Do you have any particular habits that are a part of how you begin your creative process?
Yes, almost all of my inspiration comes from my dreams. Years ago, I decided that I was going to use my sleep hours in a more “productive” way. So when I have an assignment or a personal project, I take that general idea into my dreams. These ideas reveal themselves in my dreams in many different ways.
Dreaming acts like a blender where you put in your hopes, your fears, your fantasies, etc. and they get mixed with your day-to-day and the concept you want to develop. So, the outcome of that idea is always going to be more sincere and reveal who you really are. This is key for an artist.
You can “pre-program” (not control) your dreams by saturating your mind with lots of info (research) over several days, then, when you go to sleep, you just have to think and tell yourself you want to dream about the particular concept you want to develop. Of course, you have to remember one or several dreams you have throughout the night. Remembering the dream is the most difficult part. But with some practice you will manage to remember them.
What do you do when you hit a wall during your creative process?
Normally, I would change to another project and then, hours later or days later, return to it. But sometimes it’s just a matter of breaking the wall, and that means not quitting; pushing yourself to the limits. Start writing what comes to your mind, anything, just what comes to your mind helps a lot. Then you start organizing and re-shaping those random thoughts and “voila,” just like magic it appears in front your eyes. Take a breath, try to approach from a different angle and keep trying.
For example, if you are at the studio or location shooting with four or five lights and something is not working, just turn off all your lights. Forget about all your lighting settings. Now, just turn on one light, change its angle, shoot and start building again from there. The same could apply to the model poses, or your framing / composition, etc.