Exercise and creativity, they go hand in hand. Photographer Alex Drewniak tells how running shapes her day, influences her work and controls her mindset.
Tell us about what you do?
I’m a photographer and I shoot music and fashion. Music – live music, artist press shot, festivals, I go touring with artists. And on the fashion side of things – events, first looks, backstage for VAMFF, street style … every now and then.
How do you find running helps with your creativity or work?
There are two parts for me. One part is it allows me to clear my head completely. It is so weird the headspaces you go through when you’re running. At first you’re like shit, why am I doing this? Regret. You can stop right now if you want to. The next part is you’re going through the list of the day, it is really mundane boring shit. And then you get to this point of clarity, almost, for me anyway, where I go cool, what’s next? What future projects, collaborations? Where am I at? The second part for me is also to do with focus and endurance stuff. Sometimes at fashion week we were shooting from 7am through to nighttime and then editing for another three hours for seven days straight. There is a physical, active side to it, my camera is heavy, you have to be relatively fit. Also focused. You can’t become complacent at the end of a shoot, because you’re directing to a certain degree.
“I find that when I’m running it is like this meditative state where you’ve learnt to control your thoughts.”
Where are your favourite places to run?
I live in Melbourne and I like running the streets in my neighbourhood. I just moved to Brunswick. It is also a good way to work out where my local is – coffee, the supermarket. Also, Princess Park, it is a 3.5km loop, so green, other runners in the park, it is a good vibe. I feel comfortable running there at 6am in the morning and at 2am in the morning. Sometimes when I’m coming out of the studio and I feel like I haven’t expelled enough energy or I’m feeling claustrophobic – it is lit up well and I feel safe there.
Do you listen to music when you run?
Yes, lots of different types. Sometimes I run to classical, sometimes to gangster rap. I’ll listen to Kendrick Lamar album or the other day I was listening to The Kooks – feel-good vibes. It just depends on where my headspace is at.
When you travel, is running something you do?
100 per cent. I went on tour last year with this artist called Tigerlily – we did four months together in North America and Europe. We were staying in hotels with really shitty gyms, or sometimes no facilities whatsoever or just weights and so we would just run. Because we had just half an hour between and we would get to see the city and get a bit of a vibe because you’re there for such a short period of time. Because with tour scheduling you’re in an airport, in a plane, in a hotel, in a club, so that half an hour just keeps you sane. Fresh air.
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