So, I’m a chef by profession. I cook at a university serving college students pasta and pizza. Last week one of these students invited me to help with a project that she had to do for a communications class. She wanted to interview me and make a short documentary about me. The goal of the project was to show another side of me, other than what everyone sees me for every day.
One of the questions that she asked me was, “how did I come to take an interest in photography?” There are several things that fed my answer to this. One was the camera that was my grandfather’s that managed to make it’s way to become one of my most prized possessions. An old twin lens reflex camera that was the standard camera of the day. You probably know this as the kind of camera the you hold at your waist and look down into. On the glass, you would see an upside down reversed image of what was in front of the lens. But for me, I couldn’t draw or paint and saw this as a way to express my creative nature. Perhaps more importantly, I think everyone needs a creative outlet. Film had an alchemical, expressive thing going on. Something that challenged me to apply things that I’ve learned over the course of life and new things that we should all be presently learning.
So, like I said before, I’m a chef. As a chef, I could either take a recipe and follow it to the letter or I can improvise upon it, drawing from my own experiences, tastes, preferences and come up with something geared more to what I like. This is creativity at its best. Creativity is an effort to apply what we know, in an attempt to, bring life to an idea. What discipline we choose to do that in is our choice. For me it’s cooking, photography, graphic design, digital art, these are the things that I enjoy applying my knowledge and experiences to. That’s not to say that if I break down on the side of the highway that I can’t find a way to figure something out. Or if building something and come up against a problem that I’ll have to hang my hammer up and go home. Creativity is simply over coming obstacles to accomplish an end result.
Creation is about combing ideas to present something in a new light. Synthesizing what you’re learning now with what you knew before. Inventive ideas come from re-contextualizing the past and creating new experiences. We are all creative beings and use our creativity regularly. So, it’s really not different when we talk about our art, that creativity is something we need to sit and work through. Get started and get creating.