Back to the Beginning | Self-Portraits

Last month, I didn’t pick up my camera once to take photos. The month before that, the last time I picked it up was around the middle of the month. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I just wasn’t inspired to. In my step away from social media, I also found myself walking away from my camera as well. I was over and underwhelmed with inspiration, and I wanted nothing to do with it. I needed to reset.

A few years ago, I didn’t go a week without taking a new self-portrait. These days, they’ve become few and far between. In a way, I blame that on my sewing and crafting, as those have become quite time consuming in an oh so very good way.

Looking back at my photography from the beginning until now, there’s definitely been progression made. I’m quite proud of how much I’ve grown and look forward to improving more in the years to come. Of course with growth comes a series of questions:

‘ What kind of photos do I want to create?’
‘Is this what I want to keep creating?’
‘Have I improved, or am I still in the same place a few years ago?’
‘How can I create better photos?’
‘What mood am I going for?’

A few years ago, I had only one question, ‘What photo shall I create today?’ Ah, simpler times…

These days, I use my costumes as leverage to improve my work. Taking photos of a gorgeous dress against a plain backdrop is just boring to me. It’s just not creatively fulfilling to me. I should tell a story with the photo by creating a scene for it. Find the perfect setting. Create the perfect mood. Capture that perfect moment. Telling stories with my photos. That’s pretty much where I’m at now creatively.

But now, I’ve found myself scrolling through my past work and thinking about my frame of thought when I was creating. I feel as though I’ve lost a part of that inspiration, so I’m going back to the beginning and combing some of the knowledge I have now with what I did then to see what becomes of it. It could completely suck and turn into some terrible work. Then again, it could turn into some of my best to date. Challenge Accepted!

In the coming weeks/months, I’m aiming to create a variety of simple as well as more involved pieces of work. I’m hoping the mix of concepts will bring me a sense of satisfaction as an artist as well as to keep my inspirational flow consistent.

The above photo was taken a couple days ago. It was a simple photo shoot against a white backdrop. I knew that I just wanted a series of black and white photos. Nothing crazy. Just something simple. I’ve just had a growing love for black and white photography in recent weeks. So perhaps I’ll start with that…


Lee

Florals and Faeries | The Articles

As I clear up my space and put some order to the madness, I found that I have a nice collection of artificial flowers. By nice, I mean I had so much that these just needed to go! This is one of the creations I was working on during my time off.

I started with making a simple strappy dress using a green and white floral fabric . I gave it a pointed hem. I was limited on how much fabric I had with this, so I gave it a bottom layer of a light olive colour fabric. I wanted something slightly adjustable in sizing, so I ruched the waist with several rows of elastic. as well as a zip on the back. This was going to be my green faerie.

The leaves and flowers on this dress were hand sewn onto the dress. I could have opted for a much faster solution by just using my trusty hot glue gun to attach them, but I was afraid that I’d be too indecisive with the placement of the flowers. I didn’t quite build out the layout that I wanted. So hand sewing it was just in case I wanted to change things up.

I changed it up at least three times.

The edges are raw for the time being. I might distress them a bit more to make it a little more whimsical. Other than that, I think the one thing that’s missing now is a headpiece. So that’s something to consider adding to my list of projects!

This was a fun piece to create. The hand sewing was a bit time-consuming, but looking at the final results, it was worth it. This is definitely something I’d like to create more of. I still have plenty of leaves and flowers left over, so why not!


Lee

Turning It Off and On Again

It’s been a few weeks now since I started my social media detox. It wasn’t really planned. It sort of just happened, and I think it was really for the best. I just wanted a little break from it. So I figured a few hours off of it one day would be awesome. Hours turned into days, days turned into weeks., and I just kept on going. I suppose that’s just the way it goes sometimes, yes? So apologies for the radio silence.

Last year, I found myself pulling away from social media-ing a bit. Last year, it was more of a feeling of being jaded by it and just trying to ‘find my way,’ that I just felt like I was just going through the motions…with a lot of things. I found myself scrolling through feeds just out of habit. I was wasting time, and I wasn’t feeling excited about creating. I didn’t like it. Then something kicked me into gear, and things needed to change.

This year feels different, though, compared to last year. A little wiser, perhaps? Haha maybe.  I have more of a sense of direction that I’m heading towards, and a lot of it seems to just focus on being creative and losing myself in the process. As great as it is to have all of these outlets to share my art, there’s just been a part of me that just wants to devote a lot of time to just creating. No sharing right away. Just focusing on creating…and appreciating…and growing.

Create first. Share later. For awhile, I fell into the trap of immediately sharing my latest piece or photo. I was so busy uploading it to social media, that I just forgot about the one place that I felt should be the first place to share it on – my website. I know I’ve said it a few times before and I most certainly did not do it. Here’s hoping that I actually follow through this time.

I’ve also been tackling clearing up my work space. Clean space = Happy place. By the gods,  it’s working! The floor has been cleared and remains clear, so it’s definitely a step in the right direction. There’s still a bit of a ways to go, but baby steps. I’ve got a lot of fabric! Speaking of fabrics, I’m notorious for hanging onto scrap fabrics for ages. By ages, I mean years. I’ve been working on clearing up some of it…by making zip pouches.

Behold!

By making these, I’m clearing up small pieces of fabrics as well as small zippers that I rarely reach for. I get new things for my shop, and I make room in my work space. So, it’s win-win. These will be available in my shop shortly.

I found plenty to keep me busy and creative during my time away, but I also took some time to just step back and relax. For instance, I’ve had a growing collection of mangas and other books just piling up. It felt wonderful to finally sit down and read them and re-discover my love for reading. It’s been awhile, old friends!

Am I leaving social media completely? The short answer is no. I’d still like to hop on now and again and see fellow friends and artists growing in their respective fields as well as getting the chance to interact with fans. However, I do like what all this social media time out has done for me as an artist. I’m feeling refreshed and inspired. I’ve created some fantastic new pieces (it’s more than just zip pouches, I swear), and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you. With these new pieces comes inspiration, and I’m motivated to create some dreamy photo concepts. Perhaps my little break from the camera is coming to an end…


Lee

 

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Model. Wardrobe Mistress. Sometimes Photographer.

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