We are truly delighted to publish our Columnist Cindy Patrick’s first article to her Vision & Voice section with us. This is an incredibly inspiring read and one that we know you are all going to love – don’t miss this. Over to you Cindy (foreword by Joanne Carter).
“I started using the iPhone as a creative tool in 2010, and somewhere between then and now I stumbled my way – or should I say “apped” my way – into creating a distinctive personal style. My iPhone is my constant companion, and creating art with it has become my passion. Perhaps you are just starting out and wondering where to begin, or perhaps you have already amassed a body of work you’re happy with but find yourself looking for ways to make it better – more authentic. Well then, perhaps you will learn something by reading Vision & Voice, my new column here at The App Whisperer.
‘”Not all who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien’ – ©Cindy Patrick
All the artists and photographers I admire have one thing in common. They each have a unique style. But how did they develop their personal style? What makes their work stand out? What makes their work good? If you are asking these questions, then keep reading.
What is vision? What is voice? I like to think of them as “see” and “say.”
‘Beach Impressions #11’ – ©Cindy Patrick
Vision as the way in which we see the world around us. Our own unique way of looking at things. What one person sees as beautiful, another may see as ugly. Neither one is right or wrong. It just is. I like shooting beaches. Others may see beaches as boring and prefer shooting cities instead. I like shooting everyday things and locations. For others, only exotic locales will do. It is simply what makes me me and them them. It’s about what inspires us. It’s what makes us jump out of bed in the morning, grab our camera, and go shooting. It helps define our vision. The art we create is a reflection of our tastes and desires. It is who we are.
‘Beach Impressions #17’ – ©Cindy Patrick
Voice is the way in which we communicate our vision to others. It’s how we say something about the things that inspire us. As artists, we strive to find the clearest expression of our emotions in our chosen medium. I choose to express myself through pixels – through my iPhone and various apps. When I see something I love, I pull out my iPhone to capture it. It’s immediate. I can shoot a picture and edit it on the spot, while I’m in the moment. I love that. Others express themselves through music or painting or cooking elaborate meals. Voice is simply the outward expression of our vision. Voice is our vision made manifest in a drawing, painting, photograph or what have you.
‘Beach Impressions #2’ – ©Cindy Patrick
Together, our vision and our voice make up our personal style. The way in which we see the world around us and how we express it makes us unique. No one else in the entire world can see or say things exactly like you do. So why not embrace that and begin creating art from that place inside you that makes you you? Follow your heart. Literally. I strongly encourage you to seek out those things that move you to grab your iPhone and start shooting. Get to know yourself. Your likes. Your dislikes. Things you feel strongly about. Things that make your heart race. Start a journal and write down all the things you love. And start to photograph those things. If street photography is difficult and uncomfortable for you, then perhaps it’s not for you! Go shoot some landscapes instead and see how you feel. Dig. Explore. Listen to the little voice inside you that is telling you who you are. If you like flowers, go photograph some flowers. Then choose a few apps and start editing your picture. If something feels forced or tedious, move on! Choose some different apps or a different subject. Pay attention to how you feel when you are creating an image. This will help you find your own voice and style instead of forcing yourself to work in a certain way or with certain apps that may not excite you. Go easy on yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes. The mistakes will be a record of your growth as an artist. If you do this long enough, you will begin to gravitate toward the subjects that truly inspire you and the apps that best help you express how you feel about those particular subjects. I guarantee that you will start to produce better work and, most importantly, begin to enjoy the creative process much more because you will be giving voice to your own personal vision instead of copying someone else’s style or following the crowd.
See you next time! Until then, happy shooting! “
‘Beach Impressions #3’ – ©Cindy Patrick