When creative director and photographer Stephanie Pehar thought about the theme of Art and Design, she immediately thought of the fear of self-expression. “The idea for this series came to me while sitting and trying to force myself to start planning some shoots after being in a total creative ebb for months,” says Pehar. “Inspired by this creative block, I wanted to show the pain and struggle of the creative process when our soul's expression is dying to come out, yet we are resisting it. With this comes vulnerability, but also power when we allow the expression to take form.
“There is a lot of pressure to be innovative… to do something that hasn't been done before! This can sometimes stifle creativity,” says Pehar. “When feeling stuck, sometimes you just have to simplify. Start with the essence of what you want to express and build on it. For me, it was the feeling of internal struggle. Emotion is so key for me. I recently heard director Guillermo del Toro say, ‘Emotion is the new punk.' I love this! In our society there is a huge focus on the external. I think it's really important that we start paying more attention to what's on the inside and express ourselves authentically. Anthenticity might not be a new concept, but it's one that needs to be brought to the forefront.
From the Letters of Vincent Van Gogh:
I tell you, if one wants to be active, one must not be afraid of failures, one must not be afraid of making some mistakes. Many people think that they will become good by doing no harm; that's a lie, and you yourself used to call it a lie.
It leads to stagnation, to mediocrity.
Just dash something down when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face with a certain imbecility.
You do not know how paralyzing that staring of a blank canvas is; it says to the painter, You can't do anything. The canvas stares at you like an idiot, and it hypnotizes some painters, so that they themselves become idiots. Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the really passionate painter who is daring — and who has once and for all broken that spell of “you cannot.”
Life itself is also forever turning toward a man an infinitely vacant, discouraging, hopeless, blank side on which nothing is written, no more than on a blank canvas. But however vacant and vain and dead life may present itself, the man of faith, of energy, of warmth, and who knows something, does not let himself be led astray by it. He steps in and acts and builds up, in short he breaks — ruins they call it.