by Melody Hall
Often times I catch myself in places I wouldn’t normally want to be living in. Life happens and for some of us in creative careers, we are the lucky ones. Part of our job is to take a walk or a drive to stop the critical thoughts from flooding in, to unplug from the matrix and see what is going on around us.
As a society of goal oriented people, we often forget that work can be more than a job. We seem to lose touch with our spontaneity, our ability to stand up and walk away. We forget that we could all use a little more balance in our structure… a little “un-structure”. Using our “downtime” to continue our creative process is essential to growing as an artist.
One of the ways I like to use my down time is by location scouting. I find it very therapeutic to step away from the computer, away from the work camera and take a ride into the unknown.
I like to jump in my truck and take off. I don’t always have a plan because spontaneity is often my muse.
Like a domino effect, I start to see things that I normally am too busy to notice. Locations seem to come at me with ideas and I snap away, taking visual notes with any camera…often my phone’s camera. Capturing the colors or lines that I may not have noticed the first time around.
It may just be an old house to someone else, but to me it’s a beginning to a constructed reality or a fragment of a memory. Gathering bits and pieces from my surroundings can stimulate the brain, unlike looking to the internet for ideas. The smells and textures around us are much more vibrant in person. When all of these senses come together, I get a feeling…not just a look. I grasp the moment as a whole. That is impossible if you stay inside on a computer all the time.
It doesn’t matter if I have lived in a place for 2 years or 20, there is always something new. Change is always upon us and people come and go. Locations age, get abandoned and torn down. There is something about being spontaneous that gets the creative mind thinking. Being alive and remembering to take a step out of the parameters that we place on ourselves is something that we all need.
What I am saying is, we all have those times when we feel “stuck”. When we aren’t in our ideal situation. When we are living in a town where nothing seems interesting or alive… we aren’t so interesting or alive ourselves. These are my introverted times, time to take stock in our work and our lives. It’s a time to take drives and be inspired by the mundane.
It’s essential for me, to get out and take a drive or walk to look around at locations. I may not be in this town next week. I don’t like regretting things that I could have changed by simply walking out the door.
Photos: Melody Hall