I’ve fallen into a lazy slump of non-creativity over the last several weeks. This is also the reason why there hasn’t been an update on here for close to a month. I’d rather put up something of quality that speaks to people, than a random outfit or travel post without substantial meaning. That’s what Instagram (and Twitter and Snapchat) are for.
I’m thankful that so many things in my life continually inspire me, but these ideas and visions have been swirling in my mind without any direction. I can’t exactly pinpoint why it’s been such a struggle to express myself. Do any of you experience such creative blocks from time to time as well? I’d love to hear how you break free and move on.
Maybe it has something to do with the many looming deadlines that I’m selectively choosing to ignore (only until that last-minute-panic, which we students know all too well about, kicks in), which in turn is killing my productivity on the whole. Maybe it’s because I’ve been taking up more than my allocated time to watch mindless TV shows (read: the Kardashians), resulting in a permanent state of couch potatoe-ness. Or maybe all this academic stress is finally nudging me into academic depression (it’s a real thing, guys).
Whatever the underlying reason for this rut may be, it shouldn't be an excuse to turn into a digital recluse. When the road doesn't take you anywere, you have to make your own destination. Or something like that. Let's get on with this.
While I'm never one for words on clothing, or even t-shirts for that matter, it was love at first sight the moment I saw this graphic tee designed by Annie Nguyen. I knew I had to get my hands on it and I immediately remembered the first time I listened to Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence - a song I adore, from one of my favourite artists.
Whenever I listen to music for the first time, I see its visuals in my head. It's a weird habit I have, but I like to imagine what the music video or single cover would be like if the creative reins were in my hands. When Ultraviolence debuted, I was in Karachi, about to pass out either from the the 40°C heat (at night) or the anticipation of listening to new music from Lana. After the full fifteen minutes that it took to download that single pre-order over my failing phone data, I lit a cigarette on the roof, closed my eyes and played it. Right there and then I pictured it - a gloomy scene along the beach, in black and white, with the crooning queen in ripped jeans, puffing smoke into the foggy atmosphere. This is what I see when I listen to this song, even till today. And that's pretty much what you see in these photos. It's surreal that an idea I had years ago finally got realised, that too within its contextual boundaries. It feels like the universe was just waiting for all the right circumstances to cross paths.
What's also interesting to me is how Annie took a song she could relate to and then visually reinterpret it into design. It's similar to how I used to listen to a certain artist, album or genre while painting in school. I like to think of it as a transfer of energy. It's absorbing one kind of creative energy, transforming it, and then releasing it again. And who knows, that released energy might inspire someone else. It's rather therapeutic and I highly recommend it.
At some point or another - whether we're feeling heart-eyed, immensely happy, spiraling into sadness, or plain mad - we've identified perfectly with a song. It's comforting to know that you're not the only one who has ever felt a certain way. Even when we relate to the same song, the way it speaks (or should I say sings?) to us is different. Lana may have been crooning about an abusive relationship, but Annie linked it with the idea of not being treated fairly and taken granted for by those around her. When I listen to Ultraviolence, it's about being in conflict with your own self and mentally beating yourself up for things outside of your control. This, I'm very guilty of. I know I shouldn't, but I do it anyways. Like now, for example, when my muses have abandoned me. The struggle is real, guys. So till they come back, I'm outta here again. Ciao!