I cannot seem to shake this creative slump I'm in. I've no interest in taking photos or writing. Part of the reason is that my car is sick and we're not going to repair it because it's old with high mileage and the repairs would be in the thousands. So, I'm trapped at home unless the hubby or daughter are home and I can use one of their cars. Long story. I love my house on the water so at first this wasn't much of a hardship. However, over time I've started feeling trapped. I'm used to taking spur-of-the-moment adventurous road trips in my trusty All Wheel Drive Subaru Forester (love that car) and discovering places I've never seen. I can't do that now. Yes, I can take photos of the water and sunrises and all that stuff but I've "been there, done that" and am feeling the call of the wild. I can't even go see the pelicans or drive to the dam and watch the cormorants. I'm home bound. It's messing with my mind and my spirit.
I was whining recently to my artistic road trip buddies, Carroll and Bobbie, and one of them threw me a challenge. She basically kicked my butt and told me to start photographing things I'm not used to photographing. Mundane things that normally hold no interest for me. Be creative with the mundane. Yeah, yeah...I know, I know. Preaching to the choir. She threw down the gauntlet. "Send me creative photos of SHOES."
Well, I didn't do it. One morning she sent me this missive; "I've rushed to my computer every day, anxiously awaiting shoe photos. I imagined a shoe in a tree, a shoe peeping from beneath a big rock, empty, ragged shoes walking down the middle of the road, and on and on. Where are they?? Come on, Debi, show some sole! If shoes don't spur your creativity, find some lizards :)" I laughed out loud!
It was raining, but I immediately donned my rain jacket and L. L. Bean dog-walking shoes and went outside. This oily puddle beckoned. In 5 minutes I was back inside downloading the first spur-of-the-moment photos and sent it to Bobbie. My first thought was "good, now she'll stop bugging me," but I really want her to bug me. She wrote back "That is so great! Debi, do you see how the scalloped-like trim on the shoe matches the patter of the water? And the face is incredible! I know you see the face at the toe of the shoe. Turn the photo upside down and the shoe becomes the "hair" of the face. The face in the water reminded me of someone, and THEN I remembered -- looks strikingly like Wilson in Castaway!!! There is a lot of stuff in that photo and it's all good." Bobbie is a painter and has a wonderful sense of color and playfulness. She saw something that I didn't see.
Creative people need coaches and cheerleaders. Artists, photographers, writers, designers, gardeners, cooks, weavers, quilters, sculptors, architects and managers - all of us create on some level. We each get into creative slumps and need people to shake us up. One cannot create in a vacuum, one needs input and fresh air, new surroundings, and occasionally a kick in the pants. Thanks, Bobbie, for a must needed boost.