Everyone has those times where you lose your creative mojo… LIFE HAPPENS! But how do you get it back?
Recently my normal day job (yes unfortunately I can’t yet stick it to the man and do photography full time) had a major project where for 10-12mths of my life was full on. When I did get to the weekends I just wanted to lounge around and do very little but the minimal amount of housework I had to do (-groan-)
So after that all finished I was like ‘Right! I am going to pick up my camera again’ and then there was blank. What did I want to shoot? What did I feel like creating? How do I turn this thing on again? How do I use my presets? I was a little lost. I tried doing a group TFP shoot but just wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t infused with that excitement I usually get leading up to, during and after a photo shoot.
So I decided to give myself a challenge!
Create some images and learn more about Photoshop and compositing. So I grabbed my wine and my sketch book and got comfy….. And nothing! I was staring at my wall for, well it could have been 10min but for me it felt like an eternity. I was stuck, my mojo had dried up! I then sat there thinking ‘Ok, well what do I like? What inspires me? What am I drawn to?’ I am inspired by Brooke Shaden who is an amazing Fine Art Photographer. So for the duration it took to finish off my bottle of wine, I jotted down words, things that I liked, things that inspired – Books, fantasy, forests, flowing gowns etc. And as this list grew I realised I had started creating Categories. And this didn’t stop that night. I added a notepage to my phone that listed these categories and whenever something popped into my head or I saw something I liked I added it to the list.
So I pooled all of my words together and created these Categories – Locations / Elements, Mood, Story/Theme, Models, Clothes, Props. I then looked at it like ‘Right how am I going to utilise all these words?…. why a Lucky Dip of course!’ And BOOM magic happened. I found a divided container and started my lucky dip.
I thought about how I was going to go about this and decided that I had to use 1 element from each category (or potentially 2 elements from props), given of course depending on the content eg. if I pulled out Child from the Models Category and Nude from Clothes it would just go back in and I’d draw again. And I also couldn’t draw the same item twice. I was making a whole new game for myself and I was getting excited haha. When I started getting into my sketching (and stick figures are totally fine as long as you know what you’re trying to convey) I realised that trying to incorporate all the elements I had drawn out was just a little impossible for me. My mind kept wondering in other directions and so I decided to only use a few elements to create the image.
And then I got into thinking, ‘What do I want to do with these images? Create something new for my portfolio? Create a series for an exhibit? Create a calendar?’. I decided that I would create a series for a 2020 calendar. That way I had something tangible for the series and see what happens after that. So in creating a series I looked back over at my sketches and what was I drawings. I looked into incorporating certain aspects into each image to tie them together and in also doing this I realised that the images I was creating/sketching were personal. They were my life experiences, things that I feel, have felt and have indured. So this really did become a Personal Project for me.
I looked up training videos for compositing, taking stock images for future use (if I saw a statue my reaction was ‘OOHH! statue!’ added it my list and took a photo) . I put the call out for some models to help me out, letting them know the jist of the concept and what I was working towards. I have so far gotten to work with some amazing people and am looking forward to working with more. At this present stage I am 4 images into my 12 Creative Concepts Series and will definetly be blogging a little about each image as it is finalised.
I hope that you come along with me on this journey, though thankfully you won’t have to go through the struggles, tears or tantrums of learning to composites haha. I’ll save that for my family (sorry guys )
Blog to you soon XX