Tonje Lilleås

Creative projects – about making them happen

I’ve had several creative projects scheduled for as long as I can remember, most of them revolving around photography and making videos. And a lot of them never made it to fruition. In this post I want to share some thoughts on how we can actually make our creative projects happen.

Want to check out my project “When I walk”? I’ve made a whole page about it.

I’m going to make a feature film

There’s a lot of power in saying something out loud. Right now I’m watching Danny Gevirtzs behind the scenes videos showing the process of making his first feature. One of the things that caught my attention is that everyone seemed to believe in Danny when he told them about his creative project. When he said “I’m going to make a feature”, they knew he was going to do just that.

I think there’s a huge difference between what most of us say (“I want to make a…”) and what Danny said. Only being able to speak for myself I know that when I tell someone about what I want to do, I have an emergency exit ready right from the start. When I say “I want to make a…” it’s as if I don’t really believe that I can or will do it. And I think a lot of my creative projects fade away because I give myself the opportunity to bail by not saying “I’m going to…”

If you want to learn more about how to make a feature film, I highly recommend watching Danny Gevirtz killing the behind the scenes videos on YouTube right now. They really are on a different level, and reminds me of watching the extras on the DVDs of my teens and early twenties.

I need a really good plan

Some creative projects make it beyond the stage of “I want to make a…”. I actually put a lot of effort into planning them. You see, I think that one of the many traps we fall into as creatives is that we forget to plan HOW we are going to be able to make a creative project happen.

And a really good plan is key. I love planning my creative projects in Milanote. During this summer I worked on a big client project involving a lot of shoots and locations. The goal was to make a series of images that were true to the theme of the project, while still letting my photography style shine through. Milanote helped me keep track of what I wanted with the series, what images I had and where I still was missing the right images.

Now my point here isn’t that everyone should use Milanote (even though it really is a great tool”), but I really think making a really good plan for creative projects helps them come to life. If you don’t want to take my word for it, maybe checking out this video from Becki and Chris will convince you.

Consume less, make more

It’s totally possible to live life as a creative not having completed a single creative project. But it’s not very fulfilling. Instead of going to galleries, watching TikTok/YouTube/Instagram, flipping through books and magazines for inspiration all the time, spend more time on your own creative projects. There’s nothing wrong in seeking inspiration, you just don’t create much if that’s what you spend most of your time doing.

Treat yourself like a client

One of the most effective ways for me to ensure I make my projects happen is to treat myself as a client. This way I commit to the project in a different way. I make a project brief, schedule the different parts of the project and evaluate the deliverables. Holding myself accountable if I’m not making an effort to meet my own expectations.

This may sound strict, and maybe not the most fun way to do a creative project. However I find that treating the project as a client project makes me do the work, and it’s so rewarding when I get to see the results. The fact that it gives me practice that’s useful with client projects doesn’t hurt either.

Share your results

Now I’m not the one to tell you that you have to start sharing on social media. But I do think that sharing the results of a creative project is important. Hold a vernissage for your family an friends, arrange a premiere and invite all your friends to come see your latest video or just simply share it online. The way you share your creative project is up to you. But thinking about the end result and the possibility of sharing it with people can help you make your creative project actually happen.

That’s it for now. I’m going to try to get back at posting weekly now, and I’m so happy to see that so many of you are still popping in to see what’s new around here. And if you need inspiration for your next creative project, please remember that there’s always more to explore locally.

Oh, and if you want to see the results of Becki and Chris’ project, check out the video below. It’s definitely worth it.




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