Sunday, September 28, 2014

More than just about the tools.

I've often been asked a few times, when I show my photos to others, what camera am I using. Similarly, when I do a piece of digital work, some do want to know what is the app or softtware that I am working with. I would usually obliged, as more often than not, I do not really mind sharing with those that have asked me, some of the tools of my trade. Which is one of the good things about being an educator. You don't really have that feeling that you should be monetizing all the things that you have presented. Plus, you don't really feel the need to be keeping the tools of your trade a secret. But I do want to set the record straight that most people often fail to see...that it IS more than just about the tools or apps that one is using, that matters!

I remember the joke that was going around some popular photography websites, about how a photographer admonishes an audience who wrongly attributed the beautiful pictures that the former has taken, to the camera that he uses. But frankly, on a more realistic level, I do feel that the tools do play a small, albeit significant part to make something look good. Although what others often fail to see is this need for the ideas to be triggered and visualised mentally first....before being actualised. And this is the thing that matters more! 

While others are often so hooked-up on learning every single function of an app or software, or getting their hands on the latest iteration of a piece of hardware, what matters more in my opinion is the ability to be creative, and to then realise that creative spark into something more explicit and meaningful. And in fact, the limitations of not learning all the functions, nor having the latest hardware, can in fact be another trigger to ignite that creativity further. One is thus forced to think through how can things be realised based on the things or conditions that are already pre-existing. Now wouldn't that be itself a powerful creative force?

Whch brings us to this idea of affirmation. More often than not, societies in general, especially those from an Asian context, subscribe heavily to this notion of being certified to do something? So we have a case of experts of say, marriage (marriage counsellors), who themselves have never been married, or entrepreneurship experts or lecturers who have never had any experience setting up a start-up, let alone a booth! It is this pervasive yet warped notion that these certification are obtained in a theoretical context, and not earned through understanding and uncovering of the real nuances and ramifications of say, relationships and interplay of human elements beyond our control, in a marriage, or the difficulties of convergence of an idea and the monetary elements for any entrepreneur. I guess it is easier for one to be certified as an expert in say....a CAD software, but the truth be told, he is absolutely sucky at creating a (master?)piece on the tools that he is an expert in.

I would thus like to propose an evolutionary idea of sorts, on this thing about creativity and being an expert in a piece of hardware or software. Why not  let the eventual pieces of work on the hardware or software be the certifying piece, of the person's expertise? So for example, if a person wants so be a digital modelling expert, let him learn the basics, and let the final piece of work that he produces, based on his own exploration of the various functions, be the certifying piece. It might take a little longer, but it would allow for a greater degree of alignment between his creativity to 'wield the weapon', and more importanly, to be able to produce a creative deliverable with whatever 'weapon that he knows or has'.

So to those that continues to ask me what tools or hardware I am using, I will still answer you. 

But you might also want to add, what inspired me to do that?

Some tools of my trade, in my favourite #Ledr (from onehundred) piece

No comments: