I’ve held very few jobs that weren’t creative in some way. I mostly worked cooking in restaurants in high school and college and was deemed “the creative one” and given tasks that required craftiness or creative problem solving in my volunteer and intern positions. Yet, I never realized, accepted or admitted that I was a creative person until I was well into adulthood.
Working a creative job, like the dressmaking I do now, can feel like the easiest thing in the world one day, and the hardest thing I’ve ever done the next. It can leave you feeling extremely fulfilled or completely drained. Unlike with a creative hobby, you can’t stop and set it aside when you aren’t feeling creative. You have to push through everyday and search for the tiniest spark of inspiration that will allow you to do the thing you love, even when you hate it. Some days the creatively flows so intensely, you can’t capture it all. Then suddenly, you get a block and you can’t create anything useful. You have lots of ideas, but none of them will work. You have to keep trying and trying until you break through. The day I took these pictures was one of those days.
It rained all morning as I drank my tea, ate breakfast, got dressed and planned some gloomy day photographs. Then, as soon as I stepped outside, the sun came out and spoiled my plans. Every time I adjusted my ideas, and the settings on my camera, the weather would change and I couldn’t get the images on the screen to match the ones I had in my head. I took a break, played with Pepper, paced around, looked at some photographs by artists I admire, and tried again. My on-the-spot ideas were coming a little easier, working a little better now, but I still felt like I hadn’t taken many good photos when I ran out.
I sat down at my computer to look over my pictures and was pleased to find a handful of workable images. I had fun editing them and experimenting with my style, only becoming frustrated with a few things I wish I could do better, and put them aside to publish today, about a week later.
I was shocked, today, when I pulled them up again, to see that they weren’t nearly as bad as I had remembered. The lighting that frustrated me then, now looked kind of neat. The forces I had to work against were now points of interest. Running out of ideas and inspiration pushed me to dig deeper and try new things outside of my usual style.
Sometimes the hardest things about working a creative job produce the most rewarding returns and bad days become good days.
All photos be me.