Freelancer Magazine Interview - April 2023 (Issue 9)
Hello! First of all, who are you, where are you based and what do you do?
I’m a portrait photographer and a house DJ from Lancashire, but one of the biggest creative processes of my life is building my business. It’s an ever-evolving project!
Where do you find inspiration for your work? Who or what inspires you?
Like most people, I feel inspired when I am reminded of the incredible potential of our world or that of human beings. Some examples: A Morecambe Bay sunset, hearing a story of someone overcoming great challenge, wise things my kids say, a starling murmuration, architectural wonders such as the pyramids, 500 people in a sweaty basement rave appreciating the same perfectly crafted bassline.
However, making time to be still, perhaps through meditation or walking outdoors, allows me to access the ideas that may have been percolating as a result of these experiences.
What is your creative process as a freelancer and how has it developed over the years? (has it changed at all over the years to be unique to you? Is there anything you do that you wouldn’t be able to get away with in an employed job? What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
The creative process often feels like a fine balance between accessing some mystical realm where all the good ideas live, and regimented discipline. In her book ‘Big Magic’, author Elizabeth Gilbert suggests we sit down each day and ‘do the work’, regardless of whether we’re in touch with our muses in that moment.
But this can feel like wading through treacle. Energy flow is all important when reflecting or generating new ideas. Having a business, young children and a gazillion other things to juggle, for me energy can be in short supply. So when I’m feeling the creative flow, if my schedule allows, I’ll create space to explore the ideas that are coming and do the less creative tasks another time. This is one of the many advantages of freelance life.
What do you do to get over creative blocks?
When I need to generate ideas quickly, I take a more methodical approach. I keep digital folders of ideas for portrait shoots, photography workshop activities and social media posts, to dip into when needed. In these moments, I thank ‘past me’ for providing the goods. Photo books, magazines, digital exhibitions, Pinterest, are always there to lend a quick hand too.
Talking to others, especially other creatives, often gets me out of those creative ruts. Verbalising can help to externalise and examine our problems. Having someone else’s input can be gold, and even lead to some superb collaborations.
Switching activities helps too. If I’m stuck with my photography, I’ll get on the decks, or if I get frustrated planning a DJ set, I might take some photos. If I give my brain a rest from a perceived problem, often the solutions arise naturally.
What’s your best advice for a creative life?
As I say, energy is all important. When I am overwhelmed or burnt out, the creative energy stops flowing. So my advice? Get some great quality sleep, eat nourishing food and drink lots of water. Do I always do this? Nope, but I know it helps when I do. I stopped drinking alcohol in December too and am already noticing that my energy levels are more consistent. This can only be good for my work.
What’s the next creative thing you’re looking forward to getting stuck into?
I am in the early stages ofplanning a photography portrait series, featuring ravers and DJs who are sober, yet still love to go to clubs and festivals. In all honesty, I want their tips! In fact, that’s another bit of advice; always have a personal project on the go, something that isn’t linked to your paid work. It helps to keep the passion for your creative interests alive.
Please add your website and best social links here. Thanks!
@ ginnykoppenhol (Linked In)