Thursday, February 3, 2011

Switching Gears: A Confession

Every artist is probably familiar with hitting a wall at times. Lots of us hit what I refer to as "Winter Funk." It's basically what happens when the conditions around you are less than ideal for going out and creating new things. For me, and for a lot of other photographers, this tends to happen in the winter. Maybe it's the lack of sunlight, or maybe it's just that we'd rather not freeze our fingers off in the cold while trying to be inspired by a bleak landscape of leafless trees and salt stained roads. Not to mention that even if we were inspired, the bitter cold takes a toll on your gear and batteries and you end up having even less time than usual to get the job or project done.

Life's been full of stress factors lately and I started to feel the pressure cracking me in half. On top of trying to keep up with my own life, I started to feel like I was standing still with my art. Sure, there have been some paying gigs to keep me busy, but my personal work had taken a huge hit since completing my 365 Project back in October.

More after the jump

I decided to bring my mind to a better place. Since I'm unable to travel right now, for both financial and time reasons, I could only think back on previous vacations. Lots of great memories from lots of road trips. The soundtrack for each drive would vary depending on who was in charge of the CD player at the time, but 99% of the time it was mutually agreeable. I do like to visit Fort Lauderdale, FL quite often, and when you're down there it's a different scene. For a Metalhead like myself, you can feel out of place pretty damn quick. It's basically a non-stop hip-hop video out there when the nightlife is kicking. Needless to say, Dance music is pretty hard to avoid when you go out for the night. Normally I hate that stuff, but thinking back on happier times brought a rush of familiar, catchy songs to my brain that I couldn't shake.

Naturally, I don't own any of that music, so I went over to YouTube and reminisced for a while. "A while" turned into a day, and then into a night of insomnia. Before I knew it I was on a highly-uncharacteristic Pop music bender. The truth is, the music helped my mood, so I guess I can't complain. The trick is to try to stay open minded enough to not be embarrassed for deviating so much from my usual listening habits.

After going as far as to create a YouTube playlist, I started to study the videos. I figured that if the music could help my mood, maybe the visual aspect could help my creative funk. Luckily, I was correct. I started to pick up on certain aspects of the cinematography used in each video and how the scenes would ebb and flow with the vibe of the music, as well as certain effects and filming methods that you don't see very often in Metal videos. I started to visualize some new work in a new way. The sonic and mental vacation I was on did the trick, it rejuvenated my creative juice glands*

I'm hoping to get started on at least one new project using some of these new (borrowed) ideas that I have. I'm not going to make a Metal video with spinning rims or "hoes" in bikinis, so don't worry about that. Let's just say I'm going go to out on a limb and travel way outside my comfort zone. Even if it fails, it will still be a success because when it comes to art, any inspiration is a success. Just the fact that you get up and do something new is a victory, because there are always a million reasons not to.

* There is no such thing as a creative juice gland

More soon,

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