Big surprise, I’m a seeker.
Yesterday I sat down and performed the exercise “Ideas into Pictures” that I proposed last month. It was a wonderful 35 minute stream of consciousness writing experience, followed by another hour of brainstorming related action words.
I wasn’t surprise to see that my four pages of nearly illegible handwriting was dominated by a steady list of questions. I’m continually pondering those existential questions that rarely have answers. You know the ones I mean: Why am I alive? Who am I? What is my place in the world? How do I find meaning? What is truth? What will my legacy be?
As I was reading over what I had written, a word popped into my head unbidden: seeker. It was a powerful moment and I instantly knew it was the word I was looking for. For that’s what I am, I’m a seeker. I’m a seeker of answers to those questions that will always remain unanswered.
We’ve talked about the concept of the red thread before. Recently Kristina wrote about my work and she felt that the thread that runs through my work was ‘nature and water’. She also mentioned ‘journey’ when talking about my work. She couldn’t have been more insightful about my process and that internal journey that will forever be imbedded in my work.
While I was looking for words that would lead me to images and ideas that would relate to the word ‘seeker’, I found that my work is already filled with this imagery: water, mountains, birds, travel, dawn, adventure. I was kind of proud of myself; as an artist it’s always nice to know you’re following your inner voice, even if it’s intuitively.
Now that I have this wonderful word that I can use as a framework, I have a built in thought process that I can use to create new images or organize existing images. My husband is always telling me to shoot less and spend more time organizing my photos. I never do because that’s so much harder than simply shooting another image. But the word ‘seeker’ excites me in a way that other words haven’t. This one simple word, that resonates so deeply within me, makes it possible for me to create a road map that both new and existing images can work from. I can move forward creating work around this simple clear message that will only make it stronger.
Each of the photo challenges I’ve completed has revealed a new insight and this exercise was no different. Its given me a vocabulary I can begin to build on that will place my work in a larger context. Sure that pretty picture of the elf in a sailboat is beautiful, but now he’s the embodiment of my own journey. Those beautiful reflections that I love to capture can be approached in a new way; create a deeper allegory. Ideas like ‘hidden’ and ‘revealed’ take on new meaning. Words like transformation, shadow, faith, balance and adventure set my imagination spinning. Animals can be utilized in a way that will bring an allegorical meaning to the simplest image.
My life seems to be equally dominated by words as much as by images these days, so this challenge was fun for me. I can see how this new framework, defined by the word ‘seeker’, will eventually bring me back to our very first challenge that combined words with images.
I look forward to this new future creating images with intention, rather than stumbling around in the dark.
If you’ve completed this particular challenge, what was your word?
I know all of this must sound pretty esoteric if you’re only wanting to take a quality storm trooper image or capture the latest series 15 mini figures. I know from my own experience that at some point you start asking the question ‘now what?’ So consider it this way, I’m only planting a little seed in the back of your mind, a little idea that may unstick you sometime when you lose your creative drive.
The word I got was “uncertain” and that word is so true for me. Always uncertain if I am good enough, almost never feel like I am good enough. Will I get over my bad relationships, where am I going? Most of all I am uncertain of my self, never really trust in myself. So yes, perfect word for me :)
Im so glad you tried this one! What a great word! Did you find any good action words to go with it? Did any images come to mind that you might want to use to explore this word? If I had done this exercise 10 years ago I would have come up with ‘afraid’. I thought I would share that with you. Life has a funny way of changing. :D
Well…eeee…I think I misinterpreted the last part. I totally missed the action word. I’ll have to to that part again, and this make it the right way
Have a great weekend everybody :)
This was a good read and I’m glad to hear the exercise went so well for you! I’m excited to do this one, though with company in town I can’t seem to find time for it. I’m interested in trying it with both sober and intoxicated versions as well.
Well that’s a new twist. Why stop at alcohol? There’s a long history of artists who would say alcohol and drugs make them more creative. There are more than a few artists who have tried to prove it. I look forward to hearing what you find out. :D
Well, I woke up early this morning and made time for the sober version! My word is “fragment” which I’m really happy with because it is both a noun and a verb. Duality is always something I try to include in photos. I think that fragment is something I’ve always been fond of as a noun, but perhaps is something to work towards as a verb.
That is a beautiful word to end up with. I look forward to seeing how you incorporate that into your work. :D
I’ve made some progress on the challenge and already have my central word and a few other dozen other ones to relate to. However I decided to wait a few days to see if I could not develop them a little more, so I hope to find time to finish it and share my result. However here’s a little teaser: my central word is cited a few times in your post ;-) (And actually there might be a few couple other words we have in common)
That’s a great read!
I joined your previous challenge with the picture titled “You can’t escape”.
What do you think about the idea I put in it?
Is it well related on “Ideas Into Pictures” challenge?
reiterlied show the works you made for this challenge using #ideasintopictures tag.
It would be awesome! :)
I’m glad you enjoyed the spot. I think everyone takes away a slightly different idea from these challenges. But if they are getting you to think about your mini figures in a different way, as well as what story you are trying to tell..then you are successful! :)
This looks like a great challenge… I think I’ll try to sit with pen and paper over the weekend and see what I come up with!
If you do Maggie, be sure and let us know what word you come up with and if you think this will influence your photos going forward. :D
I’ve completed the exercise, truly a challenge to this ordinary Jane! The word is Humanity. An epic word, while no real surprise to me, that has revealed a journey one must take… Will this influence my photos? Undoubtedly, how is yet to be known.
This was a great challenge, thank you for posting it!
Maggie, I can’t think of a better word to describe you! I’m excited to see how this informs your toy photography as you move forward! Thanks for taking on this challenge! xo