If you asked me if writing was my forte, I would be quick to say absolutely not. English in high school was probably my worst subject. The story of my education is a story for another day though, this is just fair warning about the endless grammar and spelling error you’ll probably find on my page.
The real reason I wanted to write my first blog post is to talk about a topic that I feel is relevant in today’s world. The topic of instagram, creativity and purpose. So…many of you probably came to know about me through my instagram (@mikesugianto), and I would be lying if I told you that it didn’t matter to me, or that it didn’t shape who I am today.
Recently I have been going through a creative rut, to me this is not something that just happens over night. Rather it something that brews inside you over time to the point where you really start questioning why you’re doing this all together. You start asking yourself, if instagram disappeared would I still be doing this, is this something I can see myself doing in 10 years. Not to mention the constant struggle I face internally to please people in my life. These aren’t the only questions that have been running through my mind. But I am not someone who is content with staying the same, being in this creative rut means, I need to find a way to get out. So these are a couple things I’ve been doing to help “cure” me.
Continue to take photos as much as possible (stopping will only keep me in this rut)
Start taking photos of what makes me happy (I’m going to talk about this a bit further down)
Take photos by yourself, let your mind wander while you’re out and let your mind create the images
I would say three out of those four point are pretty obvious ways. The second point is what I want to talk about. So I’ve come to realize that over the two years that I’ve been using instagram, I’ve seen thousands of photos of amazing places all over the world. Countries that I want to visit one day. The only issue for me is that I’ve subconsciously built up a library of images in my head, so when I’m planning trip, all I want to do is go to this cool place and take photos. That doesn’t sound bad at all until you realize that you’ve seen the exact same shot of Moraine Lake 30000000 million thousand billion times. I mean hey if you’re not from here I don’t blame you for wanting to capture the place for it glory. What I am trying to say is that I’ve traveling around the world taking photos of cool places based off other photographer’s compositions. I’ll admit to it, it sounds awful, it makes me look like a poser (whatever you want to call it), BUT it is the reality that I’ve come to realize. We are humans and we naturally make mistakes. The real question now is how do I fix this.
Living in Calgary, I have Banff National Park just an hour from my doorstep, which has been so helpful in getting me through this rut. I’ve gone back to why I do this, the root of my creativity. Before I was really into sharing my photos on social media, I was all about hiking and aimless adventuring. I would sometime drive 1000km in one day, just to realize I had only taken a 100 photos. I’ve done more hikes of recent. I’ve gone back to this, I recently drove to Jasper as a small day trip, if you don’t know where that is, it is about 4.5-5 hours from Calgary on way… Seem a bit excessive to get out of a rut, but I can’t really explain in words about the freedom I’ve felt creativity from doing trips like this. But I would say my biggest secret to getting out of my rut is taking photos of people, people who share this open mind of adventuring. Over the last month I haven’t felt more inspire or more driven with my work.
My new focus is story telling, it has always been something I have strive to achieve through my images. It may sound broad to say “I want to create images that tell their own stories”. But it’s so true, most people who view your images were not there when you took them. Therefore how are they post to know the struggles and joy that the experience brought to you. It is those emotions and feelings that are easily lost and left behind in the photos. I want to get better at this concept, I want you guys to feel emotions when you look at my photos. I want it to be the closet feeling you can achieve without actually being there. I’m inspire and I want you to be inspired too. I don’t know if I am ending this prematurely but I think I’ve said what I want to say.
Thanks for listening…