Art is everywhere. On a fire hydrant, on a tree trunk, in your home, and sometimes, on the sun roof of your car in the supermarket parking lot after a light rain. This isn’t to say that everything is art, because much of what we see today within the city limits is mass produced, with little details in the design, and meant to blend in, but, regardless of the bland landscape in which most of our daily lives operate, we’ll see more art when we open our creative eyes.
Living with creative eyes is an important practice for creators because, as photographers, one of our most common ruts is getting stuck thinking we need to be “somewhere” in order to produce great work. This kind of defeatist thinking leads us to keeping the camera in the pocket/bag and slowly draws us away from what we love most: shooting photos.
The weather is good 100 miles away today, next week I’ll be in the hills, or, if I could only book that flight, then I’d get that banger for the gram. This mindset of creating in future tense handicaps your presence in the current moment. You erroneously think, the epic sense of creative aura is out there someday on the calendar. No doubt, this perpetual attitude of creativity existing in future tense is inhibiting your creative eye right now.
The truth is, what makes you a wonderful creator isn’t where you are in the world, having the perfect weather, or being at a prime location, it’s you. That’s right. It’s the unique way in which you see the world that allows you to create differently than anyone else. You don’t stand out for where you are, but who you are.
Sometimes, we think it’s great circumstances that stir in us serendipitous motivations that get our cameras moving, but let’s remember that a photograph doesn’t always have to be superlative to mean something. Don’t forget that as much as people love seeing marvelous landscapes from secluded locations, they also like seeing interesting things. Not every shot has to make people say, “wow!”. Always keeping an eye out for the unusual will sharpen you creative edge and allow you to stay lucid.
Think of implementing art is everywhere as practicing for the perfect moment, the big game, or the grand slam. You’ve got to take some swings and misses before you really connect. We’ve all had that time with our camera that, as we depress the shutter button, we know the photos is worth sharing. However, we also have those days when things go to pot—the sky falls apart, we take a wrong turn, or the clouds roll in—and that’s frustrating. Maybe, on the occasions when photo conditions/locations are less than ideal, we can enter practice mode, instead of tuning out creative possibility, which won’t ever help us grow as artists. And who knows, it might rain.
There’s art somewhere right now and you’re just the creator to make the capture. Thinking it wouldn’t be worth it, how many moments are you missing because you’ve talked yourself our of taking the shot? Remember, your photo craft is more than just for others, it’s for you. You picked up the camera because you knew you saw the world differently. You wanted to record because you wanted to create art and it’s still everywhere, not just out there.
Before a picture is taken with a camera, it’s first taken with the mind. So, never let your creative eye leave your side and always be open to the possibility that a great photo lives around the next corner. Art is everywhere is a creative muscle you’ll be thankful you exercised. When you’re always looking for beauty, you’ll always find your reward.