FEATURING: Lily Cummings

What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?

My creative community is often based around what city I am working in, but I also feel that there is this amazing sense of connection between the tribes. Not only are the people who follow my work people I collaborate with, but each new project has a personal connection to someone I've worked with before. I find that the best way to "utilize" or engage with the people of this community is to stay open and positive about new work and share the connections rather than hold them close to the chest. I love when people I love and admire work together because I get to see them in a whole new light.

How did you discover your creativity?

I don't think I discovered my creativity, I think it has always been intrinsic. But, I think that I've developed a way to express that through play. If something interests me, I try it without any intention of being an "expert" so that takes the pressure off. And when something feels right - then I involve myself in mastering the process.

What are you working on these days?

I have a film background so I'm working on some more cinematic photography series that will include more printing and physical manipulation. I'm also getting back into script writing which has been a bit more of a rough ride than I expected. The ol' writing skills were a bit dusty. But I've accepted that and therefore won't give myself a timeline and just attempt to stay diligent on progressing.

What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?

I've been very lucky to work with models who were so supportive that I feel like I had a slow burn for awhile through their consistent referrals. Working on the Hana Tajima collaboration with Uniqlo could be considered on the outside a "Big Break" When my work was displayed on Madison Ave, even though I didn't have any excitement stirring in my gut, intellectually I could understand this signaled to commercial clients - she's not just creative, she's professional.

What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?

Oh man. Always a deck of cards. My current deck I got in Venice last summer and they are getting STICKY. A fan because I am always a little warm. Chapstick. This weird gum from Germany everyone think tastes like cough syrup. Ibuprofen. Tissues. Maybe my earrings from yesterday. A small notebook for ideas and things not to forget. Sand. I somehow get sand in everything.

Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession: 

1. Just start. 
2. Equipment isn't an idea - don't put your value as a creator in knowing about every new piece of tech that comes along. If you don't have original ideas, fancy equipment will be useless to help you.
3. I think a little competition is natural, but working in supportive and collaborative environments will make you happier and take you farther.

Who are you following right now on Instagram for inspiration and why?

@haileybentongates : I think she has a very unique perspective on femininity and is forging her own path. I rarely think anyone is original anymore but she has it.
@simplicitycity: It's a style instagram that I've been following for years and it constantly reminds me that sometimes keeping it simple and classic never fails.
@ibkamara: I don't think there's an image he's worked on I haven't been stunned by
@carlota_guerrero: Favorite photographer working at the moment

What is your MOTTO in life?: 

It used to be a German saying a friend taught me years ago: Aus Scheiße Gold machen. It means to turn shit into gold. It's crass, but I love it. I feel like I'm in a new phase of life though and I haven't found the motto to fit. I'm sure it will find me.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Lindt chili chocolate

If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

A pen, a solar-powered music player, and a friend.

What do your parents think you do?

My dad tells everyone I'm a spy.

What would be your Networking Do's & Dont's?

Don't lie. But maybe don't always tell the whole truth. They don't always want to know :)

Full Name: Lily Cummings

Profession: Photographer

Industry: Creative


Instagram: @lililand

Shabnam AzadehComment