There is no time like the present to improve yourself and become better. Better emotionally. Better physically. Better technically!
The technical side of this issue will be what we discuss today.
First we must discuss the issue. Too many people get comfortable with what they do. Whether you are a photographer, a welder, or a third-grade teacher, you know there was a time when you felt that you didn’t have to move anywhere. That overwhelming feeling of content is a difficult adversary to overcome. No matter what you do, that emotional stability will be there to drag you back to mediocrity.
You should be able to tell by now, that I am on a mission to push you off of the proverbial edge and send you into the glorious nose dive that is innovation! In order to find success in any business, you have to sluff off the mediocrity that haunts us all. By shedding your comfort level and going out and risking everything to achieve something, anyone can reach levels never before imagined.
In the creative industry, this means bursting our bubble and creating things that we would not normally create. If you are a portrait photographer, then go out and shoot landscapes. If you are an event photographer, then go out and shoot products. Bottom line, take what you are doing and do whatever is opposite. No, I don’t mean go out and change careers. I just mean that we all need to experience a different facet of our industry to better ourselves.
Take my work in CGI for example. I have chosen to stay ahead of the industry and become a photographer/digital artist who pushes the boundary of normal photography using computer graphics. By doing this, I am able to expand the scope of my productions and invent things in my mind that would otherwise be impossible to complete on a personal budget.
The image below is a culmination of my CGI skills thus far. I have learned the basics of modelling in Blender 3D, which is a free open source 3D program, and I have started using CG in my workflow.
Of course, I am no expert in the 3D process, but I know enough to get me into trouble. From there, you just fake it until you make it as they say.
The idea of creating something from nothing in a program I knew nothing about was daunting to say the least. However, I remembered a time when I was a budding shooter who did not have a lick of sense when it came to composition or lens theory, let alone post-processing! Even without the knowledge to establish a workflow, I trudged on and sifted my way through the mess of photography education. I bought books, I watched videos, and I talked to every photographer I could find. Furthermore, I had to learn Lightroom on top of photography 101 to achieve any kind of success. Man, I thought I was the big Shiz, when I mastered Lightroom. I had these dreams of becoming a famous fine art photographer and living out my days shooting in the rolling hills of distant lands. Then I found Photoshop. This opened up a whole new world for me creatively. I started learning extractions, sky replacements, compositing, and so much more! The difference Photoshop made is incalculable. I have become a very different creative and I have seen more success than I ever would have just using a camera and Lightroom!
Of course, I am no Master of Photoshop. It takes a lifetime to learn your tools in such an intimate way, but I can create almost any image I want. No matter the budget, the logistical obstacles, or the time, I can craft images from inspiration to ink by including Photoshop in my workflow!
It is my experience with learning photography and Photoshop that prompted me to learn 3D modeling and texturing. Every time I get myself down about not learning 3D fast enough or not being able to model some intricate part, I think of the process of learning photography from the very beginning. If I can overcome such a daunting endeavor and get to the point where I am shooting for multi-million dollar companies, then I can surely learn 3D artistry!
This is a lesson to all of you out there. Go out and create art that is outside of your comfort zone. Learn to shoot new subjects with new techniques. Your adventures will bring you to new heights and provide you realizations that will help you in your regular work!