Thematic Consideration

17:38 Tue 01 May 2007
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Thematic direction, or thematic constraints, have tended to seem somewhat “artificial” to me. I’m sympathetic to a “create what you’re inspired to create” approach, rather than one that sets out hard parameters.

When I’ve done thematically-based work, it’s been short and short-term. I’m considering altering this, partly as a result of seeing the amazing work that Frans Lanting did while focused on the theme of “Life’s Journey through Time”. I’ve been thinking about photography as a result of getting my digital SLR, and also wondering about whether a thematic approach would suit the daily blog posts.

Constraints are good for creativity. I’ve used word count or time constraints, or occasionally esoteric stylistic straitjacketing, quite often, and I like the results.

With posting, I encounter the “I don’t know what to write about” problem fairly often. Constraint on theme would make this easier in some respects—at least, it would make the ‘decision space’ rather smaller. So this month I’ll try to come up with a theme or themes that might be sustainable throughout a month or so of posting. If I find themes that I think suit a week, I might try those too.

It could be even more helpful with photography. I don’t know much about photography, and haven’t figured out yet what my relationship to the medium is, apart from “trying to take pretty pictures”, which probably isn’t going to be enough. Attempting to explore a theme through photos would bring rigor to the endeavor. It would also bring a lot more difficulty, since I don’t really know what I’m doing. But it seems like it might be a good way to find out, so I’ll try to think up some themes for photographs as well.

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