You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.
– Ansel Adams
You don’t make art with just
8″x10″ / 5″x4″ / old polaroid cameras
acrylics / oils
canvas / wall
12u x 104hp modular synthesizers
You bring to the act of creation your biography, all the things you love, all the things you detest, your gifts and your shadows.
- Ready. Fire! Aim.
- If it ain’t broke, break it!
- Hire crazies!
- Ask dumb questions.
- Pursue failure.
- Lead, follow, or get out the way.
- Spread confusion.
- Ditch your office.
- Read odd stuff.
- Avoid moderation.
Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide and author of Lovemarks.
Individual personality plays an enormous role in the path your creative work takes. In fact I’ll be bold and state that personality defines the path your creative work takes. For example, the work of Garry Winogrand is completely different work to that of Erwin Olaf. Winogrand states that “When I’m photographing I see life. That’s what I deal with”, whereas for Olaf his work is concerned with the creation of his own fantasy worlds. Two very different approaches to photographic work.
So, what does this mean for you and why am I writing about it?
Well, if personality defines the creative path you take, then it’s difficult to take that creative path if you do not know what path your personality is most attuned to. A lot of people work this out simply by experimenting with different types of work and following their intuition. But for others it’s not so easy: fear of becoming “trapped” doing only one kind of work, fear of failure, fear that your path won’t pay the bills, etc. To have some tools to help you negotiate your path can be a real help. One of the most insightful tools I’ve come across is Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, based on the work of Carl Jung.
When I first came across Myers-Briggs it was a revelation, it gave me a language to understand why I made the decisions I did, why my energy ran out oin certain situations and boomed in other situations. Since then Myers-Briggs has regularly given me insights into how I function best and how I can function better in less than ideal situations. I now consider this essential life knowledge. As Nadav Kander has said, “Making Pictures is exploring ones own life, understanding yourself more and more, which is what’s exciting.”
For those wishing to investigate further I’d highly recommend the following resources.