The Power of a Creative Sabbatical: Off to New York City.

As creatives, it’s our job to remain fresh and creatively inspired. How do you do that? Hang out with other artists? Go see a new band? Take a new route to work? Spend your lunch hour browsing in a bookstore?

Well, how about closing up shop for two months and going to New York City with the sole intention of soaking up the atmosphere and working only on personal projects?

That’s exactly what photographer and HIVE resident Chaz Cruz is planning to do. For the last few years, Chaz has run a thriving portrait and wedding photography business and has developed a reputation for getting shots that no one else does.

“I always ask my clients what make you you? What makes you tick?” he explains. “And then try to capture that.”

But Chaz felt in need for a little creative rejuvenation so he’s planning a two-month sabbatical to New York. “For the last two years I’ve only shot people. For these next two months, I want to shoot everything but people and do totally personal work."

Chaz was inspired by a TED talk given by noted designer Stefan Sagmeister who proposes the concept of the creative sabbatical. Sagmeister says taking time off from work to explore new avenues of inspiration can have big pay-offs in the form of higher levels of creativity and a renewed passion for your work.

Chaz is excited about the next two months. “I’ve already contacted a lot of photographers that I want to meet for coffee. I’ve seen their work and just want to get insights into how they work.”

Spending time on personal project should be a liberating experience. “Right now I just want to go out and shoot for myself,” says Chaz. “I want to grow as a person and an artist. Then my business can catch up.”

We’ll look forward from hearing from Chaz and seeing some work from his time off.

You can follow Chaz’s New York adventures at @chazcruz