I remember being creative from the time that I was little. Perhaps it was from growing up in the middle of nowhere on a farm in central New York and the fact that I was an only child. I had to create my own fun. What I clearly recall is being fascinated by the ordinary and thinking of ways to make it extraordinary.
One day I took my banana bike and pretended to be Evil Knieval by trying to jump over a large number of kids with a special ramp that I designed. The contest was to see if I could top my record with each jump. Quickly, I discovered that six kids was the maximum without killing myself with that banana seat or destroying them.
I value creativity because I understand that it is the vital force behind great art. It is critical to find time to nurture your creative spirit. We can all find excuses that get in our way and my biggest one is guilt at spending more time away from my family. However, if I skimp and cheat myself out of creative time just for me, everything suffers.
Travel is my favorite way to boost creativity because I am stimulated and amazed by the visual landscapes around the world. Each year, I take a few weeks just to reconnect with myself and my creative drive. It is time that is non-negotiable and is the commitment that I make to decompress and fuel my creative reserves. I also take time to dream and visualize in my head every evening for 15-20 minutes. I unplug, go in the sauna and practice dreaming.
What do you do to nurture your creativity? What tricks have you developed that help you to be a better director of photography or still photographer? I would love to share your ideas with others, so please post comments!