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I get my ideas anywhere, at any time; I don’t have to be specifically doing anything. I keep a diary at home and make notes of any thoughts I have, and then when a job comes up, I see if there’s anything in it that applies. I’m a workaholic, and I’m quite driven. I can’t switch off. Even when I was on holiday recently, I wanted to get away from taking photographs and just go somewhere else in my mind. I wouldn’t take my camera out with me, but I would still see pictures all the time and think: ‘Oh god, I wish I had brought my camera.’

People can be very inspiring – they can make you see that there’s a life beyond what you’ve learnt at school. When I was 12, my grandmother knew a painter who was friends with Modigliani and Picasso. I used to be painted by her and she would talk to me about art and imagery, and I think that was my first introduction to the creative mind.

I guess you must learn to be creative. I learnt photography when I picked up my first camera at 19. I started by taking photographs of my boyfriend and then my girlfriends. I have a very distinctive taste for the things I like to photograph, and that’s a very solitary creativity, in a way. I’ve always known what I’ve liked and I’ve always gone in the opposite direction of everyone else. I get bored easily of seeing the same thing over and over.

A very big source of inspiration for me is music – it brings atmospheres alive. I really believe you have to have time off to be creative, which is why I don’t have a darkroom. If I did have one, I’d spend my whole life revolving around photography, and then I wouldn’t get any inspiration to take pictures. I wouldn’t say that documentary photography is more creative than fashion photography, it’s just that documentary photography is more important for me because it’s something I’ve lived. It’s much more deep. Whereas when you’re creating an image, you’re just using your imagination, so it’s not so emotional.

-Creativity-Corinne Day (2002) The Observer (Sunday 22nd September 2002) -Kate Mikhail

The interview gives an insight into Day’s way of thinking and working. What stands out to me is her desire to be different. This whole aspect of her work distinguishes her images from the genre to that it relates, and draws the viewer in deeper to what Day describes as a more ’emotional’ documentary rather than a created image. She doesn’t associate the use of imagination with her work, yet a sense of realism of which she has lived, thus deeper. It’s not to say that Day’s work lacks without imagination, yet is enriched through direct inspiration and influence of the documented moment. Day refers to people as inspiring, and photographs that inspiration without fictional airbrushing, yet again going in the ‘opposite direction’. Day really draws from the world, learning to be creative, learning to photograph her time off from being creative, and presents the viewer with real and raw sense of music and fashion.

Questions raised from Corinne Day work discussion:

  • ‘heroin chic’ What is this? Why is it significant? How is it used in her work? Negative connotations?
  • ‘anti-glamorous’ Is this true? In what way? New type of glamour?
  • every day life What would this be for Day? …for a model?Does it reflect accurately?


Originally posted by joshuahastingscmp on October 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm


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