The Best Laid Plans

The one thing you can predict is Sydney’s unpredictable weather!

Last weekend I flew from Melbourne to Sydney to see a band. As I was only there for less than 24 hours, I wasn’t planning on taking any toy photos. But then James went and wrote about taking toys with him on a business trip and I thought that if I didn’t, I’d regret it. The best laid plans of mice and men humans often go awry!

So, after a rad gig on Friday night, and with a good 5 hours up my sleeve to explore the city before I had to get to the airport, I pulled apart the curtains in the hotel room, only to be greeted by grey skies and light rain falling. Continue reading The Best Laid Plans

Requiem For Esteem

Finding Inspiration In Words, Again

I recently had to leave town for work. After packing my bags (including the now mandatory for any journey off the property, LEGO minifigures), I grabbed a book from our bookshelves (I’d just finished the latest BricksCulture magazine cover to cover) for the plane flight and the few days away. Continue reading Requiem For Esteem

Rainy Day Activities

Weather or not

As my northern hemisphere friends gloat of warm weather and sunshiny days (maybe not my UK friends) I find myself bunkered down indoors with the fire lit as sheeting rain pummels the roof.

I like the rain. It’s good to us. It fills our watertanks. It feeds our veggie patches. It replenishes our lake.

Nevertheless, the rain now presents a new dilemma for me with the recent acquisition of a “real“ camera. Continue reading Rainy Day Activities

Convenience to quality

Convenience to quality
The transition from phone to camera

It’s no secret that I’ve used an iPhone to shoot toys since I started.
This decision was a conscience one.
It wasn’t based on fear.
It wasn’t based on the fear of having to hand over a big wad of money.
Not a fear of all them dials and settings. Continue reading Convenience to quality

Inspiration – where do you find it?

When I am taking photographs, I don’t know if it is the start of a new project or only a series of pictures. It all depends on different things, like how the idea works out, if and when I get inspired and my ability to stick to the idea. You probably recognize this.

When I’m in this position – looking for inspiration to start, I tend to find myself procrastinating waiting for the tricks that usually get me going and generally inspire me. Even though I believe that Mike is right, the more I photograph the more inspired I get. Continue reading Inspiration – where do you find it?

Procrastination

This past week I have been in full blown procrastination mode a la Avanaut. I find myself doing practically anything instead of working on those large, self imposed, projects I set out for myself.

My procrastination is so bad, I am actually tackling the dreaded and tedious task of sorting LEGO, cleaning out my closets and of course escaping into the nearby wilderness with kids and friends in tow. Sure my house is cleaner, my LEGO is getting a much needed major reorganization and I have certainly enjoyed taking mini figure photos in some spectacular scenery; but those projects I set before me to do are still begging for my attention.

In fact there is a very cute little brown faced figure sitting on my desk, staring at me, wondering when we are going to get started on our project. I have to tell my little friend to be patient a little longer because I think this down time, this procrastination, is a good thing.

One of my favorite authors, Hillary Mantel, said this about procrastination:

Imagination only comes when you privilege the subconscious, when you make delay and procrastination work for you.

While I am working so hard not to work, I know my subconscious is busy working out the problems ahead of me. Instead of running head long into an impasse, I am slowly figuring out the work arounds. I think this is what Ms Mantel was talking about when she says: “make delay and procrastination work for you.”

I am learning to embrace these white spaces, the down time, and have faith that when the time is right, the photographs I am looking for will flow effortlessly.

In the mean time, I will leave you with a couple of very recent images that I couldn’t be happier with.

~ xxSJC

Watermarked Photo-1
Enjoying the Moment

The Foolish Lego

As the weekend comes to a close I feel good about what I accomplished.  My project has moved forward and I have a doable to-do list ready for the start of the week. My list does includes three additional photos that I am waiting on the weather to finish, but that is tomorrows problem.

All of this does not mean that I didn’t do a fair amount of diversionary activities in spite of my productivity. I finally read the entire Foolish Lego web comic. This comic was created by Dwaas, a Dutch AFOL who is almost through his second 365 challenge photo and started his web comic back in August of 2013. Just thinking about what he has accomplished makes me feel a little foolish for procrastinating on my own deadlines.

Once I had back read the Foolish Lego I followed a link on his blog and discovered a treasure trove of Lego Comics on the Brick Comic Network. It’s literally a one stop shop for all my procrastination needs. I feel I can almost look forward to the next big deadline that I will undoubtedly try to avoid.

The next time you are cruising the internet looking for a diversion, check out Foolish Lego and the other Lego comics. I hope you will find them as entertaining and inspiring as I did.

~ xxsjc

Do you have a favorite Lego comic strip?
Did you have a productive weekend?

Beauty in the little things by Dwaas

Procrastination

pro·cras·ti·na·tion
prəˌkrastəˈnāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: procrastination; plural noun: procrastinations
  1. the action of delaying or postponing something.

    We all do it; ok maybe not all of us. I know that Avanaut will be busy this weekend on his beloved fighter project and +Me2 will be flying off to foreign shores courtesy of Big Inc. My husband is out of town, my kids are busy and I am left with no more excuses, it is time to face my fears.

    The task I have set for myself isn’t difficult, I simply need to edit 18 photos so they look vaguely similar. Piece of cake…right?

    It is not the work I am afraid of, because I like the work. It is the potential failure I don’t want to face. I guess I need to relearn the following lesson:

    An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. ~ Edwin Land

    So this weekend I will endeavor to be boring. I will cut my self off from the world, face my fears and try to get this project done. If I fall short of my artistic goals, I can remind myself that this is all part of the process.

    ~ xxsjc

Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something.

While we await news of +me2’s grand adventure, I’ve been having a small adventure of my own.

When I left town a few days ago, I packed a wonderful collection of Lego and all my camera gear with grand intentions. My family and I would be driving nearly 1800 miles (2824 km) across the US and we would be passing by some of my favorite places in the country like Yellowstone National Park and Moab, Utah. I was going to be ready!

Five days later, not a single Lego picture was taken, not even a quick iPhone photo. What happened? In our spare time we decided to do stuff a 9 year old boy wanted to do: a train museum and a dinosaur museum were the highlights. Besides having fun I realized I was actually taking a much needed mental break. I have enough photos on my iPad to feed the Instagram beast for a couple of weeks and it was more important for me to take a breather.  
When you embark on your creative path, it’s important to realize that when you’re not working on your work…you probabaly still are. Even when taking a break, your mind will continue to be working out those artistic road blocks. And this is what happened to me this week. At some point while driving I realized where I wanted to go next with my Lego photos and what my project would look like. Now I can’t wait to get home and get started. 
If you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated, simply kicking back and relaxing is the best course of action. Let your subconscious work it out, more than likely it’s already got the answer. Sometimes you have to do nothing to move forward. 
I have had a request to do more photography tips on the blog. If this is something you would like to see, please leave a comment below.