Creative experiments

Creativity is who we are, not what we do. We are not defined by the creative mediums we use, either photography or writing. They are simply the tools we use. Sometimes, we cling to familiar tools for a sense of safety. I spent a whole year claiming the title of “photographer” and defending it jealously. But rather than expressing myself through it, I let it define me.

Here’s the truth: An artist is defined by his creative vision, not by the brushes he uses.

I realized that in New York City this summer. Our homework for the school trip was to keep a sketchbook and perform a monologue. As I sketched in Central Park and rehearsed my monologue in Brooklyn, the label of “photographer” started to peel off, leaving me behind.

I started to experiment again.

Since then, I’ve been experimenting with many different creative outlets. My creativity is thriving in its newfound freedom -- and I’m having a lot more fun!

Here are three reasons to experiment:

1. It exercises your creative muscles.

Each discipline employs different creative muscles. Drawing forces you to see the world differently than when you are writing, and acting demands yet another process. Experimenting in each area keeps your mind alert -- and your creativity alive and growing.

2. It enriches your current creative role.

If you are looking for inspiration in your current project, experiment in a different area. Every creative outlet has something to teach you. For example, screenwriters say that in order to write realistic dialogue and interesting characters, it is essential for writers to take acting classes. After the experiment, you'll approach the project with a richer perspective.

3. It leads to creative fusion.

Eventually, you'll create a fusion of tools that make great stories possible. Think about filmmaking: visuals, acting, music, art direction and technical know-how come together to form the perfect storytelling medium! The more you experiment, the more tools you'll have at your disposal.

Now go experiment. And have fun! Here's a little inspiration to get you started:

The video below is created by a Hollywood animator. It's a great example of an artist who took his craft (animation) and melded it with another craft (dancing). He risked experimenting with an unfamiliar tool to tell this beautiful story.

What experiments have you performed recently?