Aaaaaaannndd focus!!

Photography wise, I mean.

Been looking around sites like Deviant Art and realised that a hell of a lot of people consider themselves ‘photographers’. I don’t think it’s an issue that so many people love taking pictures. I mean, I think its great when anyone does something creative. Creativity is the language of the soul, or was that food of the soul. I can’t remember, I am rubbish at remembering quotes. Anyways, creativity is good for a person.

It’s when people get all snot-nosed about it.

The people who spent 5 years at University, aren’t necessarily better photographers that anyone else, but it’s that they think that they are. **Making no sense- deep breath** What I mean is, why should having a formal education in something make you better at your chosen topic. It doesn’t. All it means is that you have more pieces of paper when it comes to trying to get a job. This is the ‘hallelujah’ moment I had last year, that no matter how much education you have, you aren’t going to necessarily ‘get better’. Sure, you may learn more skills, which is nice and all, but if you can’t visualise things on your own, then no amount of skill can change that. You can spend your 20s at College or University, and still end up as hopeless as you were at High School.

Sounds a bit ‘tough love’ but it’s true. The person who does something because they love it, is going to be far more successful than someone who chases a career because it will make them money. It is something, I think I needed to be out of College to see. It ‘opened my eyes’, if you will.

    “A person receives a richer eduction experiencing life, than they would at any School”

This nameless quote (I need to start noting down names) is speaking the truth. Whilst education is nice and all, it is mostly just an easy extension onto High School, where you can delay ‘adulthood’ for an extra few years. The only adult thing that seems to happen is the debt. The thousands and thousands of pounds worth of debt College gifts every student. So that before they can graduate, they need to find a job, and when they do, it all goes into paying College loans off. So College graduates have this big pressure on them to get a job in their profession, sometimes annihilating any enjoyment for the subject, the person once had.

Taking a subject you enjoy, and trying to turn it into a career is hard. Most times people give up, because it either becomes too hard, or they lose enjoyment. And, let’s be honest, there is no attraction in working a job you hate for the rest of your life. If you have read this blog at all before, you were aware of the stress I had trying to start my own business as soon as I left College. At the time, it seemed like an awesome idea, start earning money from my own work. But, as frequently happens, it didn’t quite go like that. I had a massive creative block, that I just couldn’t get out of.

The thing with working in the Creative Industry, you can try as hard as you can, but if you have no inspiration, then it is hard to produce work. So I took a gap, and starting working on other things, such as writing. This helped. Because I could write about my apparent failure, I received advice from other people who had the same experience. These, I suppose, would be my peers. People who were trying to sell their own work to make a living, be it as a designer, artist or writer. Their encouraging words were what I needed, and helped me carry on. I would still try to do something, but I wouldn’t force it too hard. As if it becomes a chore, it is too hard to do it for pleasure again. So I went and did other things. Wrote a few articles for websites, and slowly I’m getting my motivation back, and am now creating work I feel happy with.

I know that this isn’t over, and I will battle with trying to keep my creativity my whole life, but I know how to deal with it a bit better.  I know that most people deal with creative pits, where they can’t do anything. I also know, that it took the will of working nothing but a normal job for a few months, to spark my desire.

The truth is, take a break if you need it. I can now afford that luxury as I build up a backlog of work, as well as working in a call centre, which pays the bills. College will never offer you that luxury, you have to work through your block, and for a lot of artists that’s why their creativity crashes after they graduate. I know. It happened to me.

I’m not saying I regret anything, because I loved college, and I did learn a lot, but the heart was already there, I just needed the vessels to help carry everything.

To any students who may read this, NEVER EVER think that you are better than another artist or author, just because you had a better education. Talent is not something which is created in a classroom, it is something one is born with, and true talent will always shine through.



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