My creative process

My creative process

The creative process as I see it. The “as I see it” is the most important.
As a visual artist, I express myself through life as it passes before me. It is
not only what I see, but I recognize that it is all about who I am. I describe
myself as “always on the inside looking out “. What I mean is that all that
went before me as my life has passed registers when I see something. It is what
I have read ,what I have experienced, and what I have seen over my years. These
engage all my senses. These stimulate the creative idea so that when I see
something, I must put it in front of my camera’s lens.

As I am writing about this, I am a bit uneasy. This is more difficult to
express as being my process than I thought. I must and think that much of it is
intuitive and resides inside of my head, heart, and soul, waiting for its

That is the value of writing my morning pages. This morning discipline lets
you reach inside yourself and pull out your thoughts and give them life. It is
good for the soul.

For me, what I have found in my writings and in my observations, is that
much of what I want to express is spiritual. What we consider spiritual or
religious resides inside all of us is part of the human condition.

I expressed my thoughts on this in my photo essay “A Walk with Sisyphus” an
existential visual tour. I am always taken back by the existential philosophers.
They honed their thoughts from the late 19th century through the first half of
the 20th century. A lot of their thoughts are an answer to the hardships that
were evident in Europe. For them, the world and life are absurd. They point to
the history of industrialization through the holocaust of the second world war
to account for that. Albert Camus’s essay “the myth of Sisyphus” was a metaphor
for life struggles. King Sisyphus’s eternal plight was to roll that stone up
the hill only to have a fallback down and start all over again. For Camus, this
fruitless task is no different from every man or woman’s journey through life.
Amidst the inevitability of death, the existentialist (for them, life’s only
sure thing) encourage us to be ourselves. In Sartre’s words, “We are condemned
to be Free.” To authentically go through life and fight through the human indifference
and disdain we all face for being who we are. In today’s rhetoric, the evidence
of this is how the LGBTQ individuals face such an extreme backlash about their
own authenticity. The reason I point that out is the raw emotion evident on
either side of this idea. The strength of will to out yourself, and the
strength of the scorn that others have for those trying to be themselves.
Camus, in his essay, Sisyphus, when realizing that he had to begin all over
again was scorning his fate. He was defiant and resolved to succeed and put his
detractors at amazement. I accept this idea and for me those that scorn, and
disdain are missing direction and will bear no fruit.

This raw emotion of both is where, for me, the human perception of a greater
being a creator lies. My belief is there is no heaven after earth, but we can
have a heaven on earth.

My discussion today is an abstraction for me and for anyone who may read it.
It is hard to lay it down in simplistic terms. But for me it is a beginning of
my creative process. My art and visual expression, I have learned, is
spiritual. My obsession with a camera began when I was 12. I have held , it,
used it in many forms all these years. I had made it the centerpiece of my
life. Once I was to be torn apart by my obsession. So much that I had to leave
it behind and move on to provide for myself and family. I rolled my stone with
Sisyphus, thinking it would stay at the top. I sat there for a while, resting
on my laurels. Then I remembered my football coach, Anthony Naporano yelling at
“don’t rest on your Laurels. Get back in the game.” Thanks to my laurels I can
now pursue my art. I also realized that laurels are meaningless when the stones
slide down the hill and you are starting all over again as an artist. It’s like The US Atlantus .  That’s the concrete ship pictured.  It has been at Cape May’s sunset beach for nearly 100 years Slowly rolling back into the sea. such is life.

The last of The US Atlantus.  Cape Mays concrete ship
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