The Importance Of Reward In Creativity

The Importance Of Reward In Creativity

Jorge Perez
Jorge Perez

3 min read


How nurturing and developing my creative cycle rewarded me with becoming a Professional Photographer

There are inherent invisible cycles in everything. There’s the long term human cycle, or life as we know it, and there’s small cycles that apply in everyday life.

One of the more interesting cycles out there is the creative cycle, the Creative process and the reward to be more specific. Reward in creativity is important, meaningful, addictive and is the reason why we keep coming back for more.

The Hollywood Machine

Camera Operator - Film Set

I’ve been working in the film industry since 2013, and I’ve been lucky enough to work on big budget Hollywood films. I used to mention this to family, or friends and they would always say that it must be one of the most creative industries and/or jobs out there.

And I understand why they would say something like that. The Hollywood machine is an industry that provides entertainment and spends billions of dollars every year to keep producing films, TV shows and other forms of entertainment.

However, working in film, working on set, Is like any other job, unless you are one of the key creatives (Director, Director of Photography, Production Designer, Composer, etc) it can quickly become monotonous. Long shooting days, and repetitive boring “on set” work. I’ve always been grateful and conscious that I was lucky enough to be part of that industry. But I needed a chance of pace, I needed perspective.

A New Perspective

The Canadian Rockies

Like an Astronaut that has to leave earth in order to properly observe it, gain perspective and understand it better, I decided to leave to film industry and travel the world.

More specifically move to Japan with a one year working holiday visa. Check my "Downsizing Camera Package" article here.

Information and advice are one thing that could potentially help you learn and grow, but nothing beats personal experiences, making your own mistakes, and learning by doing.

How I stumbled Onto My Creative Cycle

Shinjuku - Tokyo

Street photography was a way for me to explore a new country, new culture, new language, a different and exciting new lifestyle, it was a way for me to make sense of this monumental change I made in my life. Leave everything behind and move to a new country? while I’m at it might as well take some photos…

There was no intention to make it a career, no monetization plan, nothing. I didn't have experience as a photographer either, so it seemed like fresh thing to learn and enjoy. I got hooked, The more photos I took, the more I enjoyed it, the more I wanted to go out and do it again, I realized that there was some sort of loop or cycle fuelling it behind the scenes.

Visualizing My Creative Cycle

My Creative Cycle

I Tried to visualize the cycle, and after a lot of thinking and meditating, and even asking myself some harsh questions (what the hell am I doing with my life?) I realized that having a tangible result of my efforts kept me coming back for more. So let me briefly describe it:

  1. Wanting to go out, explore and take photos, just having the idea of doing something.
  2. Actually deciding and taking action to go out there and take photos.
  3. Taking photos, exploring, learning new things, paying attention to detail.
  4. Reviewing your work, learning hard lessons from mistakes you made, editing photos, posting on social media or blogs, etc.

And finally, go back to step #1, rinse and repeat. Seeing the actual results of my efforts, a tangible print (or digital photo posted online) was all I needed to want to repeat the cycle over and over again, Reward of Creativity.

Good luck with your creative process!

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