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  • Noémie Bourdin-Habert

Creating, one babystep at a time (en)

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

Today, I am proud to say that there's a picture of me being exhibited in the south of France for three months. It was selected alongside with 23 other ones, out of a competition of over 2000 pictures, and which auction sales will benefit an NGO. One milestone along the difficult process of creation. And recognition, too.

Life goes fast. And so do we try to keep up with it, be everywhere, be facing all of our tasks - our to-do-lists. I have managed this pretty well so far.

But what is it like when you not only want to change a career direction, but want to be yourself, when you feel creative deep inside, but you've only learnt to be creative for others ? You know how to create a successful campaign, and you know what strengths of a brand to promote, and you how to investigate on what clients feel attracted to... But what about yourself ?

Well, being your true self, and promoting your own person, itself, is a journey, I realize now.

You think you could do even more than get paid to create successful branding and campaigns, but setting yourself free from what the society inculcates you, is hell of a task.

Forget about your lack of skills, forget about your performances, forget about what the society wants to see, and try to focus on who you truly are, and what you are truly ready to give of yourself.

Well - at least this is what I am trying to do. And it has never been that difficult, I have to say.

At the same time as I believe being on the road for a long journey helped me understand more of the world and made me improve myself in a number of marketing or branding practices, it is still hard to be free of my own personal barriers, my fears, and to create art as I would like to. Without the threat of not being recognized for it.

Who decides what is an artist anyways, and where does it start ? If you play music, are you necessarily an artist ? If you don't create art but you are passionate about art and it fills you more than anything else, are you definitely still not an artist ? And every one takes photos nowadays, so are we all artists ?

So many questions for which I don't actually have answers and for which I have very recently stopped searching answers for - in order to focus on what I can do to release this extreme and deep energy I feel within myself, in the means of art - maybe.

But I first lacked inspiration. And also I lacked confidence. Plus, there are many creators out there who are already way freer than myself and perform great... so what could I possibly add to the world?

A voice ? A vision ? Another picture that people have seen a thousand times ?

It is so frustrating feeling this fire burning inside, and not to know how to use it properly.

Traveling has taught me that in one way or another, on every continent, most people try to add some value to this world.

May it be within their family, within a company, within the society, within the entire world, most of us have the desire to make a difference. Leave a footprint, a sort of heritage. Some want to be "influencers", some want to be rich, some want to be famous, some want to be the best in one particular discipline... but still, deep behind all this, there's the desire of differentiation, recognition, and value.

These questions have been core to my travels. And I realize, they've been central to me, and to my partner, but also they have touched the friends and family who follow-up with us closely. The decision to leave without a plan has an impact on the other dreamers, on the other artists, on the other free souls, and on all those who believe there is somewhere where they belong more than where they are now.

And just as I can only be grateful that some artists and creators have inspired me and influenced me to lead this life differently, I know I can say that our decision to leave has inspired others too. Our life is just a wave after all. You take, you give back...

Although on this long journey, we are witnesses of our planet's extreme beauty, there are days and nights of doubts. Doubts about our careers, our skills, our differentiation, and expectations, about the future of our overcrowded world... But fortunately, there are a few milestones along the way too, and they feel sooo good.

I have admitted and accepted already that I could be a photographer if I wanted to. From an amateur to a professional, only the payment differs. I lack some skills, but I master many others. And from the different shootings I have done, for accomplished artists, for brands, for independent workers, or for documentation, I can say, they seem to be recognized for their quality and for they carry "my style".

But what if I want to photograph what touches me most ? What if I want to write stories that I'm not being asked for ? Well this is the giant leap between being a commissioned professional and being a free creator, and I have a real desire for being the latter one.

I know though, that I like what I've always done. I like working with brands, especially because I choose brands I believe in. I like putting up a campaign, I like working with a team, and in fact, maybe that's why I consider myself more a creator than an artist.

Anyway, more than ever, I know that I have the desire, the need to create with my soul, not only with my spirit. And I have the belief that it would suit me - quite perfectly.

Now, with what I have explored already, I can say, I might be slow on becoming what I call a creator, but I have the faith that this is working out, just One Babystep At A Time. Just as I become more true to myself.

Yesterday a book publication, today a photo exhibited in a gallery, tomorrow maybe a re-posted picture by a huge social media account... Each of these milestones create and release a rush of dopamine which helps feeding more confidence, motivation, reward feeling and overall makes me improve towards what I set for myself.

This kind of little step up keeps boosting my confidence and my motivation to pursue in this direction.

There will always be people to remind me that this is not paying, but I keep reminding myself, that not only the greatest of all payments is to do what I truly like doing, but also, that by investing so much of my true self in every picture or story I produce, this should actually be paying off, when I am ready for it.

* * *

NB : This picture, entering a theme called "contrasts" was named "Eternity on the glacier". It reflects a particular moment of silence, intensity, nature, and yet, the omnipresence of human footprint. It was taken in New-Zealand, in April 2018. That was Phase I of my long-journey.

It is printed and exhibited alongside with other amazing pictures in Saint-Tropez until the 31st of August 2019, place Alphone Celli.


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