Lost The Joy In Creating?

May 21, 2018  •  1 Comment

I was recently talking to a few of my friends and something kept coming up: " I lost the joy in creating. I used to be so excited about photography, my art, but now it is like everything I do has become this act, that I keep performing day after day." This is something that often happens if you have been creating for a good number of years and you know everything you do so well, that you can do it on auto pilot. As long as you are on your toes, you have complete attention to the things that you do, but when you are getting very experienced your attention can be elsewhere when you do your thing and this is one of the reasons that the joy disappears.

Forest path of a foggy morningMisty Path A beautiful path lined by trees on a foggy morning on the Veluwe, The Netherlands by fine art photographer Ellen Borggreve

Another reason is that you loose track of why you started creating in the first place. Do you remember why you picked up your camera, what it was that made you so happy? I can't answer this for you, because it is so different for all of us. I know that my reason for taking pictures is that when I look through the viewfinder, I don't worry anymore. For someone who has been plagued by anxieties all her life, this is a huge thing. I take pictures to connect to a more magical side of reality than the one you see in the news (which I don't watch by the way). I take pictures to find stillness in nature and in myself and I believe that not only have I become more aware of the abundance of magical things that this earth has to offer, but I have also changed into someone who acts in spite of her fears. It has helped me grow into the person I was always supposed to be. That is my reason for loving photography so very, very much. 

Your reason might be because you love to connect with children, you love to make a reality that is more beautiful than the one you see around you, you want to escape your reality, you love to interact with people, or you love to make the women you photograph feel more confident. There can be all kinds of reasons, but you can be sure that there was a specific reason that attracted you to your art in the first place. You might not yet have given that reason a lot of thought, but do try to find it if you feel you have lost the joy in creating.

Sunbeams over misty watersWisps of Mist and SunlightFloating wisps of mist over the water of the Old Rhine lit up by sunbeams coming through a tree. A picture by fine art photographer Ellen Borggreve

If you re-connect to that initial joy and you keep yourself on your toes a bit more by challenging yourself to do things a bit differently, by perhaps learning new things, taking a workshop from another photographer or artist, you have a good chance that your joy will return. The absolute must in this is that you quiet your mind and be totally immersed in what you are doing. Give everything your fullest attention. This in itself will bring the joy back in things that you feel bored with. It is easier to give your full attention to something if you are challenged in some way, because then you need to be there totally, it will not allow you to do your trick on auto-pilot. Ultimately though the joy can't come from anything you do, it comes from within and if you find the reason why you wanted to pursue your art in the first place, you will get some clarity. 

Perhaps you find out that what attracted you to your art is no longer true for you and in that case, it is best to move on. It will not be the photography that gave you the joy, but the reason why you loved it that gave you this joy. It is never just this act with your paintbrush or camera, it is always the motivation behind it that add happiness to your life. A camera does not have the power to do so on its own....

Have you lost the joy in creating? Have you lost touch with the flow that you felt when you first started out? What are you considering to do about it? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts

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Comments

Sunny.ennen(non-registered)
Wonderful words. And yes. In the moment I lost my creativity a bit. But your words are like the sunlight that comes after the rain. Thank you so much! Greetings
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