Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Arachnophobia VI: The Bone Collector

Just a couple of minutes ago, as I was sitting (in a café, as usual), working on the next picture in this series, two kids, about 6-7 years old, asked me what I was doing. I told them I was working on a picture with a giant spider in it. The new picture does not look like much yet, so I showed them this one. They liked it. Then, an older woman, probably their grandmother, called them away. She showed no interest in what had her grandchildren so intrigued. That, and a conversation I had yesterday, with two friends, made me reflect on the nature of imagination and curiosity.

Why is it that so many adults seem to have lost their imagination? Is it a biological phenomenon? Is it the environment? A bit of both?

I can tell you what I do to keep my creativity alive:

I feed the creative engine by reading, by watching movies, listening to music, looking at art made by others. I actively seek out new experiences when I can.

I process the creative raw material by thinking about it, by talking about it with my friends, and by writing this blog.

I express it by writing, photography, and by dabbling with other media, like the 3D image above.

I was over forty when I started with photography. Today, I'm 56, going on 57. In many ways I feel younger than I did when I was 30.

Maybe I ought to just be happy that my crumbling brain has retained a few, occasionally firing, creative neurons. I can't help but be a bit bothered though, when I see so many people younger than me, who seem to have lost their curiosity and imagination.

Over the years, I have tried to help others fan their creativity, hoping that they, in turn, will do the same for me. I have gotten a few very good friends that way, and they mean a lot to me, so in that sense it has worked.

My failures greatly outnumber the successes though. Granted, I do not know everything that goes on in the lives of the people I encounter, but I do get the feeling that in many cases, there is not a lot going on.

Then again, perhaps I am just projecting my own emotions on other people, when I imagine that there is an ember of creativity in there, just waiting to get fanned into life, to become a self-sustaining fire.

Perhaps most adults are happy just the way they are, living a life where each day is like any other day, and the highest ambition is to spend a day on the beach, doing nothing. (I shudder as I write it. To me, a day on the beach doing nothing is sheer hell, an unendurable punishment, and something I flatly refuse to subject myself to.)

Better then, if I want company, to look to the creative fires already burning out there, than to try to build fires by fanning ashes. By the way, alone or not, I need to do something about the lack of contrast in my pictures. Sigh! They still look a lot better in my head than they do when they are finished. I got some frank and forthright advice yesterday, when I met my friends. I am going to do my best to follow it.

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