Musings on Photography

Inspiration

Posted in art is a verb, motivation by Paul Butzi on October 17, 2009

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I have, I think, been guilty lately of doing nothing and waiting for inspiration to strike (and of procrastinating by working hard outdoors, and by reviewing old photos instead of making new ones).

Apropos of this, I came across this interview with Paul Taylor, the choreographer, in which Taylor says:

Inspiration: I don’t believe in it. People think some muse comes down and strikes. Well, making a dance is just plain work like anything else. The inspiration is the deadline.

I knew this. Apparently I needed to be reminded.

3 Responses

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  1. Anita Jesse said, on October 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    And, it’s not as if you were the only one who could use the reminder. Thank you for sharing the find.

    Of the phrase “just plain work like anything else) the “like anything else” is particularly powerful in my mind. I think when we involve ourselves in art, we are tempted to put ourselves into some special category of human endeavor—hoping, perhaps, that we inoculate ourselves against the demands of other enterprises.

  2. Peter Szawlowski said, on October 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Practice, practice, practice …
    I used to work in a different art medium and developed the habit to make sketches of ideas every day, many of them of were just destined for the trash bin, but occasionally I discovered something that would lead to a finished design. For the past six years I have worked in photography and have continued the same habit, my camera is basically my sketch book, I use it every day, most of the resulting images/prints end up in the wastebasket, but occasionally I find something that is worth keeping, overall if I look back at a whole year’s worth of work, there are perhaps a dozen of images that I feel good about.

  3. Christopher said, on October 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    A lesson I heard at American U from the inimitable Don Moore was “keep shooting.”

    I am in the habit of making at least one picture, something new, frequently though not regularly. It is this force of habit that keeps my hand in it, and that is the workman’s rule.

    Inspiration arrives months later when I come to understand what I actually saw at the time. Apparently I don’t know what I’m doing in real time, and nothing about the real experience tells me the photos I make are worth making. Sometimes, at first blush, the photos don’t at all appear worth the film.

    Later, I see wonderful things.


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