“Photographic technique is no secret and – provided the interest is there – easily assimilated. But inspiration comes from the soul and when the Muse isn’t around even the best exposure meter is very little help. In their biographies, artists like Michelangelo, da Vinci and Bach said that their most valuable technique was their ability to inspire themselves. This is true of all artists; the moment there is something to say, there becomes a way to say it.” – Ralph Gibson
Last June there was a comment left by Ray Ketchum on a posting by Sabrina Henry that really got me to thinking. Ray suggests we don’t lack for inspirations and in fact are inundated with them, but we lack “the execution of said influences or the interest in completing them.” He suggests we “tap that energy and we will make something worth the effort.” His words have been rambling around in my head every since.
As a young man I would lay on the couch or in the yard dreaming. I would dream of scoring the winning touchdown, be the most popular boy in school, be a hell-and-damnation preacher and change the world (way over that dream), be a rock star (over that one, too), travel the world and of course a photographer. Those dreams were wonderful to experience, but since they were just dreams there was never any risk or effort involved. So, I lived on my couch in a fantasy world for many years. The goals I did reach were associated with everyday life such as: graduating from high school, four years in the military, a college degree (one I really didn’t want), getting a job to support my family. These goals were not my dreams but the expectations of society. The dreams to be creative and take risks were always suppressed. Even at this age in my life I still find times when I dream on the couch and times when I move forward. It is always more rewarding to move forward.
Once I started getting up off the couch some of these inspired dreams have come to bare fruit. So, when we get off the couch we will find our muse has followed bringing along even more inspiration. How often do we have inspirational dreams and just lay on the couch and how many times do we get up off the couch and take the necessary steps to fulfill those inspirations? Ya, know, Ray’s right.