Creative Constraints

Creative Constraints

It takes time to build an idea and then act upon it. Creativity is not only something that can happen over time but it’s also something that can happen right on the spot. I find for myself that the best content I’ve created was with little to no conceptualization process behind it. You can sit for hours generating ideas of what something could look like but until you get out of your space and get a feel for the outside area, you have no idea what else it out there. I like many others hate being bound by the rules, I also don’t like being constrained by social standards. I find that I can’t be fully creative with people around me dictating what is right and what is wrong because when it comes to creativity, there is no right or wrong.

This week I reunited with an old friend to work on his creative vision. Not only is Gary (@yuen.wm) my good friend but he’s also a close photographer of mine. His vision was to do a moody segment with fake tears running down my face in a bathtub, however he planned to edit it in post as black and white to intensify the colour. In the end, he chose not to change the colour composition of the photo, and we ended up using other photos than those shot in the bathtub. Gary and I haven’t worked together since early July which allowed us to regroup on creative ideas as we’ve both been working with other creatives around the city learning different styles and techniques. 


Gary took his inspiration from a photo he saw on Instagram of an art piece by @tormdraws. In order to recreate the look, we went on an adventure to Micheal’s for face paint. After the painting process and test shots we went out to Queen Elizabeth Park for the rest of the shoot. The thing about Gary is that he never has a clear plan when directing his creative outlook, so when we shoot we could be out on location for as long as six hours improvising. I love that, I love that there is no one clear shot we have to get by the end of the day. Although we work around a general idea, we are open to trying new locations, positions, and facial expressions. Most times, the on-spot improvisation turns out much better and more rewarding than that of which was planned.

For myself, modeling was never something I planned. I never wanted to work in photography, I always wanted to work in video. Despite the fact that video has always been a dream of mine, I was worried about what others would think of my content so I delayed creating for up to two years. I wasn’t confident in my own content until recently when I picked up a camera and started shooting. It’s been two weeks and I haven’t been able to put it down. Without feeling the constraints of others, I feel more creative than ever. 

After spending so much time in front of someone else’s camera, taking shot after shot, and scrolling through endless amounts of photos, I’ve realized that they all lack personality. People say that, “a photo is worth a thousand words,” but is it? You can tell a lot about a photo but they’re mostly generalizations, or poorly based assumptions on someones clothing choice, facial expression, and location. I don’t feel like I can tell a story through my photos so I have finally taken it upon myself to pick up my own camera and tell my story the way I want to tell it. Although I much prefer video over photos, I will still continue to create both. Without photography I don’t think I would’ve ever been able to put myself out there in more than a single frame. 

It’s extremely important to remember who you are when creating, people are easily lost in the judgments of others. It’s an unbelievably scary thing to do when you have to be yourself, but only you can do you best.

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