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Creative advice: look away from your bubble

This must be the first creative advice I give in this blog. But I have developed a few techniques to help with my creativity, and it feels fair I share them here. So let’s begin.

One that’s always been fruitful is constantly looking away from my “bubble”. In some ways, it resembles the advice to go out of your comfort zone 🙂

Design

For example, I attend design conferences not directly related to the branches of Design I mastered.

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You know by now that I go to OFFF Barcelona every year (and to their other events worldwide)… This event is primarily focused on Motion Design and Illustration. Web Design or Branding are pretty rare here.
But it’s a great way to meet and network with different people, find inspiration, and keep my creative sparkle alight. And the connections I can make are invaluable for my career. Particularly while freelancing, because I can easily tap into my contacts if I need a specific skill for a project.

It also becomes easier to spot new trends earlier, if you look at different disciplines and how they react to change.

Social life

I said it’s my creative advice, but I also do that in my social life.
For example, on social media (i.e. Facebook), I don’t solely connect with my old friends or like-minded people. I also connect with people with ideas opposite to mine and read everything they say (and sometimes, we engage in very interesting conversations).

I studied Philosophy and am very opinionated, but I’m not arrogant enough to think my ideas are the best. And I want to know what everybody thinks.

In Design, working with UX, you need to listen to all your users in order to provide a better service. In your life, you need to listen to everybody’s voice to better understand the world you live in.
And maybe even go as far as realising you could be wrong 😉

Photography

And now I’m doing it with my Photography as well.
I started hanging out with photographers from different genres in order to train different skills and hopefully become a better photographer.

I’ve been going out for photowalks with groups of very talented people recently. And that really helps me see the world through a different lens. It’s not just a metaphor: I don’t even go out with the same lenses I use when I shoot my landscape/cityscape photos.

^ Talking about gear, you can always see what I use here.

It’s also a very different mindset. My landscapes are a zen-like experience where I spend a long time composing and waiting for the best light.
But when I’m out in the street, I tend to capture the action as it happens.
I can still work a scene and wait for something to happen, but even in this case, I record events happening in a split second.

I’m in no way thinking that this makes me a Street Photographer. But I’m getting better at it because I’m practising it. And I’m becoming a better photographer because I’m training my mind to analyse and react to different situations.
I understand light better because I shoot with different conditions, I understand my camera better because I use different settings/features, I can identify interesting subjects more efficiently, etc.

Hopefully, this piece of creative advice will do just that: make you better at anything you do 🙂

If you’re curious, here are a few pictures I shot during these hangouts that I happen to like:


And you can also have a look at my street portraits from the London Pride 2019.

I’m not currently publishing these on my Instagram feed because these would not be consistent with the rest of my content. But I do post them in my stories when I take them.
Connect with me if you want to see more… @fabienb

And if you happen to be around, or if you live in cities I visit, feel free to ping me on Instagram to hang out and shoot together 🙂

Maybe I will begin considering myself a Street Photographer after all. We’ll see.

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