Lesson 2: Inspiration

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    Before beginning this course, I had not given much though to who or what inspired me. I was basically just shooting blind with no real goal in mind, and contemplating that fact makes me feel like a beginner. But as I was reading through this lesson, I came across Floria Sigismondi. Reading about her career choices made me realize that there are so many options within this profession. Coming across her pictures inspired me even more, and when I really studied her photographs, I felt like I could relate personally to the themes I found.

    Floria Sigismondi began her career as a fashion photographer, which is the type of photography that I have the most interest in at this point. Her photographs are edgy – some would probably say creepy or scary – which I feel like is the style I lean towards when doing portraits, although maybe not quite as drastic. However, I feel like it is her career as a director that she has had the most success in. She has directed many music videos and some of the bands she has done are some of my favorites, such as Marilyn Manson and Incubus. She has also directed movies, the most recent being “The Runaways,” which is about Joan Jett. I am very inspired of how she combined photography with music, and that is something I could also see myself doing.

    While most people would probably cringe at her photography, I feel inspired by it. I feel like the themes are very relatable for me. Her photographs, while somewhat disturbing, are still beautiful. The dominant themes I found in her photographs are mystery and desperation. In a lot of her photos, the subjects’ faces are hidden in shadow or their bodies are contorted in somewhat strange poses. She has shown that the ugly side of human emotion is still beautiful because all emotion, whether positive or negative, is still beautiful.

    Her one piece of art that is the most inspirational to me is not a photograph, but a music video – “Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson. I saw this video years ago, yet had no idea who the mastermind was behind it. Yet, even then, I loved the video, while most people I knew thought it was scary or weird. And, yes, it is both of those things. But beauty is not always obvious. It is still present in the scary and weird things. Life is not always perfect but it is always beautiful, and I think this video evokes that concept. My interpretation of the song itself is about discrimination of the things that are stereotyped as bad or ugly, and I believe the video is an “in-your-face” way of saying that in life even those things can still be good.

    After diving head first into this assignment, I feel like I have realized so many things about art that I never would have noticed before. And I feel like I have found my inspiration for growing as a photographer – not in the same way as Floria Sigismondi, but in my own personal style that I will now be striving for as a result of researching her and her art. I feel like I now have a goal to look forward to reaching instead of just shooting in the dark and hoping to get good results.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Welcome to assignment 2!

    Your piece was both thoughtful and interesting. I’m glad you really took the time to dig in and think about it. Sometimes people just glaze over this one and don’t really put a genuine effort into it.

    Some key things that you discussed in your piece we’re as follows. You found a creative person that inspires in you in: http://www.floriasigismondi.com/ You also mentioned that you are inspired by what I would hesitantly call gothic photography.

    A great example of this would be the [url:http://www.suicidegirls.com]Suicide Girls[/url]. (NUDITY NOT SAFE FOR WORK) That’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea but this genre is extremely popular.

    So yes, there are alternative routes to take.

    It’s important for your creative vision to know what inspires you and how other people do their work! What’s more is that you’ve already found that you’re more into the darkness, the mystery, and the desperation visually. That’s great! It’s different and not what most photogaphers choose to focus on.

    Most people try to showcase the beauty of the world. Puppy dogs, flowers, and rainbows… I’m just as guilty of that as the next guy so I would really encourage you to follow through with your instincts here and your inspiration and continue to shoot the um, dark side, if you will. The ugly and contorted.

    I’m glad this assignment has allowed you to realized quite a bit more about art and inspiration and a creative direction.

    Continue to develop your own personal style and do your own thing.

    Be unique.

    Btw, here is that video you mentioned:

    beautiful people by marilyn manson:

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