I am curious about the role that solitude plays for other forum members, in terms of being a requirement (or not) of the successfully creative process.
I have had to admit over the last few years that I have a really, really hard time going out and making anything worth looking at while in the company of others. Obviously this isn't the case when working with a model, for example. Another exception can sometimes be made for times spent out with other photographers/artists who are also there in a creative creative capacity, but even then, I've found that it has to be the right people and the right setting/time/etc. It's usually fun, of course, but not always productive. Doing your creative thing while others are around is tricky.
When on vacation with my significant other, for example, I often have to make a point of going out alone to make photographs because when I'm out with her, I don't really have the freedom to go at the pace I need, to hang out in those boring places where I like to find subtle things, etc. Of course, I could insist on it, but I'd rather not be a dick about it and would rather enjoy our time together (a happy life with the woman I love still taking precedence over artistic accomplishment). Still, the work must be made one way or another, so I go out and wander on my own when I can.
While here at home in Chicago, I make photographs by myself and mostly on my days off, particularly when she's working and I'm not.
I seem to make all of my best photographs when I'm alone, and when I've been alone for at least a couple hours and have been able to settle into my own way of approaching things. That's the kind of solitude I seek when I can.
Can you relate? Do you find the opposite to be true? What role does solitude play in your creative activities? I'm interested to know.