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  • Writer's picturemelindafox

Making Creativity Personal

You're a creative and you're stuck.

You're stuck because everyone else is a better artist than you. And, to make it worse, everything's already been done. What's even left to do? Besides, even if you did somehow stumble into an amazing idea you'd just be disappointed by the results because the people you admire and follow on Instagram are about 100x better than you are.

So, here you sit.


Hoping inspiration hits.

But it doesn't.

You just feel disappointed and annoyed and judgmental of yourself and others.

You feel drained even though you haven't even done anything.

But you know in your heart you are a creative. Creating is what you are supposed to do and the pain of not creating is starting to drain you more than your twisted game of social media comparison.

Photographer and model in purple dress during a creative photoshoot in native Pennsylvania purple flowers

. . . if you can't tell I'm just typing this to my younger self . . . or maybe to my future self since lessons seem to take a while to sink in.

But maybe you've also felt this.

While I'm a Portrait Photographer in Pennsylvania I know some truths span the creative spectrum from carpenter to painter to chef to writer.

We all create and that can be a complex process.

Photographer and local Pennsylvania model making personally creative project in Pennsylvania wildflower field

One thing I've learned to do when stuck is to make creativity personal.

It's not about creating work to fit in or to go viral. That will suck the joy right out of you. It's about having a genuine connection to your creative process.

Local Pennsylvania model and photographer in Pennsylvania wildflowers.

You know why we feel bad when scrolling through social media looking for inspiration?

It's because we are judging work we haven't even created against the work of another person.

Someone else actually went out and did the things but here I sit not really admiring their work but instead, using their talents as a tool to castigate myself.

That's not personal.

That's just lazy.

In an effort to stop doing this, I have some tips that will help us all make creativity personal and step back from the destructive habit of comparison-inspired paralysis:

1. Stop comparing your work to others and start developing your creative vision.

beautiful woman in diy purple dress posing in ulster Pennsylvania wildflowers for a personal creative project

We are remarkable as human beings. We have our own minds that can create and impact the way we feel and how we respond to the world around us. We choose what we allow in our minds and spirits. What we let in will color what we create and how we create. Our job as creators is to take ownership of our creativity. We are responsible for our direction and our perspective. If we're not careful we will get thrown off course by the chaotic storm of comparison that is the world of social media.

elegant picture of woman in flowing purple dress sitting among Athens PA wildflowers

No more outsourcing our inspiration or creative process. What do you want to create? Time to flex the muscles we have and develop our own creative vision.

2. Stop trying to be like everyone else and start using your unique background and experiences.

Beautiful creative photoshoot of local Sayre Pennsylvania woman in purple native flowers

I grew up poor in a small town in Missouri but I loved the big beautiful dresses of long past eras. Having no money to buy fabric didn't stop me from creating. I spent hours cutting up sheets and curtains and then hand-stitching them onto my younger sisters. By the time I was 14, there were no more curtains in our house thanks to my creative endeavors.

Creative professional photoshoot with curly brown haired woman in Athens Pennsylvania

Even though that was almost 20 years ago and I can now buy dresses (and do! I have quite an extensive studio wardrobe) I still find myself going back to where my love of creative photography started- some pretty fabric and a beautiful person willing to wear it . . . and sometimes I still use curtains. That's exactly what I did here with Aerikka.

Beautiful diy purple dress made by local Pennsylvania photographer in Sayre flower field

Her dress is just some long swaths of fabric from our local Walmart, held together with safety pins and hope.

3. Stop being a funnel for the distracting tornado of information that is the world and start curating your influences.

beautiful woman spinning in DIY purple dress during a creative photoshoot with Fox Photography in Athens PA wild flower patch

In the last week, more content and information has been released than all the years of content creation combined. And next week will be the same. That is an incomprehensible amount of content. There is no shortage of stuff out there. But our mind definitely has a limit on what it can consume. Just like our body is made up of what we eat our ability to create will be influenced by what we take in. Instead of just wolfing down whatever the algorithms put in front of us, no matter how tempting (those reaction videos get me every time) we should instead focus on the things that truly inspire us.

Dreamy portrait of a beautiful woman with curly hair during a creative photoshoot in flower fields in upstate New York

While I'm a photographer and creating portraits for women is my passion, my inspiration comes from their stories. I'm also deeply moved by music, dance, nature, and light. Cat videos? ASMR cooking? Makeup reels? All entertaining, but definitely not the sustenance I need to fuel my creativity and create for the wonderful people that come to me. I want what I create to be rich, moving, and impactful . . . I'm pretty sure clips from "My 1,000 lb Life" won't get me there.

I know that getting and being creative is personal.

None of this is set in stone.

We're all gonna have a take on how to best make this stuff work.

middle aged woman with curly hair poses during a creative photo shoot in upstate New York flower field

But for me and my photography business here in Pennsylvania, this is what I'm striving to do. This works. This is personal to me. And if you have a photoshoot with me, this is gonna be very personal for you too.

beautiful woman posing on a chair in DIY purple dress for a creative photo shoot

Huge thank you to Aerikka who went on a creative adventure with me and never once balked at blazing our own trail through thorns and weeds next to a Dollar General on the outside of Athens PA. The flowers were worth it because Aerikka and her kind beauty fit together perfectly.

creative pose with a beautiful woman surrounded by PA native flowers

Thank you, my friend.

Love, Melinda

P.S. Are you interested in an incredible photoshoot experience all your own with Melinda? Whether it be a branding photoshoot, birthday photoshoot, mother and daughter pictures, headshots, or contemporary portraits and boudoir we will create something show-stopping that celebrates you!

Private Photography Studio in Ulster PA.

(I totally built this thing from scratch and it's beautiful. You should come see it.)

If you have tips or concerns about human trafficking happening in your area call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) at 1-888-373-7888. NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline, with specialists available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fox Photography by Melinda Fox, Photographers in Athens PA, Photographers in Sayre PA, Photographers in Waverly NY, Photographers in Elmira NY, Photographers in Towanda PA, Photographers in Corning NY, Photographers in Ithaca NY, Photographers in Twin Tiers Area. Fox Photography by Melinda Fox

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