When your voice finds a visual flow you tend to love all that you create, whether that love lasts or not. Visual flow is another name for having style, assuming that style is something that you worked for out of personal desire. Flow, in any context, refers to the feeling you get when you are completely immersed in a feeling or activity. I recently watched a documentary about this and read part of a book while waiting to catch a plane, and I was fascinated at the importance flow can have on our lives.
As a visual artist, visual flow is incredibly important to creating art that is meaningful and that you love. It does not always come about quickly, but is usually within everyone whether it has been confronted or not. If I were to ask you to create something based solely on what you love, what would you do? If I asked you what you like to daydream about most, or what your favorite color is, or where your most precious location is…what would you say?
When we are honest with ourselves and, consequently, with how we portray our craft, we are much more likely to enter visual flow. To understand who we are, why we are, and how to hone in on those things is to begin to understand your visual flow. It is different for everyone, but ultimately results in creating in a more personally fulfilling way.
I think that it is important for an artist to love what they do, and I use the term “artist” very loosely. I do not identify an artist as someone who makes money from their art, but instead someone who sees what they do as a craft. Being a mother can be an art; being a painter can be an art; being a skydiver can be an art. All of these could also have nothing to do with art, depending on your relationship with it.
Finding your visual flow has nothing to do with how other people judge your art, or even how you judge it compared to others.
This is your bubble of creativity, and it refers to genuine happiness while in the creation process. The more you love the process of creating, the more respect you will have for the finished product.
If you are creating solely for the pride of whatever results, the process is diminished.
I love everything that I create, especially while I am creating it. I enter into my personal workflow with reverence and happiness, knowing that what might result could be the greatest thing I have ever created or it could be the worst; this is of no consequence. The more I love the process, the more I love the result. I love everything that I create because of this. Make no mistake, however, in thinking that I always love what I do; quite the contrary. Years down the line I look back at my works and cringe, yet do so with no less respect for the image and process.
The love and excitement of a new piece of art might fade, but the respect and love for the act of creating never does.
One can begin to enter into visual flow by learning more about the creation process. Question how you create vs. how you want to create. They may be two very different things. Think about what you would create with no constraints, and then understand that those constraints may only be temporary, or may not exist at all.
Visual flow is not about conquering the world with your art, it is about conquering your own little world with your art.
See the process, understand the process, love the process. It is inside us all.
Kelsey - Thanks for the inspiring words, Brooke! I’m just launching my career in fine art photography and am realizing that in order to create the way I want to I need to set boundaries with people and activities in my life in order to better get in the flow. It is hard when so many things are pulling your attention/time away and making your art a priority is definitely challenging when first starting.
Thanks for the reminder, as always!
Carin - I like my “Happy Place” we all have one. It’s a beautiful place to be, motivated, content, expressive, empathic – truly blessed to feel that inner conscience and convey it through an artistic medium.
We are capable of so much……….
Melinda VanLone - I’m learning so much from you. Thanks for putting all this out there to inspire us. 🙂 As a writer, flow is vital, but I have yet to to that with my photography. Thanks for opening my eyes.
Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - Hello Brooke! Beautiful post! As a person who likes to create, regardless of everything, I think you already said everything that could be said. “I think that it is important for an artist to love what they do, and I use the term “artist” very loosely.” I think it does not make sense if is not that way. An artist should always love what they do. And this new post from you, tells me a lot, because a few days ago I created a fanpage for sharing what I love to do, photography. But it is special, because is about fine art photography, that I started to like and admire from the moment I met, your work and your lovely personality. I invite you and all who pass by this excellent blog, to visit my latest page of facebook.
Tina - I don’t want to add more words as what you said summarises how I feel when I’m in that ‘place’ perfectly X
Jill Kyle - So love the way you explain the joy of creating. It is so simple when you look at it from the simple desire to create. Thank you for putting to words and the thought together here to remind us. ~ much love, Jill
Emma - I’ve not heard the term ‘visual flow’ before but think it is really interesting. It makes me think of travelling and how sometimes the journey can be more interesting and fulfilling than the destination. Would love to know what the boom was that inspired you.