Recently Balakov talked about Inspiration and it struck a familiar cord with me. In fact I loved this quote from him:
I’ve found that the more photos I take, even if the ideas don’t work out in the end, get me into the groove of taking photos. ~ Balakov
All this talk abut inspiration and creativity reminded me of this classic passage from Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.
“The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quantity. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated and “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, come grading time a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”
So don’t get hung up on how great your images are. If you simply spend more time behind that lens snapping away at lots of things, without worrying about what you are doing a funny thing will happen … you will find yourself getting better and some amazing images will start appearing.
Sometimes quantity IS better than quality.
Have you ever hit a creative dry spell? If so, did you do anything special to free yourself of it?
I’m reading Art & Fear right now, it’s pretty good so far. But yes, quantity is good, as long as they don’t all end up on Instagram :D
Mike. I’m so happy that you are reading Art & Fear! It is my art bible! I’ve been very clear that I use IG like my sketch book. It’s a great place to play and post images without worrying about them being perfect. For me what ends up on a gallery wall is taking these IG sketches and creating an image that reaches the next level. It’s all part of the process. :-)
An interesting point of view. I like the part about making mistakes and learning from them.
I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Mistakes are always hard to make, but often the best way to learn.