Tag Archives: innovation

Part one: Are you really Creative?

 

You call yourself a Creative, but are you really?

artwork 2

The internet, especially the social media sites such as facebook, and ‘photography’ pages like flickr, and 500pix are today awash with photographs, which while claiming to be ‘professional’ and ‘creative’ are really nothing more than snapshots: banal, cliché ridden, dated, bereft of any compositional aspects, aesthetically bankrupt, technically incompetent, corny, dull, hackneyed, derivative, antiquated, repetitious to the point of mere clones inspired no doubt from ‘inspo’ or ‘mood boards’, insipid, mawkish, trite, and particularly unoriginal and platitudinous.

Many otherwise adult photographers don’t seem to have developed their concept of creativity beyond Kindergarten level, when Miss Prissy set out finger-paints and gasped: “Today we are all going to be creative, kiddies!” And this naive immaturity, without any of the innate charm implicit in the ‘creations’ of the infant, shows:- oh so painfully! Obvious to everyone, except of course their legions of Facebook followers, who never hesitate to ‘Like’!

And it would seem that, in true Orwellian irony, that those who try the hardest to convince all and sundry, especially themselves, how creative they are – a social media pastime which has reached the participation level of an international sport – the more devoid of any kind of creativity is their output.

There is even what seems to be a highly vocal movement (certainly locally, but apparently internationally) who only refer to themselves, and their recognised fellow elite, as “Creatives” – their ‘work’ however, suggests quite the opposite!

So what is this “Creativity” actually all about, what does it mean to be ‘creative’, and what kind of practices does it entail.

In other words: Are you, and indeed I creative, doing any kind of creative work, or are we just kidding ourselves?

A consensus of respected dictionaries, both real world and online, would have it that:

Creativity is perhaps best described as a combination of inventiveness, imagination, inspiration, and perception.

Therefore let us have a look at the generally accepted meanings of each of those parts, as well as the word ‘Creative’ itself:

Definitions:

CREATIVE

  • relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.

  • having the quality of something created rather than imitated

  • resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.

  • to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.

  • to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.

And the accepted definitions of each part of the whole:

INVENTIVE

  • having the ability to create or design new things or to think originally.

  • showing creativity or original thought.

  • apt at inventing, devising, or contriving.

  • apt at creating with the imagination.

  • pertaining to, involving, or showing invention.

  • a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognised as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship.

  • devising, or originating.

  • an act or instance of creating or producing by exercise of the imagination, especially in art, music, etc.

IMAGINATION

  • the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

  • the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality

  • ability to confront and deal with a problem

  • the thinking or active mind

  • a creation of the mind;

  • the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.

  • the action or process of forming such images or concepts.

  • the faculty of producing ideal creations consistent with reality, as in literature, as distinct from the power of creating illustrative or decorative imagery.

  • the product of imagining; a conception or mental creation, often a baseless or fanciful one.

  • ability to face and resolve difficulties; resourcefulness:

  • a job that requires imagination.

  • the power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images (reproductive imagination) or of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of problems (creative imagination)

INSPIRATION

  • the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

  • the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions

  • the act of influencing or suggesting opinions

  • an inspiring or animating action or influence:

  • something inspired, as an idea.

  • a result of inspired activity.

  • a thing or person that inspires.

  • divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.

  • the divine quality of the writings or words of a person so influenced.

PERCEPTION:

  • the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

  • awareness of something through the senses

  • the neuro-physiological processes, including memory, by which an organism becomes aware of and interprets external stimuli

  • the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.

  • awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation

  • physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience

  • quick, acute, and intuitive cognition

  • a capacity for comprehension

  • the act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.

  • immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment:

  • an artist of rare perception.

  • the result or product of perceiving, as distinguished from the act of perceiving

So if you accept the definitions above, and there is really no reason to dismiss them, several criteria would need to be taken into consideration, before a work can be legitimately called ‘creative’:

  1. Imagination

  2. Originality, evolving from one’s own thought

  3. Created not imitated

  4. Newness, the result of unique intuition or genius, based on knowledge, experience, resourcefulness, skills, and craftsmanship

Apply these definitions to your own work, and decide how it measures up in the ‘creativity’ stakes.

Part Two of this BlogState of the Art, coming next, will show by example the myriad of simple, rookie mistakes and common problems witnessed in so many photographs posted on the internet on a daily basis, and claiming to be ‘awesome captures’, ‘superb shots’, and even ‘art’, which have so many seasoned and experienced photographers tearing their hair in frustration, and lamenting the current level of corruption and possible demise of ‘creativity’.

Part Three of this BlogThe Artist: Diamond amid the Sewage, coming soon”, will explore the photographer as ‘Artist’, and whether ‘Creativity’ is enough to proclaim a specific photograph, or body of photographic images as ‘Art’

 

©Copyright: Stephen Bennett, MMXVII

Except as permitted by the copyright law applicable to you, you may not reproduce or communicate any of the content on this website, including any photographs and files down-loadable from this website, without the permission of the copyright owner.

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It’s Never Too Late…

…to take the Hypocritic Oath

arty pegs

With photography, as with television, and indeed the entire nation, entering a 21st century state of “Innovation”, “Great Imaginativization”(sic) and an unprecedented “Age of Creativity”,(well 16 years into the century isn’t too late) I have decided that if you can’t beat them, you join ’em, and “progress forward” to  what I should have done 40 years ago…the first day after buying my first camera in fact:

call myself not a working photographer,

not even a professional

…but an “Artist”.

This example of my work “images the beauty and everlasting memories of life, and the creativity of being, with a subtle existentialism which manifests itself not with me consuming the coffee, but frees the mind and elevates the soul as the coffee consumes me”.
My artistic statement of course will be refined further as arrogance slowly obliterates all my accumulated skills, and I nauseatingly embrace and strive for the highest of artistic planes…complete ignorance.
At least keen eyed aficionados will notice my subjects are totally unadorned by clothing, nor even a swathe of flowing material of any sort, wet,  windswept or otherwise, so without doubt this pic and the other 7,392 “captures” from the 10 hour (I’ll get them right in Photoshop) “shoot” will be “great for their folios”.

And now that my first attempt, and undoubted pinnacle of artistic integrity has been put before the most discerning of audiences on facebook, I eagerly await the sycophantic admiration and almost erudite ravings of my loyal “likers”, and harried and visually fatigued “followers”…
… “Awesome capture”
…”Amazing imaging”
…”you should turn professional”
… you must have a really good camera

Credit and permission to use this image for folio and self promotion purposes only, is begrudgingly given to the makeup girl, stylist, client, camera assistant, various other assistants, and assistants to the assistants, mothers, boyfriends, minders, wardrobe and other mistresses, sandwich truck driver, the boy who made the coffee (collectively known in the professional photography world as catering ) honorary holder of the reflector, the bloke who forever regales anyone who will listen with claims he is not a lawyer,nor does he play one on TV, but knows so much about model releases he wrote his own because no one ever considers the model’s rights, the guests,  all other assorted and misguided hangers on, and the rest of my fellow creatives” who attended the “shoot”, whether invited or not.

Everyone else, if indeed there is anyone else, is free to share, make money from, and claim this work as their own, under some Creative Common Copyright Agreement which states that anything on the internet is free to be stolen and exploited, and International Laws which require that artists must not only work for free, but must relinquish all their rights to people who have real  jobs, (such as politicians, venture capitalists and slush fund managers) and live penniless in a garret while “suffering for their art”.

And it’s not like I need the money, because I’ll have my social security allowances to pay the “submission fees” to all the online vanity magazines which guarantee to “publish” my “art”, which also guarantee a worldwide audience consisting mainly of myself, my model, and my model’s mother. I have already picked out my park bench, and put aside some old newspapers for when I may crave further “exposure”.

So now that I am “only an amateur” I can not only indulge my passion, I can advertise on my lavish website  that I charge less than the exorbitant fees that those extortionist professionals do.

I can also undercut all of my “creative colleagues” in my area, photographing only the subject matter I love such as :
-infinite numbers of clones of the Demi Moore pregnancy photo from the 1990’s.
-morbidly obese girls deluding themselves to be plus+size models, almost squeezing into fetish costumes
-equally deluded tattooed and expressionless girls playing model dress ups, standing gawkily in front of graffiti-ed walls, dressed as zombies or vampires with their choice of either troweled on slime and shine makeup, or sugar skull “art”
-obviously unhappy and mismatched “couples” standing and glaring under the regionally recognised posing tree
-and el cheapo weddings for “friends” who refuse to spring for a “real photographer”

But my real passion, which i shall specialise in, is “glamour makeovers”, and I can spatula on the pyramid sales company makeup, and false mail order nails myself, while making a wonderfully lucrative “business” for myself  hosting pyramid parties on the side.

Which reminds me, I no longer have to pay for that silly liability insurance, or business registration, taxes and those other useless overheads.

I can also convert my lounge room into “my studio” when it isn’t being used by the family, and sell off all my lighting equipment, because I find my cameras inbuilt flash is really great for “expressing my unique vision”. I realise I look “mega cool”  with all my “professional”  cameras and a case full of expensive “glass”; but i find now that I am doing most of my “serious work” with my smartphone.

I am really looking forward also to joining several of many of the secret facebook hate groups, for now instead of being the target of slander and innuendo, I will be welcomed solely on my ability to vilify anyone who is better than I am, or those for whom technique and integrity are a natural part of their work ethics.

It goes without saying that I will also develop a secret group of my own, grooming a harem of models for their own protection of course, warning them that any photographer who isn’t in my clique at the present moment is actually a dirty old pervert hiding behind a camera with intent to desecrate and exploit any naive girls’ virtue.

But I suppose what I relish most is my new found freedom to anonymously email abuse and insinuations to the “vile” writers of “twisted, out of touch and unprofessional” blogs such as this one.

Right now though I must go and do some “awesomely amazing”light painting “captures”, before burning down historical landmarks becomes a cliche in itself.

Ahhhh! Such is the life and 15 seconds of fame of the modern “artiste de camer…ah”.
… and funny how psychiatrists and other worthy souls always seem to put a “BS” in front of the word “artist”.

Picture Credits
Model: Winnie Pegg
Model: Dolly Dowell
MUA: Maxine “greasy girl” Amlon
Stylist: Jonnie C. Wan-Kerr

Specs
taken with a yphone,
927mm L series “creative distortion” lens, (an old kit 2nd hand kit lens off eBay I “innovatively repurposed” (painted white with a fancy red stripe),
1/teensy sec @ fstop,
at the “sweetspot” during “the golden hour”, using an autographed designer combination camera strap/posing pouch,  and wearing an internationally award winning photo vest.

 

©Copyright: Stephen Bennett, MMXV
Except as permitted by the copyright law applicable to you, you may not reproduce or communicate any of the content on this website, including any  photographs  and files downloadable from this website, without the permission of the copyright owner.
The Australian Copyright Act allows certain uses of content on the internet without the copyright owner’s permission. This includes uses by educational institutions for educational purposes, and by Commonwealth and State government departments for government purposes, provided fair payment is made. For more information, see www.copyright.com.au and www.copyright.org.au.
We may change these terms of use from time to time. Check before re-using any content from this website.
Interesting Links:
My Photography Webpage
Facebook page for Professional Photographers and Models
The Definite Article Photography and Video on Facebook