artist

Heidi, when strength meet kindness

Hello dear scandals,

We all feel how winter in Canada can be tough sometimes, the lack of heat and sun after few months starts to have a negative impact on our mood. So it can be a great idea to take few days out of the country: one of us went five days to Costa Rica and it was incredible. The goal of that short trip was to get away from Toronto and take some me-time… You guys know how hard workers we are and how it is difficult for us to disconnect from work. Well we have to confess, it was hard to not take the opportunity to do a boudoir shoot in paradise and work with a new lady… So we had to do it :)

We posted a message on a facebook group about a boudoir shoot idea and Heidi was one of the first to reply. Even though we did not know her, she was the one who stood out and we new from the start we wanted to shoot with her. What a meaningful encounter: her story was inspiring, we always love to hear about other business owner's experience and life. Plus she has an incredible personality, beauty… PERFECT COMBO!

 
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Meet Heidi

Everybody has a story, I think that’s one of the things I enjoy the most about meeting people in Costa Rica. Here we are in this little beautiful country, together, talking and forming friendships, discovering how much we have in common and yet we all have a different back story about what led us here.

Costa Rica, 5 years ago

I went there for the first time to celebrate my partner’s and my 50th birthdays.  We planned a double vacation – some skiing and boarding in Whistler for the first week, and then straight to Costa Rica to learn to surf. Tamarindo….such a neat place! My partner could already surf and had tried it in many other exotic locations, but this was a first for me and I don’t even skateboard or snowboard… Yikes! Well, I survived surf camp and could actually say I could surf afterwards!

That first trip led to another and another and another, at least twice a year, enjoying the beach, training every day, surfing and always pondering eventual retirement and speculating about what little business could be started here to fill a niche.

At first we thought about a coffee shop, or more specifically, a mobile coffee cart – because at that time there were only a couple in town. Needless to say in 5 years there are probably 14 now…. so that was a good pass!

How Gilliepops was born

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One thing that seemed to be lacking was treats of any sort that weren’t laden with sugar or milk and specifically cold frozen treats. Popsicles… Yes, that became the focus and ultimately Gilliepops was born, named after my late daughter, who passed away a few months after our first trip here.

Lots of brainstorming, creative thinking and marketing ideas, and in November 2017 I arrived in town with a bicycle, a cooler, my Vitamix and a couple of giant duffel bags filled with popsicles sticks, moulds, labels and packaging supplies. It was new and exciting, and at times very disappointing and stressful. I ate a lot of tuna and eggs that’s for sure but what an amazing experience! I even added gluten free baked goods to my repertoire and it seems the tourists and even locals can’t get enough of them. It’s awesome!!

Thanks to social media

Business here in Costa Rica is done differently that in North America.  It’s less formal and much of the communication is done either on Facebook or Whatsapp.

Because of the dependency on Facebook for business, I’m forced to check it daily and post often to encourage awareness of the availability of gluten free products here. This is when I saw Fanny's post about her visit to Tamarindo. I sent her a few suggestions, I think because I knew she was from Toronto. When she mentioned being a photographer and looking for someone to photograph while she was here, I jumped at the opportunity – there are almost no pictures of me here because I’m on my own. And what a beautiful place to be photographed.

Its been a couple of years since I’ve done a photo shoot and never when I wasn’t ready to compete (I’m a physique competitor), but I thought it would be nice to be captured as my regular self, my natural self, a little smoother and softer… tan lines and all…! The shoot was amazing – the view from the location we chose was so beautiful and the pictures she took are so flattering and beautiful.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met one of the Scandaleuse's team, the time we got to spend together talking an sharing our stories.

 
 

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Work for me but for free - meet the artists

Sometimes I dream that I can take pictures of people for free everyday. Just for the beauty of helping them express their sexyness. All they have to do is take their clothes off and together, we create beauty and sensuality (I am still talking about boudoir photography - oh you naughty minds!)

But then reality comes back and reminds me it’s not possible yet.

 
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A few weeks ago, the business women in us were explaining why we can’t work for free.

Today, it's time for the sequel and we decided to let our artistic side speaks.

Once upon a time…

In the wonderful world of Edith Piaf, the baguette and delicious cheese, two young ladies named Juliette & Fanny signed up in a photography school located on the north side of Paris in the dark forest who was full of trolls, gremlins and angry dragons. Fortunately, Juliette and Fanny surrounded themselves with lovely people who became good friends and all together they were able to study in a joyous and relaxed atmosphere (with some drama like in every fairy tales). For 3 years, they used their time and some gold coins to pay for their education and developed their creativity, knowledge and sense of humor.

 
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It was time to leave the castle…

Our two lovely companions always wanted to discover the world and become international photographers. So they decided to get on board the Hogwarts Express with a first stop in London and a few other ones such as Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Rome, Prague...

Hand in hand they worked as photographers, they built their skills with different photography studios, had a good amount of mentors and worked on many projects and photoshoots to become better and better at their craft.

But something was missing, in their heart Fanny and Juliette were aiming for freedom. They knew they were the only ones who can make things change so they used their magic wands (and their brains) to create Scandaleuse Photography boudoir & weddings and finally made one of their dreams come true.

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And they lived happily ever after...

There are a lot of pages to add to their story and trust me, getting married and having a lot of children is not the happy ending here.

It is all of these years of travel, people we have met and the time we invested in our profession that makes us the professionals we are today. You are not paying only for a photoshoot but investing for great quality, creativity, knowledge and the security of working with two serious ladies who can give you the photographs you are dreaming of.

Boudoir photography puts our vulnerability down and taking your clothes off in front of strangers can be a difficult exercise. Going with a photographer you trust and can reveal your personality to is a must. And this is what we have now been working on for over 8 years.

With love,

 
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Dealing with creative funk

This one is for any creative person that feels the need to create content constantly and/or is required to do so professionally. If you feel like you can't do anything right sometimes and you start doubting your work... Three words: we feel you.

 
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The creativity juice

You know the thrill you get when you create something new that people appreciate? Your heart beats faster, you are full of energy, you are smiling from one ear to the other and you keep coming up with better ideas every day. Until one day.... Mic drop, curtain closed, no creativity juice left. Take a deep breath, it doesn't mean you suck.

Find the cause

What triggered this sudden block? Did you get a bad feedback? Are you dealing with personal problems? Do you think everyone is better than you? Did you sleep enough? Are you hungry? Did Tim Horton's stop your kind of Timbits ? (it's a problem in Canada, alright?). Whatever started this, if you identify it, you can start to fight it.

Putting things into perspective

People, we don't need drama, alright? We already have so many reason to stress out nowadays (see Timmie's horror story above). A creative funk is not the end of the world and will happen (again). We are not magical robots that can create ALL THE TIME. It's impossible. You will create things that will suck. But you will have some that will rock.

We asked other artists to give us their opinions about dealing with creative blocks and we have put together a little list of things you should try when you feel like you are stuck.

Take a break.

Have you even been out today or have you been staring at your laptop trying to invoke your muse? A change of scenery is usually the trick for small creative funks. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, talk to people. After you read this blog post please.

Luke, talented musician, says: "Remember you cannot cannot unless your mind, body & spirit are in alignment. Breathe in the fresh air and take a moment to acknowledge how good of a job you are doing. This will clear your negative blocks."

 
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Be okay with failure.

Actually, stop seeing it as a failure, see it as a lesson. You did something, it didn't go right but now you know what to do to improve. Put a Hello Kitty bandaid on your ego and off you go. After all, you wouldn't have any successes without failures. So they are kind of necessary.

Get inspired.

A lot of creative funks come when we lack inspiration. A good way to get it back is to… look for it everywhere you go. Pinterest, books, blogs (eheh), artist in your field (or not) you love, podcasts… We have access to SO many sources. I personally have a weird obsession for Youtube videos of people accomplishing things and showing their routines for success.

Jason says: "You need to explore. Viewing different things will help spark your curiosity and give you that imagination back."

Let me crack my knuckles like a badass before I type this. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.

This is the first cause of creativity death. There is always someone better than you and the sooner you get that, the more at peace you will be. Funny enough, someone is probably comparing him/herself to you, thinking you're better. Endless cycle. Look to others for inspiration, not competition.

As Luke, yes again, it was good alright, said "Thrive off of other people's energy & stories. When I have no fuel to write music I may look at someone else's situation and get inspiration from them and tell their story through my music. "

Challenge yourself.

Some people need to force their imagination. Our dear friend Rai, fashion photographer extraordinaire, says: "Just walk around downtown and look at banner, ads, signs, then ask yourself: have you done something like that? Do you wanna do something similar? Start taking a few reference shots, upload to pinterest and then pin related contents. Just make sure to set a mood and tone first!"

Brainstorm with yourself. (preferably after taking that fresh air.)

Get a piece of paper and a pen (or a tablet for millenials) and write anything that comes to mind. Any rough ideas you want to do, any long term or short term goals. When I start freaking out, I also write the projects that I have coming up to prove to myself that I must be doing something right and that I have things to look forward to.

Mike, drummer and productivity master adds: "Just start writing... Then read that piece of trash and refer to your notebook of ideas... Realize you should've just started there. Seriously though, stock pile your ideas when you're in the zone."

 
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Shake things up

When I start feeling unhappy about my creativity, it's usually because I don't manage my time properly to do everything that puts me in the right mind. It's a sign that I should probably change my routine. My last freakout involved my adding more workout and cooking time to daily routine because I enjoy that and I know it makes me feel content and thus productive. And the more productive you are, the more energy you will have for your next idea. Snowball effect.

Hopefully this has helped you to go all "FATALITY" on your creative funk. Remember, it is perfectly normal and you will get over it at some point. You have what it takes. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some youube videos to catch up on. Someone is cleaning up their entire apartment and it's bringing me joy.

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