People often comment on me being very driven to get a pretty picture, sometimes even suggesting I have an obsession with getting that picture. This always mystifies me a bit, because no matter how much I love to come home with a decent picture on my memory card, this is not what drives me to stand up at 4 am in the morning.
I started thinking about this a bit more and I think that this comes down to exactly what drives you to do something. Are you driven by the end result (a pretty picture or a painting) or driven by the need to create, by the purest of passions? If you are driven by ambition it might just be a recipe for disaster, as you may just be building something up that is solely based on an outcome. Without a pure passion (and I am not talking about a casual interest or a love for something, but a pure passion that can not be ignored, that defines you in some way), a focus on the end result will just keep you running towards the finish line. This means that you might get burnt out or very frustrated, because everything is pointed in the direction of the desired outcome. Let's say that your desired result is a pretty picture. You can learn how to take a pretty picture, you can persevere to get better and better at it, but what if the picture you take is not that great or you are disappointed in the outcome? That would make you feel bad and disappointed. It might affect your self confidence and might even make you become slightly obsessed. You are creating with willpower as your only fuel. If you are driven by pure passion for creating though, if you simply need to create, because you feel lost without the ability to do so, if you simply love the process of creating, you might get exhausted because of your many ideas, you might get burnt out if you don't also build in self-care, but it is all about the process of making your art, you do it because you simply have to create. This is the case for me....I am not just focussed on getting the pretty picture that we all love to make, but I genuinely love to create, I have to create, I feel deeply stressed out and utterly unhappy if I can not create.
I know this because I have tried it. I went on vacation once without anything to do except books to read. Within two days my mind was about to explode and I rushed into town, which is unusual for me as I don't like spending time in towns and shops, and I bought a sketchbook and pencils. A day later I went back and bought brushes and paint and then I went back another time to get ink markers and coloured pencils. That was the end of my experiment with a non-creative vacation. I now know that I take pictures because my entire life it has been the one thing that makes me happy, the act of looking through the viewfinder, which narrows down my reality to the most magical side of it and creating an impression of how I see the world. I love how it makes me hone in on the beauty that surrounds us, the magic in everyday life and how it offers me an escape from worries and what most people see as reality. My reality comes to life when I look through that viewfinder and this is what drives me. I live for those magical moments in nature that make me forget about everything, those moments that make you feel more alive than ever before, those moments that show the world's divinity. To be able to capture that is a privilege.