They say that imitation is the best form of flattery. A friend of mine…regularjoe on Flickr…took a picture recently of a train on the tracks. Ever since then…I have been on the lookout for a similar situation because I absolutely love that picture. As I was driving through Panama City yesterday, I saw this train preparing for departure from a large industrial site. It was the perfect opportunity so I stopped for a couple of shots. Ideally, this shot would have taken place during a different hour, but the overcast setting seemed to add a little something for me.
What do I think about when I see this image?
I find with many creative mediums (my active blogging being one of them), you tend to imitate styles that you find appealing as you search for your own look or voice. This is one of the easiest ways to get started with creative forms of expression like blogging or photography. There is a lot of great work out there, and as you find pieces or sites that you feel an attachment to…use that as a basis to start your own journey. As you imitate (not copy) others, you will find what works for you and continue to expand on that. Over time, you will have found your own voice, look, connection that defines more of who you are…rather than the artist/blogger you were originally imitating.
The important factor to remember here is that by imitating…you are doing. You aren’t sitting around talking about that magical day in the future when you might actually try to start something of your own. You are out testing your voice or look actively in search of your unique characteristic that will stand you out from the crowd. You are preparing for your creative future by feeding off the creativity of others. How are you supposed to know what your look or voice is going to be if you don’t try? Prepare for the future and experiment…