Focus

As a flower photographer, I developed a style early on where one small area of the photograph is in sharp focus and the rest of the image is very soft.. almost dreamlike.  It started with my love for any and all kinds of bokeh and later developed into my own distinct style that eventually became my signature and the way most people identified images that were uniquely mine. I have often heard it said, that the best way to create a niche for yourself, in whatever you do.. is to develop a style that does not even need to carry your signature, because your stamp is so clearly on it that it is recognizable as yours immediately.  I think of Georgia O'Keeffe, Anne Geddes, Ansel Adams, Vincent van Gogh, Steve Jobs..  It's easy to recognize their imprint.  They left a mark that was distinctly their own.

I was thinking about that today.. pondering how my own style has developed over time, and why.. and I realized that in many ways, the way I create is a direct extension of my own personality and inner core.  I do tend to live my life like this... focusing very tightly on one or two details and letting the rest become somewhat soft and blurry.  That is often a good thing; I can completely focus with dedication for long periods of time on a project I am working on.. and sometimes it's really not, like when I neglect everything else around me to accomplish my own agenda.  

I finally got around to watching Jobs about a week ago and thought.. hmm.  He did a lot of wildly creative things while he was alive, but he also did some incredibly hurtful, awful things too.  The good doesn't cancel out the bad, by any means and I think he realized this at several key points in his life.. most especially when he was nearing the end.  Did it matter then that he made a ding in the universe? When he left this life and moved on to whatever came next for him.. did that Apple he dreamed up as a 20 something year old kid, really matter to him?  Or were the things on his mind then, of a far more personal nature? 

I've reigned in my idea of the universe quite a bit in the past year.  Because when it comes right down to it, the one I want to affect, is far smaller and more personal to me than I originally envisioned when I set out on this creative journey.  And it takes a lot more focused energy to take care of it... than I ever imagined.