Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism that is often translated as “beginner’s mind.” Beginner’s Mind means having an attitude of openness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject or working as an artist, even when working at an advanced level, just as a beginner would in the best case analysis with a capable and flexible guide.
In the context of my own practice, and the way I teach students to approach their own art and photography, I take Beginner’s Mind to mean to approach my art with humbleness, playfulness, and experimentation—and to be prepared to happily fail.
I am now engaged in playing with a new body of work that involves my photography of flowers for transparency, LAB inversions, photography of pure light though colored liquid in glass bottles, and post-production.
Over on my Instagram Feed, I was asked about the image shown at the top of this story: “I love this and I am so confused. Please explain how?”
That’s okay, I’m confused too about how I got here, and where this ride is going to take me next.
I didn’t want to be rude, but I didn’t want to explain the technical side of this work yet (if I ever am ready to do so). I replied, “Thanks for your interest! This is a new set of techniques I have started playing with, and I am not ready to share the ‘how’ yet. In the meantime, enjoy the magic….xxxooo.”
So, yes, please enjoy the magic.
Related story: Tacked to a Virtual Wall.