In a certain class I was taking while still in school, I was advised to avoid photographing mountains, since Ansel Adams was already known for doing so. This brought a lot of confusion to me; I thought about it, and all subject matter at one point or another had been photographed before, whether it had been trees, rocks, people…everything had been done. What could be possibly left to photograph?
Brainstorming ideas for creating something new is certainly a challenge that I often face. Looking at the work of other artists and exchanging ideas with them, getting inspired by my surroundings and life are all necessities when thinking of new ideas. Over time, I began realizing that thinking too much about this only prolongs the creativity from flowing; it has to just happen on its own. Allowing the artwork to grow and develop over time is just as important as the idea behind it. An idea may not be completely clear when beginning a new project, but visiting the same piece over and over will open up new ways of thinking about it and will slowly reveal its purpose. It can’t be forced; this is something that has to happen naturally over time. I will sometimes make sketches if I have an idea floating around, but almost 100% of the time, the end result is something unexpected.
Thinking back to what my professor told me, I realized that his comment opened up new ideas on the way that I think about my artwork and how I brainstorm in general. I don’t believe his intent was to keep his students from photographing a specific subject matter, but to have them question why they are photographing it. Even if all the mountains, people, trees, and rocks had been photographed before, there will always be a new way to look at it and perceive it.
–Solar Gradient Shade 2012
-Rock Formations 1 2010