Elisabeth Irgens

Finding small creative outlets

Being creative on a daily basis – just for fun – never came easy for me as an adult. Something that has helped, is having a camera with me all the time, the possibility to edit photos with my phone – and being able to put the result out in the world at once.

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Keeping at it long enough

Last week I noticed I have actually shared 500 photos from my phone. Five hundred small pieces of creative work that together form a story of what I’ve been up to during the past 596 days. It’s not the whole story. That would be sad, there are hardly any people in it. It’s not even a large part of those 85 weeks of my life. But over time it has become a story. A personal diary with glimpses of stuff I have seen and done. And tasted!

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Putting stuff out in the world instantly

All are taken with an iPhone 3GS and iPhone 5. Most of them are edited with PicTapGo and they are almost always published that same day on Instagram. It’s so easy to convince yourself need more time for your creative outlets. And that this free time will magically appear later. You know, some other day. Making something here and now will always be more interesting that all the stuff you may (or most likely will not) finish in the future.

Photo composition Photos of coffee

Not worrying what other people think

There is no value for anyone else in seeing my cup of coffee. But it’s easy to take nice pictures of coffee cups. (You should try!) I imagine people seeing my photos are bored with scenery from mountains around Bergen. But these remind me that I went for a wonderful hike that day and that the forest is my happy place.

Photos from Bergen

If I had worried too much what other people think about my choice of motif, I would hardly publish anything at all. There is always room on the internet for more photos of coffee. And cliché shots of your shoes. There is even room for more cats, if you have those.

Photos of shoes

Being creative with tiny tasks

I have the most insane lists of ideas for side projects. I have my share of domain names that have been collecting internet dust for years. There’s even huge amounts of work done on several on these projects. But I absolutely suck at executing. All of them have been way too big for me to get off the ground, at least until I have more practice. I’m still a beginner at being creative just for fun. Creating an image with my phone is the exact opposite of my over-sized projects. It’s a tiny task, that even with a lot of adjusting and retaking and editing, could only take 15 minutes to complete.

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Practicing, experimenting, playing around

It’s interesting to see how much better the photos have gotten since I started. I have improved a skill without giving it much thought, just by repeating the actions over and over. This has been a good reminder for me that the same applies to other stuff I do.

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For the next five hundred phone photography experiments, I want to combine more with other small creative outlets: more photos of work in progress – and of my travel notes. You can find me on Instagram if you want to follow.

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