My SpreadShop is Online Now

live loud by laventura

Cheers my Dears,

I’m happy to announce that my SpreadShop is online now!

It has been a dream, vision and plan to design a shop connected to my latest book Live Loud & Suffer in Silence since I thought about writing the book.

With the help of Norman from NGraphix Design the quotes from the book got a really cool and unique look and you can purchase them now on t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, caps and more.

25% of my earnings will be donated to local mental health institutions, just like with the book.

Until 24th November you get 15% discount!!

I’m happy when you pop by. Feel free to share and send me feedback.

So long my dears,

xxx Gina.

Cheers my Dears und Hallo meine Lieben,

Ich freue mich sehr euch mitteilen zu können, dass mein SpreadShop nun online ist!

Es war ein Traum, eine Vision und ein Plan, so einen Shop in Verbindung mit meinem neuesten Buch Live Loud & Suffer in Silence aufzubauen seit ich überhaupt darüber nachgedacht habe, es zu schreiben.

Mit der Hilfe von Norman von NGraphix Design haben die Zitate aus dem Buch nun einen coolen und einzigartigen Look bekommen und ihr könnt sie auf T-Shirts, Kapuzenpullis, Jacken, Kappen und mehr kaufen.

25% meiner Einnahmen werden auch hier an lokale Institutionen gespendet, die Menschen mit mentalen Gesundheitsproblemen helfen, ebenso wie bei dem Buch.

Bis zum 24. November bekommt ihr noch 15% Rabatt!!!

Ich freu mich, wenn ihr mal vorbeischaut. Teilt es gern und sendet mir Feedback.

Auf bald, meine Lieben

xxx Gina.

#writerswednesday: Book Reading of Labelled Love // Buchlesung Labelled Love

#writerswednesday: book reading

Cheers my dears,

if you haven’t made it to my Youtube live premiere, you can still watch the book reading of Labelled Love here.
It’s a bilingual party, so all information is given in English and German, while the reading itself is in English.

I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Feel free to leave your comments and questions in the comment section below.

xx

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel and my Newsletter to stay up to date 😉

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Meine Lieben,

falls ihr meine Youtube Live Premiere verpasst habt, könnt ihr die Buchlesung von Labelled Love hier anschauen.
Es ist eine zweisprachige Party, also alle Informationen werden sowohl auf Englisch als auch auf Deutsch gesagt, nur die Lesung selbst ist auf Englisch.

Ich hoffe, es gefällt euch.

Lasst eure Kommentare und Fragen gern im Kommentarfeld unten da.

xx

Folgt meinem Youtube-Kanal und tragt euch in meinen Newsletter ein, um nichts mehr zu verpassen 😉

#writerswednesday: Write it off your Chest ! – A Writing Exercise for Everyone

Auf Deutsch anschauen

#writerswednesday: write it off your chest

Cheers my dears,

today it’s #writerswednesday again and due to the current crisis I came up with something different.
I’ve prepared a writing exercise for you as a little video class to help you release pressure and breathe properly again.

It’s for everyone!
You don’t need to be a writer, poet or to have any skills in advance.
All you need is pen & paper.

The exercise consists of a little warm-up and three exercises.

Join me 🙂

I hope it helps you to get through these tough times.

If it’s helpful and valuable for you, feel free to share it with a friend.
I’d love to read/see/watch your results, so please tag me if you publish something from this exercise 🙂
Also feel free to leave some feedback in the comments below

take care, stay safe & sound and healthy

xx

#sundaystory: Vergewaltigt

#sundaystory: Vergewaltigt

Für leseschreiberin
Die vorgegebenen Elemente waren:

a) Deutsch
b) Vergewaltigt
c) Theater, Luft, spiegelverkehrt
d) Komödie

Vergewaltigt

“Ich habe mir das alles nochmal vergewaltigt und denke, dass du viel zu wenig über Kunst und Kultur weißt, Dana.”, sagt mein Vater.

“Verge-was, Papa?”

“Na, ich hab mir die ganze Situation nochmal durch den Kopf gehen lassen, mir angeschaut, wie du so deinen Tag verbringst, ich habe mir das eben alles nochmal vergewaltigt.”

“Du meinst vergegenwärtigt, ja?”

“Oh, Frau Gymnasium macht jetzt hier einen auf superschlau und versucht den Alten nass zu machen, was? So nicht, Frollein! Ich sage dir, du lernst ja nix, immer nur Schminke hier und Freunde treffen da.”

Ich rolle mit den Augen und atme tief durch.

“Papa, in Anbetracht der Tatsache, dass ich seit Wochen für die Abschlussprüfung durchlerne und jede Nacht nur um die vier Stunden schlafe, glaub mir, es ist besser für uns alle, wenn ich mich schminke und nicht aussehe wie ein überfahrener Iltis, okay?”

“Jaja, lernen”, sagt er und setzt dabei das Wort ‘lernen’ mit seinen ketchupverschmierten Fingern in Anführungszeichen.

“Papa!”

“Dana,” sagt er schmatzender und mampfender Weise. “Du trifft deine Freundinnen faft jeden Tag und ftändig quatft ihr nur über die Jungf und jetf willf du mir daf alf lernen verkaufen…”

Ich rolle erneut mit den Augen. “Papa, erstens versteh ich nur die Hälfte, wenn du ne halbe zerkaute Kuh in der Schnute hast und zweitens, welche Jungs?!”

Er schluckt den letzten Bissen runter. “Aha, hast mich also doch verstanden! Na, die ganzen hier, wie sie heißen da… William und Oscar und dann irgendwelche Intrigen mit Virginia und Jane und was weiß ich, was ihr euch da für ne Seifenoper zusammenquatscht, wenn ihr da nächtelang zusammen Pyjamaparty macht.”

Ich. raste. aus.

Kurzer, ganz kurzer Einblick in die Situation. Jeden Sonntag im Sommer grillen wir draußen auf der Terrasse. Richtig hübsch klassisch. Also klassisch asi. Vatti in Fliegerseide und Mutti mit Lockenwicklern um den Kopf. Nein, kein Scherz, ja, leider wahr. Was soll ich machen. Wäre ja halb so wild, habe mich mittlerweile dran gewöhnt, dass meine Eltern noch nicht mal versuchen mich zu verstehen, aber die nächste Kiste ist einfach, dass jeden dritten Sonntag und der liebe Herrgott allein weiß, warum es jeder dritte Sonntag ist, kriegt mein Vater irgendeine Sinnkrise und meint mich belehren zu müssen. Dann sorgt er sich um meine Bildung und meine Berufschancen und all sowas. Wir erwähnen jetzt mal nicht, dass ich letztes Jahr Klassenbeste und Zweitbeste des Jahrgangs war, ist okay, kein Problem. Diese überväterliche Sorge hat mir im Laufe eines einzigen Sommers bereits die unsäglichsten Erlebnisse beschert: Das eine Mal, wo mein Vater mich zu einer Podiumsdiskussion in der Stadthalle schleppte, um mit den Lokalpolitikern zu diskutieren, was für mich persönlich gut lief, für ihn leider nicht so, als er aus dem Saal geworfen wurde, nachdem er den Oberbürgermeister gefragt hatte, mit wem er geschlafen habe, um diese Position zu erreichen, da er eine – ich zitiere – “Flachpfeife sondergleichen” sei. Jap.

Oder das andere Mal, als er sich um meine sozialen Kompetenzen sorgte und mich zu einem Hockey-Schnupperkurs anmeldete. Super Idee. Ich bin in Sportarten, die irgendwas mit Schlägern oder Bällen zu tun haben in etwa so kompetent wie besagter Oberbürgermeister in seinem Amt, also gar nicht. Immerhin lerne ich schnell und schaffte es zumindest, nur jeden dritten Schlag zwischen die Beine und vors Schienbein zu bekommen. Skurril wurde es, als mein Vater mich dann anfeuerte, die Gegner zu fowlen, was mich mitten auf dem Spielfeld zu der Frage veranlasste, wer von uns beiden eigentlich an seinen sozialen Kompetenzen arbeiten müsse. Immerhin hab ich mich beim Captain des gegnerischen Teams entschuldigt, nachdem ich ihn mit meinem Hockeyschläger ungünstig an der Schläfe getroffen hatte. Also, so ungünstig, dass er bewusstlos wurde. Wenn ich sein benebeltes Grinsen richtig gedeutet habe, hat er meine Entschuldigung immerhin angenommen.

Oder das andere Mal, als mein Vater die grandiose Idee hatte, ich solle mich körperlich ertüchtigen, denn – ich zitiere wieder – “in Sahne recko Korporo.” Genau, Papa, genau, Sahne spielt bestimmt ne Rolle hier. (Kein Wunder, dass ich schon seit frühester Kindheit Brille tragen muss, ich wette, ich fing schon früh an mit den Augen zu rollen, bei dem Senf, den dieser gute Mann manchmal von sich gibt.) Schwimmverein! Hielt er für eine prächtige Idee. Es würde alle Muskeln beanspruchen, gleichzeitig würde man nicht so eklig verschwitzt sein und so weiter und so fort, ellenlanger Vortrag. Nur als Randinfo: Ich habe meinen Vater nie schwimmen sehen. Also schwimmen im Sinne von Strecke im Wasser zurücklegen. Er treibt so mehr, wenn ihr versteht. Toter Mann mit Bier in der Hand. Oder wahlweise mobile Kinderhalterung mit selbst mitgebrachtem Rettungsring. Ihr versteht schon. Fand ich trotzdem ne ganz süße Idee, weil Papa anscheinend verpasst hatte, dass ich nach dem Seepferdchen auch noch die folgenden Abzeichen gemacht hatte, aber nun gut. Als sich alsbald zeigte, dass ich schon sehr gut schwimmen konnte – größte Verwunderung seitens meines Vaters –, meinte er, es sei sicherlich gut, wenn ich mich “auf dem Wasser” bewegen könne (Darf ich mich kurz vorstellen: Dana von Nazareth, Jesus war mein Cousin. – wie soll man denn bei sowas nicht mit den Augen rollen?! –), aber “unter Wasser ist auch wichtig”, meinte Papa. Ich holte grad tief Luft um zu protestieren, als er mich auch schon mit einer Hand unter Wasser drückte, mit den Worten “wollen mal sehen, wie lang du die Luft anhalten kannst”. Hustender Weise und schlumpfblau entließ er mich dann nach 3 Minuten seinem lehrreichen Griff.

Ja, das war ein kurzer Einblick in die lehrreichen Stunden im Unterricht meines Vaters.
Und nun das hier. Wohin das auch immer führen sollte.

Zurück zum Thema.

“Papa… das sind keine Pyjamaparties. Wenn Lotte und Chris kommen, dann lernen wir für die Abschlussprüfung! Und William, Oscar, Virginia und Jane sind Autoren!”

“Autoren, was autorieren die denn so?”, sagt Papa spitzfindig während er mit dem Zahnstocher an seinem Eckzahn herumpult. (Gott, ich wünschte es wäre ein Goldzahn, das würde SO sehr ins Bild passen…)

Ich atme tief ein, ziehe Luft durch die Zähne, stoße sie geräuschvoll aus.

“Sie schrieben. Präteritum. Sie sind tot. Verdammt Papa, Shakespeare? Wilde? Woolf? Austen?”

“Hm?” macht er und zieht eine Augenbraue hoch.

“Ach, schon gut.” sage ich resigniert.

“Jedenfalls,”, hebt er feierlich an, “habe ich mir überlegt, dass wir zwei ins Theater gehen.”

“Ins Theater?”

“Ja, ins Theater.”

“Ins Theater? Du? Ich? Ins Theater?” keuche ich.

“Sag mal, Dana, bist du heut schwer von Begriff? Hast du von Muttis Bowle genascht?”

“Ja, nein, hab ich nicht. Okay, ins Theater. Du willst mit mir ins Theater. Wann? Und was wird gespielt?”

“Na, heut Abend geben sie Romeo und Julia, ein klassisches Stück der Kultur.”, sagt er stolz.

“Ja, was für eine ausgezeichnete und außergewöhnliche Wahl.”, gebe ich zurück.

“Ja, nicht wahr?!”, sagt er mit stolz geschwollener Brust.

Ich schließe die Augen, um ihnen eine Pause vom Rollen zu gönnen.

“Okay, Romeo und Julia. Bitte, so sei es denn.”, sage ich. Widerstand war von jeher zwecklos gewesen, also durchatmen und über sich ergehen lassen. Einzige Lösung.

Mein Vater grinst zufrieden und sagt “Aber zieh dir was nettes an, ja. Immerhin ist es Theater!”

“Ja, daran bin ich schon gewöhnt..”, sage ich.

“Was?” brüllt er, während ich dabei bin mich in mein Zimmer zurückzuziehen.

“Ach nix.”

 

Punkt sieben steh ich gestriegelt bei uns in der Küche, wie es sich eben für einen Theaterbesuch gehört, Hosenanzug, Bluse, Lederschuhe mit kleinem Absatz, die sonst recht widerspenstigen Haare zu einem ordentlichen Knoten gezaubert.

Dann kommt mein Vater. Ich bin sprachlos.

Also ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob er “Der Pate” ein mal zu oft gesehen hat oder, ob er sich einfach direkt der Familie Montague oder Capulet anschließen will. Fast befürchte ich, er wolle selbst heut Abend auf die Bühne gehen. Der Anzug ist ihm zwar nur minimal zu klein, aber das Jackett kann er nur gerade eben so schließen, wenn er den Bauch etwas einzieht und ziemlich kontrolliert atmet. Die Weste darunter und die Fliege lassen ihn etwas zu pompös für das schnöde lokale Theater aussehen und die polierten Lackschuhe, die glänzen wie eine Speckschwarte sind nur noch von seinen mit Frisiercreme in Form gelegten Haaren zu übertreffen. Ich weiß ja nicht, wann das mal Mode war, aber sicherlich muss das vor meiner Geburt gewesen sein. Mindestens so lang muss auch der Kauf dieser Artikel her gewesen sein.

Mein Vater streckt sich, stellt den Arm in die Hüfte und spreizt ihn ab, sodass ein einladendes Dreieck entsteht. Dann grinst er mich an. “Na, was ist, kommste?”

Ich atme tief durch, hake mich ein und wir marschieren Richtung Theater.

Wir treten ein und die Leute glotzen meinen Vater an. Unwillkürlich versuche ich meinen Arm aus seiner Ellbeuge zu lösen. Vergeblich, er hat ihn fest im Griff. Alle schauen ihn an, als gehöre er zum Ensemble. Wir gehen schnurstracks durch und finden unsere Plätze schnell. Es wird zügig dunkel. Zum Glück.

Mein Vater ist voll drin im Geschehen und kommentiert mit heftigem Stöhnen, mit “Ah”s und “Oh”s, die Handlung auf der Bühne, was uns von unseren Sitznachbarn böse Blicke einbringt.

Als Julia den Trank der Tränke hoch hält, um ihn gleich darauf zu sich zu nehmen, friemelt mein Vater ein kleines Schnapsfläschchen aus der Innentasche seines Anzugs, hält sie der Julia in einer Bewegung, die ihrer spiegelverkehrt ähnlich kommt, entgegen und flüstert “Prösterken, wer trinkt schon gern allein, Jule, wa?” und kippt zeitgleich mit ihr den Trank hinunter. Ich rolle nicht mit den Augen, einzig und allein aus dem Grund, dass ich das Stück ungestört weitersehen möchte.

Der Rest des Stücks bleibt weitestgehend komplikationsfrei von Seiten meines Vaters, was sicherlich dem Konsum von zwei weiteren Fläschchen zu verdanken ist.

Als wir später in die laue Sommerluft aus dem Theater treten, meint mein Vater:
“Na, Dana, was sagst du? War das nicht viel besser, als mit den Mädels über Schnickschnack zu quatschen? Das war doch mal ordentliches Kulturprogramm!”

“Fragt sich nur, für wen.”, meine ich.

Mein Vater ignoriert meine zynischen Kommentare geflissentlich und zwingt meinen Arm wieder liebevoll in seinen Würgegriff à la Rocky Balboa.

“Aber du, alle reden ja von dieser großen Liebe und wie toll Romeo ist, ne.”, sagt Papa plötzlich nachdenklich.

“Hmm.” mache ich.

“Aber das mit dem Trinken muss der Jung noch üben, wa? So ganz helle war der wohl nicht. Die Jule war da ja trinkfester als er.”

Ich rolle mit den Augen…

 

 

 

Gina Laventura © 2019

#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

Hey my dears,

there is something that I have had on my mind for quite a while now and I thought it’s about time to tackle the topic.
So, today we’re gonna talk about the concept of idols and inspiring people.

Why? Well, first of all, because I consider it interesting and as this is my virtual space here… but moreover, because I think it’s an up to date topic, especially in times like these, where social media is as popular as it is.

According to the Oxford Dictionary idol has the following meaning:

and according to the same source, inspiration has the following meaning:

As a creative you’re often asked “Who are your idols?” or at least I have the feeling that this question pops up from time to time. Or the other way round, creatives stating who their idols are.
On the flip side, the question “What inspires you?” comes up frequently as well.
And I can’t help myself but feeling the urge to make a distinction between both. (Which is also supported by the fact that the dictionary makes a distinction.)

To go a bit deeper, I personally have a slight rejective feeling towards the word idol, as for me, it has a connotation of wanting to be like one’s idol or even worse, being them.
And now taking the definition into account, it also has this aspect of God and worship, and yes, I know it’s said that humans were build in the image of God, but I don’t know…
Let’s take an example: I love Oscar Wilde’s works. I adore his writing style, his subtle social critique and I read about his personal life as well.
But would I call him my idol? No.
Because that for me would imply that I wanted to write like him, be like him, which for me includes a bit of being a copy cat or neglecting my own potential, talent and not searching for my own voice as a writer.
And sorry, Oscar, but I do not consider you a God. (Although we tend to say things like “Gosh, this man is a GOD.” and yes, colloquially everybody knows what’s meant by that, but in serious terms… no.)

Even if we take someone else as an example, maybe less male and less dead (God bless him), I wouldn’t call Elizabeth Gilbert for instance my idol. Sorry, Liz.
I really loved reading her books, some of her approaches caused a click moment in my brain, made me think and took my thoughts down other roads that I didn’t perceive before.
But that’s what I’d call an inspiration. Not an idol.
Because, with all due respect, I wouldn’t like to swap my life for hers.
And I guess that’s the greatest part within the process of distinction I’d make.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved meeting her on a reading tour in Germany for her book Big Magic* two years ago and I was really touched when my question was one of the last ones and she took her time and even asked a little more to understand my question correctly before answering.

*Hi, Liz, if you read this, I was the girl asking about how to know when it’s fear trying to take over and when it’s your intuition telling you not to do it because it’s better for you. (I took the leap of faith and did it, overcame the weird feelings, put myself through it and the outcome wasn’t as great, so my intuition was right, but I consider it a good lesson in many ways and I’m still more than grateful for your advice and words.)*

Okay, back to the topic, my friends.
I consider her an inspiring person, in terms of writing, in terms of being a person.

But with all the movements I perceive on social media, I get a little worried that these two terms get mixed up a lot and people call youtubers and influencers inspiring when they are actually treating them like idols, not questioning the actions of said person, but tending to follow their example and just do the same.
And this uncritical worshipping is what worries me a lot.

Suddenly, you get up at 5 a.m. because your idol does and you go to the gym because your idol does.
Which is nice. Nothing against early birds and gyms.
But did you question whether it fits your individual body type? Whether it fits your schedule?
Maybe you’re the type of person that is better at working out later, maybe you’re the type of person that needs to sleep 8 hours, but your idol just needs 6. And this doesn’t mean that you’re bad and your idol’s better.
It just means that you’re different. And guess what: That’s okay.

Maybe you start eating like your idol, but your body type is different and within a certain time span you realise that you have low or no energy and wonder why.
And one of the worst things that happens then is the comparison between you and your idol, leading to the assumption that you are weak, worse or incapable of achieving what your idol achieves.
So it leads to a negative self perception.
And isn’t that weird? Odd?
That’s why I say idol for me includes a bit of this aspect of copying.

If the same person I just called your idol, we now call an inspiring person. What would change?
Well, you’d watch your inspiring person get up at 5 and maybe you’d try it too and realise that 5:30 is better for you.
Your inspiring person starts their day off by going to the gym, you try it, too, but you realise you’re slow in the morning, need your breakfast, and working out in the afternoon after finishing work, is much better for you.
You read a book of an inspiring author and this takes your thoughts on different roads, you play with words like they do, but you take the inspiration you got from them and mould them into something that fits your personality, character and nature, instead of just copying.
That way you have a tendency to grow, to find something out about yourself, your body, your time management, your writing voice, which in turn has a high tendency to lead to a positive self perception. And there is no need for comparison between you and the person that inspired you.

Taking the above mentioned definitions into account, inspiration has a divine quality, as the divine influence is mentioned.
But this doesn’t mean that you worship the inspiring person like a God. But that you perceive the divine spark that they were maybe touched by and that they now radiate into the world.
It is also connected to breathing in, inspiration.
But you know what, breathe in. Through the nose.
Do you think you absorb e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that is included in the air? No.
There are a million little filters, that do their job, before the inhaled air reaches your innermost parts.
And if you apply that onto inspiring people, it’s quite similar.
You inhale this inspiring thought, but it runs through your own little million filters before reaching the spots deep inside of you.
And these filters are your critical approach, your own opinion, your personality, character, tendencies, preferences, etc.

So, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dub anything as good or bad, I just came across this topic and it has been lingering on my mind for quite a while and after having had a conversation about this topic, I decided it was about time to let this be my first #socialsaturday post. Thanks for the inspiration, mate.

As long as you keep your critical perspective, it might be okay to have an idol, I just worry about this copy cat components that I perceive sometimes when scrolling through social media.
I myself am more than grateful for all the inspiring people I was allowed to meet on my way, be it in person as Elizabeth Gilbert, or on paper, like Oscar, be it my closest friends, my creative crew, or just a stranger I had an inspiring conversation with.

As these thoughts are just thoughts and not set in stone perspectives, please let me know your thoughts on this topic!
You already know my creed inspiration through communication, so please delight me with your divine sparks.
Feel free to comment or send an email or slide into my DMs on instagram.

Enjoy your weekend.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

#writerswednesday: Tips for Creativity & Inspiration

#writerswednesday: tips for creativity & inspiration

As there are many creatives out there in different fields, be it photography, film making, writing, singing, acting, modelling, dancing, painting, whatever, I realised that often they are confronted with the same or similar problems.
Some of them being in the direction of the following:

* I’m not in the mood, I don’t know where to go with my art, it feels useless what I’m doing
* I have the feeling that I’m just repeating and reproducing what I’ve already done
* I have too many ideas and my mind is all over the place so that I feel like getting actually nothing done

These and similar thoughts I myself have encountered, but I also heard them quite frequently from other creatives, as by now I know quite many of them.
That’s why I’d like to share some advice with you. And this is not just for writers or photographers or other creatives.
Creative comes from create and therefore, any task that creates something can be seen as a creative task.
Be it gardening, redecorating your home or something else.
To cope with all these negative, limiting and blocking thoughts, I’m gonna share some tips with you that helped me all along the way of my creative path.

1. Take a break, have a coffee*. Consume art.

* can be substituted by anything you like, tea, whiskey, chocolate, cake…

When you feel like not being in the mood, like having all these ideas in your mind but they don’t mould into the next great piece of art, leave it. Let it take a rest. Don’t let inspiration run away, but give it a little time.
If you feel like being really blocked from it, it can also help to consume a lot of art to get into your own flow again.
As a writer, read. And read a lot.
As a photographer or model, watch a lot of pictures, follow other models/photographers and get your inspo board refreshed.
As a film maker, watch a lot of movies.
As a cook, read recipes, watch cooking shows or youtube videos.
The list could go on like that now, but I think you already got it.
This is not to say consume a lot in order to copy, but in order to get your inspiration back on track.

2. Sit down. Turn your phone off. Produce.

When your mind is so overflowing with ideas that you’re loosing track and you always think “I don’t know where to start.” this is gonna be lethal to your inspirational flow.
Instead, sometimes, although it feels like sh*t, just take the next best thing on your list (or if you already prioritised, take the top priority), sit down and get something done. Just start.
Or if you feel totally lost, like nothing great is coming out of your mind, take one thing that has been on your to do list for a quite a while or take a small creative task and push it forward.

As Picasso said “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

So, if you’re missing inspiration, it’s not necessarily gonna come while you’re contemplating about not having inspiration, you know.
In most cases, negative thoughts create a negative environment, so why should inspiration feel invited?
Create an invitational environment for inspiration and keep on working!

3. Try something new.

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you’re only reproducing and repeating things that you already did and you tend to be bored by yourself and your art, just try something new.
Again, this is not to copy someone else, but if for instance you’re a writer of romantic stories and you’re completely stuck, try to write, dunno, a detective story or something from a different genre. Just to see whether you like it or not, to challenge yourself and to keep your mind in your creative field but with a different perspective.
This can also add to your own authentic voice, because maybe you find out that you actually like this genre, or parts of it or even that you don’t like it at all. It doesn’t matter. Either way it’s gonna show you something about you and your art and work.
For me, I realised that the #sundaystory helped a lot with this. It is challenging to combine the prompts to something coherent and as the mood or tone or genre is given as well, sometimes they are completely off my normal field of creative work. But I consider it exciting and really refreshing to use my skills in a different genre and to learn and grow with it.
Of course, this also works in other fields, cook something new, wear a combination of clothes that you haven’t worn before, style yourself in a manner that you’ve never styled yourself before in, take photos of things that normally don’t attract your photographic attention, etc.
Just try something new. It’s refreshing and helps you grow and learn.
About you. About your work. About your art.

4. Communicate. Meet friends. Chitchat. Share. Exchange.

One of my creeds and believes is “Inspiration through communication”.
Oftentimes while chatting with close friends, business partners and strangers, this exchange gives me impulses that hit a spot that was untouched before. And sometimes a good conversation is all you need to get you back on track again.
More often than not, when my mind is overflowing with ideas and I don’t how to prioritise them or whether they make sense or not, calling my best friend and chatting with her over a nice cup of coffee is the best thing I can do.
It’s not only her input, although it’s a beautiful input and I feel blessed to have such great friends, but it’s also that while you’re talking to someone else, you’re also talking to yourself and in that moment you shape things in a manner that you weren’t able to when everything was just in your own head.

5. Take yourself on a date.

As much as communication and conversation with people can be inspiring and give you impulses, as much is it important to take some time just for yourself. And no, darling, I don’t mean you on your own, glued to your phone, having a ton of chats open and still communicating with others.
I mean you, yourself and you again.
And when I say take yourself on a date, I really mean it.
Don’t go to the laundry service alone with a cuppa to go and call it a date, ok?
Don’t cheat!
I really mean, if you were another person taking yourself on a date, what would it look like?
Would you go to a restaurant? A cafe? To the cinema? Taking a long walk in a park?
Whatever you consider your dream date to look like, don’t wait for anyone, treat yourself to it.
Sometimes you would find me in a cafe with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, mostly with my paper notebook or my laptop or a book to read, enjoying some time alone, just doing things that I love and that inspire me.
And no, no, no, I don’t do it to have a cute picture to post on instagram.
I mean yes, you caught me, that happened too, but I don’t go there in the first place to promote and advertise dating oneself on social media, you know. If I do so, I do it because I’m in the mood.
One of the things that I also love doing is getting up early in the morning, when the streets are still quiet and drive into a city, any city that I like, and walk the streets, watching all the details of architecture for example, taking pictures of the rising sun between houses or a beautiful flower on a wall or anything that captures my attention and that I therefore want to capture too. It’s really an intensive feeling taking a walk alone and watch a city waking up.
Sometimes I also take a walk in a forest or in a park or at a sea, whatever I feel like. And yes, a lot of the times I’m talking to myself.
I mean, hey, this is a date, huh? And normally we do talk on dates, don’t we?

General advice: Disconnect.
In many cases it’s a good choice to enjoy these moments disconnected from emails, social media and chats.
This is not a necessity, but it helps you refocus on what’s important to you without comparing yourself and your art to others and their work. And this gives you more freedom in your mind to work on your very own business.
You can still share the pictures you took, the things you’ve done, the experiences you made later on, but grant yourself a little time to really feel them inside of yourself.

I hope these tips and advice gave you some impulses on how to get yourself and your creative energy flowing again.
Of course there are many more things that I could put on this list and I might make a series out of it, but right now, I don’t want to bore you until the last spark of inspirational flow ran out by reading a blog post that was waaaayyyy too long.

Plus, guess what I’m gonna do? Yup, I just heard some coffee call my name. Can you hear it, too?

#modelmonday: Building a Portfolio

#modelmonday: Building a Portfolio

Building a Portfolio

As there are many aspiring models and hobby models out there who’d like to take a step into modelling as their profession or passion, but often don’t really know how to start, I thought about sharing some experiences, insights and my personal opinion, based on what I have learned during 10 years of standing in front of the camera myself.

I’d like to start modelling but I don’t have good photos

Now, first of all I recommend you ask yourself whether you’d like to pursue a career in this business or whether you consider it more a hobby or passion.
This is not to say that once you decided, you have to stick with that decision, you might as well turn your professional desire into a passion or make your passion your profession.
All I’m saying is that depending on your answer, the approach might be different.

1. If you’d like to pursue it as a career I recommend you get some good digitals (basically shots with no make-up, face front, face profile, sometimes front with a smile, whole body shots, often in tight clothes or bikini so your shape becomes easily visible) and directly apply to agencies.
But beware, getting good digitals isn’t always as easy as it sounds as a wrong angle might eff up your proportions completely and looking at them you’ll wonder why you ever thought you could apply to a modelling agency.
Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
The other option is you check for open castings provided by your agency of choice, sometimes they offer open castings where digitals are also taken, but it’s always a good idea to already have some pictures with you.
And yes, that might mean you’ll have to invest. Check for photographers that offer sedcard (or setcard) photo shootings, they might help you get a good base to get a foot in the biz, and yes, as it is their profession, they want to be paid.

2. If modelling is rather a hobby or a passion for you, it’s not a bad idea to have good digitals, too, but this doesn’t necessary have to be the first step.
What you want to do is get some photos of you that show your versatility.
What do I mean by that? I mean that you want to get pictures of yourself that differ in style, styling, location, facial expression and mood you portray.
Maybe you’re lucky enough to have friends who are photographers or you know someone who knows someone, etc. to get some pictures that you can start with at least to register on platforms in order to find other creatives to collaborate with.
If not, you might consider paying a photographer for a first session in order to get a base.
Then you can for instance register on a platform that offers a space for photographers, models and make-up artists to collaborate for joint productions, free projects or even paid jobs.

digital face front -dermagdans-

I’d like to build a versatile portfolio, but how?

1. Even if you decided to pursue modelling as a career, registering on a platform where creatives meet or setting up a Facebook page or showing some pictures on Instagram might help you get attention from some amazing photographers that would like to work with you. If an agency accepted you, they often know photographers and you start off by shooting some free projects with them, which adds to your and their portfolio.

2. No matter whether additionally to your career or for your hobby or passion, checking said platforms for Tfp projects (free projects intended to broaden the portfolios of photographer and model where none earns money but the photographic results serve as compensation) is a good idea to get involved into different projects set on different locations in different outfits and styles and to work with different photographers who produce pictures in different looks.

3. Another option, which many don’t like to take into consideration, is search for photographers whose style you adore and whose work would level up your portfolio and then, yes, guess what, PAY THEM ! I know, unbelievable. Thing is this: Often times the top ranking photographers you’d love to work with don’t offer Tfp shoots. Or at least not to amateurs. And yes, darling, according to many people’s definition we are amateurs. So, if you really crave getting pictures from this photographer, save your money and go for it.
By no means do I say that you can’t ask them whether they’d be down for a Tfp shooting with you, please don’t misunderstand. I’m just saying that often times they do free projects either with very experienced models or with promising new faces. And whether you’re a promising new face or not is unfortunately not up to you to decide.

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Should I invest into building a portfolio and if so, how much?

1. If you’re registered with an agency, they normally take care of test shoots to broaden your portfolio, so you shouldn’t pay a photographer in order to take pictures from you if your agency got you this test shoot.
Never ever should you pay for the registration with an agency or for a casting! Never ever! If you read about a casting where you should pay for the establishment of a setcard or for the photos taken by a professional photographer or anything like it, leave it, drop the idea, don’t do it, it’s not serious!
You might tend to think “but I’m not an experienced model, of course I have to invest before I earn” and well, the approach is more than true in various fields of life, but consider this: If you sent your pictures to an agency or went to a casting and they decided to add you to their list of models, then it was because they saw potential in you. Potential to get jobs, earn money, and as they earn from what you earn, it’s also the potential money they see you bringing back. So, don’t ever pay for setting up a profile or setcard for your agency. Serious and professional agencies don’t do that. They might take a certain charge from your first fees in order to compensate the expenses they had for getting you those jobs, yes, but: You don’t pay in advance!

2. Different when you’re not registered with an agency. Of course you still have the chance to participate in free projects, but there is no one providing you options like these, but you have to find them yourself, for instance on creative collaboration websites or if you follow photographers and make-up artists on Facebook and Instagram and they are searching for a model. If you only find Tfp options that don’t really add to your portfolio because you already have a million pictures in this style or because they all go into a direction you don’t aim at, there is still the possibility to search for jobs you have to pay for, but sometimes these are special offers for a specific topic. So, sometimes you only have to pay the make-up artist or it’s just a small fee you have to pay for photographer, make-up artist and post processing. And with small fee I talk round about 80 €. That’s a mofo deal!

3. So yes, I understand that you don’t want to or can’t invest a fortune into building a portfolio, but saving some money and putting it into a well spent shooting that gets you extraordinary results, is worth it. It raises the tendency that great photographers, yes, even those ones you stalk on a daily and that mostly work with very experienced models, see you and see your potential and that you get asked by cool creatives to collaborate with them.
Does this already land you jobs where you earn a lot of money? Well, if you’re really lucky, yes. In a normal case, rather not. But it gives you the chance to collaborate with other creatives whose portfolio might be broader or of high quality on Tfp, which then adds to the attention you gain, which offers you more chances for more free projects, which eventually might lead to you getting paid jobs. (Oh, and paid jobs rarely come to you via email in the morning post, while you’re drinking coffee and painting your nails or grooming your beard, if you’re a male model, you actually have to search for them and apply. Unless you just ate a fortune cookie that serves you luck 24/7, then your inbox might explode in 3,2,1….)

.

So, talking from my own experience, I can say that building up a portfolio which enabled me to work with the great photographers that I had been stalking often enough before, dreaming to work with them, thinking “they will never work with me” etc., wasn’t an easy task, but you learn a lot on the way and that’s amazing, too.
I started off with having some Tfp shoots. I was lucky enough to have caught a photographer’s eye on an event who then gave me his card and asked me to come around for a free photo shoot. That was pure luxury and I’m really thankful for that. With those pictures I registered on platforms and browsed through the Tfp jobs and applied.
And guess what: I’ve been rejected a lot. Like… A LOT!
Then I saw some jobs where you had to pay, but I watched the pictures of the make-up artists and photographers working on the projects and thought “I’d love to work with them!”. Well, round about 100 other girls thought the same, so even paying for it wouldn’t give you a guarantee to be part of the project. So, I took some of my saved money and invested in different jobs of this kind. And it WAS SO WORTH IT!
I picked them wisely and did my research well before throwing my money out of the window, but it instantly raised the level of my portfolio. It’s really important to choose wisely and to consider the quality of the photos, the uniqueness of the project etc. before you invest.
We’re talking inVESTment, not inWASTEment, huh.
It must have been round about 5 photo shootings I paid for, each of them ranging somewhere between 40 € and 100 €, so yes, I invested something between 250 € and 300 € of my hard earned and saved money into great pictures of extraordinary kind back in those days.
And they gave me the chance to work with so many great photographers on Tfp later on that now I can count several Tfp and paid shootings to my portfolio, because yes, later on, I also landed jobs where I got paid.
The way wasn’t easy, but every step was worth it!

dermagdans

I hope my recommendations and coffee chat like rambling helped you and gave you a little insight.
Feel free to share your own experience with me and let me know if you still have questions. Let me know in the comments below, shoot me an email or send me a DM on Instagram.

Blogwarming Party

Hier Beitrag auf Deutsch lesen

norbert josefsson

Welcome!

Grab a drink, take a seat or join me on the dance floor and let’s celebrate together.
The sofa is already there, decoration is not yet complete, table and chairs are ordered but not yet delivered, so take some cushions and make yourself comfortable in my place of creativity, my new virtual home.

Just like a housewarming party where not everything is 100% ready and perfect, I throw this blogwarming party today, where the frame is set, new layout plastered on the walls, but some details might still be added or removed in the course of the coming weeks.
Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it here and that you come over and visit me often.

After two years of not blogging, many months of planning the new layout, structuring ideas and setting up a whole strategy and subject schedule, pulling all-nighter after all-nighter in order to progress and proceed here, my fingertips are still covered in colour, my hair’s a mess and I’m still sweating.

But you see me with a smile on my face as it feels good to be back.

Let me give you a quick “room tour”. – Everybody should know where the loo and the fridge with fresh beer is, huh? –
On top you find the different topics.
The portfolio offers you an insight into my photo and video repertoire.
The about section offers you information on me, this blog and my work. Same in German below.
The services section gives you an overview of the services I offer on this website, including modelling and writing with the specific services of poetry & prose for special occasions and professional storytelling.
Contact & booking explains itself, I guess.
The Creative Chaos Cloud shows you all categories which you can find blog entries about, so that you can quickly get to the topics you’re interested in.

So much for the room tour, I hope you’re gonna find your way and if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask me. I’m trying to be a good host, you know.

What are the plans for the next weeks, what do I offer and why should you come back?
First of all, I’ve worked hard on a concept and contents that might be of value and interest for you.
So, here is what I came up with:
I will blog four times a month, so once a week about topics connected to the different fields I’m working in. One topic a week, that is.
Thus, what you gonna get is this:
#modelmonday: Information for models and photographers, funny anecdotes I experienced during 10 years in front of the camera and other info connected to this field.
#writerswednesday: Information for writers and readers, food for thought, inspiration and impulses revolving around writing and reading.
#socialsaturday: Random topics connected to us humans interacting with one another, social phenomenons, questions, perspectives, impulses on social topics.
#sundaystory: Yes, the sundaystory will be back and we gonna play again. If you don’t know what the sundaystory is, please click here. I will announce the next round early enough, but this won’t be before August probably, as I still owe two of my readers their stories.

After this blogwarming party, where you can take your time to stroll around and look at the redecoration, the new furniture and features, there will be a special series on the balcony, a.k.a instagram. So, don’t forget to check out my plants on the balcony, too.
Plus, I will also take you with me behind the scenes of creative productions in the insta stories.
The special series has been a production with Norbert Josefsson, which we produced last year, but I considered it so beautiful that I kept it for a special moment.
And I think that moment has come now.
So every day, starting on Friday, 15th June, I’m going to post one picture with text on instagram and facebook, which will add up to a series of six. On Thursday, 21st, you will get the complete series here on the blog as well as on instagram.

After the special we will start off with the first sundaystory on the 24th, as it has been two years of me owing these stories to two of my readers.
I hope you’re still there and I hope you still gonna read it.

Which leads me, after the organisational part, to the speech I’m supposed to give on such an event before everybody starts popping bottles like crazy – or at least that’s what I’m gonna do –.
Ahem, clink clink, ladies and gents, may I have your attention please: (you better grab another shot and drink, this is gonna take a while – or just skip the part written in italics – the perk of being here virtually and not in reality)

Thanks for being here tonight, for sharing this moment with me, for taking some time out of your busy day to join this celebration.
I’d like to thank all of the followers here on WordPress that stayed although I haven’t blogged for two years, which, in nowadays time is like an eternity.
Also I’d like to thank all the followers on instagram that didn’t unfollow when I didn’t post for six months, which is close to social media suicide.
I’d like to thank the virtual community for staying with me, supporting me and being patient with me.

Most of all, I’d like to thank the people, especially my closest friends, who virtually and in real life sent me their positive vibes and words, who encouraged me to keep up the work, who relentlessly kept asking about my work, my art, my blog, my writings and my poetry, who invested their time and energy to provide me with tipps and tricks, good advice and knowledge about social media, who gave me input and impulses for new content, who were patient with me when I asked for advice and feedback and who were loving and caring when I had to say “no” to events and instead had to sit down and work, who shared their nurturing positive energy with me and who knowingly or unknowingly inspired me and fuelled my motivation.

Without all of you, your patience and support, we probably wouldn’t be celebrating today.
It wasn’t an easy time and task, but now we’re here and I raise my glass to all of you. I’m forever grateful.

martin zethoff

Now enough of the talk and enjoy your time here, I hope you gonna stay a little longer and come back frequently.
If you have any questions, let me know.

xxx
Gina.

Insight into Labelled Love: Terms

On Instagram there is this #6wordchallenge and a fellow writer, @joshuacallawaypoetry challenged me to participate.
I ended up having more than one inspiration, but one was actually taken from one of the chapters of Labelled Love, a little bit modified, but nevertheless.
So, instead of just using it on insta, I thought, I’m going to share the whole chapter with you to set it into context.
Enjoy the read, my dears 😉

Terms

Stamps, labels, scales, measurements.
This seems to be the way we understand the world, our surroundings.
In her life, she was allowed to experience the miracle of unconditional love.
A love without conditions.
Without thinking “I love you, but…”, or “I love you, but only if you…”.
The universe had allowed her a glimpse on the utmost and only truth: Love.
A small glimpse, the rush of a moment and since then, she understood that she was able to love someone without expectations, without ‘buts’ and ‘ifs’.
That was why she revolted against stamps, scales, measurements and labels. They just didn’t matter to her.
Once she had discovered that she loved him, that was the only thing she needed to know.
Where would it go from there? Would she be defeated? Tricked and fooled again? Would she fly too high and fall too hard?
She banished those fearful thoughts and exchanged them with the only reasonable answer or contra question possible:
What does it matter? Does it matter at all?
If she fell, she’d get up again. This might be the most stupid and risky or the best and most moving idea ever. Anyway, it would be an experience.
Truth or dare? She dared the truth.
And she was rewarded by the soft words of a smart young man, who didn’t care about labels either. He told her that the term ‘relationship’ was what they both would define it as. And that they would discover this definition together in time.

Gina Laventura©2014