Tristan Parker Photography

Journal

Creativity and the pursuit of happiness

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Creativity is an interesting topic, and its one that I think deserves some thought from those of us that think we belong to the small group of people on this planet that would consider themselves to be creative souls. This post has been something that has been brewing for a while I think. This is the case with a lot of the random rambles that I tend to pen. The ones that are more from me and for me, and anyone who wants to read them is just a bystander.

The funny thing is that the catalyst for me actually setting up the placeholder in my pending posts lists and starting to write some content was actually a management development program that I am doing at work at the moment. Far, far, far from creative right? Yes... Right...

What I confirmed in the course is that I am Yellow... Thats right, Im not red, green, or blue... Im yellow.... Im as yellow as yellow can be. What the hell am I talking about Yellow?

The Herrmann brain model.

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In the Wiki page above the yellow dominant quadrant is called D Imaginative Thinking. Its defined in many ways by the fact that people in the yellow quadrant call upon their creativity to solve problems. They use their creativity to challenge assumptions and see the bigger picture. This is all in a management sense. Its a test that I have done in the past, and its a piece of personal knowledge that I have possessed for a little while now.

The idea of the Herrmann brain model is to have a better understanding of your own preferences for things like learning and management, and hence be able to adapt situations to suit yourself. The second thing that people are able to do is to pick the colour of the people that their dealing with and adapt communications styles to suit their needs, hence increasing your chance of getting the results youre after from interactions with people.

Its a valuable test to complete for anyone that has an interest in self awareness and learning about themselves. It may just confirm something you already knew, but it may also be a surprise for some to find out their thought preferences, and hence be able to adapt their lives and jobs to better suit their needs.

This is all well and good, and was an excellent take away for me, but what pray tell did this do to catalyse the need for me to write this post. What I have started to realise is this. I am far from the creative soul that I once was. As I am so dominant in the yellow quadrant this is something that likely stresses me out a little. I need to maximise my creative outlets.

My photography is one of these things, but I do have a few more. Some things people may not know about me. I can juggle... Im not talking general juggling. Im talking wow factor, how the hell are you doing that type of juggling. Its a long story how this came about, and not one that Im willing to go into a lot of detail about due to a few reasons, but rest assured, unless youre a certified circus clown, Im going to be able to rock your world with 3 balls in my hand...

The second thing that some people dont know about me is that I used to DJ. Records in my hey day, and digital thereafter. I played at some club nights, and even at some of the biggest outdoor rave parties in Melbourne back when I was young (Im now making myself feel old)... Lets just say that the jugging and the DJing actually were more related than some may consider...

I have already posted in the past about the fact that I was early to photography when I started in High School. I have also mentioned in the past that there was a time in my life when I didnt use a camera properly for a long time. This period of time was also when I was juggling and DJing. What I have started to consider now is that fact that in order to grow the areas of the brain that are used for creativity you need to use them as often as you can.

Making photos all the time will burn you out after a period of time I think. At least for myself, I think that if I was to only use photography for my creative outlet, I would get bored with it eventually. Yellow people tend to find it hard to stay focused on one thing for an extended period of time. This is why I have made the decision to start to investigate the other creative outlets that I have at my disposal.

I work in IT as a business analyst. Not the most creative role in the world for most you know. Well I have found a way to make it so. In my work I get to work on the design aspect of the analyst role. I get to use the creative side of my brain and come up with intuitive ways to solve complex problems using systems that I have available to me at work. This is in part due to the fact that I have a very supportive manager that has recognized the advantage in exploiting this aspect of my abilities.

I have decided to take something away from this and apply the same thing to my personal life. I already take a lot of photos, though not as many of late. Especially since switching back to only film. My thinking is that by ensuring that as many of the other things that I undertake in my personal life are making full use of my creative preferences, this will help the others grow and flourish. This will exercise the neural pathways that are responsible for the creative thinking that I am so good at in ways that are readily available to me at the moment, but are going unused at the moment.

There is something in the triathlon coaching and training that I used to do a lot of, both for myself and for others. The known fact that the way we improve as athletes is through training. Hours and hours of repetitive drills and training in the given pursuit. As a triathlete we got the added bonus of having to complete this task for 3 sports rather than just one. Even in other sports though, cross training is is something that is practiced by many of the elite in their field.

So the thinking is this. If as an athlete we train to compete, and we cross train in multi disciplines for a variety of reasons, taking load of the muscles while increasing aerobic capacity through swimming for example, why cant we apply this same thinking to the pursuit of creativity.

First and foremost I want to make great photos. But in my downtime between shooting, how could I ensure that I am still exercising the neural pathways that are employed for my preferred pursuit? Music is one way I think that I could achieve this. So, I bought one of these...

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I havent spent a lot of time with it, but the couple of hours that I just did seems very promising. It seems digital DJ tech has come about as far as digital camera tech since I last had a midi controller. The software seems to have come a long way as well. I dont think that I will ever want to play out in clubs again. Just as I dont think that I will ever want to make money from my photography. In the last few years I have had a few learning experiences that have taught me that money making from my passions is not a great idea for me. At least not money making in the sense of money that I rely on for living. My job is my job. Its the task that I do for making money. I enjoy it. Its a means to being able to do some of the things that I have discussed in this post.

What I am learning is to make sure that all the tasks, and all the things that I do are done for a reason. A greater good maybe, I dont know. Its a funny thing maturity. I think a lot of it is about learning about yourself, learning about how you fit and function best in the world. Learning where to invest time and energy. Where the best return on these investments of time. We only have a small amount of it when you really think about it...

Time to go find some juggling balls!