Don’t worry so much about your personal ‘happiness.’ Instead, better to focus on your creative productivity.
Creative productivity is the ultimate good.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in a good or bad mood, as long as you have vigor, energy, and power to create your artwork– it is all good.
I think the best use of our human metabolism is for us to make art.
And if you’re reading this, I assume your passion is photography. And yes, photographs (created with intention) is art.
I love looking at my own photos. Looking at my own photos brings me great joy. Looking at my own photos gives me a will to live– a will to keep making new images, to keep exploring, and to continually experience the world! To me, photography is the ultimate stimulus to life.
For myself, a life without photography or art isn’t a life worth living.
What exactly is ‘creative productivity’?
To me it is simple:
Producing a lot of photographs (and visual art).
But aren’t we told that ‘quality’ is more important than quantity?
Now this is the tricky thing– all ‘conventional wisdom’ tells us that quality is more important than quantity.
But this is the problem:
Who dictates what is ‘quality’ and what is ‘quantity’? Who is the ultimate judge?
We are the only judges– we are the ultimate judges. By giving ourselves the power to judge our own work as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (or better yet, whether to ‘keep’ or ‘ditch’ our work) — we are cultivating our own aesthetics of beauty. We strive to create photos that we consider beautiful, while discarding the photos we deem as ugly or unworthy of ourselves.
How to be more creatively productive
- Walk more to shoot more: The more I walk, the more photos I shoot. Simple.
- Simplify your photographic workflow: Shoot JPEG, shoot in program mode, and use Lightroom CC to quickly select (edit), process, and export your photos.
- Share your own photos on your own self-hosted blog: I use 1and1.com, and my framework is the WordPress.org framework, and I run the genesis theme. When you own your own platform, you have the power. Upload photos you like, and share them publicly.
Creative inspiration from others
For myself, I don’t care about ‘high-brow’ or ‘low-brow’ art for creative inspiration. Anything which inspires me creatively is good. Let us throw morality out of the window when it comes to art. For example:
- Rap Music: Rap music is seen as ‘low-class’ and also morally/ethically “evil”. I say fuck that. It inspires me! I love the heavy beats of JAY Z, Kanye West, and more recently — the controversial 6ix9ine (I consider DUMMY BOY a mini-masterpiece). Lesson: Any music that stimulates you creatively is good.
- Films: I like high-brow film (Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa) and yet I love action films (John Wick/anything by Keanu Reeves). Only watch films which creatively inspire and motivate you. Ignore whether others say it is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ film. I’ve watched tons of super-boring “art house” classic films I’ve hated, and watched tons of “low-brow” action films that I loved.
- Visual Art: I personally find inspiration from painters, other photographers, and other visual artists/cinema folks. Once again — disregard what others try to super-impose unto you. Give a middle-finger to “good taste”. There is no such thing as good taste in artwork or bad taste. As long as the artwork nourishes and inspires/motivates you, it is good!
- Food/Drink: For myself, a ketogenic (no carb — very high fat/protein) diet mixed with intermittent fasting (no breakfast or lunch) seems to give me the most vigor and energy to be creatively productive. Plus drinking lots of black coffee (and 100% cocoa powder). I don’t think there has been enough research or writing/philosophizing on the importance of diet/food/exercise/drink on creative productivity (I will write more on this topic).
Never stop creating!
As artists, let us judge our own self-worth by our own personal creativity and productivity.
Once again– never compare yourself with others. Judge yourself according to your own eyes, and focus on thriving to the next level.
How far can you fly?
My First Photography Book Limited Edition Hardcover + Free Mobile BonusSale!$ 10 – $ 29
STREET HUNT: Street Photography Field Assignments Manual Mobile Edition$ 10
Embark On Your Own Photography Adventure Flowchart$ 1
CREATIVE EVERY DAY MOBILE EDITION: PDF & KINDLESale!
FREE Photography Visualization PDF Resources$ 0
CREATIVE EVERY DAYSale!
LAUGHING LADY: Collector’s Edition Artist Proof PrintSale!
MASTERS Book: A Distilled Street Photography PrimerSale!
MEMENTO MORI Artwear$ 39
VITRUVIAN CAMERA – Men’s Artwear$ 39
FILM NOTES Print Edition$ 14
PHOTO JOURNAL Print Edition + Free Mobile Edition$ 15