Month: December 2017

How Finding a Niche Can Stifle Creative Expression

How Finding a Niche Can Stifle Creative Expression

Over a year ago, I painted my last painting. I was struggling with the ‘find your niche’ and ‘narrow your focus’ articles that were being written by various social gurus. And although it stands to reason that a focused approach to anything keeps one from wasting energy and time, some of us just have more creative outlets on tap. And if those outlets aren’t allowed their due expression, a deadly soup of ‘uninspired focus’ can be created instead.

I don’t like to focus – at least not for too long. I’ll focus just long enough to accomplish the task at hand and then I need freedom of thought and expression. Some artists are focused on photography and that’s all they do. By default, they have their niche. That is, unless they further focus and only do black and white prints, or only nature, or only animals… The question is; how far in do we zoom our creative lens?

My answer to the question is this: zoom in and focus your creative energy as much as you like, save the loss of inspiration and motivation. You see, I had to give up on cultivating that elusive niche for the sake of my own creativity. I love too many different aspects of expression in the art form. After a year of shutdown, I now paint, take photos and YouTube a more diverse variety of subject matter.

The photo above represents a moment expressed through black and white photography. It renders exactly what I want to capture. If I painted it, the desire would not be there and of course, the whole expression would be lost because painting affords a different feeling, different brush strokes, a different lens of delivery.

In the past, I would have brushed this photo to the side because, well, it didn’t fit into my focus of abstract horse paintings. Eventually, after about three years of trying to get myself together and be more ‘professional’ in my approach, I got burnt out and completely devoid of inspiration. The fun just wasn’t there because I disallowed myself the pleasure of expression through multiple lenses.

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Don’t make the same mistake. If you are struggling with the issue of finding a niche and losing your inspiration in the process, relax and open your lens up again. Play. Have fun. Express yourself in the way you’d like, even if it means bursting through that focused niche you’re trying to create. Don’t get burnt out and overwhelmed because as artists the idea of balancing creativity with marketing (and all that boring, technical stuff) can get too frustrating. Be free and go pickup a different lens of delivery for awhile. You’ll come back to your art with a renewed, refreshed inspiration.

Want to follow each other on this artistic journey? Connect with me on social media. I’ll be happy for the opportunity to connect back and learn from, and grow with our community.

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