When music inspires imagery – awesome happens, like MTV 30 years ago. The good folks at Lomography are running a contest inspired by Tori Amos. What is Lomography? Advocates of the analogue. Remember film cameras? They are the champions of this format that is seeing a resurgence in popularity among the loyal following of the Lomo subculture, growing by the day now that they’re sold in every Urban Outfitters. I’ve been getting asked about these a lot. First off, they’re cheap, made entirely of plastic and due to this they allow light leaks. That contributes to the dreamy, hazy, imperfect qualities that continues to attract artists like The White Stripes and now Tori Amos to team up with the company. The cameras in themselves are an exercise in patience and forfeiting control. Maybe that’s the key to it’s popularity. In our instant gratification society where personalization is expected in everything from our web browsers to our coffee order, being made to wait for an undetermined outcome is novel. We actually LIKE it.
Take a look at the Lomography site. It will inspire you to go play with the Plastic Fantastic. I encourage you enter this contest, but if you want to cheat and not submit an image you can circumvent the Lomo site and head over to Stereogum, an indie music blog. They’re giving away their own Tori Amos Diana+ and to enter you need only name your favorite Tori song. Oh I accept that challenge.
I don’t have a Lomo. I’ve used my friend’s. I keep meaning to buy one. At the moment, however, I’m still working the kinks out of my Polaroid. There’s been a bit of a learning curve, but after 12 (expensive) exposures I finally got an image that I’m happy about. I think that opened the creative floodgate. The confidence from that first proper image helped me stop treating the film as precious. Treating your materials as too valuable to use will ALWAYS prevent you from producing, practicing, sketching out your ideas, working through what works, and what doesn’t. If I have a creative block, I can almost always tie it back to an unwillingness to “mess” things up. In creativity it is imperative to ignore your self-imposed obstacles. Even as a child, I never ever wanted to mar that perfect 64-box of crayons. And I always kept them in their original place. I preferred an orderly rule-oriented world. I’ve learned to balance the rigid, but those two sides of my personality, the ordered and disordered, rub and strife and it’s the resulting friction that is the source of my creativity.