My Favorite Creators

I’ve felt a bit off this week. It’s a byproduct of putting yourself out there all the time as a creative professional. The kind of work we do demands our full attention most of the time, and sometimes your head just isn’t “in it.”

I did, however, publish an article this week that I’m super proud of called Let’s Just Be. A Manifesto for the Creative Class. I’ve had loads of supportive feedback and even ruffled some feathers :) It was quite fun to put my true feelings about what I see around me out there. It was a vulnerable move and really went against the grain of advice on the internet for entrepreneurs.

I don’t know how to describe the feeling I’ve had, except that it’s been hard to keep inspired. I know I need to be creating content for my upcoming course, designing new business cards, and writing next week’s article, but it seems more forced lately than usual, even though I love what I do immensely.

I decided to revisit some of my favorite creators this week. Those people that make me feel something and connect with me on an abstract level that I can’t describe. We all have people like this that have inspired us to push past just doing the same old thing, and to surpass the boundaries.

These creators are some that I admire because they obsessively do what they do because it is their one drive in life, and because they create a livelihood from their craft(s). I see my work through the same lens, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Revisiting the work of these (in my opinion) geniuses has helped me get back to the “why” behind what I’m doing every day.

I would advise you to do the same when you’re feeling not quite into what you are creating. It may be time to take a break, revisit influences you’ve put aside for awhile, or meditate and explore the feeling instead of letting it take over your brain and life.

So with that, I wanted to share some of my favorite creators with you. Below are some suggested watchings if you need to be inspired, or just expand your knowledge of how people like this work.

I understand that my tastes are extremely fringe and a bit dark, but, hey, that’s who I am. I respect and admire the people I’m about to share with you to no end. Their bodies of work have helped shape my own, and given me hope that just because my mind may operate on a different wavelength than the masses, there is hope that an audience that will adore it is out there, hungry for what I have to offer.

HR GIGER

I could easily trace my love of all things industrial, dark, and bio-mechanical back to my first time discovering HR Giger’s Necronomicon in a Barnes & Noble when I was a teenager. I was in high-school in the late 90's in suburban Houston, TX and needless to say, my ever expanding consciousness was, well, bored. Finding the beauty-meets-horror work of Giger was like a beacon in the dark that I found myself in. I was hooked. HR Giger is most famous for creating the alien and most of the set of the original Alien movie, among others. Visiting the museum of his work in Austria is high up on my bucket list.

HELMUT NEWTON

I can’t say enough about the brilliance of Helmut Newton. He inspired me to look at photography in completely different ways. I’ve always been a fan of erotic photography, but Helmut took his work to a whole different level, showing the strength and power of women instead of as doe-eyed subordinates. I was lucky enough to catch a full exhibition of his work when I visited Berlin almost (eek!) 10 years ago, and it was one of the most enlightening trips to a museum I’ve had so far (shadowed only by the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met a few years ago; drool). This playlist is the full documentary by his wife, June, who was his right-hand and assistant through the majority of his career.

JEAN-PIERRE JEUNET

Before I went to school for fashion design, I was convinced I was going to be a filmmaker. One of my favorite directors is Jean Pierre-Jeunet. I first saw The City Of Lost Children and was awe-struck by the set, colors, themes, and characters. He has a way of creating a supernatural world that is still believable. Amelie is obviously the break-out hit. I remember seeing this for the first time in the theater alone and wondered, “How did they know about me?” :) The above is the trailer for Amelie, and it’s available on Netflix. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen it, it’s probably a good time to watch it again.

THE QUAY BROTHERS

The Quay Brothers are not for everyone. To watch one of their shorts is to step outside of the normal reality we surround ourselves with and enter their surreal, imaginative universe. This video is the trailer for the traveling exhibition of their work and a short about them all curated by Christopher Nolan. I just saw this last night in Austin and it was a much-needed break from the grind. To see true artisans making these phenomenally beautiful films by hand with the oldest and most painstaking perfection really inspired me to get back on my A-game.

ZOETICA EBB

Zoetica is my favorite modern day renaissance artist. She is a former Suicide Girl photographer, writer, and co-founder of the wonderful (and now defunct) blog and magazine Coilhouse, and an artist who is currently creating her Alien Botany series in all forms. She is dedicated to the fact that life is as beautiful as we make it, and fearlessly lives life on her terms, being as weird as she wants to be. She also does tattoo commissions. A few years ago we worked together to create my artwork, now I just need to get inked. It’s a baroque ornamentation piece of the word “Rebirth.” That needs to be on me soon….

The above video is an excerpt from a video series she was involved in called The Alternative Guide to Beijing, a series that uncovered the underground art and creative world of Beijing.

She is a constant reminder to myself to just be who I am, and screw the formula that others tend to live by. Check out her website BioRequiem for ongoing inspiration.


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