I love this little video about creative work by Ira Glass. I find it so inspiring and encouraging!
I'm a creative soul--I guess that means a lot of fighting my way through things. I stress out easily when projects become too fussy, complex, or logical. When I was young I struggled with dyslexia. Reading was difficult, but math was the bigger challenge. I still have a hard time putting things in order and retaining facts and figures. There's a reason why my Danny is the accountant, and I am the artist; But even music and art have some foundations in mathematics. Throughout my life I've figured out the "Lynley way" to do things, and for the most part it works for me. However, I find that when people question me about the theory or technique behind something, I kind of panic. Most of my methods are unconventional and difficult to articulate. I'm not really one who can spout off proper terminology on the spot.
I play piano quite nicely by ear. I can read music decently, but it never sounds that good in my opinion. The moment when I stop trying to hit all the "right" notes on the page, and just play from the heart, I can hit all the "right" notes on the keys-- mind you, not necessarily the same ones annotated on the page, but my own "right" interpretation. My own arrangements are so much more enjoyable to play, and listen to I think;) They are often far more complex and interesting than the written version. Looking back, I'm so grateful for a piano teacher who was willing to recognize that I learned differently, and taught me accordingly; She gave me the tools to improvise, to make music my way. I can't really explain how I do it, the music just comes.
When I create scrapbook pages I often find myself thinking, "what would so-and-so do?" I could spend hours trying to make a page that resembles somebody else's artwork, but the moment I stop trying to create like someone else, and am true to my own style, it all comes together quite effortlessly. I've found that I don't work well when trying to approach a creative endeavor with someone else's formula or sketch. Perhaps that's why molding to the required corporate style was such a struggle for me. I thrive when being true to my own creative identity.
With photography, if I get too caught up trying to get the manual settings right, I can lose sight of what I really love--the composition, the moment, the subject. When I first set out to shoot strictly in manual I knew that my photos would likely become worse before they got better. It was easy relying on the automatic settings, but I knew that if I really wanted to create great pictures, I would have to learn the proper technique. I hoped that in time I would have the tools necessary to better capture the moment, without relying on the camera to do the thinking. I've learned a great deal through trial and error and daily practice. I don't know all the right terminology, nor do I always feel confident that I will get the "perfect" shot, but I have come a long way. In my efforts to learn, sometimes I can get frustrated and disappointed, but I have to remember to stop and appreciate the moment. Not to let my desire for perfection get in the way of my love for the imperfect, beautiful, and real moments that I seek to capture.
I'm learning to embrace my own unique voice and vision with confidence. I'm learning that the "Lynley way" of doing things is special, and though I don't always know all the proper terms or techniques, that doesn't take away from my abilities. Fight your way through it. Keep creating. Don't get discouraged, and don't give up. Well said, Mr. Glass.