On Not Having a Creative Outlet

I was just standing on the porch of my apartment in Medellin and saw the city lights flickering in the distance due to some sort of atmospheric haze. They always do this. The first thing I thought about was how I could recreate that effect on a still image background plate for a composite using a displacement filter in After Effects or Shake.

Sunset at the Apartment looking north

This lead me to think about the fact that I have had a production-capable computer at my disposal since my senior year of high school and I have consistently used it. To create things, learn new things, express a creative thought or image, and challenge myself. I took this fact for granted and hadn’t even considered it until I currently find myself computer-less.

I don’t mean this in the sense of having a computer to communicate with people. I have that and I appreciate it. It’s what brings you this blog! However, with my tiny ASUS EeePC I cannot do graphics, animation, and compositing. These programs are my creative outlet.

Medellin at NightI have now gone more than three months without being able to edit a photo I’ve taken in Photostrator, make a design, or do an animation if I think of something.

I sometimes feel idle without some sort of new production technique to learn. (The projects at my last job that I found the most interesting were the ones where I chose to do something that required I learn a new skill or some crazy expression in After Effects to create an animation.)

I miss not making things. Especially when I’m in an apartment in one place for a month.

Not sure if I’ll make it a year without having to change this up.

Perhaps when I get to India I’ll try to settle in and work on some ridiculous Bollywood film for a while? It actually sounds pretty feasible based on a conversation I had with an Indian visual effects artist at SIGGRAPH a few years ago.

She said that I could get hired pretty easily based solely on the fact that I’m a (very) white guy from the United States.

Interesting thought. As we say en espanol, “A ver…”

2 Responses to “On Not Having a Creative Outlet”

  1. Megon 25 Sep 2008 at 10:50 am

    I just spent a week in NJ/NYC without photo editing software, and I was antsy after that small amount of time. Can’t even imagine how you must feel some days.

    But, at the same time, I think it’s good to be without our typical tools of art for moments of life. Forces us to different modes of creativity. Bollywood though—hell yes.

  2. […] when I said I miss being creative? It persists. I still do. I miss my work. I miss making stuff. I miss the […]

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