Monday, 25 May 2015

Our Creative Life

Last week I spoke about collaboration and the warm, fuzzy feeling I get when I meet new creatives.

It's a funny thing because lately when people ask me how I've met my new friends, I've been responding with "Instagram" more than I have been responding with "At a party" or "through mutual acquaintances". To be honest though, I am totally fine with this. To be even more honest with you, I have been finding reaching out to strangers online is far more fulfilling than walking up to a stranger in a bar and saying hello.

I see it like this:

I am being more intentional about who I reach out to. Thanks to the nature of social media, I have a good idea of who I'm talking to before I actually get to speak with them face to face. I know how many children they have, what their interests are, what they are passionate about, and while this may be slightly stalker-ish and creepy, I find comfort in knowing I am reaching out to someone who actually might give a crap about who I am and what I want to say.

Secondly, there's far less fear of rejection. Making friends at a party brings about high levels of risk I am not okay with. The idea someone may publicly reject my opinions or my beliefs is a little overwhelming and not something I am ready to face right now. This may seem quite cowardly and it probably is but something about talking to people online makes me feel comfortable and safe (ironic, considering the internet is probably one of the more dangerous places in the world).

You know what, I just don't know. I can't explain it but something about this community is just so great. It might be because I don't have to pretend or make stupid small talk to people I don't like. I am intentional and I feel like I have a purpose. I talk to people who listen and people talk to me because they know I will listen to them too. We are building a community and, while it may not be fully conventional, it exists to bring people closer together and that is good enough for me.

Lately I have been collaborating with other bloggers and creatives to develop ideas and expand passions. I am now a contributor to Our Creative Life - A blog aiming to encourage craftsmen and artisans of all kinds to deepen their relationship with God and take joy in the passions that He has given us - and I couldn't be prouder. This blog is a place where young Christian creatives can come together to connect both their faith and their creativity in one place. I'm excited to see where it will go because I think it's just what I, and many others, need.  I was interviewed by OCL not too long ago, so if you're not sick of my ramblings yet, you can head over here to read what I had to say.

It's been great meeting wonderful people from the comfort of my own home but also great connecting with them in a way I couldn't even imagining doing with the friends I physically know in my life.

Isn't that so strange?

This really is our creative life. Blogging and connecting through the tangled world wide web is a life I didn't imagine for myself. It is a life that is probably judged harshly by others and I don't blame them for it. Social media is almost not social at all. There are so many factors going against social media, I often doubt whether this is the place for me, but then there are those moments when I form true friendships with strangers and I am convinced I couldn't be working anywhere else but here.


p.s. Yeah, I went and changed my blog layout again. Not sure if I like it. What do you think?


I've also been featured on The Cat, You and Us this week to celebrate their 2nd blog anniversary, and was interviewed by Hanna as part of her Everlasting Apparel series where I spoke about some of my favourite articles of clothing/accessories. Go click on the bold links and have a read ;)

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Let's Collaborate

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks.

We've both been running around like headless chickens trying to make sense of time and it's fleeting nature.

Stephen's sister got married on the weekend, I head off for a destination wedding in a few weeks, we're busy planning our New Zealand holiday that is only 2 months away and all the while I am trying to balance new jobs, new projects and mountains of editing.

It's been wonderful though and a strong part of me is grateful for the nature of my life.

I am blessed with a lot and though I cannot often see it, I know it is there.

Lately I have been pondering over the idea of collaborations. I am in the middle of a fair few projects, but what is most attractive to me about them isn't the project itself but rather the people I get to work with.

Sitting down with fellow creatives and discussing films and music and perfect lighting is something I didn't realise I needed. I've realised you can't do everything by yourself in this world and if you want to fight the battle of envy and comparison then you have to dive straight into the pool and collaborate and support your peers, rather than sitting back and coveting them.

There are so many talented people out there in the world and I love them all so much. Even though there are days I feel sad about my work, many days actually, a part of me is so happy to be sharing this community with these people. Their work is inspiring and it pushes me to be better. On top of that, I am meeting other creatives like myself who are just figuring out their footwork and together we're building up our portfolios and our strengths and learning to embrace our weaknesses and work on them as a team.

This industry wouldn't be where it is without collaboration and community. All of us are building upon this platform together and I am so thankful for it.

So regardless of how busy I am and caught up I get in life, I hope I can continue to build on this platform with others and maybe even yourself. If you have a project you want to start, or a blog you want expanding, or a look-book you want photographed, or if you just want someone to go on an adventure with, please send me an email and say hello!

Let's take this journey together.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Creating dreams.

Dreams are strange things, both the kind you have when you're sleeping and the kind you have when you're awake. Generally though, the ones you have when you're asleep don't resonate with you for long periods of time. Instead they remain in your brain for about a minute after you wake only to disappear from your memory moments later.

I used to keep a dream journal. It was my goal to master the art of lucid dreaming. I already was the kind of person who could wake themselves up in a nightmare if I figured out fast enough I was in fact in my own dream. I would be running away from whatever scary monster my brain conjured up, and I would say "hey...this isn't real" and I would close my eyes really tight, open them suddenly and poof! I was back in my own room, in the safety of my bed sheets.

The idea I could do more within my dreams, that I could control them and somehow form my own "Inception" used to fascinate me. As soon as I woke up I would write down everything I could remember from my dream, no matter how tired or loopy I was. Sometimes my words and jumbled sentences wouldn't make sense but usually I would piece the puzzle back together and my elaborate fairytale of a dream would come rushing back to me. I got a little better as time went on. Slowly I didn't need my journal to remember my dreams. They didn't escape me as fast as they used to, and the more I was aware of my dreams, the more aware I became in them. It was entralling.

Lately, I've been discovering lucid dreaming doesn't only have to happen in the dreams we create when we sleep. I'm noticing the dreams I create for myself in the physical world, my goals and aspirations, can also be controlled.

I had breakfast with a friend this morning who sat and listened to me ramble about the dreams I have for myself and the worries I have about them. She told me I should stop for a moment and reflect on what I have achieved so far and take credit because I was the one who made those dreams happen. While God, luck, and fate definitely played greater parts in the making of my dreams, I had a say in the outcome too which doesn't equate to nothing. For it was I who hit publish on my blog, and bought my first camera and yes to my first wedding gig. It was me.

You see, we are constantly controlling how our dreams are created and formed. We are creating them everyday and building upon them. We are making choices for ourselves all the time and we may not realise it but those choices are made so we can one day accomplish something greater for ourselves.

Turns out I'm not just a dreamer. In fact, I'm a creator. I create my dreams and I create the steps needed to accomplish them. I create new limits for myself and new challenges. I create everyday through my thought processes and through my choices and without even realising it I have made my dreams a reality. I have been so focused on what's next on my agenda I have failed to recognise my accomplishments.

I challenge you this week to reflect on your dreams. To write them down and believe in them, no matter how jumbled or crazy they are. But I also challenge you to reflect on the dreams you used to have for yourself. Have you accomplished them? Have you been working towards them?