Working in the Creative Industry is a lovely, wonderful, amazing, horrible, maddening thing. Just like art.
When we’re lucky enough to be making something for ourselves or a client that truly resonates with who we are and what we stand for as artists, it’s nothing short of bliss. As much as is possible, I try to put myself in a position where there is a better than average chance that I’m going to like what I’m working on and when it’s finished, it’s going to bring me a smile.
The reality of it though, is even with the best of intentions, especially when someone is paying you to be creative, it’s a pretty rare thing when a client trusts you to do what you do with little micromanagement. But it does happen. I just finished a project where that was the case.
“We don’t know exactly what you’re going to create, but we know it’s going to be something beautiful. We look forward to seeing what you do.”
And that’s how it went. I did what I do and my client made good suggestions along the way in a very collaborative fashion, but pretty much let me be to create whatever I wanted. It was one of those blissfully rare occurrences of art and commerce working together in a positive collaborative fashion. I feel very fortunate when that happens. And I usually go well beyond what is expected when I’m given that freedom. I’m inspired even more than usual. Everyone wins.
But what to do when the during those times when any sense of artistic creation has been sucked out of the moment? It happens.
We turn to our fellow artist friends to commiserate, to vent and share the experience.
And we make and talk about our personal work.
However, when we’re busy, it can be difficult to find the time to sit down for a coffee or a drink or a meal and pull out our portfolios and iPads and phones and share the work we’re most excited about. It was out of the need for sharing the inspiration that a fellow director/photographer and I came up with the Inspiration Folder.
The Inspiration Folder is genius in that it allows the sharing of very personal or even unfinished work in progress with another artist or small group of artists out of the glare of social media. Privately. With people who we trust and support and vice-versa. And it gives as much as it receives.
My own inspiration Folders live on my Dropbox, one of the many ways to share files easily with one or more people. If you set up a shared Dropbox folder on your own computer, anything that is… well… dropped into it, gets downloaded to the computer of whoever you’re sharing with. And friends you share the folder with, same thing. No links. No link clicking. Stuff just shows up there.
Any time I need to see something inspiring, I just head to one of my Inspiration Folders of various friends and colleagues and see what new surprises are in there. More often than not, something new and wonderful is waiting. And then we’ll email back and forth about it. Whenever we want. No deadlines. No client approvals. Just the work.
I plan to add more shared Inspiration Folders in 2014, from other artists and friends who I wish I could sit down more often with a cup of coffee or a cocktail and talk about what we’ve been creating. There’s nothing better than a face to face discussion and sharing of work. But the Inspiration Folder seems to be the next best thing.
If you have creative artist friends, I highly recommend you set up a few Inspiration Folders for yourselves. It keeps the good positive people in your life close. And you get a folder of new inspiration to look at whenever you like!