Inspiration & Motivation

I’ve been meaning to blog for a while, but for the longest time I wasn’t sure what on.
Photography, tutorials, editing processes, etc. were all ideas that crossed my mind. I thought it might be interesting to talk about something besides photography and touch on the idea of motivation and inspiration, mentioning how the analytical side of our brain interacts with the right side.

It’s February; cold, snowy and grey. For some of us, it’s half way through the second semester of university. We often find ourselves being exhausted, clinging to our beds; hoping for just 5 more minutes of cuddling with our pillow. I found myself unmotivated after long nights of studying and reading research papers, so I actively sought out ways to bring back my motivation and inspiration. Some of these concepts I learned at school, some just work for me and maybe you as well:

Active studying/learning
What is that? It is the process where your brain uses as many processes to encode a memory, such as talking through notes and readings (invokes mechanical movement from the motor-cortex and frontal lobe stimulation from the language centers of the mind). It also allows you to stimulate the temporal lobes the sense of hearing is evaluated whilst reading out-loud; you are processing sound waves into your memory, another source of encoding. Then there is vision -visual learning can be a significant part to one’s ability to learn. Visual representations of the big picture subconsciously encodes the global and local aspects in question; seeing the tree and/or the forest before the other. Research has shown that another way to increase certain productivity is by the colours of the wall or platform you are working on -Blues evoke creativity while Reds stimulate detailed awareness.

Look at successful people
And I don’t really mean that as in look at their success and only that – look back and find where they came from, how they started and what got them to where they are today.  In almost all aspects of a successful person or business, there is a firm foundation of hard work. We all have those days where we take breaks, put work off to this mystical land called ‘tomorrow’ and unfortunately find ourselves on time crunches.
There is the work we grunt through, then there is the work we do- we know it’s work, but it doesn’t feel like it because we feel it will pay off. Beyonce ran miles while singing in order to be able perform on stage and not being exhausted. J.K. Rowling has the rags to riches story for harboring one of the most successful children’s story in the making; can you imagine how many people told her to give up and try a different career path? Halle Berry stayed in a Chicago homeless shelter when she moved to become an actress and Johnny Depp was a pens salesman. Just something to keep in mind. They may not be necessarily have succeeded in the field you are currently entering, but the concept is transferable.


Finding Inspiration
The right brain and left brain are found to use the same processes as each other when approaching creative and analytical concepts: generating ideas, evaluating them and executing them, with many creative sparks over time. So whatever your field, the release of dopamine is stimulated by the same influences. When you glance over a photograph that is so captivating that invokes you to want to create again, it is the same as someone reading a paper or novel and being motivated to do it themselves or get back to their research. In the end I don’t think science and art are exactly that different as their foundations are the same, it’s just the top coat that differentiates the two.
When I am having troubles finding inspiration for art work, I find myself diving head first into Pinterest. Yes.. Pinterest. It allows me to observe photographs over a variety of genres, and opens me to different concepts and ideas. It pays to look at left field; it’s not the same as the right field and can open you to an angle you weren’t always aware of. My suggestions for seeking inspiration is to first go to those that inspired you in the first place. Look at their work, and remember how it inspired you to push through and get where you are today. Then try to find others in the field you weren’t aware of before..
Other things that I often do is bake, read a book, and GET OUT!

Go out into the world and clear your mind. Breath in some fresh oxygen and not the kind settling in your apartment or house. Open the windows before you go so that when you come back to clean air. When I get out of my place for a little mind clearing I like to go for walks downtown, or drive outside the city and re-see the world. I also enjoy meeting up for friends over coffee and talking with them, seeing how their lives are and catching up- remembering that there is a life outside of the pages of notes and files of retouching. Sometimes one mind just needs another to bounce ideas off of and become active again.

Currently it’s 2:15am and I’ve had a red bull to help keep me up to write this. I hope this post makes
some sense and helps some of you who read my blog. I’m always open to questions if anyone has any.

Wishing you all the best as always

-Marie-Louise C.