Don't Abandoned Your Art

Comfort This post is mostly for photographers but can apply to anyone who does creative work of some sort.

You know what happens, after hours of work on editing, or re-writing, re-recording song or re-drawing you decide this project is just not working. Your disappointed, it is not turning out as you envisioned or planned. So out of frustration you delete it, throw it in the trash, abandoned it. It's over and I am done with this.

I am writing to encourage you not to give up just yet.

When I first started getting serious about my photography I found myself a mentor. His name is Nat Coalson and he is an amazing landscape and abstract photographer. He taught me many things that I still use today, but I remember him telling me not to delete any of my images except the ones that were obviously out of focus. I could not at the time understand why. With digital and being able to take hundreds of shots and loading up cards why would we keep the ones we do not feel meet our standards? Having all those images on your hard drive can be very daunting.

I am someone who absolutely dislikes clutter  so this was very difficult for me to deal with. This was the advise I decided not to take. It just did not make sense to me. I was only going to keep the images I felt were good and worthy of editing. But  I was wrong and here is what I have learned about walking away rather than deleting or giving up.

When you have spent so much time on your project you begin to lose what it was that made you want to create this in the first place. You have been looking at it to long and now it just looks ordinary, mundane, not interesting, or doesn't sound right. It just not what you have envisioned

Now is the time you need to walk away. You have to give it time to cook.  Leave your project alone, put it away, don't obsess over it you need some time for fresh eyes.

I recently took a workshop on Creative Live with Hailey Bartholomew on creating video and she was asked a question about what happens when she hits a wall with being creative in the middle of a project.  She said "take two days off" Do not think about your project just get away from it and do something else. You need time away so you can reconnect to your creative ideas.

I now upload my photographs or videos and leave them alone for at least a week. A week to forget  what it was I was trying to capture, what it felt like, what was I trying to say. Then when I return and go through the photographs or look at the video again it looks new and exciting to me and I am now aware of what my creative self was trying to accomplish. I am inspired all over again.

So I beg you to please do not delete or abandoned your art until you move away from it so you can come back and see what it was that inspired you the first time.  I guarantee you will find  gems that you may have otherwise overlooked.

Here are a few of the photographs I almost deleted:


Ghost Horse

giemb-ghost-81Well Used