Weekend Inspiration – Dark

This weekend I want you to take a look at your dark side. That’s right, I don’t just want you to take a dark photograph. Before you come up with the idea, I want you to look inside the shadowy corners locked away in your brain sack.

If your juices are already flowing and you’re already ready to jump in, great! Maybe you explore your dark side on a regular basis. Wonderful. But don’t just run off and get started. Find some rocks you haven’t turned over yet. Or skip dark and go straight to disturbing.

If, instead, the thought of leaving unicorns and smiley faces out of a photograph makes the butterflies in your belly start squirming up against your rib cage, even better. You’re going to get more out of this exercise than most.

Just what do I mean by dark? Dark can mean gross, creepy, or down right scary, but it can also be more layered. A dog eating its owners face is gross. A dog about to eat his owners face is creepy. And a pack of dogs about to eat your face is scary (trust me, I’ve been there). But how about making the idea dark. It’s not as easy, but it has greater rewards for the audience, and you’re more likely to grow as an artist if you make the effort. Here’s an example: A nine year old boy, happy as can be, sitting in his tree house, reading a well worn copy of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good And Evil. Behind the boy, almost unseen, his action figures are all bound and gagged, lined up in perfect, too perfect order. You see where I’m going?

Great art has dimension. To have dimension as an artist you have to know your dark side. So get out there, or rather in there, and take your dark out for a nice long lunch. Preferably somewhere dark.

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1 Comment

  1. That image you described of the boy in his tree house is so disturbing. I don’t know if I have that kind of dark in me. But I loved the image and I hope you shoot that and post it!