Friday, January 10, 2014

Make: A 20-Minute Instagram Creativity Fix

If I'm not creating, I get stabby. I'll jump down your throat. I'll sulk. If as an adult I could get away with it, I'd stamp my feet and scream until I got my way. But, I no longer have time for any of that.

Rather than focus on what I couldn't do, I decided to look at what I could do. I could commit to 20 minutes three days a week to create: a 20-minute practice in seeing.

Best of 2013: The Scene Today


How do you fit a creativity practice into your routine?

My goal with my regular creativity practice isn't a work of art worthy of sharing. My goal is simpler. My goal: to continue "seeing."

Three afternoons a week, I would walk from 24th Mission BART station to Gates' daycare in Noe Valley. Along this walk, I'd challenge myself to search out something I hadn't noticed before. To help me focus, I pick a theme and try to find three images that speak The Scene Today (previously the Seen Today, single snapshot post series here on the blog) Instagram series was born. I've shot "up," "through," "metal," "broken," "parallel," and more.

My 20-minute creativity practice really began in the second half of 2013. I quickly realized I was having a difficult time dedicating 20 consecutive minutes a day. For me, three days a week weather permitting I get outside for 20 consecutive minutes that are all mine. I started an exercise in "seeing."

Approaching Instagram as a creative outlet has improved my eye and my editing. There are many photos that fall on the cutting room floor now, photos that I might have previously included in an album but that don't really say anything. Aren't particularly interesting. I find I'm now challenging myself to do better. To take a fresh look. And I like the results.

To easily follow a series, I open Instagram in a web browser, search for the hashtag I'm interested in, and then bookmark the page in my browser. This allows me to see what I've shared and reflect on my body of work. I do the same for general hashtags, like creativemama, I can see what others are sharing.

New Instagram Series: My Ordinary Day #MyOrdinary_365

New for 2014, is a semi-regular Instagram series, My Ordinary Day. For this project, I've set myself a goal of taking a daily photo of a detail in my life that makes me happy. Some days it's hard to find one photo. Those are the days when time seems to fly as I tackle one fire after another. Those are the days when I need the exercise to remind me to be thankful, there are positive moments if I look. At the other end of the spectrum are those days when all is right with the world. Then, I have to edit myself and reflect on what I'm most thankful for.

2014 To Date: My Ordinary 365


At first glance, My Ordinary, would seem the same as 365 Days of Thanksgiving. It's not. Instead of deciding for the day what I'm thankful for and then searching out an image to best illustrate that concept, I'm starting with the moment, the illustration, and reflecting on why it's important to me. So far, I'm two photos ahead with my 2014 project than the 2013 project.

Now I just need to figure out what if anything I want to do with the best images from last year's series. From half a year, I have 106 photos. I think I may create an Instagram photo book on Blurb (the one I created for Alt Winter 2013 was super simple to do).

genuinely eden

Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.