, to experiment with photographic techniques, and made me fall more and more in love with my art in general.  The most valuable lesson I learned from both of these creative communities was that art should be shared.

Art is an expression of your creative point-of-view.  Keeping your artwork to yourself is like having a dialog (or argument) with yourself.  If you want to talk to yourself, fine.  But the very notion of expression means conveying a message to another.  Art, in that sense, is like telepathy.  You are communicating something that was conceived in your mind to another mind.  The only way to see if you are communicating your ideas clearly (even if no one understands it) is by sharing it among a community of other creative people who speak the same language as you do.  As a human being, you are not wired to have conversations with only yourself.  Therefore, your artwork is not meant to hide in your basement studio.  Your art, your voice, is meant to be shared with the world.

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ideavist