Finding the Muse

 

Artists, writers, any creative professionals refer to the “muse” as the source of  inspiration.  We all hit a blank wall at some point.  For the writer, the words just don’t come, for the photographer, it’s “I don’t know what to take a picture of.”  It’s what we do at that wall that defines as an artist.   Unfortunately, inspiration doesn’t come if we sit and stare into space and wait, or drink or smoke or whine, or whatever else we do when we avoid doing the work of our life.

David DuChemin is one of my favorite photographers and writers, and often tackles these philosophical issues in his blog.   His latest  post, “Do the Work” pretty much sums up this artistic dilemma:

“There is no muse; at least not one that is beckoned by anything but work. There is no amount of talent that compensates for lack of work. Everything I have read about creativity echoes the same thing. And it is that we do the work. Our work.”

David DuChemin

 

I love so much about my life, and photography is right up there with my top joys.  I have two simple rules about being creative.  The first is  to take my camera everywhere, and the second:  don’t come home without acceptable images.  Acceptable works for me, because I’m a tough critic of my own work.  Besides that, “great” is such a washed out term and is subjective and relative to the viewer and to history.

So,  at least once a day  I find my self on a back road or at an out of the way place to make a photo that I hadn’t made before or if I did, to make it better.   I have learned to look at my “backyard” with a fresh set of eyes.  For me, this is my spirituality, my inspiration,  and it’s so good for my work . . . and  so good for my soul.

1 Comment

  1. This is a phenomenal shot, Helene. Right up there with your best!

    As you know, I do a lot of MMA photography. The fighters have a saying, and I think it also translates to photography and what you’ve written here:

    “Do work.”

    It’s a no excuses approach that puts all accountability where it belongs. With you. Great post!

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