There are pictures that may not only possess an astonishing graphic presence, due to some uncommon element or strange composition, but that may also radiate a unique atmosphere of their own, one that stays with you and that leaves an important imprint in your mind. I think of photos by Edouard Boubat, by BrassaI, Cartier- Bresson. These all have an extraordinary power and are stamped in the mind, my mind. They all touch an extremely sensitive chord. But how are they made? There isn't any law to describe them…an image whose contents possess the magic power of remembrance or memorialisation.
This does not happen just by saying that there is an encounter with the setting, a meeting with the people. There is light too. These images are pictures that, for me, have a kind of perfume. They stay near like a little tune that annoys you because you whistle it all the time. You can't disentangle yourself from them. I can't remember who said that "to describe is to kill, to suggest is to give life." This, I think, is the key.
You have to let the person who will look at the picture walk along that visual path for himself. We must always remember that a picture is also made up of the person who looks at it. This is very, very important. Maybe this is the reason behind these photos that haunt me and that haunt many people as well. It is about that walk that one takes with the picture when experiencing it. I think that this is what counts. One must let the viewer extricate himself, free himself for the journey. You offer the seed and then the viewer grows it inside himself. For a long time I thought that I had to give the entire story to my audience. I was wrong.
“Guidance comes to us most clearly in solitude. It is called 'the still, small voice' because we must quiet our minds and our lives enough to hear it....Increasing and regularizing our times of solitude and quiet increases our ability to receive guidance.” - Julia Cameron
The Nature of Creativity
Questions and (maybe) Answers. Part IV
Like all phenomena of nature, creativity lives and dies within an ecology. There are creatogenic ecologies, but there are also creatopathic ones; the former are favorable to creativity, generative, while the latter are pathological and destructive. In all ecologies, periods of relative stability alternate with instabilities. Whether stable or unstable, heterogeneous or homogeneous, a creative human ecology is made up of a multiplicity of natural phenomena, people, experiences, and actions.
The specifically creative ecology may extend backward in time as well as laterally in space. We may find inspiration in the work of our predecessors from other ages, or colleagues in other locations. The Renaissance drew heavily on the golden age of Greece, and we still draw heavily on both. Modern art has roots in the work of artists in other cultures, from Africa to Asia. The creative ecology is both here and now, and long ago and far away.
Friendships are an important part of creative human ecologies. Think how many artistic arid intellectual movements have begun in cafes, with friends pondering problems, outlining constraints and possibilities, and embarking on a collective journey of exploration.
Almost all creation is a collaboration. Many of the most creative activities that have blossomed in this century, whether movie making or musical performance in jazz and pop bands, the development of business ventures, or new social movements, required constant collaboration.
As in all creative phenomena, the relationship between the creative person, the creative product, and the environment is full of seeming paradox. Creative persons benefit from support, from encouragement, from even a lone voice backing them in the face of adversity. Many creative persons have benefited from mentors, role models who guide them along the way to developing their own uniqueness. And yet the creative mind also needs a degree of solitude to match its immersion in the world, a time to mull things over and get down to the work of composing, painting, or writing alone. In that solitude we are perhaps never totally alone, wrestling as we are with ideas, debates, beliefs, and the notions of others. But in that solitude we can shape them, reorganize them, work with them, digest them, and make them our own.
So here again we find the constantly paradoxical nature of creativity, for as they internalize the work of others-their mentors, colleagues, friends, and enemies - creative persons are also developing their individual view of the world. In effect their own artistic voice.
Creators on Creating - Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind
Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori, Anthea Barron
We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time in the closed mode. Not that the closed mode cannot be helpful. If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time for considering alternative strategies. When you charge the enemy machine-gun post, don't waste energy trying to see the funny side of it. Do it in the "closed" mode. But the moment the action is over, try to return to the "open" mode-to open your mind again to all the feedback from our action that enables us to tell whether the action has been successful, or whether further action is need to improve on what we have done. In other words, we must return to the open mode, because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and therefore at our most intelligent.