“I will always get inspired by looking at flowers, trees and art and I still get goose bumps when I see rooms that move me.”
This past winter has been one of the harshest in recent memory, coupled with the worst “financial” winter of the last 50 years. Everywhere I went I heard people complaining about snow and money, it was as though one made the other worse. Yet to me, January and February were like time spent in paradise. Not that I went anywhere warm or exotic, quite the opposite, I stayed put in my NYC apartment. The weather and the economy put a lull on lots of social and professional activities, but that lull, that to others was worrisome and disturbing, had an opposite effect on me. I read, I wrote, I took photos for my own pleasure, I looked at pictures in books and on the screen, I listened to friends, to music and above all I listened to myself. There probably was a blizzard outside, but inside I dreamt, I planned, I discovered. I got inspired for the future to come.
I am an interiors photographer and I spent a lot of time thinking about the “home” industry, which I consider myself part of. I thought about its role in these seemingly chaotic new times. Beyond the winter’s lows, which I heard and felt from many people, what struck and interested me was the fact that in uncertain times, there is always a type of person, a mind set if you will, that refuses to bow down and bow out. Just at such times when the lights are not as bright, that type of person continues to persevere, to push for new ideas and inspiration.
A successful idea may, sometimes, seem outlandish from the ouside. In those precious moments when we finally begin to trust it, no matter what others may think or say, that is when true inspiration takes place. With it comes that wonderful sense of fearlessness and is generally the beginning of something big, the golden moment we are always be looking for. In those winter nights, I realized that feeling of creativity and daring is what moves our lives forward, no matter the present reality. In times like ours, when we seem to all be very apprehensive about our future I say: make the time to read the book you always wanted, go to the city of your dreams even if that means running out of airline miles, grab the pen and write that business plan. It may be the beginning of your next professional success. I used to be a magazine editor and, believe me, when I decided to leave my desk at the publication, many people thought I was insane. I can tell you now after four years of being a professional photographer that I could not be happier, even though I definitely have to sing louder for my supper.
How do I keep myself inspired? How do I find my next idea? Long ago I realized that, as far as I am concerned, only a good quality life would keep me going forward. Good quality has nothing to do with fat bank account. I can never have enough books to look at and read. At times I have spent my last dollar to buy a ticket to see a place that was calling me. I will always get inspired by looking at flowers, trees and art and I still get goose bumps when I see rooms that move me. And, of course, I try to see and spend time with those I love on a personal level, and those I respect professionally because ultimately it is people who inspire me the most. I, we, can not give up on inspiration, our future and the world’s depends on it. That is why I call this last winter “my winter of much contentment.”
Miguel Flores-Vianna is a professional photographer who got his start working as a stylist, editor and producer for some of the world’s leading publications, including House Beautiful, Town and Country, Elle Décor and InStyle, as well as broadcast programs including Style with Elsa Klensch and Martha Stewart Living. For more information on Miguel, visit his website at http://www.mf-v.com .