If you'd like to see more of Lorne's images please visit
previous Museletters, go here.
This Museletter is about creativity in all its forms. It includes
excerpts, stories, quotations and various musings designed to educate,
motivate, inspire and to be pondered & enjoyed.
As well as shooting commercial projects on location and in the studio
for advertising clients, Lorne has recently published a fine art photo book on his 20-years of shooting in Cuba, available here. He also teaches travel
photography workshops throughout the world.
Here's what's inside this issue:
1. Fear and Change
3. Travel Photography Workshops: (Cuba, Africa, Los Angeles)
In order to allow ourselves to be creative, we have to relinquish control and overcome fear. Why? Because real creativity is life-altering. It threatens the status quo; it make us see things differently. It brings about change, and we are terrified of change. Madeleine L'Engle
How To Be Creative. Part 4 of 5
If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you:
The pain of making the necessary sacrifices always hurts more than you think it's going to. I know. It sucks. That being said, doing something seriously creative is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, in this or any other lifetime. If you can pull it oﬀ, itʼs worth it. Even if you donʼt end up pulling it oﬀ, youʼll learn many incredible, magical, valuable things. Itʼs NOT doing it when you know full well you HAD the opportunity—that hurts FAR more than any failure.
Frankly, I think youʼre better oﬀ doing something on the assumption that you will NOT be rewarded for it, that it will NOT receive the recognition it deserves, that it will NOT be worth the time and eﬀort invested in it. The obvious advantage to this angle is, of course, if anything good comes of it, then itʼs an added bonus.
The second, more subtle and profound advantage is: that by scuppering all hope of worldly and social betterment from the creative act, you are ﬁnally left with only one question to answer: Do you make this damn thing exist or not?
And once you can answer that truthfully to yourself, the rest is easy.
The world is changing:
Some people are hip to it, others are not. If you want to be able to aﬀord groceries in 5 years, Iʼd recommend listening closely to the former and avoiding the latter.
Your job is probably worth 50% of what it was in real terms 10 years ago. And who knows? It may very well not exist in 5-10 years.
Regardless of how the world changes, regardless of what new technologies, business models and social architectures are coming down the pike, the one thing “The New Realities” cannot take away from you is trust.
The people you trust and vice versa, this is what will feed you and pay for your kidsʼ college. Nothing else.
This is true if youʼre an artist, writer, doctor, techie, lawyer, banker, or bartender. i.e., stop worrying about technology. Start worrying about people who trust you.
In order to navigate The New Realities you have to be creative—not just within your particular profession, but in EVERYTHING. Your way of looking at the world will need to become ever more fertile and original. And this isnʼt just true for artists, writers, techies, Creative Directors and CEOs; this is true for EVERYBODY.
The old ways are dead. And you need people around you who concur.
That means hanging out more with the creative people, the freaks, the real visionaries, than youʼre already doing. Thinking more about what their needs are, and responding accordingly. It doesnʼt matter what industry weʼre talking about theyʼre around, theyʼre easy enough to ﬁnd if you make the eﬀort. Avoid the dullards; avoid the folk who play it safe. They canʼt help you anymore. Their stability model no longer oﬀers that much stability.
They are extinct, they are extinction.
How To Be Creative
Feedback is either a crutch or a weapon. Use feedback to make your work smaller, safer and more likely to please everyone (and fail in the long run). Or use it as a lever, to further push you to embrace what you fear (and what you are capable of). Seth Godin
Brainwashed - Seven ways to reinvent yourself.
Years ago, when you were about four years old, the system set out to persuade you of something that isn’t true. Not just persuade, but drill, practice, reinforce and, yes, brainwash. The mission: to teach you that you’re average; That compliant work is the best way to a reliable living; That creating average stuff for average people, again and again, is a safe and easy way to get what you want.
We were brainwashed into fitting in, and then discovered that the economy wanted people who stood out instead.
Do work that matters. Four words available to anyone. They’re here if you want them. Here are seven levers available for anyone in search of reinvention:
Social media is either a time-wasting, wool-gathering, yak-shaving waste of effort or, perhaps, just maybe, it’s a crack in the wall between you and the rest of the world. It’s a choice...it's up to you. If you’re keeping score of how many followers you have, how many comments you get or how big your online footprint is, then you’re measuring the wrong thing and probably distracting yourself from what matters. On the other hand, digital media can offer you a chance to make real connections, to earn permission and gain insights from people you’d never have a chance to interact with any other way. We were isolated, now we’re connected. The typical individual didn’t have the time, the money or the connections to be heard just a few years ago. Today, the door is wide open... but only the people who can touch us will step over the threshold. If you can reach and (far more importantly) touch or change people, you will gain in influence, authority and power.
We grew up isolated. The future is connected. We grew up unable to have substantial interactions with anyone except a small circle of family and co-workers. Now, we earn the right to interact with just about anyone. I think this changes everything…if we let it.
The new economy often involves trading in things that don’t cost money. There’s no incremental cost in writing an essay, composing a song or making an introduction. Since it doesn’t cost money to play, we have the ability to give before we get. The generosity economy rewards people who create and participate in circles of gifts. Not the direct I-gave-you-this-you-give-me-that giving and get of a traditional economy, but instead the tribal economy of individuals supporting one another. Tribes of talented individuals who are connected, mutually trustful and supported by one another are in a position to create a movement, to deliver items of value, to move ideas forward faster than any individual ever could.
Art is an original gift, a connection that changes the recipient, a human ability to make a difference. Art isn’t a painting or even a poem, it’s something that any of us can do. If you interact with others, you have the platform to create something new—something that changes everything. I call that art. Art is the opposite of trigonometry. Art doesn’t follow instructions or a manual or a boss’s orders. Instead, art is the very human act of creating the uncreated, of connecting with another person at a human level. What we’ve seen is that more and more markets will reward art handsomely, and hand out the compliant work to the lowest bidder. Art feels risky because it is. The risk the artist takes is that you might not like it, you might not be touched, you might actually laugh at the effort. And it’s taking these risks that lead us to get rewarded.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE LIZARD:
The lizard brain—that prehistoric brainstem that all of us must contend with—doesn’t like being laughed at. It’s the part of our brain that worries about safety and dishes out anger. Being laughed at is the lizard brain’s worst nightmare. And so it shuts down our art.
Steven Pressfield calls this shutdown, “the resistance.” What artists over time have figured out is that the resistance is the sole barrier between them and their art. That the act of genius required to produce original and important work is crippled by the resistance, and ignoring the voice of skepticism is critical in doing the work. And so, we acknowledge it. We stand up and we hear the voice of the lizard brain and we recognize that it’s there and then we walk to the podium and do the work. We acknowledge the lizard so we can ignore it.
Scarcity creates value. People pay extra for things that are hard to get, while things that have a surplus go cheap. That’s basic economics. So, what’s scarce? The ability to ship. Shipping is difficult because of the lizard brain. The resistance doesn’t want you to ship, because if you ship, you might fail. If you ship, we might laugh at you. If you ship, you may be held accountable for the decisions you made. The key to the reinvention of who you are, then, is to become someone who ships. The goal is to have the rare skill of actually getting things done, making them happen and creating outcomes that people seek out. Quieting the lizard, acknowledging it and then ignoring it—it’s the only way
A key part of shipping is the ability to fail. The reinvention of the marketplace demands that one have the ability to fail, often and with grace—and in public! The old economy was based on factories and institutions, things that took a long time to build. No one at Buick or the Metropolitan Opera was interested in failure. It took too long to create these institutions for them to relish the idea of growth through failure. Today, though, the only way for organizations to grow is to ship risky things, to create change, to make art, to change people. And yet, shipping risks failure. And so we demand you fail. For generations, artists tried to feign nonchalance. There’s even a word for it: Sprezzatura. It’s an Italian word, defined as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.” We need a new word now, one that means the opposite. It’s the obvious and supreme effort that goes into creating art, challenging the lizard and fighting the resistance.
The seventh pillar is the key to the other six. School used to exist to learn a trade. You apprenticed, and then you worked the rest of your life in the same job, in the same town, in the same factory, doing the same work. Ha. Dream on. Only lighthouse operators have that “luxury” today, and when was the last time you met a lighthouse operator? To bring the school-as-event mindset to work today is to court certain failure. School isn’t over. School is now. School is blogs and experiments and experiences and the constant failure of shipping and learning. The path to reinvention, though, is just that—a path. The opportunity of our time is to discard what you think you know and instead learn what you need to learn. Every single day.
Seven ways to reinvent yourself
The Art of Travel Photography:
How to Create Emotionally Compelling Travel Images
Join Lorne as he teaches you the keys to creating emotionally
compelling nature, landscape, people, wildlife and travel images. This
limited selection of unique workshops, geared toward every participant
skill level, will provide you with an exceptional learning experience
in some of the most beautiful places on Earth, including Cuba and
Africa. To see Lorne's entire workshop schedule for his Art of Travel
Photography workshop series, please visit http://www.lorneresnick.com/workshops