Strangely, I’d never even considered the question of why I create until a few weeks ago. It’s such an intrinsic part of my being that I’d never wondered what need it fulfills in me or what drives me to create, despite the fact I have been artistic my entire life.
As a young child, while my brother played footie outside with his mates I was often found on my stomach in front of the fire colouring in, tongue out in focused concentration, and my pre-teen years were spent making up dance routines with my friends or knitting outfits for my dolls. When I started secondary school, it went without saying that Art would be on my syllabus and although I’ve never been great at drawing or painting I passed my Art O level when I was just 14, going on to take an early A level in Art & Design. As a young adult I was way too busy for artistic hobbies, but when computers came along part of my working life was spent designing advertising and educational literature using Microsoft Publisher and as an older adult designing and producing newsletters and websites for various organisations as a volunteer. I only discovered photography in my forties, but from day one I was hooked and now I can’t imagine my life without my camera.
I have an innate need to create. It is communication and sharing of self at its most fundamental. All most people want is to be seen , heard and understood and creative photography allows me to express my own unique thoughts, feelings, opinions and experiences without having to defend, justify or explain.
It’s no wonder, really, that I don’t enjoy record photography. Simply reproducing an existing scene by-passes my imagination, whereas creative photography allows me to be an integral part of the process.
Most importantly, creating is my biggest stress reliever and vitally important to my mental health. Just as I get lost in books, escaping into other times and lives, I get lost in my photography escaping into the worlds of birds, insects, and animals, not to mention Pixies, Queens and Nuns! 😉 I can escape the confines of my ill health and the stresses of everyday life, flying on the back of a Heron over moody seas or floating serenely underwater with the fishes. Sitting down at my computer to begin a picture enables me to switch off and loose myself building form and colour and story, waiting with growing excitement for the final picture to emerge.
I don’t know who, or where, I would be without my creativity. It’s as much a part of me as my wonky eyebrow and overly long nose and without the ability to create my days would be devoid of colour and meaning.