creativity and purpose

Craig Tanner has been and is an important mentor and teacher to me. I’ve taken two workshops with him and have a third planned in Santa Fe next April. Craig has critiqued several of my images. You can see some of these video critiques on my website by clicking here.  There are many wonderful resources on Craig’s website, The Mindful Eye.

Here’s a short piece Craig wrote recently about creativity for those interested in growing in photography, but it also can apply, I believe,  to other areas of our lives.


A common question I get on workshops is how can I move past my current creative limits. I often first encourage a reframe of the question. We are always evolving…. sometimes a little more slowly than others but it is an ongoing process. I think a better question is “What is the next step in my evolution as an artist?” When we reframe the question in this way we are encouraged to identify first with our purpose. When we know where we would like the next step of our vision to take us then it is a lot easier to practice being there.

Tanner Tips

Here are three simple steps for growing your creativity as an artist.

 1) Know your overall purpose as a photographer and the purpose for each shooting session.

 2) Next practice as much as possible and practice consciously. Conscious practice is when we know what we are working on to the point of being able to identify whether or not we are making measurable progress towards our purpose or goal.

 3) Finally, trust this simple but powerful process. If we just set out to make great pictures without a more specific or meaningful purpose our results may never satisfy. Our standard for great is always evolving along with our vision – just wanting to be great is not a purpose. It’s a moving target that can leave us feeling like the cat that chases its tail. But when we practice relative to a specific purpose that has an identifiable meaning we can measure our results and see clearly that we are making progress. That leads to satisfaction and a greater trust in the process which speeds us past our limits towards our infinite potential.

 Craig Tanner,    http://www.tmelive.com


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