Finding Inspiration

Finding Inspiration - Renukostyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration – Determine color, style, and elements for your next artistic project

In preparation for the last phase of my winter passion project, a photo shoot was planned at the Camden Opera House in Maine. I’d been there many times for dance recitals and shows and was anxious to see what would result from the shoot. We planned for three hours. Corie and Annie were on board for a 50’s style movie star shoot, the theme was simply ‘Drama,’ the women could interpret it however they wish.

I really don’t know why I wanted to do this shoot. Maybe it was because I had become obsessed with 50’s style portraiture, or maybe just because my friend Kim has a fabulous collection of vintage hats, or maybe I just thought it would be cool. Whatever the reason, a little playacting was the plan and the girls came prepared with a huge wardrobe to work with.

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

I knew the lighting would be a challenge. My studio lighting would be lacking for the space and the opera house would only have house lights and stage lights, neither of which would suit the style I had in mind. To add to that, the entire auditorium is cream, gold, and red; strong and reflective colors. But I was not deterred, as I knew the architecture would be awesome and the space inspiring.

 

Behind the scenes – unedited shots.

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

The shoot went fabulously but it was a while before I could earnestly sit down and work with the images. Well, to be honest, there was major procrastination happening. I couldn’t seem to get started as is often the case when I am really not sure of my direction. I had a rough sketch in mind, but when I finally began, I was struggling. The images felt forced and constrained.

I showed the work I had done so far to my husband (who is also my creative cheerleader). He said the work was stodgy. Stodgy!! Me stodgy!!! He explained that it didn’t have that edge, that surreal quality that he personally loves.

With that, I realized that I was not putting my whole self into the work. I set out to make a better plan. I did extensive research to determine which direction I wanted to take. The colors, the style, the elements needed to change. I created three mood boards and found several different artists that completely inspired me. The mood boards were created in Canva with images collection by taking a cropped screenshot from the images I collected in Pinterest: the Camden Opera House board and the Abstract Art board. (Command/Shift/4 on a mac for a selective screen shot)

To execute my vision, new textures and overlays needed to be created.

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Renukostyle.com

 

 

 

Inspired by the work of Vilde Rolfsen, I layered crumbled pieces of tulle and parchment paper in front of the window and photographed them. I did the same with wax paper. It just snowed so the trees beyond were covered in white which made for a perfect backdrop.

Next, further inspired by the work of Beth Nichols, I tried my hand at poured paint textures. Sure was fun! I simply poured the paint on a board and encouraged it to run in the direction I wanted. With some, I layered another board on top and moved it around before lifting it.

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

I edited the images from the Opera House with a warm black and white edit in order to have a neutral palette to work with.

 

Finding Inspiration - Create art imagery with layers and textures - RenukoStyle.com

 

I want to mention that Antonio Mora,  Paola Roversi, and Katia Chauseva are my new favorite photographers and are included above in my mood boards.

I am excited to show you the results, a composite of all three elements, coming in the next blog post. For a sneak peek, head over to Instagram.

 

 

 

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Creative Photography – Recipe for Creative Flow

 

Recipe for creative flow - creativity - creative photography - renukostyle.com

 

 

“If you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit, it will go anywhere.”
~Alice Walker

 

First, comes inspiration – a spark, a muse, a thought beyond reason.

Next,  comes awakening – a moment of beauty or insight that pushes one to action, an awareness of new possibilities, the clarity to see our vision at its completion.

Then, we fall in love – with the idea of actualization, with the dream of bringing that to vision to reality.

 

“Highly motivated creative people fall in love with an image of themselves as a person who will do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams – and this identification becomes, in a way, a self-fulfilling prophecy.” *

 

We often view the creative work of others at a gallery or a museum or on Instagram and remark, “I wish I were that talented!”

In fact, you truly are.

Think about it. Can you remember a time when you were so involved in something that the world around you all but disappeared, the cares of the day evaporated and all that remained was you, your mind and body on automatic, engrossed in your activity? It could have been a sport, cooking, hiking, even decorating. What was different about that moment?

Many who write about creative process call it flow. What happens neurologically is that we become of two minds, both our conscious and nonconscious minds are operating at once. We are aware of our surroundings but are not distracted by it. The nonconscious mind, or how we behave when we actively engage in spontaneous thinking, using intuition, emotion, and skill, is taking charge. If allowed to continue for an extended period of time, this state of being can be euphoric, taking us to places in our imagination we never thought possible.

Can we create an environment for that creative flow to happen? Yes! I have done it many times!! It is a wonderful process for shooting creative photography.

Below I have prepared for you a recipe for creative flow. For this recipe, I used my own creative photography process but it can apply to any creative activity you desire to be engaged in. It’s not difficult really, but there a few key ingredients.

 

Recipe for Creative Flow

  1. Set aside a block of time, preferably 2-4 hours, less is not enough, more is too much, preferably the time of day you are at your best. You must be alone in your space.
  2. Turn off and shut out all distracting buttons, beeps, and notifications.
  3. Collect together your materials. Using your inspiration, bring together what you will need to realize your vision. For the shoot below, I gathered orchids (my inspiration), a collection of similar fabrics (in this case, light weight linens), my prop door and backdrop boards, and camera with both my 500mm and 35mm F1.8 lenses. I also gathered lifts made of wood to put under the cloth and raise the orchids to various heights. I did not use a tripod as it hinders spontaneity and rapid movement.
  4. Add stimulants. Possible stimulants could include green, white or hibiscus tea, a latte, a green smoothie, anything to drink that gives you a boost and is outside your normal routine.
  5. Add music. Plug in the earbuds. Having your music of choice pumping directly into your brain aids in nonconscious thinking. I personally prefer something energizing and driving. I want my mojo revved.
  6. Begin. Don’t think too hard about it, just start and then continue and continue some more. Take shots straight on, looking up, looking down, close up and far away. Move the props a hair, turn them this way or that. Change the backdrop, the lighting, add something, then take something away. Work up a sweat – fling open the windows. Work until you are exhausted.
  7. Reflect. Remember how good it felt to be unplugged and unhinged, to let your imagination fly! Do not focus on results, focus on the joy of the process. If you do, you will desire to experience that free-spirited creative flow again and again.

 

No doubt you will find you’ve created something you love, or at the very least, you had an aha moment or discovered a new technique. Do this every week for 6 months or even 3 months and you will be amazed at what you are able to accomplish. It really is about the process, but after all, in the end, we want something to show for our concentrated efforts and believe me, you will!

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for creative flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for creative flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for creative flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for creative flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for Creative Flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for creative flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for creative flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for Creative Flow - Renuko Style

 

Creative Photography - Recipe for Creative Flow - Renuko Style

 

*Quotes from the book ‘Wired to Create,’ by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire which am still reading and totally love.

 

 

 

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