This fauxto was inspired by the young adult fantasy novel, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - one of my favorite YA fantasies ever!
I was originally going to tell you guys all about the ridiculously frustrating attempts I made to do this photo and all the crazy original ideas I had for it before settling on the one you see here.
But I learned a very important lesson while shooting this today that I think artists, writers and basically anyone in a creative field needs to know.
JUST DO IT.
Yeah, whatever, I know it's a dumb Nike slogan but it is also incredibly good advice.
Before this, I hadn't taken a YA-inspired fauxto since Thanksgiving. True, I could easily blame some family shit or my busy job as a distraction, but those would just be excuses.
I think artists sometimes get hung up on their own success or creativity. They produce something that is so epic and so awesome that for their next project they feel stunted because they are worried they will never be able to achieve that same level of success.
I am totally guilty of falling into that dumb trap. I have spent the last two months stressing out over trying to come up with the next brilliant fauxto. Instead of doing, I was obsessing. And it is never a good thing to obsess. Obsessing over something like a photo idea can lead you so far down the rabbit hole that it's hard to make your way back out.
Once I realized my original ideas were never going to happen, that's when the artistic depression set in. I started whining and bitching about my project (to no one other than my very unlucky boyfriend), to the point where today he just turned to me while we were eating donuts (a great source of inspiration if you're looking for one) and said "Margot, just do it. Just start taking something, anything - and once you do, your creativity will start flowing again."
I didn't want to take his advice. I was scared. I didn't want to start taking anything without a plan in mind and just be continually disappointed in the results. But like he said, I just did it. My original batch of photos were awful, and I almost stopped right then and there but then, like the boyfriend predicted, the ideas started flowing and finally got a shot I was excited to edit.
So am I happy with this final product? Absolutely. No, it isn't as fantastical as the book and yes I could have included some more details from the story, but I still think this captures a moment from the book as well as the tone.
I think it can be hard to make a photo inspired by a fantasy novel look realistic. I mean, it's fantasy! But that's why I think people gravitate towards my photos in the first place - they look real. They bring the stories we love so much to reality and I think this photo achieves that.
So to sum everything up, if you're a writer or a painter or a photographer and you feel stuck and are afraid to produce something that isn't to your standards - just stop worrying and do something. Go back to the basics and start small and simple. You may be surprised and pleased with the results.
Shadow & Bone by Margot Wood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Basically, this means you can share this photo on your blogs or via social media but if you alter it in any way or don't credit me as the artist I'll hunt you down like a dog. :-)