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The Creative Process

Creative process

How does the creative process work for you?

For me, it starts with a switching on, a subtle change in mindset, to be receptive, to put up the antennae and start to receive. The environment around you constantly fires signals and everything can be of interest depending on how you look at it. Slowly, through immersion and a kind of osmosis, creative filtering takes over and important or engaging elements, no matter how seemingly disparate, start to emerge and piece themselves together. I find it useful not to force the process but once a clearer idea comes to mind, I’ll start to research and then to make notes and sometimes drawings to develop compositional ideas. From there I can set up the shapes and forms of the piece and start the fun part which is the experimenting with lighting, colour and texture and so on. I’m focusing mainly on my abstract work here, like these two examples below:


 Sometimes things work beautifully and it all seems to flow and there’s a balance or maybe it doesn’t look right and you keep developing and simplifying until you get there. The process teaches you to improve and evolve with each new experiment. 

There is a misconception that photography isn’t art because it's just taking pictures and of course photography can be used in that way but as an artist I’m much more interested in ‘making’ not taking images and by creating all the parts of a piece you are in as much control as a painter or sculptor even though the tools may be different. I have found this to be true with my abstract work in contrast to some of my older landscape work and the sense of satisfaction is much greater as an artist when the the final work comes from you and is filtered through you. I still like to shoot landscapes but now I’m looking much more to respond to a scene creatively, like these below, rather than to record it faithfully and accurately. 
The beauty of photography for me is its versatility giving the artist the means to create from our imagination using light as the raw material, what could be more fulfilling and exciting than that?
Myself in the studio in Leeds, looking uncharacteristically serious!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and gaining an insight into my working process and thanks for taking an interest!
I’d be very interested to hear how you approach the creative process so please feel free to leave your comments below or post on Facebook. 
John Withey

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