We all struggle from time to time with motivation and inspiration, as we try to live creative and productive lives. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and realize that resting is OK. Rest is one of the best things you can do to feed your creative soul.
This past weekend I combined rest with inspiration and creativity. I attended a photography workshop that was held at Taliesin in Wisconsin. It wasn’t resting in the sense that I lounged around reading books, or wandering quietly in the woods. It was resting in the way that being away from daily routines and household responsibilities can be.
“You are not lazy, unmotivated or stuck. After years of living your life in survival mode, you are exhausted. There is a difference.”
So, even though the days were long and filled to the brim. They were filled with the inspiration of just being immersed in the world of Frank Lloyd Wright. Spending time with like-minded creatives, learning, and sharing knowledge, techniques and stories with each other also feeds the creative soul.
The phrase “just be” came up quite often during the weekend. Instead of grabbing our cameras and clicking away, we took the time to “just be” in the spaces we were so privileged to be in. It allowed us to feel the history and creative energy of the place.
“Just being” allows your mind to rest as well. It frees up the brain to process what you’re seeing, the shapes, light and colors. Ideas happen much more freely when you’re not actively trying to create.
Slowing down and resting
If you know me or follow along with my social or here on Photofocus, you know I am a huge advocate for slowing down in our work. One of the biggest takeaways for me during this weekend came to me as I thought about something the instructor said he learned over the weekend.
We went around the table to answer the question, “what did you learn this weekend” and someone asked Andrew Pielage, the instructor, what he learned. He said that he hadn’t thought about the fact that not everyone slows down to take a photo. Long exposures are imperative to the type of work he creates so it’s just natural for him to do some waiting while he’s creating images.
The more I thought about this the more it made me think about how I’m all about teaching photographers to slow down in order to see compositions and see things to photograph. But, I myself, do not slow down when I’m actually creating an image. I’m not patient, I don’t take the time to make sure I absolutely get the shot.
I’m so deliberate in my compositions and subjects, yet I don’t produce the end results that are possible because I rush the process of photographing what I see. So, lesson learned, and it’s a big one. Now I just need to put that into practice in my own work.
I highly recommend taking photography workshops and taking weekends away from ‘real life’ to re-energize your creative spirit, find your muse and get lost in your own creativity. This workshop was led by Andrew Pielage and there will be further articles coming about him and his work on a Frank Lloyd Wright project and his workshops. Also, if you’re curious about Taliesin or Frank Lloyd Wright colors, check out this link.
Color me inspired.