Creativity on Demand: An Interview with Dina Litovsky

At this point, you’ve published and exhibited widely, you’ve won various prizes that acknowledge your work, and yet you still talk about the challenge of photography, as well as experience the struggles of freelance work. How would you describe where you are now, in terms of your career with photography?

I’m writing about photography. Facebook hired me to write for their new newsletter platform, Bulletin, and for the next couple of years I will be writing for my photography newsletter, In the Flash, as pretty much a full-time job. I realized recently it’s the first real job I’ve ever had: I have to write five articles a month, which is a lot for someone who is not a writer, so I have to wake up and write, no matter how I feel. And when I don’t write I read as much as I can to improve my writing. This now takes most of my bandwidth.

It started to go this direction, though, because I actually got to a point with photography where I’ve stopped learning, or at least, the progress has really slowed down. I found that I can do some assignments with my eyes closed and still make good work. It somehow plateaued, and usually when I plateau at something, I quit, or I restructure what I’m doing. So, then writing came along, and I had to start from scratch. I’m thinking about photography, though, and that’s actually added to my practice, because I’m thinking through things that used to be just vague concepts. Now, when I write it down, I’m finally able to see: “Oh, that’s what I meant by this picture!” This better informs what I can do in the future.

So, I’m writing right now, and it’s really exciting because I’m often failing. It can be excruciatingly hard, but that’s what I like. I’m learning how to be a better writer and that’s exciting. It’s also making me more excited about photography, because it reveals things that I couldn’t get with the camera alone. With photography I thought I reached something of a dead end, and now, I feel like I’m going through this to the other side.

Riding The Dragon with Oktober