Creative Resistance


posted on 7th of july, 2008

Here I am in beautiful Santa Fe with a good friend. The renters "from Hell!" are finally out of our house. My asthma inhaler is useful as an art object only in this climate. I just don't get ill in New Mexico. We've been getting the house in order, and that's kept us sort of busy. I would have had time to work on improving my photography but just can't get started.

This mood is nothing new to me. In my career as a handweaver and textile designer, I experienced it often. In long complicated weaving projects, it came over me in waves. Planning and drafting weaving projects got me very excited. After the initial planning stage was over, and I needed to start on the actual work of warping my loom, the resistance would set in. Warping done, I'd be excited to see the first few woven inches of the rug or shawl. As soon as I could see in my mind what the final project would look like I'd lose interest and have to force myself to finish it. No amount of wonderful music or television could get my mind back into weaving. It took will power to get me to sit down and weave. Sometimes, after a few minutes, things would click into place; and I'd make a charge toward finishing the piece. I'd work long hours for days to get it done.

On several other sites, I've read similar blogs about photography. How doing illustrations takes over and pushes photography out of the photographer's mind. How it's hard sometimes to get shooting no matter what the situation. Illustrations have been my main thrust, but I really do want to do more photography. What is the resistance in me to getting started? I have a Santa Fe interior to shoot that's all mine. No problem with getting releases. Much of Santa Fe is "over shot", but there are still many unusual places to take pictures. What's with the resistance to getting started? When I'm in North Carolina, I blame it on the scenery or lack of scenery. It's all covered with trees. The climate keeps me indoors much of the year anyway.

Julia Child once said in an interview that she could cook no matter what was going on in her life. She could cook when she was ill, on a deadline, or in just about any situation. It was just what she did. This idea has never left me. Maybe because I am primarily an illustrator, I'm resisting thinking of myself as a real photographer. Is fear of failure holding me back? How do those of you who have been at this for years get to the point where planning and shooting are automatic and not forced?

I'd love the input of any Dreamstime contributors. Oh, and Laorach has published one of the all time best examples of the Santa Fe creative spirit. Check out the top left image in my blog.

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Photo credits: Louise Roach, Patricia L. Ballard.

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Santa Fe, US

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