It is my theory that we all have a creative instinct, but we allow our inner critic (or outside critics) to prevent ourselves from self-expression.

Human creativity

First of all, where does this creative instinct come from?

I think the creative instinct is inside our human DNA. Without an impulse to create, transform, and mould our lives and world —we wouldn’t have been able to survive as human beings.

Red and blue abstract. Lisbon, 2018
Red and blue abstract. Lisbon, 2018

In today’s modern world, we are punished with comfort and predictability. In our daily lives, we no longer need to really challenge ourselves to survive. We just put in our 40 hour workweeks, and then in our free and leisure time, we have no idea what to do with ourselves. Thus we distract ourselves with passive entertainment, and fantasize.

My mom by the water. Lisbon, 2018
My mom by the water. Lisbon, 2018

However I think in order to feel the fullest range of joy in life, we must indulge our creative impulses to the maximum.


What is the creative impulse?

My mom taking photos of flowers. Lisbon, 2018
My mom taking photos of flowers. Lisbon, 2018

I believe the creative impulse is the desire and the “must” of making something. Making art, making conversation, making solutions to problems, and using our strengths, talents, and brains to create things/ideas/stuff.

My hand. Lisbon, 2018
My hand. Lisbon, 2018

We can fulfill our creative impulses by making photos, making poetry, making video slideshows, making music, dancing, singing, or putting our bodies or minds into motion.

What happens when we prevent ourselves from fulfilling our creative impulse?

Sunset shadow selfie. London, 2018
Sunset shadow selfie. London, 2018

When we prevent ourselves from expressing our creative impulse, we get frustrated, angry, depressed, and docile. We become like dogs who are repeatedly shocked into submission (psychologists call this “learned helplessness”.

Red eric kim face

Learned helplessness means that we learn to feel helpless. We don’t feel like we have control, autonomy, or that we cannot change the direction of our lives. To me, happiness is best manifested through having agency and freedom in our lives. Thus, anything that prevents us from expressing our creative will kills our human spirit.

My mom against green door. Lisbon, 2018
My mom against green door. Lisbon, 2018

How to allow your creative spirit to flourish

London, leading lines, red, composition

Ideas:

  1. Ignore your inner critic
  2. Ignore the criticisms or the nay saying of others
  3. Treat everything you do as a small and fun experiment (don’t get attached to the results of your creative experiment)
  4. Don’t define your art or the genre of art you make: this will allow you to pursue any form of art, and not become the prisoner of a genre.
  5. Make something 80% “good enough” and simply hit “publish”.
  6. Don’t share your work on social media (Facebook, Instagram)— publish to your own website or blog instead (you will have more flexibility and freedom of self-expression, without getting censored or trapped in their social media profile template).

Conclusion

Photography and art is all about self-expression. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to express yourself. Just express yourself, genuinely, with no filter, or concern how others will judge you.

BE BOLD,
ERIC


Books and tools to stimulate your creative instinct:

  1. STREET HUNT
  2. EMBARK ON YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE
  3. CREATIVE EVERYDAY

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  1. ERIC KIM Neck Strap: JUST SHOOT IT.
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  3. HENRI Neck Strap

MAKE MORE ART!

Creative Everyday by HAPTIC
Creative Everyday by HAPTIC

INSPIRE YOURSELF with HAPTIC.

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