Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea


Artisans share their TeawareArt.

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Geekgirl » Feb 15th, '10, 19:26

If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained
Image

I wonder if you potters ever get your equivalent of "writer's block?" I've been going through a pretty fearsome stretch of such, from a shooter's perspective.

I'm trying to find inspiration in others' work, spending time looking through photographic essays and books, paging through flickr, trying different ways of post processing, but everything I do lately, (which admittedly is not much,) feels flat and uninspired. This has been going on for months. It started last year when there were several instances very close together, of people stealing my photos for their own use.

I know it's unreasonably idealistic of me to expect everyone to behave honestly, but it kind of knocked me down. Immediately following those incidents, I had a rather frustrating experience with someone requesting photos for commerical use, being unwilling/unable to give me specific parameters, then being unsatisfied with everything I offered and repeatedly asking me to "try again."

Within the same week as this was happening, I entered a chat room and upon scrolling back through the conversation (you know how one does to find out what's happening at the moment,) I discovered that the conversation was about ME and MY photos, very critical and mean-spirited. It knocked me right down the rest of the way, and all of a sudden I wasn't satified with anything I produced.

I'd get an idea, set it up, take the shot, then decide it had "been done" and was crap. Delete delete. I'd go to a garden, spend the day shooting bugs, water, trees, then delete them all because just how many millions of photos of trees does the world really need?

So that is the state I find myself in presently. I tell myself: "so you have a block and think everything is crap? So shoot crap. You might lay a golden egg, you never know." I'm not sure I believe it, but I keep saying it.

So far this month, I've shot more than Nov-Jan combined, but still a fraction of what I was doing a year ago. A year ago, I had ideas (delusions?) of trying to do something with photography that was more than just taking pictures and posting them on Flickr and forums. Now, I'd just like to get back to that place where I felt the freedom and courage to just get out there and try something different.

The only way to get through a block is to keep looking through the viewfinder. How can you find inspiration if you give up on looking for it?
User avatar
Geekgirl
 
Posts: 2700
Joined: May 31st, '
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Victoria » Feb 15th, '10, 19:46

I can tell you from my own experience with jewelry making, that when I am inspired I can easily sit up till 3-4:00 AM being creative and making new designs and have to force myself to go to bed. If someone wants me to make them a pair of earrings and I am not in the zone, I am so uninspired nothing is pleasing to me.

So therefor it is the "trying" that kills the inspiration. it will come when it comes. In its own time.
User avatar
Victoria
 
Posts: 8186
Joined: Jan 8th, '0
Location: Southern CA

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Robert Fornell » Feb 15th, '10, 20:34

I wonder if you potters ever get your equivalent of "writer's block?"


Hi Geekgirl,

Yes, I do get sort of stuck from time to time, and when I do, I try to do a number of things such as take a break from the studio for a few days or weeks if need be. I will go do something totally unrelated to ceramics which gives me a different perspective when I return to the studio. My travels to Japan always provide a chance for me to recharge as well as I have a hard time finding teaware here in the states which is edgy, which is the sort of work I'm drawn to and feed off of. It provides me the opportunity to look at work in a different context as well as giving me the time to find some nice little seaside inn to hole up in for a few days ...... recharging. Another method is to switch working temps and or firing methods for a while.......... basically just PLAY after which, when I come back to what I was doing, I'm approaching it from a different space.

As ceramics has been around for thousands of years, I come to it with a "it's already been done" attitude. This doesn't mean that I lower the bar necessarily for my self, but I try not to beat myself up when I don't get the results I may have hoped for. I approach it from somewhat of a Zen point of view as well, accept what the kiln gives me, try to keep my expectations in line, work somewhat detached, persevere, be flexible, and lastly, it's just dirt.....

I can relate to the "politics" of art as well. I don't schmooze and I tend to be fairly selective with the people that I hang out with professionally and that sometimes has been misunderstood as "antisocial", or "snobbish". After considering the source of the comments, I decided that it wasn't worth getting upset about as the folks concerned really knew little of my current life or my background and only related to my work on a relatively superficial level. I think that to make it in the arts, you have to be sort of thick skinned about a lot of the politics..... Try to celebrate the folks who respond to your work as there are many!

I hope you can get out of your funk soon GG!

Best wishes,
R
Last edited by Robert Fornell on Feb 18th, '10, 11:41, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Robert Fornell
 
Posts: 354
Joined: May 18th, '

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Chip » Feb 15th, '10, 23:19

We miss seeing your photos, Geek, poppets and all! Sorry to hear you have been down. I hope you are able to regain your focus and confidence and joy in your photos. Life in the "spotlight" can include being on the receiving end of negativity, I think it is important to always try to focus on the positive ... after all, you cannot satisfy or please everyone.

So keep on pleasing those who you bring joy to through your photos, your art. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22135
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Seeker » Feb 16th, '10, 03:53

Hi GeekGirl,
I am one of those to whom you bring great joy in response to your photos as well as in response to your kindness and generosity of knowledge. I appreciate what you have shared a great deal, and hold all of it with great respect.
The doldrums can be tough - hang in there. I feel compassion, breathing in and imagining your struggle and how that feels, breathing out whatever helps, even if only a little, but hopefully a lot.
May you find your own joy, your own resonant stream,
and follow that.
I say, screw the "authorities", judgers, critics, naysayers, 'no-it-alls' and meanies etc -- and let them go. Leave them to their own sad party. I do believe those dedicated to such behavior and invested in their dedication to such behavior suffer deeply - maybe that's what they're actually up to - trying to get their suffering off of themselves and onto someone else, and most of them don't even know they're doing it.

I wish you peace, even if, in the beginning, it is only some modicum of peace with "uninspired" and "flat".
May your "coming out" here provide an opening of sorts, perhaps the opening move in a ritual of rejuvenation for your creative spirit.
I send a blessing to your creative spirit GG.
May it ever flourish.

:oops: (here comes the shameless part)
...and you know, any time you need a cheap boost - you could post a stunningly wonderful photo of one of your chawan with matcha on "Today's Matchawan"... where it's painfully obvious that GeekGirl is the preeminent photographer of tea and teaware - and the rest of us can go to school!
:mrgreen:
User avatar
Seeker
 
Posts: 1727
Joined: May 22nd, '
Location: Northern California

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Geekgirl » Feb 16th, '10, 13:58

Thank you all for your kind words. It's nice to know I am not alone in having a bit of a stuck time.

Seeker wrote:I send a blessing to your creative spirit GG.
May it ever flourish.

:oops: (here comes the shameless part)
...and you know, any time you need a cheap boost - you could post a stunningly wonderful photo of one of your chawan with matcha on "Today's Matchawan"... where it's painfully obvious that GeekGirl is the preeminent photographer of tea and teaware - and the rest of us can go to school!
:mrgreen:


Seeker, thank you for your well wishes, they are appreciated. My little tutorial has kept me going, and I'm so glad to hear that it is useful. BUT... there have been some wonderful photographers on here in the past, and there still are - beautiful images that I have marked as things that I aspire to create.

If I can be among them, I am happy.
User avatar
Geekgirl
 
Posts: 2700
Joined: May 31st, '
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Geekgirl » Feb 16th, '10, 14:02

ronin ceramurai wrote:find some nice little seaside inn to hole up in for a few days ...... recharging.


Yes! I desperately need to do this, and we are so close to the coast, so you'd think it would be easy to get away... I will have to put it on the calendar.

Another method is to switch working temps and or firing methods for a while.......... basically just PLAY after which, when I come back to what I was doing, I'm approaching it from a different space.


I'm trying to do this. There's a style of post processing that I would really like to master. So far I haven't had a lot of success, but I keep trying. Perhaps working with a completely new set of base images would open up some possibilities.

Thanks so much for the ideas.
User avatar
Geekgirl
 
Posts: 2700
Joined: May 31st, '
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Seeker » Feb 16th, '10, 14:30

Geekgirl wrote:If I can be among them, I am happy.


For me, there is no question,

you are among them!

(but not the same as them, TG)
User avatar
Seeker
 
Posts: 1727
Joined: May 22nd, '
Location: Northern California

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Littlepig2 » Feb 17th, '10, 00:51

Geekgirl wrote:
I wonder if you potters ever get your equivalent of "writer's block?" I've been going through a pretty fearsome stretch of such, from a shooter's perspective. (snip)

I'd get an idea, set it up, take the shot, then decide it had "been done" and was crap. Delete delete. I'd go to a garden, spend the day shooting bugs, water, trees, then delete them all because just how many millions of photos of trees does the world really need? (snip)


Oh can I relate to your question "just how many millions. . . does the world need" and the "writers block" as I've experienced what you describe. I am quite in agreement with R's recommendation to play (one way or the other). As to whether the world needs one more after its millions? Yes! Yes it does.
best wishes
ja
User avatar
Littlepig2
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Jul 24th, '
Location: In front of one kiln or other

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Seeker » Feb 17th, '10, 01:32

Littlepig2 wrote:
Geekgirl wrote:...As to whether the world needs one more after its millions? Yes! Yes it does.

I agree 100%!
Capturing life - well, organismic life is so complex, so miraculous, each new angle, new light circumstance, etc, etc perhaps captures another wonderful bit of that great, massive majesty of miracle-life - so, yes, YES, YES -- more please.
Especially trees!
Especially tea!

Hazaa.
User avatar
Seeker
 
Posts: 1727
Joined: May 22nd, '
Location: Northern California

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby dooble » Mar 8th, '10, 14:01

First of all brilliant work, the talent of the people here never fails to amaze me.
I think everyone relying on creativity and inspiration in their work are bound to experience the block. Especially if you begin to consciously observe the level of your work.
Or when you become picky like I did :D. To refuse to work on anything but pure inspiration. I haven't written anything in months, but yesterday I just started writing and I found it in the text. I'm happy :).

-------

And Seeker, Littlepig, your words are wonderful and I agree so much with you. Sometimes I think people just don't notice all the amazing details, like the light and the shadows.
The everyday life is filled with the potentiality of the deepest beauty. If a picture can help someone notice this, it's worth it.
User avatar
dooble
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Apr 20th, '

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby bonjiri » Mar 9th, '10, 14:40

geekgirl

aloha !

as a humble working photog, your photography work has been a visual inspiration !

been enjoying all the many photographs, both here and flickr !

regarding, 'writers block'. yes. i do experience it time to time in both photography and ceramics. i think w/ ceramics, the realm is vast, also w/ photography too.

recently, we have had a wonderful visitor to the studio, her name is dorothy feibleman. she is an amazing artist and a wealth of knowledge. an amazing gal ! the exposure and sharing w/creative positive energies is imperative. surround yourself w/ positive energy.

i feel too, that seeing various art exhibitions both in museums, live performance and the like, stimulate the creative energy in us. also love thumbing thru books in various mediums to symbiotically stimulate those creative nerve endings throughout my being.

traveling too. taking hikes. i suppose taking swims too, although i am not much of a water person. but when keiko and i have jumped in the water, the stress in life seems to just disappear.

take care.
carpe diem geekgirl !
aloha
cory
User avatar
bonjiri
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: May 2nd, '0
Location: honolulu

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Geekgirl » Mar 9th, '10, 15:55

Thanks for the advice. I think one of the best things I could do is get actively involved in the photography community again. Real live in person, not on this machine. :lol: Museum exhibits too, there's an idea.

Here's a rather poor example of what I've been playing with lately - textures and fades:
Image

I was more pleased with how this one of Murphy turned out, click over to see the image. The second image is heavily processed so the layering doesn't kill the look. Interesting technique, both more basic AND more difficult to achieve than I would have expected. The layering is easy, but getting it to look good is really difficult.
User avatar
Geekgirl
 
Posts: 2700
Joined: May 31st, '
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Geekgirl » Mar 27th, '10, 21:03

I have a new little tea-buddy. Her name is Isolde. Isolde loves a good riddle. The Sphynx one is a favorite, but also any riddle about St. Ives or a pirate will do.

Image
User avatar
Geekgirl
 
Posts: 2700
Joined: May 31st, '
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Geekgirl Photo: The Art of Tea

Postby Victoria » Mar 27th, '10, 22:08

Sweet!
User avatar
Victoria
 
Posts: 8186
Joined: Jan 8th, '0
Location: Southern CA

PreviousNext

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation