I recently had a discussion with some friends of mine on what the definition of “art” was, including what counts as “art” vs what is simple “there”. Naturally at the end of this conversation, no two people had the same exact idea of what counted as “art” or what actions counted as the creation of “art”, and we simply had to agree to disagree. From here I decided to start developing the concept that everyone has an “Individual Artistic Profile” in terms of what they thought was good art vs bad art, or even classifying something as not even being artistic at all.
And now for the real reason of this rant! I’ve been in contact with several people about potentially doing photo shoots here in the near future, such as here in the Tacoma/Seattle area, down in Reno, and at Anime-USA. I’m constantly being asked “what sort of shoots do you have in mind?” and to be quite honest, I think that the 140 character limit of Twitter makes it a little difficult to explain what I have in mind.
If you want to have the most absolute artistic photo shoot possible, you must first figure out something about yourself. You must find out what you believe to be artistic, focus on this, and then try to recreate it. Do you ever say to yourself anything along the lines of “Ooo, I sure do look good wearing blue”? If so, have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself why? This is a part of your artistic profile, but only a small part.
There are many categories to the artistic profile, and many sub-categories thereof. In the example above, the category “color” is used. This does not mean that everything in the photo should revolve around “blue” as this is only one aspect of the profile. The color(s) of the environment around you is also important. Is the background a blue-ish color to match the outfit? Or is it a goldish color to give it contrast? Maybe the background is green to help accent your green eyes?
Color is only the beginning of this! We can easily extend this out to countless other categories, such as poses, camera angles, elemental aspects (weather, landscape, AND color), emotional (happy, sad, cute, sexy, insightful, other worldly, distant, etc), and much more.
And now for the tricky part… None of this information is static at all either. What you love one day you’ll end up hating the next. We grow over time, and so do our artistic natures.
So, “how do we use this information to create better art?”
The first part is simple. Ignore yourself for a moment. Go out and look at other people’s artwork. With the internet, this is really easy with the vast amount of artistic oriented web sites. Start recognizing what you like, what you absolutely love, and what you hate. Do this passively over time, and start building a collection of sorts…
And now comes the hard part… Start to identify trends with the images you’ve selected over a period of time. Try to find the subtle relations between each of them. Look at each photo closely and start identifying what it is about the image you love so much. Is there really interesting and dynamic lighting? What about some unusual makeup that draws you in? How about the location the photo took place at?
Now start imagining yourself in those situations when those images were created. Try to imagine where each person was standing, what they were doing and what they must have been thinking. Oh, and here is a fun little secret… Just find the people who created a particular piece, and just ask them!
Start to identify who you want to be, not who you already are. Look to the future and dream of the scene you want to create. You are the star actor for your own dreams, and its our job to make that dream into a single instance reality which we call a work of “art”!
For those of you that are interested in working with me to do photo shoots in the future, I encourage you to start thinking about who you and and who you want to become. I also ask that you contact me with these insights ahead of time, so that we may dream this dream together.