Amelie Satzger Beats Artists’ Block and Hits Reset on Inspiration in 24-Day Challenge
If you want to master the piano, you play every day. To learn a new language, you speak as much as you can. And to train for a marathon? You run… a lot. Exercising your creativity is no different. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. This is something that photographer and Photoshop artist Amelie Satzger discovered when she challenged herself to create a new image every single day for 24 days.
As an Adobe Creative Resident, Amelie was able to focus for an entire year on her own creativity. Having the time and freedom to do anything she wanted, Amelie’s imagination went into overdrive, enabling her to produce some of her favorite work. She had the privilege of absolute creative freedom. But, after a while, this type of open-ended landscape created challenges of its own. Too much creative freedom led to artists’ block. And when Amelie did create, she found herself being too precious with her work. So she set herself a challenge to change all that.
For 24 days in a row, Amelie committed to creating a new piece from scratch each day. She promised herself she would try out new techniques and ideas, challenging her practiced approach to creativity without letting herself overthink anything. Every day, she began with what she had on hand. She photographed different objects she found, often including herself, and then stitched each element together using Photoshop to create a colorful, surreal piece of art… all in a day’s work.
Despite not planning out any of her pieces in advance, Amelie’s work in the 24 Days project turned out to be wonderfully cohesive. Her bold style and bright colors shine through in every concept and every piece. Her focus on the surreal and emphasis on lighting never suffered during this challenge. Instead, she was able to push her style and try it out in new contexts that she might not have explored before.
Amelie quickly realized that you don’t have to go anywhere special or order any particular props or equipment to be creative. In fact, Amelie found that the best way to exercise her creativity was just to use what was in front of her. This pushed her to flex creative muscles she normally wouldn’t use.
On the morning of the first day of the challenge, she set out to create the first thing that popped up in her mind. “I stood in my studio and I looked around, and there was this plant and I thought ‘I like how the leaves look. Maybe I can include it somehow in a picture.’ It just looked cool. I wasn’t looking for a deeper meaning behind it, just finding things that inspire me.”
The biggest change Amelie noticed during this 24 Days project was time. The hours she normally put into concepting, staging, photographing, and editing wouldn’t be possible if she were going to put up a new piece every day. Amelie didn’t have time to achieve perfection in each of her creations, and instead of getting frustrated with her constraints, she learned something new. “I usually want everything to be perfect,” she shares, “There is always something in every picture that could be better. But at one point, I was like ‘Okay, Amelie, you don’t have to be perfect all the time. Just leave it like this and it will be okay.’”
Even after this project has ended, Amelie will take with her the lessons she learned during her 24 days of rapid creation. Although she’ll no longer battle the obstacle of having too little time, she’ll be mindful of spending too much time and putting too much thought into her work. If there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s this: “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.”
You can find more fabulous work from Amelie Satzger’s 24 Days project here. Let us know if you plan to take your own 24 Days challenge!