Revelation XXIV

I create and curate a lot of content on creativity, art, and photography.

Here I’ve collected some invaluable resources for finding, energizing, and deepening your creative vision.

You’ll get a great taste for the content on creativity we offer in our Digital Photo Destinations Workshops.

Seth Resnick @ B&H – Seeing Color & Enhancing Creativity

John Paul Caponigro @ TEDx – You’re Created To Be Creative

John Paul Caponigro @ Google – The Creative Process

John Paul Caponigro @ Austin Talks – Find Your Way

Gregory Heisler highlights the importance of doing things your way.

Gregory Heisler @ Creative Live – Embracing Your Uniqueness

David Duchemin writes soulfully about cultivating your vision.

David DuChemin – Your Next Step : Authentic Work

David Duchemin – Finding Vision ?

David DuChemin – Chasing Photographic Style

David DuChemin – Vision And Voice

Hungry for more? Savor this book.

Thomas Moore’s – Original Self

Want to find out more about my creative process?

Check out my ebook Process.

The big take away? Creativity is an evolving process of discovery. If you simply engage the process with an open mind and a willingness to try new things, you’ll be uplifted by the surprises it holds for you. And, with mindful practice, you can start to influence the courses your creative life takes to make it more likely that you’ll get the results you desire most. Dream, act, fulfill them.

You’ll find more content like this in my newsletter Insights.

Sign up for my newsletter Insights here.

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Shortly after the opening of my new exhibition Land Within Land, Scott David Gordon recently interviewed me for his podcast Austin Talks. He picked up on many of the ideas I shared during my gallery talks … and ran with them.

As he said, “If you are looking for a technical discussion on Photoshop and cameras to choose this is not the one. We had a fairly philosophical conversation about many subjects including defining a mission in life, being present, nature, spirit of place, creativity, play, and how to find your own way as an artist and a human. I love how thoughtful and specific he is with his words and wisdom. It’s no wonder he is a sought-after lecturer and teacher.”

I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Find out more about Scott David Gordon here.

Listen to more Austin Talks here.

“With a staggering eighteen Grammy-Award nominations, Take 6 is the most nominated Gospel, Jazz, Pop or R&B artists in Grammy history.

In the music industry, Take 6 is so universally recognized as simply being the best, that they have virtually owned Downbeat magazines readers poll having won Favorite Jazz Vocal Group 9 consecutive years.

Take 6 has received some of its highest praise from the music industry’s icons. Mega producer and longtime collaborator Quincy Jones, has described Take 6 as The baddest vocal cats on the planet. In their stellar career, they have been honored to perform with numerous music legends including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, David Foster, Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Denyce Graves, The Yellowjackets and Wynton Marsalis among a host of others. The Take 6 style has also reached todays pop culture. Their musical style and tight harmonies have influenced pop groups from Boyz II Men and Backstreet Boys to *NSYNC.”

Listen to more inspiring performances here.

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Recently, I was leading a workshop in Joshua Tree National Park. We’d come to a place called White Tank for evening light. Perched high on a cliff, I looked down into the surrounding valley and saw a young woman wandering through magnificent boulders and fabulous cacti. She was drifting slowly, almost aimlessly through the scene with her right hand raised in the air – singing. As the sound drifted through the sun drenched evening air, I couldn’t tell if she was singing a children’s song or an African chant. She was utterly unselfconscious and seemed completely absorbed in the moment. Her moment helped me appreciate my own more. I wondered, “Why we don’t all give ourselves more license to sing?” Children do it. Adults often don’t. We compare ourselves to professional singers.We grow self-conscious. We become silent. We forget to sing. What if we spontaneously sang more? Would we come to know our voices better? What if we allowed ourselves become completely absorbed in the moment more frequently? Would we appreciate the passing of each moment more? Would we find ourselves appreciating the things around us more? Why wouldn’t we do these things? Are the reasons we give ourselves for not doing these things as helpful as the reasons we can find for doing them? Why not sing more? What is the truest sound for this moment? Go ahead. Make a noise. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be real.

Find more inspiration in my Creativity Lessons.

Learn more in my Digital Photography Workshops.

Talk To Yourself

September 13, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

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Talk to yourself. Don’t worry, it’s not crazy. We all do it. Speaking your mind can help you become clearer about what’s on it. It’s your choice, whether you decide to speak your mind silently in your head or speak your mind out loud, either alone or under the right circumstances in the presence of others. No one ever has to know how much you talk to yourself; they rarely know how much they talk to themselves. Everyone has an ongoing internal dialog. We see things, we hear things, we feel things, we do things, we react, and all the while we interpret what we’re experiencing. It takes years of training not to do this. Most of the time, we’ve become so accustomed to the familiar voice inside of us that we’re often unaware of what’s being said and who’s saying it. It seems natural to us. That’s just the way it is. But, in reality, that’s the way we are. If we actively listen to ourselves, we become more self-aware and realize we have many more choices available to us.

We may even come to realize that we have many different voices within us – aspects of ourselves that can be seen as being distinct from one another; a child, a warrior, a lover, a dreamer, a scientist, etc.  We can make the life of our inner community richer and more dynamic by encouraging these separate voices to speak in turn and even to speak to each other. Over time we may even discover that each voice has a consistent set of concerns and perspectives and knowing this can help us decide which voice to call on in a given situation. This imaginative exploration can be extremely revealing. We not only come to better understand ourselves and what makes us truly unique, we also come in contact with vast sources of information and understanding that we often leave untapped. The best thing about listening to our selves is that we come to realize we have many more perspectives to draw from and opportunities to choose from than we had previously imagined.

If you really want to learn a lot, put a neutral moderator in charge of these conversations. His or her job is simply to listen and observe non-judgmentally. Nothing shuts down communication faster than criticism. At times your moderator may direct specific questions or make a motion to move on to other subjects. Later, when all is said, you can weigh the evidence, draw conclusions, and make decisions about what’s to be done or not done.

We all want to be heard. When was the last time you wished you had someone to listen to you? When was the last time you listened to yourself?

Go ahead, speak what’s on your mind. Who knows? Other people may want to hear what you have to say.

Find more inspiration in my Creativity Lessons.

Learn more in my Digital Photography Workshops.

Engage Your Inner Coach

September 10, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

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“If someone in your life talked to you the way you talk to yourself, you would have left them long ago.” – Carla Gordon

We’re told that to improve and reach our full potential that we have to be our own worst critics. There is a time and a place for this – but it’s limited. Don’t make it a full time occupation. If you do, you may never get there.

Professional athletes have coaches who not only train them but also encourage and inspire them as well. When was the last time you coached yourself? Even if you’re lucky enough to find a creative coach (they’re in extremely short supply), they can’t do all the work, you too have to do some of it. You can’t afford to wait and find your perfect creative coach. Instead, become that person.

Energize yourself. Affirm your abilities. Set tangible goals. Provide yourself incentives. Reward yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments. It will help if you give yourself specific feedback and focus on concrete results. If you don’t have any accomplishments to speak of yet, frequently use positive affirmations until you do – and continue doing so afterward.

When you talk about yourself or your work, do you use positive or negative words? Many times, when we speak about ourselves as artists and our work, we downplay our abilities and accomplishments. It’s true that no one likes a raving egomaniac. But, there’s a real difference between arrogance and confidence. Confidence is attractive and inspiring; arrogance isn’t; neither is insecurity. Don’t let your insecurities get the best of you. Be careful not to talk yourself down, cut yourself off short, or fall completely silent. Instead, learn to speak simply and directly about yourself and your work, sharing your enthusiasm for your subjects and your medium.

Not feeling it? Act as if you do. With just a little practice you will begin to feel it. Practice makes perfect. And the right coach can help guide you to perfect practice.

Find more inspiration in my Creativity Lessons.

Learn more in my Digital Photography Workshops.


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