I can’t believe we’ve already been through 9 weeks of the happiness commandments series! This week’s is another favorite:
Along with the power to choose, we also have the power to create. The act of creating literally means that you are bringing something into being. How awesome is that?!
What are your some of your favorite sayings? Share them in the comments section below! =)
Many creative people keep a notebook of sorts to collect their ideas, but it wasn’t until I heard both Brooke Shaden & Aaron Nace talk about the importance of sketching their ideas that I decided to keep one specifically for my photography. I currently keep digital and analog scrapbooks of my thoughts & inspiration (ex. pinterest!), but had never set aside an entire notebook devoted solely to imagery. So, when I decided to try it out, of course I had to go all the way in! And what better way of feeling artistically inspired than by using a charcoal pencil to sketch your ideas? Legit. =) Charcoal may be a little messy, but isn’t the creative process itself? I think using charcoal makes drawing a little more exciting. Plus, it entices me to record my ideas as I have them. Win.
Here are my three steps to creating a beautiful photograph, based on my experience:
Bringing your beautiful little idea to fruition is much easier when you have a clear notion of what it is, exactly. This is definitely not to say you can’t leave room for spur-of-the-moment creative inspiration, but having a vision of what you desire gives you a starting point to work with. For me, sometimes I’m inspired by something I see on pinterest or something floating around on the interwebs, but often I’m inspired by a piece of writing, a song, a film, a movement, or a happening in my own life. These things aren’t necessarily already visual, which brings me to point number two…
This is the fun part, because it’s the first step in bringing your idea out of the confines of your mind and into life! This is where the drawing comes in, and you pick up your pen (or in my case, charcoal pencil) and let your image flow across the page. You might want to record any emotions or colors you want to convey in the image on the page as well.
As you can tell, my sketches aren’t all that detailed, but they still get the point of my idea across. (Plus, isn’t this little rubber eraser just so cute?!)
The whole point of this process is to clearly record what inspires you so that you can capture it in camera! So in this step, work on recreating the image you formed in your mind in the space you have to work with. Even though my sketch is pretty basic, you can tell exactly where I wanted to do the shoot, which props I wanted to include (the pillow), where I wanted to sit, what pose I wanted to be in (legs crossed, chin near hands), how I wanted my hair, and the basic composition of the image (vertical, full body shot). Having all of these things not only already planned out, but also already visually depicted means that there’s less I have to think about on the day of the shoot. All I have to do is look at my sketch because I’ve already pretty much determined what I’m going to capture.
I know it seems like a relatively simple process, but as artists its easy for us to have a brilliant idea and then forget about it sometime later (oh wait, just me? lol). Putting your ideas on paper not only helps you plan for a specific shoot you’d like to do, but also is nice to reference during a shoot when you want to stay true to your original idea. It’s already made a world of difference in my art and it’s a technique I will definitely be putting into practice from now on. I think having a specific plan for your shoots lets you be even more creative. And drawing it out yourself really helps you think about how to create the image.
p.s. This post is the first in a new series I’m starting on the blog called “faq & how to!” I’m super excited about it because it will enable me to share what I’ve learned on this wonderful journey of photography with you, and it’ll include some fun videos from yours truly! If you’d like to see more of these posts, make sure you follow the blog or like my facebook page! And even more importantly, if you know someone who could benefit from learning about this system for bringing their creative ideas to life, be sure to share this post with them! I’m sure they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness (as will I). =)
“Are you going to listen to me this time?” her heart said. Tired of mumbling, it spoke quite clearly. “This is it.”
She sat on the floor and cried. Faced with the consequences of what happened after the other times she had not listened, she knew she needed to make a new choice. Oh, but where to begin?
“Come up with your ideal life in each place,” her heart suggested. “Figure out where you’d live, how you’d get around…”
That sounds like a great idea, she thought. It was a start, at least.
So, she opened a new window in her browser that was soon to be filled with nearly a hundred tabs of research. She would come up with a plan for each place and whichever worked out best, well, that’s where she would go.
Sometimes, I treat life like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Before I make a decision, every inch of me wants to know what’s going to happen as a result of it. And the safety of being able to turn back a few pages and choose another path doesn’t hurt either.
The past year (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek has it really been that long???!?!? yikes, definitely need to work on this whole life-changing decision-making thing) of my blog as it relates to school has pretty much consisted of the following:
a) me not feeling right in DC
b) me becoming disenchanted with academia
bb. hey, maybe i shoudn’t be here…
c) me realizing that, hey, the disenchantment part of disenchantment actually does exist and it’s formerly known as heartbreak.
d) OH MY GOSH I’M HEARTBROKEN.
e) still heartbroken
ee. hey, maybe i shoudn’t be here…
g) okay i’m going home to LA for the summer.
h) DC friends: are you coming back?? me: yeah! wait, i don’t know. maybe. yeah.
i) me: am i going back???
m) *is reminded of factors that bring me to mm.*
mm. hey, maybe i shoudn’t be there…
n) i shouldn’t be there.
I’ve tried to fight this decision in literally every way possible. You can find the highlight reel of that, well, in the archives of this blog. Haha.
I’ve denied how I felt (bad idea), tried to understand why my heart was breaking (not so bad, but… didn’t help initially in the decision-making), decided not to make a decision (being indecisive does not help), made a decision, changed my mind, changed it again, and again, and again.
I could tell you about the time when I was asked about going back to school and I literally went back to my computer and started to cry. I could tell you about how scared I
was am at the prospect of not going back next semester. OR about how even more afraid I was of going back and having a similar (or worse) semester than the last. But I think I’ll leave it at this: I couldn’t imagine myself there and not wanting to be back here. Even though I don’t know exactly what life here in LA (or elsewhere) will look like yet. Even though I don’t know if living through the experience of last semester would make the next, better (and enough to make me finish my last year, now rather than later, possibly, never…). So I’m taking next semester off. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I need to.
I left out an important part of the list that… happened so early in the birth of this blog that I’m not sure it existed on these pages but was a reality nonetheless.
It goes at the very top of the list, even before letter a).
i) hey, i’m tired of school. i’m graduating from undergrad a year early. maybe i shouldn’t go to grad school. at least, right away.
This is the truth. And the truth always, always comes out. It doesn’t like to be ignored. And it will chain you until you let it set you free. I learned this the hard way.
In this life, more often than not, we’ve been blessed to have options. And in this sense, life is like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. You can always choose another path, and ready yourself as much as you can for the unpredictable and beautiful experiences to follow. Because, after all, it’s an adventure.
much love & many thanks to you for supporting me on mine,
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”
What lights you on fire, & how can you do more of that this week??