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When You Need It – Focus on Play-time!

Intro by Skip Cohen

With every Tuesday Tidbit email I get from Bev Walden, I find myself thinking about the points she’s made. This recent one really hit me hard.

While I talk a good game and do my best to remind business owners to recognize burnout, I have a hard time walking the talk. I get caught up in deadlines, and aspects of the business that aren’t always as important as they’ve become in my head.

Often, I don’t realize the power stress has to slow me down and challenge my creative spirit.

Fortunately, between my wife Sheila and two pups, they keep me focused on “me-time.” They help me step out of the line of fire and take a break.

Whether it’s doing something away from your business, or special projects in your heart that help your creative spirit, don’t underestimate their importance. Learn to step away from the stress of the business and jump into things that make your heart feel great.

You can’t create images that tug at people’s hearts if you don’t keep your own heart in the game!

By Beverly Walden

As I was sitting down to do some serious work on my computer, I designed a fun notecard instead! Did I really need to design yet another notecard? NO! I guess I felt a deeper need to play rather than work!

Have you ever noticed how ideas come to you when you’re driving, or when you’re in the shower? It’s because you’re relaxed, and your mind is freed up to let other, creative ideas filter in.

From what I understand, this is what combinatory play is. 

In fact, Einstein thought it was the secret to his genius!

We are in a passion-driven industry, yet we are too busy much of the time to enjoy ourselves and we let the passion fizzle out. What was once a fire is now a cold ember, barely hanging on.

This is not to say we should do only fun things and never work. It is just to say that sometimes, we need to play and in playing, we just may get our passion back and improve our work!

Yes, we need to feed our families and pay our bills, but if we aren’t enjoying what we do like we used to, we may need to re-think our priorities.

We often think playing is only for children, but what we must understand is that playing is for us as adults as well. Photography is a wonderful way to play if you get outside of what you normally do in your day-to-day operations and do something totally different.

“Back in the day,” we did Polaroid manipulations as our form of playing with photography. We would take our kids out to a park or small town nearby with lots of great scenery, hand them the camera, give them each two shots and then, we would all sit down and move the gels around with a golf tee, creating miniature masterpieces. It was our form of instant gratification before there were digital cameras.

What some might think of as wasting an afternoon that we could be working became precious time spent as a family doing something creative that we all could do. It became one of our favorite experiences and memories.

Below are a few of our favorite Polaroid manipulations.

With the film we used for manipulations no longer available, we now turn our focus to Photoshop of Corel Painter as we continue to play and experiment…just for FUN!

This week, go play and give yourself a break from working all the time. I believe it just may birth some creative, fresh and new ideas for you!