Has Your Creativity Come To A Standstill?
Growing is a pivotal part of our creative journey. It allows us the ability to provide our very best not only to ourselves, but for our clients, and those around us. With that being said, creative growth can be challenging! Here are some tangible ways that I’ve found help push me forward in my own journey and I hope that they can be useful to you too.
• Seek knowledge. There’s a wealth of information readily available out there to help you learn and grow. Whether it’s a book, a workshop, a blog post, or another professional that’s willing to share in their knowledge, seek to learn about your craft wherever you can. Find out what that specific film type can do differently, research where certain flowers grow, or learn how to implement some new techniques into your designs. Be diligent about learning and it will pay off in your work.
• Face your fears. Putting yourself out there can definitely be scary, but a really big part of growth is getting out of your comfort zone. When you feel uncomfortable or fearful in your craft, embrace it! Connect with that model and get in her bubble, reach out to that planner, stylist or photographer you really want to work with, and post that photo, no matter what anyone else thinks! Beautiful things happen when you throw the fears aside.
• Experiment. I’ve found that a fun way that we can learn and grow as creatives is to devote some time to experiment without pressure. Get hands on. Throw your ideas and expectations aside and just play. Play with different light, flowers, styling techniques, textures, or colors. When you experiment without any pressure at all, you allow yourself the ability to clear your head and have fun creating something new and unique.
• Keep a journal. One of my all time favorite ways to grow is to keep a journal about everything I photograph. As soon as I get my film scans back, the first thing I’m doing is going into my notebook and writing about the images. The mistakes I made, the things I did right, and what I want to challenge myself to do next time. Even if you never look back at what you’ve written, it reinforces what you’ve learned in your mind. What’s great is that no matter what you do as a creative, you can write about it.
• Learn from your mistakes. When you know you’ve made a mistake, don’t beat yourself up! We all make mistakes, but take it seriously. Write a mental note, or even write it down in a that creative journal. Be mindful of it next time, and it will happen a lot less often. We grow more from our mistakes than we do our victories, so keep your head up and learn from it.
• Make a point to do something that inspires you. As I’m sure a lot of us are aware, it’s really easy to get burned out or feel down about our work, so we need make a point to do something healthy that keeps us inspired. Go for a walk, exercise, embark on a new creative endeavor, or go on a trip and experience a different culture. Do whatever you need to do to refresh your mind and spirit.
• Embrace your individuality. Something that I find so beautiful is knowing that we as humans are all so different, and we all have something special to offer. Believing this to be true, we could argue that of the most important aspects of creative growth is embarking on a journey of self discovery. Not only could going on that journey help you to create with more ease, it will end up being a more rewarding process because you will be creating as an extension of yourself. This wasn’t meant to be a sales pitch for Once Wed’s Wedding Styling 101, but I personally took so much away from part 1 “Your Aesthetic Voice”. A great start could be to ask yourself the questions, “What am I passionate about?” “What do I find beautiful?” “How can I implement these things into my craft?”.
These words by Jeremiah Spray really spoke to me while thinking about the creative journey and growth lately. “The ‘why’ of what we do, something I struggle with everyday. For me I think it was originally a desire for connection, a loneliness made less by having something to add. I know I'd be a very different person without art. Lately I feel a huge push to evolve, to let myself be honest, and seek deeper things. Looking for a spark, that magic that makes me excited about the work. It's not a dislike of what I've done, so much as the realization of where it's leading. Taking the best, letting go of what doesn't work, and embracing the path.” -Jeremiah Daniel Spray of Jeremiah & Rachel Photography