I find that since becoming an entrepreneur, I have the ability to extend my work days infinitely. There’s something about working toward your dream every day that has me perma-glued to my desk (and happy about it?). On occasion, I realize that it’s time to give my creative juices a little time to recuperate. Most days, that involves reading a book, making a nice dinner (with no recipe – how exciting!), or going on a hike. Sometimes, I plan with enough foresight to book time off for a true vacation. Not surprisingly, when I take a proper vacation, I always discover that finding inspiration for my work is much easier upon my return.
This October, I had the opportunity to travel through Ireland, France, Belgium, and England for the first time. These are places I had previously only drooled over in magazines, mood boards, and Instagram posts. For those of you who don’t know, my creative skill set also includes photography. I was a photographer for the University of Toronto and spent many years freelancing with my camera. These days, I take on occasional commercial contracts for photo and video work to shake things up a bit. I always love these gigs when they come along, but I definitely miss doing photography on a daily basis. It seemed to me that three weeks of traveling through Europe would be the perfect chance to reacquaint myself with daily camera use.
I shoot with a Sony A1 camera. It’s my dream camera – and a gift from my wonderful fiancé. An overly generous present that came to be because he didn’t want me to ever be limited by my equipment or lack thereof. I mean?! Dream camera aside, that sentiment is one I choose to remember forever.
I’ve loved photography for as long as I remember, and I believe it truly was the gateway into the work I do now. My parents documented my childhood on 35mm film, and a digital point-and-shoot was one of my most coveted Christmas presents. I borrowed my high school’s Canon Rebel as much as the yearbook teacher would allow – and I scraped together the money to buy my first professional camera in my second year of university. The rest is history.
Photography continues to be an everlasting and everchanging source of inspiration for me. I bring my camera with me on weekend plans to bum around Saint John or hike along the Bay of Fundy. The East & Eve mood board process will always involve gathering photos that make me * feel * something, and I firmly believe the key to a good website is on-brand photography. I love building colour palettes around photos and experimenting with texture in imagery. Photography is my first love. It’s my favourite design sidekick.
I was so excited to explore Paris, Bruges & the Cliffs of Moher with my camera by my side. Here are some of the images I shot while taking a break from my desk.
As creatives, entrepreneurs, and PEOPLE we see the world through schemas. Schemas are predetermined assumptions about the world around us that help us navigate our surroundings, social interactions, and daily life without overloading our brains. As much as our schemas save us crazy amounts of energy, I think those schemas can sometimes hurt our creativity. Surrounded by a new language, new smells, new architecture, and endless years of history – I didn’t have many schemas to rely on. Each night I would crawl into bed, my brain running through all the different ways I wanted to integrate what I had seen that day into my work. Textures, colours, vibes, and feelings bubbled to the surface just waiting to be used for inspiration.
I have since returned to my desk and my regular-Saint-John life. Happy to be reunited with my kitties and my schemas. My inspiration is renewed and ready to be used, a good reminder that taking breaks every now and then for a grand adventure is part of my creative process.