Bang Your Drum
Run Your Race
Pause And Think About It
Three of my favorite outdoor sculptures, all created by Barry Flanagan. I came across these sculptures in three different cities: Amsterdam, Dublin, and Washington, DC. The photos were taken over 10 years apart but somehow they work together to convey a message. Bang your drum, run your race, but don’t forget to pause and think about it. Especially if in all your running around you look like a jackrabbit or the bunny man from Donnie Darko.
Creating your Big Audacious Q
In 2015, I embarked on a big audacious creative quest to publish 10,000 photographs, from 1000 places, in 100 different cities, over a 10 year period. By April 2019, I’ll be four years in and so far I’ve published over 5900 photographs, mostly on 500px, Flickr, and Instagram.
- 100,000 Photographs
- 10,000 Published
- 1000 Places
- 100 Cities
- 10 Years
- 1 Amazing Journey
One day early in the journey, after walking over 12 miles doing street photography in Manhattan, I realized there were additional benefits to this quest beyond mastering photography or travel. There is something about walking long distances, allowing yourself to get lost, and literally just focusing on the people, sights, and sounds around you. To me, it didn’t matter if I was in a big city, small town, or a jungle north of Chang Mai Thailand. I was moving and creating. I was scratching my creative itch while dealing with my inability to sit still for long.
Now, four years into this, I’ve got nearly 6,000 photographs I’ve published out of 45,000 taken, many of which are bad. Early on I told myself that the important thing was learning to see and not really compare my work to anyone else’s.
Now that I have these photographs, I want to do something with them other than just publish them online. I want to go back and look through the photos I’ve published and think about them. I’d like to look at them and write about them. The greatest benefit of any creative quest is how it can converge with other parts of your life and your work. If I can write about these photos, I’m practicing convergence of more than just a few skills I enjoy.
- Bang Your Drum. What do you get excited about? What would you do for free if no one was watching you or paying you? What would you like to master? Go and do that. Bang your drum.
- Run Your Race. Okay, you have ideas, you’re excited, but you need to get started and you need to keep going. You need to run your race. The great thing about a personal or creative quest is that the race starts over every day. It’s a good idea to put some numbers to your quest, even if it’s a purely creative one. It’ll give you an idea of where you are and where you’re going.
- Pause and Think About It. At the beginning of many races, quests, or other herculean challenges, you’re full of energy and enthusiasm. I can tell you from personal experience that will fade and you’ll need something to spark that energy again. This is where that important pause comes into play. I took a few weeks off publishing photos over the holidays and that’s really when the idea to write about them came to me, 3 years after I started.