PHLEARN MagazineHow to Find Balance, Stay Inspired, and Be Your Best Self with Ian Elkins

How to Find Balance, Stay Inspired, and Be Your Best Self with Ian Elkins

Saying that you need balance in life is one thing, but acknowledging that and putting it into practice is quite another. Today we have the pleasure of learning more about model, retoucher, and content creator Ian Elkins, who strives for balance in his life and work, and believes in always creating your own path.

What’s the one quote that always fires you up?

IE: For me, it’s less about others’ quotes, and more about personal words to live by. I think most people try and find a meaning for themselves in almost anything nowadays, when they should be focusing on what they believe in and creating their own path. With that said, I always keep the thought of “be your best self, defined by your own definition” in the back of my mind. Always comparing yourself to others is something that will bury you in insecurities and only end up slowing, or even stopping your own growth.

Do you have any particular habits that are a part of how you begin your creative process?

IE: That would have to depend if it’s in relation to post-production or pre-production. I can confidently say that coffee is probably at the forefront to starting any creative process for me though.

What do you do when you hit a wall during your creative process?

IE: For the most part, I just try and accept it, and know it will pass. It’s something all creatives go through and the more you stress it, the more intimidated you will become. To speed up the inevitable though, I try and ask a friend to venture through the city (NYC) with me and bring my camera along. It’s a city that’s full of endless inspiration, and it’s always sure to spark that something inside of me.

What’s your favorite photo you’ve ever captured and why?

IE: That’s a tough one. I guess for me that would have to be a gamble between a final outcome of an image vs the memories that image possesses. More recently, it would have to be the image I self-shot while I was in Hong Kong for 36 hours. It’s of myself in the Montane Mansion Building.

If your essence were able to be captured/created in a photo, what would be happening in it?

IE: I think this is something I try and portray in almost all of my images. The essence of shadow play are almost always present in my images, but I try and balance that with complimenting, yet contrasting hues. For me balance is extremely important in life and I think this balance transfers to my work as well.

What book would you recommend any creative person read?

IE: I’ll admit, I typically don’t read very often (I know, I know). But, from time to time, I will pick up something that inspires and motivates me. I was fortunate enough to receive one of Christian Watson’s most recent books “Forth Goes The Road,” which is a personal look into explorations and creative paths. If you are not familiar with Christian and his work as both a graphic artist and photographer, I highly suggest you look him up!


You can keep up with Ian’s work and modeling over on his Instagram.

Dane Johnson

Dane Johnson was the former Editor of PHLEARN Magazine, where he helped creatives share their stories. Dane currently is the co-founder of Clementine Coffee Roasters and he accepts most assertions of his hipster-ness and millennialism without flinching.

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