Inspiration and the Artistic Journey

We all have been inspired, have waited for or searched for inspiration, and have maybe even inspired others over the years.  Inspiration is what drives and moves all artists to do what they do.

I was thinking about the topic of inspiration a lot this week in preparation for a workshop I am hosting this weekend for some Buena Vista County 4-Hers and it has really made me reflect on my journey as an artist.  (I never imagined my path in photography would lead to where it has today way back when I took my first photos for entry in the county fair in elementary school!)

Lately I have been poring over books of images by the old photography masters like Emerson and Ansel Adams.  I’m always amazed by the quality of their art considering the primitive nature of the equipment available a century ago (comparatively speaking).  Their use of light, lines, space, and context are simply stunning.  I have been delving in to the works of the modern-day master, Annie Liebovitz, and her push-the-boundaries, outside-the-box, always innovative style of portraiture.   I even dug through some boxes in the basement to look back at my own works from 10 – 20  years ago when film was my medium and the darkroom was my favorite place to be. (Ah, I can still smell it!)  It brought back memories of my high school photography mentor who taught us how to literally shoot from the hip and my college professor that had us photographing blindfolded on top of the BVU Forum one cold January morning!

Inspiration can come in many forms and from many different places.  Each of us has been inspired and will continue to be inspired, but how many of us know when we have been an inspiration to others?  Years from now we might receive a surprise note from someone who tells the story of how we touched their lives.  It may even be something we did that we don’t remember or perhaps didn’t even actively take part in.

I have been lucky to have had great people in my life that help fuel my inspiration and drive the evolution of my art every day.  I just hope that I can be an inspiration for someone some day…heck, maybe I already have and don’t even know it!

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If your club or organization is interested in a private photography workshop, contact the studio at info@landgrafphotography.com

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