A Career in Creativity: My Experience as a Portland, Oregon Photographer


"...I don't sit around waiting to write until my genius decides to pay me a visit. If anything, I have come to believe that my genius spends a lot of time waiting around for me - waiting to see if I'm truly serious about this line of work." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

I have this bookmarked in my copy of Big Magic. These particular sentences stood out above most of the other amazing content in this book, and for a very good reason. All too often I find myself waiting for the perfect shoot, the perfect couple, or the perfect idea to get off my butt and be and feel creative. I've told myself many times, 'you need to do a shoot so special and magical and dazzling and creative, so that everyone must love your work and hire you.' Sound familiar to anyone else? 

In Roman culture, there was no such thing as being a genius. These talented painters, sculptors, scientists, were never geniuses or made genius discoveries. Instead, there was a "superior or divine nature" that worked alongside them, referred to as their genius. This really hits home for me, especially in my field of work. You cannot force or control a genius out of you, but creativity will work alongside you when you're ready. It's a friend, and a coworker. I love how Elizabeth points out, that without the ability to be a genius, you are held less accountable for your less inspiring work, or actions. So let me say that again, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PRODUCE THE MOST CREATIVE WORK OF YOUR CAREER EVERY TIME YOU PRODUCE WORK. In that same breathe, YOU STILL HAVE TO CREATE WORK.

Without doing any work at all, how are you supposed to create your best work? As a goal for myself, I have decided, no matter how boring the subject, to take pictures of everything as often as possible. I have given myself permission to create art from my everyday in order to inspire and prepare me for my most creative moments. I am preparing my home for my genius, and I am ready to show it what I've been working on. I am excited to begin working on a new creative path, one that is less stagnant, and more opportunistic. Whether you are in a creative line of work, or not, I highly suggest this read. I hope you make new goals for your day, your career, and your life, for creative living isn't much living at all.