I hope you will indulge me with this article because it's going to go off the beaten path a bit. I've been thinking about creativity lately because the truth is, I've been in and out of a creative funk for the past little while. I even had a chat about it with a couple of folks at the PFRE Conference in Las Vegas and I've continued to think about it since. And while I've been out on a couple of major shoots since the conference and have started to feel better about my creativity, it was not a coincidence that, a few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a YouTube video on cretivity from Dr. Jordan Peterson, a noteworthy professor of psychology at my alma mater, the University of Toronto. Dr. Peterson is a highly-respected teacher, speaker, researcher, and author but perhaps, is equally as famous for his highly provocative views.
The video that I was sent is called The Curse Of Creativity. In it, Dr. Peterson tries to dispel common beliefs related to creativity. For instance, he does not believe that everyone is creative and that saying so is "just as wrong as saying that everyone is extroverted." It was a very interesting thing to say and after giving it some thought, I reached the conclusion that I completely disagree! Here's why: All people are not static in their personality. No one--and, I repeat: No one--is 100% extroverted or introverted. Our personality is a very fluid thing. In fact, personality exists on a continuum. That is, while we may have strong preferences to spend most of our time being either introverted or extroverted in our day-to-day lives, we each have the capacity/ability to regularly move across the continuum, depending on the circumstances before us. That is, someone who is extremely introverted most days has the ability within themselves to summon extroversion if the need arises.
So why am I bringing this up? I believe that just like the introversion/extroversion continuum, creativity is on a continuum as well; and while we may go through periods in which we believe that we have ZERO creativity, the truth is, we all can be creative! As such, we all have the capacity to break out of a funk that we fall into every now and then.
Given my recent funk, I did some exploring online to see how someone can beckon creativity, even if they feel they're not very creative in the here-and-now. I discovered some interesting things that I'd like to share. Here's a quick recap of some of the things that I found (in no particular order):
Anyway, I'm confident that I've broken through my recent slump and I'm hoping that if you've been going through one lately, this post has helped you, too!
Tony Colangelo is a residential and commercial photographer, as well as a photography coach, based in Victoria, BC, Canada. He is a long-time contributor to PFRE and is the creator of The Art & Science of Great Composition tutorial series.