Date: 31st July 2020
Location: Isle of Wight
Category: Foto Fridays
If you’ve been reading my recent Foto Fridays posts, you will understand that I collect moments and memories in visual form through photographs.
As I’ve gotten deeper into my photography practice, I’ve trained myself to see the world differently and in a lot of detail. When I’m out and about, even just a seemingly straightforward walk into town, I am looking around me and constantly honing in on details and categorising what I see.
Are those textures, shadows, shapes, lines, colours that I could add to my collection of moments?
When I started my photo-a-day projects in 2014, I suddenly had hundreds of photos to deal with – at least one a day but sometimes many, many more. The only system I had was basic – folders organised by month and year. I assigned keywords against photos if my software / app allowed it and searched for those keywords across those folders on my computer, phone or in apps and software.
But what has been missing has been an organisational system – a conscious / intentional way to organise my observations.
“The act of organising your creativity is beneficial“Philippa Stanton (@5ftinf)
Inspiration for a new way forward came in 2019 from Philippa Stanton, a Brighton-based artist. In her book “Conscious Creativity“, specifically the chapter on “Visual Collecting and Documentation” she talks about a collecting / documentation technique for photos she takes when she is out and about and as later inspiration for her own artwork. She suggests “taking time to consciously collect and document often small observations from your daily experiences that aren’t necessarily always pretty, but which interest you“.
She encourages us to find a way (and suggests a few) to document our creative ideas and what we see on a daily basis, so that we can look back for inspiration or to see how we have progressed.
After reading the chapter, I instantly knew I needed a system that matched the way that I look at the world (and my keywords / tags) – why had I never thought of it before?
Inspired by Stanton’s suggestions, I immediately set up folders in my phone’s Gallery that were based on my visual observations and keywords (texture, shape etc) rather than by date. And over the last year, I have adapted and implemented her suggestions into my own practice. As a Virgo, I love a good system – now I have one to support the storage and retrieval of those visual observations I’ve been collecting for years.
I agree that organising my creativity is and has been beneficial – thank you Philippa! No matter what type of artist you are, I can recommend giving this a try.
We all have this image in our heads as artists are creative, free spirits who are disorganised and messy! But I can guarantee that most of us have some kind of system in place to document and record ideas and progress.
What are yours?