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Chef or artist – do you need to throw the rule book away?

Ian Watts Photography and Digital Art - Creative Chef - Michael O'Hare

Michael O’Hare is a Chef. Or an artist. Or both. Certainly, it isn’t clear. As you can see from the above picture, you are never going to get a traditional plate of food.

Ian Watts Digital Art - Creative Chef - Michael O'Hare
Used by Permission of Laura Fell – @MissLauraFell

Michael is the owner and head chef of The Man Behind The Curtain restaurant in Leeds, UK. He is renowned for pushing the boundaries of presentation while still presenting tasty food. He has got the balance of style and substance.

You can certainly see that there are food trends. One chef innovates and a few years later everyone else is copying.

So what has food got to do with being creative?

The same is true in art and photography. One innovative person can spawn a whole host of imitators; but then maybe individuals who take the style and expand upon it.

Food, like art, is subjective. Some may like it, some may not. Yet you can bet in the next few years Michael will have people imitating him.

Obviously, as photographers and digital artists, we feel the influence of those around us, but what would happen if we all of a sudden broke all the rules and liked what we saw. What would happen if we threw the rule book out and started to play?

Let’s face it from being toddlers when we first get a crayon or a pencil in our hand, we have no rules. We just play, and we let our inner creativity out. Gradually as we get older,rules are given on how to be creative, which leads many people to conclude things like “I can’t draw” – “I can’t paint” – “I can’t take photographs” – and the worst – “I am not creative”.

One of the first rules taught in photography about composition is to do with the rule of thirds, yet this is widely broken. You have to understand the rule to break it, just as Michael has to understand the rules of cooking and food to know how to break them effectively.

So as artists we need to learn and understand the rules, but maybe once in a while, we need to throw the rule book away and do something completely different. Try something completely new. Who knows – you might just be the new artist that everyone wants to emulate.

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