I FINISHED a job recently that required me to shoot 24 layouts in eight days. With all the inevitable mess in scheduling, there were times that I was forced to shoot four layouts in a day. Top it with equipment failures and limitations, freaking out in the set is an understatement. How can one stimulate creative process under pressure?
A few days ago, I watched a video of the writer Elizabeth Gilbert on Ted.com where she explains how the creative process is killing our creatives. The bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love explained that the pressure to create something that would surpass or at least equal the previous successes and the sickening pressure to create more are what’s killing creatives. This is one reason why creatives drink gin in the morning, she said.
In her speech, Gilbert shared her thoughts on how to steer clear from all the pressure. In one of the interviews of actress Iza Calzado, she describes the difficulty of bringing yourself into tears set after set. “I’m no machine,” she said.
I remember a conversation with my kid when Psy announced that he’ll be releasing another single after “Gangnam Style.” Imagine the pressure and the struggle he must have gone through to create another worldwide hit. How do we control our creative instinct and how do we turn it on per demand?
I asked Xander Angeles in one of his workshops here in Cebu about the creative process. I asked him if he thinks about it ahead. He told me that he lets the element of surprise trigger his imagination. In one photography book I read, the author considers the imagination as a photographer’s most important asset.
I have to admit, I go dry oftentimes. This is what artists call the creative draught.
Gilbert, in her speech, shared her way of taking away the pressure by just continuing to do your work. She wants to stick to the idea that she is just a vessel of the spirit of creativity. If at some point the spirit is not there, she’ll continue to do her job and put the blame on the gods for not doing their part.
There is no easy way to live the life of an artist. The roller-coaster ride of euphoria and depression paints the daily struggle of every artist. I read online that one of the worst things about being a graphic designer is that everybody thinks it’s so easy to do. “If you think it’s easy, why don’t you do it yourself?”
I have no answer to this dilemma. One thing’s for sure I love what I’m doing in spite of all the creative pressures that come with it. I feel the real me when I’m shooting.
I enjoy the creative process of creating something. Yes, I do feel bad when I’m not delivering. I think that I just have to suck it up and continue to do my work.
Keep on shooting, everyone!