February 3, 2018
What inspires my photography, and where do I find creativity within myself?
I think of creativity as a mindset, and it’s finding the sweet spot between child like curiosity and adult logic.
So many things inspire me: reading, galleries, tumblr, instagram accounts, books, magazines, writing… even painting (I’m not great at it, but that’s not the point – I love doing it. And I don’t share it. It’s just for me) I find inspiration from the things around me.
Where I am
Who I’ve been talking to and what about
How I feel
I look at my setting and think ‘what can I do with this’ maybe the light isn’t great today so how can I use that to my advantage? As much as I might have an idea of what I want I’ve always got to adapt to what I can actually achieve in the position I’m in right now
I might want a sun drenched room in Sydney but I’m in a cloudy London
I read, I listen to others thoughts and ideas, I think about my own. I’m very visually stimulated so I still love using and tumblr and Pinterest (most of the images I’ve used here have been taken from those) to get my brain going, which I find especially helpful if I’m not feeling up to it and feel void of creativeness.
But sometimes if I feel like that and don’t manage to stimulate myself, I will just leave it. I’ve tried to create work when I feel wrong and it never comes out how I want it. If anything it just annoys me because the work I create isn’t what I want it to be, and the perfectionist in me starts to doubt myself… it’s just better not to go down that road.
But also I put my phone down. Go for a walk, flick through a photography book. Look at the colour of the sky and listen to the wind blowing through the leaves in the trees. With my images I want the viewer to feel something, so sometimes it’s a way of trying to recreate a feeling rather than an image. A good question I ask myself is exactly that – how do I want to feel when I see this? With my self portraits and travel prints it’s often about trying to document a feeling of a certain time in my life and so by looking at the image that place and time and emotions come back to me. There’s a rawness to a feeling.
Years ago, I watched the incredible Ted talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (here) that talks about the idea of creative genius passing through you, and how for creatives this is a great way to think of it rather than elating your work to your ego. If you haven’t watched it I seriously recommend it, and while you’re there, go down a hole of watching Ted videos because my goodness you’ll find some good ideas on there, something that’ll spark an idea in you. In fact, when I was writing my art history dissertation and couldn’t think of what to write next (it was 18,000 words…) I would watch numerous Ted talk videos and see if they could get my imagination going.
Good books for creative thinking are John Berger’s Ways of Seeing and Susan Sontag’s On Photography. I read both years ago and often come back to them, they have some great words (and are so ahead of their time on the idea of how images will shape our lives – aka modern day social media)
I could go on forever, but I hope this gives you an idea about how and where I find my inspiration. It’s so important to do, even if you’re not creating anything – to keep your mind thinking is always a positive.
I hope you enjoy the below images, and as a thank you for being loyal readers, I’m offering you a 25% discount on all my prints with the code inspo25 – I hope that by having them on your wall might spark your imagination.