Steve Umbrella and Older couple

Unlocking the Creative You

We can choose to follow the paths of others.
Or we can inspire our own creative pathway
and truly feel the wind beneath our wings.
–  Steve Parish

While creativity is an abstract concept, after fifty-six years of making images of many styles for thousands of projects, I have come to consider as:

  • Bringing into being (producing an expressive image)
  • Evolving from imagination (pre-visualising the end goal )
  • Being the first (to capture an original view or subject in a picture that was previously unimaginable even by you)
  • Engaging yourself with others in an artistic activity – see below, husband the photographer, wife the artist or an adult inspiring a child to freely express.

Sadly, many people consider themselves devoid of creative ability and subsequently don’t think of themselves as artists or, even worse, discount themselves as imaginative beings

Pause for a minute, close your eyes and reimagine your favourite photographic images. They are unique to you, and they are your viewpoints and designs and the moods (emotions) they encapsulate directly to your travels, beliefs, and attitudes – so they must in some ways be original and intrinsic to you. Wrap into this ‘capture process’ a sense of self-belief and a strident desire to make your own artistic decisions without fear or a need for recognition, and you are more likely than find an exceptional photographer. 

September Newsletter

Creative confidence, life’s greatest gift

As Irene Amos (1927 – 2012), an artist and a painter, teacher, administrator and supporter of Queensland’s visual arts, said to a room full of students when speaking on the philosophy of art, ‘I know what art is, art is what I do!’ Encountering this woman on my journey as a photographer represented a significant movement in my mindset from no confidence to supreme confidence. Confidence in one’s own creativity is one of life’s greatest gifts.

As time passed I began to take risks with the way I expressed myself through my photography and, as a result, I began to express a long-held passion for abstractionism.  That was the ’70s, these days I revel in the joy of expressing myself via a wide range of styles many of which you will find on the site in my digital art portfolios.

Society the thief

Society often assigns human creativity only to painters, architects, poets, or writers, robbing others of the joy of knowing that they, too, are not only creative in their work but may have untapped talent.

While it is understandable for us all to seek support in creative decision-making, it is even more critical that we learn to make our own creative decisions. Try it. It is empowering. The reactions I get from the people around me are interesting. Artists, designers, photographers, writers, marketers, or editors share their views quickly and with conviction. They are confident in expressing opinions on matters that are part of their professional role. People in other fields, such as finance, management, administration, or retail, are less confident. They often react with, “Well, it is out of my field, but….  “If you are on a creative journey or considering beginning one while reading this, consider that stepping away from the familiar presents an ideal opportunity to explore your artistic side and further expand your creative life purpose.

Steve Umbrella and Older couple

Some Ways to Unlock the Creative You

The first step is to allow yourself to take on this new and exciting process of your development. Once you have granted yourself permission, the next step is managing the time you will need, remembering that sometimes a change in your attitude may be required. 

You are a creative person, and you are a person who can develop your existing talents, and you are equally as capable as the next person in achieving your heart’s desire.

Below are some considerations to help improve your creativity.

    1. Surround yourself with positive-thinking people.
    2. Everyone has a story to tell, and creative expression is individual – just share your truth.
    3. Surround the spaces where you work, play, and live with affirmations and inspiring visual stimuli.
    4. Keep a diary of your progress, thoughts, and ideas. In my Masterclass, I encourage using digital desktop journals (keynote or Powerpoint, or something similar). I have used these tools for decades and open them very frequently.
    5. Read as widely as you can on the subject of creativity – books, journals, and websites.
    6. Travel whenever you can. Being away from familiar things can considerably stimulate your imagination. 
    7. Broaden your interests into other creative media. Visiting exhibitions or art installations is a great idea.
    8. Expose yourself to other cultures and different ways of being and seeing. Australia is a multicultural society, so you will find plenty of opportunities to explore unfamiliar places and learn about cultures.
    9. Try being alone in the natural world. Go camping or take time away from others with just a notebook and a pen.
    10. Finally, if you feel quite a nieve creative about the many aspects of photography, consider that you are in an excellent position to start your journey. Overthinking can be a mortal enemy of creativity flow.
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