In my Junior/Senior years of high school, up until about the summer before my sophomore year of college began. I dabbled in photography! In all honesty, there isn’t a moment I don’t wish I was taking pictures, documenting the world, capturing moments and people who are important to me, this brings me such fulfillment. Anyway, most of my photos were centered on my friends. Essentially we came up with ideas, found locations, planned shoots, and my friends would act as “models” for my shoots. Most times I found inspirations from what I saw on Tumblr, Instagram, and magazines. All of which inspired me recreate these images in my own way. Throughout this process of coming up with shoots and creating these shots (Found here: early work).
Like all things in life, I’ve inevitably learned a few things along the way as I came across various situations. Here are 5 tips about being a creative that I’ve learned:
Coke is better undiluted!
What I mean by that is your vision for what you want to create is what it is. And there should never be a moment in your creative process where you feel like your compromising your taste. Now I understand constructive criticism, is something everyone has to be willing to take, and it will make you a better artist. However, your vision is your art and if you listen to everyone and take in everyone’s input it will no longer be yours. I’ve learned to ask for my coke with no ice, so there’s no chance diluting how the coke should taste or how my vision should look.
If it’s Unfinished, it’s Unseen!
This one may be more geared towards photographers working with clients, but nonetheless I feel like it still is something I’ve learned along the way. Early on, I would sometimes be asked to send the RAW or unedited photos. Why would someone want the photos unready photos of them in between blinks beats me but I’ve come to realize it is a big no-no especially if you’d like to make photography into some sort of career. More importantly, I think it’s pretty standard across professions as a whole that you want people to see you with your best foot forward, your best work of the moment should be the only work you want people to see! Look, I completely understand that saying no, can be hard, and if it’s a client possibly harder; but you’re working hard to make/keep your reputation. So, my advice is to just be ready with a respectful, appropriate way of saying “I’m sorry, but no.”.
Write it all down!
Okay, so as creative people, our minds think a million thoughts per minute. So, the best advice I can give you is to write out your thoughts all down somewhere! It can be in a note on your phone, a voice memo, even a video on your laptop of you just talking it out, but get it out of your mind and somewhere you can definitely refer back to. If your a visual person like I am even a screenshot, a DM to myself, or the use of Instagram’s new bookmark feature is the perfect way to save something inspirational you’ve seen!
Network & Collaborate, but don’t let not knowing the right people stop you. Just Create!
The networking can be nerve wrecking, unnatural and hard, but working with like-minded people in your creative outlets is something so rewarding especially when the project is something you both see eye to eye on, it’s like striking oil! Can’t find anyone? Don’t let that stop you, regardless if you find someone to create with, or help point doors that can get you where you wanna go… just create and put your work on the internet. It’s 2017 for pete-sakes! 8 Billion people in the world with a significant amount of the population having access to internet! You’ll meet the right people, get the right feedback, and build the doors you need to get to where you wanna be. You literally have nothing to lose at this point!
Understand the Process!
This particular tip I have to constantly remind myself over and over; and this is about the actual process, and production of your work. Weather you draw, snap photos, produce videos, write songs, sing, dance or even design. As a young person living in this rapid world of social media, and seeing so many images. I see people who are doing what I dream about doing, and there my age and I have to admit it can be frustrating, but behind the frustration is inspiration and motivation to just grind to want to improve and get better, to get where they are. I think that it’s very important to remember our success can never look like anybody else’s and our lives are our own, so the path we take is unique to us. That being said, just respect the process, cause your already headed towards where you wanna be