the (new) beginning.
I am writing this as a photographer, a videographer, a creator. A photographer who was feeling empty. A videographer that was feeling drained. A creator that was feeling worn-down.
Sometimes... you get tired. Being in a constant state of creating is nearly impossible - but yet, as creatives, we always place such a high expectation on ourselves for being able to output something that will generate "likes". When you get tired, it is hard to want to make something, especially something that you feel proud of.
None of us would ever admit that we produce content in order to satisfy the masses. But, in one capacity or another, it does influence what we do. It's not necessarily that we seek validation, but rather we seek evidence that our work resonates with people - that it might make a difference in someone's life. More importantly, it needs to resonate with the person who creates it - and when you are tired, it is hard (for me at least) to feel anything positive towards your work.
With every snap of the camera shutter it gets a little worse. As made evident by the lack of new material on this blog, I had not done any creative photography in a long time... because I couldn't bare to hate it anymore, for fear of never wanting to return to it.
How do you get through a creative block? I wish there was one simple answer. The fact is, it is different for everyone. The cause and solution varies from person to person, and from instance to instance. That's why it is so frustrating. You need to keep growing, keep wanting to learn - and that want is what will see you through to the next stage of your creative journey. You need to actively be trying to get through your block. Some things that help me get through a tough time are:
- look to your idols (my current hero: Joey L)
- find music that fits your mood (my current editing jam: Coeur de Pirate)
- follow inspirational instagram feeds (my newest follow: @sombrebeings)
- go outside (for me, trees are one of the most inspirational things on earth)
- creative collaboration (hence this post!)
It's not about finding a band-aid solution. It is about dedication, and constantly recommitting yourself to your craft. Everyone has ups and downs, and the downs can be huge. It is only when you learn to get up off the ground that you can face being constantly knocked back. Because, the honest truth is, it never gets easier. We just learn how to deal. From that struggle comes beauty, passion, and inspiration... so embrace it.
no more excuses.
Sometimes you need to surrender to your demons in order to be able to create something beautiful again. I had not created a photo that I loved for a long time, to the point where it was very discouraging every time I picked up my camera.
I keep learning something over and over: we need to lift each other up. Timing is a funny thing... in the middle of my creative block, my mentor - Dave Brosha - comes to town, and proposes a full day of shooting that would also include his former mentee Mag Hood. The day was formatted in such a way that we each got to produce numerous different sets of photos - and in between our own sets we assisted each other creatively. It was such an incredible day of creation and collaboration, it truly rejuvenated my soul.
In this post you can see photos that were all created in the same day. It is really encouraging to feel supported by the people you look up to, and for models and friends to be so willing to help bring your visions to life.
This one day gave me the strength to stand up, brush myself off, and believe in myself again.
So, here we go, the beginning of a new chapter.... a creative awakening.
The creative team:
All this shooting was also a great time to practice some retouching & editing: (possibly a future blog post??)