Lately, I haven’t been feeling as creative as I’ve had in weeks past. If you asked me why, honestly I don’t think I could give you a solid answer. You see, I have an extremely type A personality which forces me to be OCD, impatient, and anxious. On the upside, these qualities push me to be both, proactive and ambitious. However, I’ve recently noticed that there has been a repetitive glitch within my internal system. I’ve been told countless times before to sit down and take a break but the idea sends waves of anxiety over my body. There are only 24 hours in a day and I try to make at least 16-18 of them count. Not only that, but I’ve completely backburnered by personal life to pursue my creative one. I’m a total workaholic, I know. I understand that it’s completely normal to take a break, but it worries me that a break could cost me the rest of my creative career. I also understand that, that last statement sounds extreme being all of twenty-years old, but after hitting a creative-rock-bottom in the summer, I’ve tried to never be in that position again.
I went to back to Tofino over this past weekend to shoot a video for another class of mine. We were given the criteria of no criteria. The project is supposed to showcase exactly who we are in a one minute frame, imperfections included. Since there were no specific technical elements to fulfill, the project allowed for my wildest dreams to soar, leaving me in complete creative state of mind. Although I still don’t feel all that inspired to create content when I go back home, it was integral to my project. However, when I came back to the city, I felt ready to get a jump start on my creative projects- or at least I thought I was…
Normally I have around 2-4 shoots every week, either with local brands, local photographers, or my personal video shoots (for YouTube). All of these things take a significant amount of planning when shaping them into my hectic schedule, leaving enough time to build an outfit and create a light concept with whoever is behind the camera. For some reason, when I missed my weekly-before-class Monday and Wednesday shoots, I felt extremely unproductive and put down. Looking at it now, I understand that it’s not healthy to be down on yourself when taking a break but for myself I don’t understand a limit of reaching a content quota. In a creative mind, the gears are turning nearly 24/7, and sometimes I find it hard to sleep when I have a burning idea that I want to execute.
I suppose that I creatively push myself on a daily basis because I never want my creative light to die. I know what it’s like to sit there days, weeks and even months on end wishing to be creating, and believe me it’s the worst feeling in the world to want to pursue something but backseat yourself because you don’t have the inspiration. At this point in my life, I don’t understand what my limits are anymore. I have no idea what “a good work day” looks like, with creative projects there are genuinely loose ends that can always be tidied up. There is no right and wrong with creativity, which happens to be my biggest blessing and curse.
As I was a little off my game this week, I decided to try something a little new to get my gears spinning again. I rarely ever shoot duos, but since I’ve been playing it quite safe recently I thought it would be a good idea to work with another person in the frame. I’ve only ever shot duos twice before this shoot, and normally they look extremely uncomfortable when two people don’t share the same dynamic. I shot with Isaac (@mocharski.films) again this week, but we were also accompanied by another photographer and model named, Santiago Sevilla (santiagosevilla). I’ve worked with Santiago once before for a YouTube video we shot at the end of August, but he was behind the lens rather than in front.
We shot in gastown using the rustic bricked walls to frame up our pictures. Santiago and I had a little bit of a language barrier since he’s from Mexico, but we worked together just fine as we modelled Isaac’s new clothing brand. As far as posing went, we weren’t very dynamic but I believe that it’s something that comes with time. Much like everything else in life, practice makes perfect.
I was recently told by Dr. David Murphy who teaches CMNS 226 that sometimes you need to embrace your creative block. Lately I haven’t been interested in modelling at all, especially after nearly taking a week off of work. To be fair, it was never my dream to be a model, but lately I haven’t felt as creative as I have in recent weeks on shoots. Currently I’m at a loss because I feel like taking a break is a waste of my creative time, but pushing through and creating something that I’m not proud of isn’t a constructive use of time either. It’s not that I’m questioning my work, it’s more that I’ve been burning the stick at both ends. I suppose it’s time to take David’s advice, embrace my creative block and see if that gets my gears spinning again. I won’t think of it at quitting or giving up, it’s more like taking a couple days off of a project and coming back to it with a fresh set of eyes. After all, I’m only twenty.