Staying Inspired…

I don’t know about you, but I go on a regular rollercoaster ride as far as being interested in picking up my camera for reasons other than a job. Sometimes I am really into it but other times I just get burned out!

This happened to me a couple of years ago, and I knew I needed a kick in the butt to go out and shoot some work that was not job related.

I had been teaching at Art Center College of Design for over 15 years at that point and really had never taken advantage of the “free class” I get each term while teaching there. Well a good friend of mine, Wynne Wilson, was teaching a portraiture class that term and so I opted to take it.

Not so much to learn something (which, I’m sorry, but you can’t help but learn SOMETHING!) but more to give me assignments to shoot since I was just mentally fried at the time. It was a great experience. It gave me a structure and deadlines by which I had to produce something. It was also just nice to be in a creative environment with little or no stress.

I missed a few classes due to being on location for a couple of jobs but it revitalized me while I was there and I got a few shots that wound up in the portfolio! So overall it was more than worth it.

I even pulled out my 5×7 view camera and made a portrait of my favorite instructor from when I attended Art Center (who was still teaching there) during a class shoot that we had one week.

Archie Ferrante

I say all of this because I think at times we each need to hit the “Reset Button”. That is different for all of us and could even be different for each individual at different times of their life…

But if you think taking a class might just kick you in the butt…. DO IT!

(see also yesterdays entry!!)

2 thoughts on “Staying Inspired…

  1. Hi Dana, A few questions:

    1.) What benefits did your ACAN class give you personally and professionally?

    2.) Do you have any specific examples of how you took the skills or knowledge you gained from the class and applied it to your career?

    3.) The “reset” button you speak of in your blog, do you think there are particular ways artists and teachers benefit from this, in addition to helping everyone at different periods in their lives?

  2. Hi Sarah,

    In answers to your questions:

    1. The class gave me a fun, relaxed and stress free environment in which to play and be creative. A place where I could have someone I respect push me to explore areas I might not normally on my own.

    2. The class was more of a creative class than a technical class. What I took from the class was the ability to be freer and shoot more loosely than before. I also walked away with 3 portfolio pieces, which isn’t bad!

    3. I cannot speak for others, but I know that for myself as a creative and a teacher, I get burned out. That’s all there is to it. I at times get so entrenched in “the job” that I loose perspective on the bigger picture (i.e. why I started doing this in the first place, what I love about it, etc.) And thankfully every few years something comes along to “snap me out of it”. The Art Center at Night Class that I took was one of those things. This year it was a lecture by a noted colleague and a new (completely manual) camera that did the trick…

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