Points of view, perspectives, and routine….

My kids have taken a liking to taking pictures. No surprise since I have been an avid photographer who has not been that avid for a while. Since I moved to Chicago suburbs I have felt uninspired to take photos. I like to go out, walk around with my camera and take photos. I have to confess that I have nurtured a somewhat romantic notion of what is worth a photo… My kids though, have another opinion of their current location, the things that surround them, and perhaps more importantly, point of view. Thus, they take my camera, with much anxiety from their mother, and away they shoot. They shot around 80 photos of anything and everything. I don’t know exactly how long these photos have been in the camera. Yesterday, when I took my camera to download some photos of my students to be included in thank you cards for our guest speakers, I found them. And here is a sample of what I found (for more photos, please visit facebook).

Rex

calculator

highlighters

window

keyboard

hand

The willingness to just “freeze” whatever called their attention was impressive to me. I contemplated the 80 some photos for a while and it got me thinking. They see the world from their perspective… lower than a bird, lower than adults, higher than a worm, higher than a baby… somewhere at table height… yet it does not bother them. Rather they use it. They make something with it. It is the approach of “I don’t care if they are good or bad.. I am just experimenting or going about my way and see what I see..” To me that was sobering…

I am a designer… I am constantly looking for inspiration, a different point of view, to get out of my routine to think out of the box… but the box needs to be examined to think out of it. How do we know if we are thinking outside the box if we are not able to recognize that we make this box? For me, my box is that I have failed to see pattern, repetition, anomaly, similarity, or perhaps just getting on my hands and knees and look at my surroundings differently… Whatever it is… to think outside the box, is about the discipline of looking and seeing. We often think the muse has to come and visit us… but the muse refuses…. (have you ever watched the movie The Muse with Sharon Stone? It is hilarious!). The truth is that the muse comes when we have been working it… struggling with it… hashing it out.. and then either when we take a break or suddenly we look at something else, the brain connects those dots. Or it may be a little later… The point is that practice makes perfect.. The ability to think outside the box or have a new perspective or point of view comes out of creating a routine of taking time to sketch, to do process, to do research, to draw, to paint, to take photos, even if it is mundane and ordinary… Practice makes perfect.. right?

Photo by YLegrand

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