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. Hunting Woolly Mammoths
2. Exploring Contradictions
3. Travel Photography Workshops: (Cuba, Africa, Los Angeles)
If you are not passionately devoted to an idea, you can make very pleasant pictures but they won’t make you cry. Ruth Bernhard
How To Be Creative. Part 5 of 5
Merit can be bought. Passion can’t:
The only people who can change the world are people who want to. And not everybody does.
Human beings have this thing I call the “Pissed Oﬀ Gene.” Itʼs that bit of our psyche that makes us utterly dissatisﬁed with our lot, no matter how kindly fortune smiles upon us. Itʼs there for a reason. Back in our early caveman days being pissed oﬀ made us more likely to get oﬀ our butt, get out of the cave and into the tundra hunting woolly mammoth, so weʼd have something to eat for supper. Itʼs a survival mechanism. Damn useful then, damn useful now.
Itʼs this same Pissed Oﬀ Gene that makes us want to create anything in the ﬁrst place—drawings, violin sonatas, meat packing companies, websites. This same gene drove us to discover how to make a ﬁre, the wheel, the bow and arrow, indoor plumbing, the personal computer, the list is endless.
Part of understanding the creative urge is understanding that itʼs primal. Wanting to change the world is not a noble calling; itʼs a primal calling.
We think weʼre “providing a superior integrated logistic system” or “helping America to really taste freshness.” In fact weʼre just pissed oﬀ and want to get the hell out of the cave and kill the woolly mammoth.
Your business either lets you go hunt the woolly mammoth or it doesnʼt. Of course, like so many white-collar jobs these days, you might very well be oﬀered a ton of money to sit in the corner-oﬃce cave and pretend that youʼre hunting. That is sad. Whatʼs even sadder is if you agree to take the money.
You have to ﬁnd your own shtick:
A Picasso always looks like Picasso painted it. Hemingway always sounds like Hemingway. A Beethoven Symphony always sounds like a Beethovenʼs Symphony. Part of being a Master is learning how to sing in nobody elseʼs voice but your own.
Every artist is looking for their big, deﬁnitive “Ah-Ha!” moment, whether theyʼre a Master or not. That moment where they ﬁnally ﬁnd their true voice, once and for all.
Jackson Pollack discovering splatter paint. Robert Ryman discovering all-white canvases. Andy Warhol discovering silkscreen. Hunter S. Thompson discovering Gonzo Journalism. Duchamp discovering the Found Object. Jasper Johns discovering the American Flag. Hemingway discovering brevity. James Joyce discovering stream-of-consciousness prose.
Was it luck? Perhaps a little bit.
But it wasnʼt the format that made the art great. It was the fact that somehow while playing around with something new, suddenly they found themselves able to put their entire selves into it.
Only then did it become their ʻshtick,ʼ their true voice, etc. Thatʼs what people responded to. The humanity, not the form. The voice, not the form. Put your whole self into it, and you will ﬁnd your true voice. Hold back and you wonʼt. Itʼs that simple.
How To Be Creative
Most of us are slaves of the stories we unconsciously tell ourselves about our lives. Freedom begins the moment we become conscious of the plot line we are living and, with this insight, recognize that we can step into another story altogether. Our experiences of life quite literally are defined by our assumptions. We make up stories about the world and to a great degree live out their plots. Carol S. Pearson
Alchemical Creativity and the Unconscious:
Our culture depends in many ways on the creation of standards and conventions that we all must adhere to. These conventions are often expressed in terms of opposites-good and evil, beautiful and ugly, painful and pleasurable, rational and irrational, intellectual and sensual. Believing in these opposites gives our world a sense of cohesion and comfort. To imagine that something can be intellectual and sensual, pleasurable and painful, real and unreal, good and bad, masculine and feminine is too chaotic and disturbing for us. Life, however, is more fluid and complex; our desires and experiences do not fit neatly into these tidy categories.
The real and the unreal are concepts that exist for us as ideas and constructions, and thus can be played with, altered, commanded, and transformed at will. Those who think in dualities-believing that there is such a thing as “real” and such a thing as “unreal,” and that they are distinct entities that can never become blended into a third, alchemical element - are creatively limited, and their work can quickly become dead and predictable. To maintain a dualistic approach to life requires that we repress many observable truths, but in our unconscious and in our dreams we often let go of the need to create categories for every thing, and are able to mix seemingly disparate and contradictory ideas and feelings together with ease.
Your task as a creative thinker is to actively explore the unconscious and contradictory parts of your personality, and to examine similar contradictions and tensions in the world at large. Expressing these tensions within your work in any medium will create a powerful effect on others, making them sense unconscious truths or feelings that have been obscured or repressed.
You look at society at large and the various contradictions that are rampant - for instance, the way in which a culture that espouses the ideal of free expression is charged with an oppressive code of political correctness that tamps free expression down. In science, you look for ideas that go against the existing paradigm, or that seem inexplicable because they are so contradictory. All of these contradictions contain a rich mine of information about a reality that is deeper and more complex than the one immediately perceived.
By delving into the chaotic and fluid zone below the level of consciousness where opposites meet, you will be surprised at the exciting and fertile ideas that will come bubbling up to the surface.
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