Ishi’s Wise Words

I was reading a one-year old online magazine, Contra out of Toronto the other day. In their second issue they did a small interview with Ishi, a great Toronto-based fashion photographer. In it, Ishi points out:

“People tend to blame the environment for not doing so well but sometimes it’s up to you to create a certain environment for you to feel great in so that you’re feeling inspired.”

I couldn’t agree more. He goes on to say,

“I think 80 per cent of people have told me I have to move to a certain place if I wanna do the work. I personally don’t believe in any of that; I believe that if people want something, they’ll get it and they’ll move their schedule around.”

It’s true! I often finding myself blaming my environment, the place where I am in the world for not supplying me with the talent and inspirations that I want. So many talented folks move away from the West (understandably so). But just imagine if we all stayed in Canada. What a large pool of talent there would be! It’s like, as soon as someone starts to become half-good around here their vocabulary is reduced to two words: “New York”. I’m not saying that Vancouver or Toronto or even Canada could ever hope to measure up to NY, not in a 100 years! But what about in 101? Huh!?!? People – think about it: Fashion comes from different places! Take Milan 60 years ago. It was a dirty, industrious, post-war city devoid of all couture or anything glamorous. 60 years ago, Italy had no fashion industry. A few hard working folks stayed put, right there in Milan and helped to make Italian fashion: Ottavio Missoni, Guccio Gucci, and (latter) Giorgio Armani. If we all leave all the time, then we will always be leaving.

Me, I’m staying put. Well, not totally, the move out of Victoria will come soon enough but the West Coast is where I want to stay, it’s my home. Let’s make something of it here! I’m not saying that it has to be couture, or indie or any other genre. It can be new or pull inspiration from the past or other places in the world (like New York, or anywhere!). Maybe you don’t like the look of the next guy’s work. So!? Go and make your own shit!

We must learn to be happy where we are.

Ishi Studios
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