Friday, September 12, 2008

my start


CEMENTBAGWALL.JPG, originally uploaded by boxersiciliano.

After reading Art and Fear, I started realizing that my photography has taken me on quite a journey..if i remember correctly, this shot is really one of the very first shots I looked at and said to myself, "that is a cool photo". That was back in 2000 or so when I was working as a jobsite supervisor in Los Angeles and I carried around a point and shoot camera to document the job progress, problems or anything else that might come up. I found myself wandering the job looking for odd setups that captured my eye. Things that you couldn't stage if you tried, but just showed up if you looked for them. In construction, it seems, there is a myriad of this type of thing if you are willing to walk around and look. Colors, geometric shapes and lines, garbage mixed with beauty, all sorts of things.

I have been thinking about my photography and the art I am creating and realizing that it has been culminated into this moment over the last 8 years of progressing from casual use of the camera to focused and purposeful art. In Art and Fear, it talks about simply creating and I love a particular analogy in the book that makes alot of sense for me and I think many others....

Something to this effect:
A ceramics teacher told his students that he was going to grade the class two ways...one group would be graded on quality and the other on quantity. So at the end of the semester, those with a ton of projects would most likely get an A etc., but those who were graded on quality had to, at least in their minds, create the one perfect piece...so what happened?

The quantity students began creating just to create and in doing so, began to flush out their style and purpose. They began to give their work a signature, a form a practiced and progressive art practice. On the other hand, the quality students had a very tough time getting anything made. They were so focused on having the "perfect" piece made, that they couldn't even begin. They had no thought of create to create, but only, how to create the one piece that will define them. Instead, at the end of the class, those who simply created, had the top scoring quality pieces because after 40 pieces they had honed their skills, and the quality student not only had a small body of work, but most of it wasn't very good at all.

So I go back for myself and realize that for the last 8 years, without knowing it, I have been having fun and simply taking pictures and i now have, what I feel, are about 25 or so, that are my signature way of taking pictures. Not to say that I don't have a ton to learn and still work on, but it has taken me that long to really realize my work and what it means...all through the process of just doing...Now, i can't say i have lived the rest of my life like that all the time, but it sure helps to look back at the things we love and are good at and see where they really started...how they started, what did they look like back then?

I mean, really, i'll bet we all have something we do without thinking about it that comes naturally and easily to us...look at that and trace it back to the beginnings, no matter how simple or silly those beginning may seem. Chances are good that this "talent" has been fostered by just doing and not worrying about the outcome. No fear....

That is why we must always remember that kids are the best example of this and to foster them through that process as much as possible...and to remember that we are just big kids..and we should foster ourselves each day through it too.

so...here is to getting graded on quantity and fun.

Love and Understanding

6 comments:

Luke said...

That is so right, the comment about quantity and quality. One of my best shots ever came from me forcing myself to take my camera and a ridiculous lens (a huge zoom) out in the middle of winter to take pictures. Because I couldn't get far enough away from my subject to do what one "normally" does with a zoom, I started taking pictures of what I could. And out popped this really cool shot of pink boots in this golden-pebbly stream bed.

Justin Davis Davanzo said...

yep....I think that is so cool...alot of shots come out of trying to get something else or do something else..by accident on many occasions.

by the way...love your new shots

Vintagedivva said...

Who's Victor!???
Just kidding my friend!
I understand what you are saying more than words can say.....but I don't want to rain on your parade. I get it.......I truly do. I think that the difference between one person and another on the same plane, is that one might sometimes recognize these things before hand. Sometime we become "enlighted" as you have here regarding your past experiences with photography amoung other things and it's revolutionary. I believe you understand what I mean. This is a wonderful blog that really touches the soul of what experiencing yourself from start to.......onward (not finish). that all of us can or will eventually understand and relate to. This really got me!!! Thanks for sharing.

Vintagedivva said...

What meant to say was I don't want to steal your thunder, not rain on your parade....LOL....(silly me......) ;-)

Swirly said...

OK here's the next book that will rock your world: The War of Art. Get it TODAY. Love you.

Carnal Zen said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you. I found your blog just today, just in time for the reminder. I'll absolutely be returning.