"Stealing + Lack of Talent = Creativity"

Stealing + lack of talent = creativity.
— Roman Mars

Podcaster, Roman Mars, dropped this nugget in an interview with Chase Jarvis. He set to create a podcast which was a good as the radio shows he listened to. The problem was that he did have the talent (or skill) to do it. His show, 99% Invisible, is the creative solutions to overcome his shortcomings. The lack of talent could also mean a lack of skill, resources, or any shortcoming which prevents you from retracing the original's footsteps. 

My style is a perfect example of this formula playing out. I feel in love with Ernst Haas's motion work. Yet, I shoot with a pinhole camera. How could I reproduce Haas's work while using my pinhole camera? I left my tripod at home and hand held my Holga pinhole camera. After multiple experiments, I also discovered I achieved results closer to Haas if I reduced the exposure to its absolute minimum for the the f192 pinhole. The results followed a similar idea but the end result was completely different due to the pinhole camera. 

What does this mean for you? 

Start with an idea of what you are trying to create. Give yourself a mark to hit. Try to recreate your favorite image. The phenomena where you suddenly notice the car you bought everywhere is very useful in photography. If you give your brain a target, it will find what you are looking for (if its out there). Then give yourself a constraint. Limit your ability to hit that goal. I will be the first to admit that this isnt the most pleasant process. I have produced a ton of garbage images to reach this point. I highly recommend "The Dip" by Seth Godin if you want to learn more about pushing through the quagmire of the middle to get to the end of a project/idea. 

Creativity is a process and not some magical trait.