The importance of play

I thought I would write today about playing. This came about after reading the book ‘Steal Like and Artist’ by Austin Kleon.

The book is a nice quick easy read and encourages artists/creators about various techniques to help with the creative process. One of which is the importance of play.

Play! Are you mad? You are running a business not a creche. OK

Running a photography business is about many things, doing the job, i.e photography, looking after clients, marketing, accounts, archive maintenance, kit maintenance, website maintenance, twitter, emails, keeping upto date with the latest innovations and trends, cleaning the office, making cups of tea, dealing with phone calls about SEO and Google (you work for Google and can guarantee top listing on Google, yeah! right! I don’t think so)…. the list goes on.

Having all this to do takes time and most of it is an absolute essential eg. marketing and looking after clients etc. but it is soooo easy to get bogged down with the day to day running of the business that you can loose sight of what it is you are actually doing and how to come up with new ideas.

This is where play comes in. Unstructured, chaotic exploration of ideas techniques, thoughts and enjoying the whole process, that is what play is to me. I am sure it is different for everyone. It is easy to feel guilty about ‘playing’ as it doesn’t feel like work, but it is and essential part of the creative process. It is how new ideas arrive, disparate pieces of information and ideas can come together to create something new. In my experience it can be hard to schedule playtime as mentioned before there are so many things vying for you attention (yes, SEO people you know who you are).

"Steal Like and Artist' is not just for creative industries but any industry as we all require new ideas for products, services and new ways of working (especially at the moment)

Let me know you thought's on this.

Paul