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SKAISTE KLANIUTE

Rediscovering Joy: How to Overcome Creative Blocks


I decided to take a photograph EVERYDAY for 31 days


Before I began this, I knew it wouldn't be easy to find interesting things to photograph whilst going about my everyday activities. And it isn't easy or 'wasn't 'to begin with. While I was on a quick visit to Spain, things stood out to me as everything was new and different, but when I came back to a normal routine, I realised that the things I've seen a hundred times before is not exactly eye candy.



Why did i decide to do this?


My creative world was stagnant. I felt despondent that the only time I took my camera out was for paid work. All of my spare hours were spent worrying about marketing and not finding any 'free' time for inspiration and creativity. I wanted to rediscover joy in photography again and feel like I am still connected to what I love to do most. How could I call myself a photographer if I wasn't taking any pictures? My creativity and happiness was at an all-time low.


It's often said that taking on a hobby as a career might make you fall out of love with the craft, but I think it is all about perspective. So, I decided I needed a drastic change, a challenge that is approachable and relatively easy to achieve only if I fully commit to it and didn't cheat. Then I could finally find the time that seemed never there and challenge myself, so inspiration and creativity could flourish once again.




The journey and Lessons in Rediscovering Joy in Creativity


Often, people try to define you and find a label where you best fit as a photographer and it never really sat well with me. Could I photograph the same subject every day for 31 days? What happens when you get tired of that subject? Sometimes it can feel we are boxed in to do the thing you get known for, and that can lead to stagnation in your creativity. Would it be as productive to keep shooting as you always have and not challenge yourself to branch out to other creative fields of interest? Especially if one is at a stage figuring out what their 'thing' is and is still searching for their muse. Probably not.


I don't think I ever wanted a 'niche'. I want to be a photographer that is always growing and is challenged to redefine the direction of photography (maybe I am not there yet, but we have to set standards). I am a human with a complicated web of interests which often die for new ones to inspire my life. If you are an evolving creature, like myself, then it's ok not to do just the one thing. It's ok to take risks and be brave to publish something that may go against the fashionable or trending hype. Even if it seems I am the only one that says it. In recent years I have had 3 to 5 jobs in different sectors at the same time and I wouldn't have it any other way.


But the point of this challenge was to build a habit and rediscover where the love for the craft has gone, as well as question my own preferences and aesthetics. The idea is to open your eyes wider and find a different light in the everyday, quite literally. As any other artists have done before us, we package reality and serve it up in unexpected ways to bring awe to others and joy for yourself in the discovery.


Method:

How do you unlearn your innate function ,which was learned through habitual study and experience familiarity through another perspective? By undergoing a process of unlearning. It is to look at what your comfort zone is and imagine seeing your process for the first time without all the knowledge you've acquired over the years. Have you ever thought how to unlearn riding a bike? It is something like that. Perhaps it has the potential to lead to interesting conclusions that can shake up your creator's block. All we have to do is try, but set yourself a goal that is attainable and realistic. I knew for myself it will never happen if I use my professional camera to tackle this challenge, so I limited myself to my phone instead. The lesson here is to just start with whatever you have now.


I thought that I'd be tired of taking pictures every day, but the opposite happened, I was even more inspired to think about future projects and potential collaborations. You are practicing and honing the most important muscle you have in photography, the act of looking and looking again. To overcome a creative block may not be by taking a break and waiting for inspiration to strike, I found the opposite to be true, choosing to be disciplined and spend a small portion of your day on the task you have set yourself will allow you to break the wall of inhibition.


To be creative is to be excited about your ideas, your life or the surrounding environment. I've been living in one place for quite some time now and I don't find it particularly inspiring but the by-product of being present in my commitment has given me a rekindled enjoyment of my surroundings. It made me take different paths to and from work, just so I can be exposed to new sites and capture my image of the day, which in turn made my life all the more interesting.



Did I overcome the creative block?


I can truly say I rediscovered the joy that was missing in my creative work and already have a photoshoot booked to take my work in a fresh new direction. Most importantly, I found, it is not about the gear you use but assessing the quality of awareness in looking. I did not feel limited by my phone and the only time I got frustrated was because I knew I could make a certain image much better if I used a zoom lens, but that's all.. Parameters and restrictions are very useful in creating new projects, it teaches you to solve puzzles and look beyond the first glance.

Another insight is that I have 32 images at my disposal, the collection serves as a visual map to learn about your interests and skills, illuminating the pathways and new directions your work may take.


Thank you for reading!

Leave a comment below if you are also on a journey of making good habits or rekindling your love for old ones.


See you in the next one,


Sky xx


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