Most days twenty minutes to myself where I can just create is a luxury. Crafting prose to complement a series of photographs is a seemingly impossible task, one often accomplished over the course of a few stolen moments throughout the week. However, I still find time to create. Recently through the "viewfinder" of my iPhone and published via my Instagram feed.
I can't believe the summer's almost gone, and that there's only a week left in the Find Your Voice workshop. It seemed like just a few days ago, I was hosting my Girls Night In Thai Cooking Class and packaging it into an online Thai Flavors: Introduction class for Atly's launch at ALT SF. But flown it has. So I've snatched moments here and there to whet my appetite for making.
One of the best sessions I attended this past January at ALT Summit SLC was the Makers Gotta Make: Fine-Tuning Your Creative Process for Success roundtable co-lead by Sandra Harris from Raincoast Creative Salon and Jennifer Cooper from Classic Play. Little did I know then that I would find myself faced with a schedule that at a glance prohibits creativity. (For over four years, I'd had the luxury of three to four hours on a train, five days a week, to write.)
Sandra and Jennifer talked about altering what you make as your schedule changes to keep balance. When they asked, what can you make in twenty minutes, I think they meant twenty consecutive minutes. I don't have that. I can't even count on that if I wake up before everyone else in the household. But they'd already changed my thinking. I recharge by escaping to old growth forests and babbling brooks or through writing and photography.
After the July 4th holiday where we headed to the banks of the Feather River, I returned to the city determined to maintain balance. With time a precious commodity, I began spending every second I could find. I turned walks to Gates' daycare into photography scavenger hunts, looking for series of shapes, colors, contrasts, or specific items. I did the same with walks to doctor appointments or to and from work between BART and the office. While I wait in line for coffee or for a sandwich, I'll process my finds and group them into series. A series that may or may not tell a story by themselves. (For those images needing words, they get saved for another day. I quickly jot down my thoughts in a note on my iPhone and come back to it until a blog post has materialized.)
And as I began consuming time more voraciously, I realized I started paying more attention to my surroundings. Looking for patterns, for beauty or symmetry that I might otherwise miss. I saw a city that ebbs and flows. Infrastructure breaks. Buildings come down in the name of progress. A daily walk back and forth over the same bricks yields different sights. Even if you never change your daily routine, the inspiration for creating is endless--you just need to look.
If you'd like to see San Francisco through my eyes and see the otherwise mundane in a new light, check out my Instagram feed. I typically don't post what you'll see there on Facebook or here, and I usually share between 3 to 5 images during the week.
How do you scratch your creative itch?
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Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.