Stay Inspired, Pony Boy

Photographer Will Whipple takes advantage of the overcast lighting over the Alameda Skate Park

I was in an uninspired slump a couple months back when former-colleague-turned-fellow-dreamer-creative-comrade, Cecilia got a message from the universe that I was in need of some creative stimulation!  I got a text message from her that her production company, Indigo Sky Creative was holding a photo shoot in my neck of the woods. She thought it might be good for me to come check out set life and bring my creative (and supportive) energy to the mix!

Nothing like supporting other creatives and observing what they do to spark some inspiration!  I took the day off from work (sometimes it’s what you gotta do to take care of yourself — personal days are real!) to shadow Cecilia on this photo shoot.  Call time was 9:30am on a Friday at the Alameda Skate Park, located on the former naval base with a view of the Port of Oakland, and partial views of San Francisco just across the bay.


Cecilia (far left) giving direction to Will and model while stylist stands by


Sun’s out – chance to capture the light on this model’s look against this amazing local backdrop


Me and Cecilia keeping creative company




Aside from being inspired by the oh-so-fabulous feeling of being a part of a real photo shoot on a killer location, I was really interested to witness all the moving parts and details.  Each person on the set had a very specific skill set; stylist, assistants, hair-and-makeup artist, photographer, director, coordinator, models.  Everyone worked as a team and relied on each other for their creative opinion and expertise.  There’s so much thought and intention poured into something that everyone hopes will be evident in the end result.  Beforehand, Cecilia shared the mood board and concept of the shoot; a carefully-crafted document to communicate a particular vision, including written descriptions, images — these can sometimes even include music to assist with mood immersion.  “I think you’d be good at putting something like this together,” Cecilia said to me.

Staying connected to and supporting other creatives is a big part of what this post is about.  People who have very different creative functions and skills than you still recognize you and your talents in a creative way.  This is helpful when you forget your creative self, or need the inspiration to remember, get your wheels turning again, revive your creative senses!  I was pretty grateful and flattered that Cecilia had my creativity in mind, and reached out to include me in a process she thought I might dig.  She reminded me that I do have a way at looking at things that I should exercise and put to use.  Plus, I got to spend a day kickin’ it with my friend and watching her in action in her cool-ass, creative job.

It really couldn’t have happened at a better time.  I try to be in the habit of being aware of what’s moving me.  I ask myself, usually while trying to zen out on my morning commute to work, “What inspires me?”  It keeps me hungry for inspiration, and helps me to seek it out.  Lately, though, I’ve been drawing a blank with this daily inquiry.  Or else I don’t feel like I know what to do with my answer.  I have a deep appreciation for inspiration and opportunity that just occurs — a connection or calling from the universe!  It’s a sign to me that I’m meant to stay inspired, stay motivated.  Even when I’m not looking for inspiration, or when my search for it seems fruitless, opportunities to find it will find me.  And then, hopefully, I’ll do something cool with it.  I’m part of a momentum, an inertia for inspiration and creativity.  Gotta keep finding inspiration and trying to do something with it, even to start with something little.

Same for You — hope you remember to keep that ball rolling.  Find ways to be creative, connect with and support other creatives – do something, and stay inspired!

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