What's your Spirit Animal ?     Creative process

This article is my creative process, starting from inspiration to final shots. (Final shots with before afters will be in a separate article!)


Step 1

I gather all I can from a theme that I want to explore for a shoot.  Books, quotes, art, movies, music etc.


Pax - Sara pennypacker



The Little Prince


"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ."

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

"Please--tame me!" he said.

"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . ."

"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.

"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ."

The next day the little prince came back.

"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites . . ."

"What is a rite?" asked the little prince.

"Those also are actions too often neglected," said the fox. "They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all." 


So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near--

"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."

"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ."

"Yes, that is so," said the fox.

"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.

"Yes, that is so," said the fox.

"Then it has done you no good at all!"

"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields."


Inari Okami


Fantastic Mr. Fox



Step 2

I write a tale, if I have a creative block I just fill the blanks:

Once upon a time there was_____. Everyday, ______. Until one day_____. Because of that _____. Because of that _______. Until finally ________.


Step 3

Then I draw very clumsy sketches. I also make decisions about tones, lights, structure, etc.


Step 4

I figure out everything I need and I look for the right model.

In this case, the model's name is.. Fox. I met her at my local liquor store a few days after I sketched the shoot.


Step 5

I take the photos. For this photoshoot, I wanted a green backdrop. So I lifted my mattress up and made a home-made photostudio, a bit ridiculous, but it is more than enough for what I had in mind.


Step 6

This step might seem kind of useless, but I re-sketch everything "better", and very fast, so I have a strong idea of the final composite. (And if I need stock images that aren't mine, this is meant to try images out until I purchase the ones I'm actually going to use)


The background I used on both images was made from scratch, using different brushes. (clouds etc.)

The second image of the model, won't be used for the final shots.