Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 2 comments

Unstuck in Steveston

Last week, Shutterfly had a sale.  The big kind, with 50% off your whole order and free shipping to Canada.  The kind that lets me actually make a decent profit from my photo card sales...or at least make up what I’m losing on all the stock sitting in shoeboxes in my mom’s living room drawers.  

These trips home for the summer are my big chance to shoot the kind of “North American market friendly” images that make for cards people will actually buy from my website.  (Not everyone on this side of the ocean thinks Turkish carpets and Roman  ruins are perfect on the front of a thank you note.)  It was my big chance to refresh my stock at a great price.  

The only trouble was, my creative flow was feeling a little...constipated.  I had zero inspiration, no fresh ideas.  Just a looming “end of the sale” deadline and one big blank absence of creativity.  

Thankfully, I’ve learned something over the years:  whenever I’m feeling “stopped up” or uninspired, the best thing I can do is get out there and do the very thing I have no vision for.  If I can’t think of anything to write, the fix is to sit down with my notebook and just start moving my pen.  If my Turkish is sounding pitiful or my grace for the culture is waning, the way to get out of my funk is to go join a bunch of neighbour ladies for tea and conversation.  And if I have a dearth of desire to make pretty pictures, the cure is to pick up my camera and walk out the door.

So that’s exactly what I did.  I had no ideas in my head, so I went out and let the ideas find me.

Steveston, the old fishing village turned quaint coastal neighbourhood just down the road from me, is always good for an infusion of life into my heart and my creative reservoir.  And this time was no exception.  Poking around the second hand stores and gift shops and looking at the work of other local artists always get the inspiration flowing.  A trip to Village Books gets my imagination whirring.  Wandering the familiar grounds of London Farm and the Britannia Shipyards yields surprises in places I thought I knew by heart.  A few minutes of salty air and driftwood and seagulls on the Dyke revives my heart.  And an artistically crafted latte at Rococino and a couple of those wonderful mini-donuts make up for anything that is still lacking.  

I came home at the end of the day feeling alive and unstuck.  Seeing beauty around me seems to deposit beauty into my own heart, and suddenly the ideas were flowing.  Two days later, I had churned out a number of images that I both love and am excited to sell.   (Sneak peeks of those to be posted soon!)

Sometimes all it takes is being willing to walk out the front door.  


Here are some of my favourite images from the day:


That's the right idea Jamie, just walk out the door and Steveston is a great place to get inspired! I like all those photos especially the window of the old Japanese house.

Great pictures!! I wouldn't mind stocking up on some of them too, even though I'm not North American and also love the Turkish carpet and Roman ruin cards. Can't wait to get my little but over to your part of the world either, after seeing those photos!