I love going to photo class. It’s always a new adventure and there are always cool projects to work on. All the photo gear is super-fun to play with and I get to learn new things every day.

My students seem to enjoy it as well.

It strikes me as weird that the commonly accepted student-teacher interaction is that the students do the learning and the teacher does the teaching. I’m not saying that’s incorrect, but to assume it doesn’t go the other way around is totally wrong. I learn new stuff every week and now I’m going to share it with you.

This is Part 1 of an ongoing theme you’ll regularly see in this blog – All the cool stuff I learn just because I teach.

Today’s topic: Finding a Muse.

As a member of what I like to refer to as “humanity,” I will occasionally find myself in a position of low motivation. While I can happily take care of client work, as soon as I decide to create something for myself, my brain inexplicably decides to go completely blank. I’m one of those folks that can throw out a million ideas a minute, but can’t seem to keep any for myself.

What I’ve noticed is that by mentoring those that look to me for knowledge, I create a bizarre, cyclical chain of motivation. As I provide assignments, I watch a roomful of people tackle their respective projects in COMPLETELY different ways. After suggesting a process for a particular student, I’ll watch them consider it, then form it around their own needs. They’ll come up with a wildly different result than I would have, using the same technique.

If my students can look at what I’ve done and get inspired to create their own version, why can’t I do the same? Perhaps, if you find yourself running out of ideas, the best solution is to share what you’ve already created with others. You may just find that their views on your old concepts just might jumpstart a new idea.

– Jon

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