Isn’t it funny to recall the way you thought a few years ago? The things that made sense to you, and the things you were so sure of; sometimes you look back and think “wow, I was so weird/ I was such an idiots sometimes.” But maybe you look back and you miss that mind. I miss my high school mind sometimes, because I took on challenges I created for myself with that “why not?” mindset. The photographer in me was obsessed. I asked everyone I knew to model for me. I would have them come over after school, and then I would do their makeup and dress them in clothes I splurged on at the salvation army (40% off Wednesdays whooop!). I craved the bizarre. The more out-of-the-box the better. Art for art’s sake, and art because I loved it.
Then you get to school and you learn the do’s and dont’s of photography. You learn wonderful things and you fall in love with light. You learn all the technical things you thought were once so out of your capacity for understanding. But you have to be so careful to not lose a once motivated mind. It’s still there, but it’s scared to come out because the last time you used it, you overexposed, you had uneven lighting, and you were out of focus. You realize you neglected that side of you to be correct. You need to be a perfectionist. I get it, you artist you.
But remember, you can only be so correct in the technical parts, and then you are just as good as the other people who have mastered the technical parts too. You only get better when you push your creativity further than technically correct. Sometimes your own guidelines are the most important. When you are finished with the school’s guidelines, do some shots for you. Even if it isn’t photography. Maybe it’s writing, cooking, decorating or building something. You know you more than I do. Didn’t you know you are still allowed to play? 🙂
This past Monday I did a bit of LA exploring with my good friend Will (you can check out his stuff here! http://willnavarrophotography.com/home). This chaotic and colorful land of concrete holds much in store for me. Adventures and experiences do not appear out of thin air. They wait for you to find them. It is an exciting game that many people opt out of playing. I can’t live a life where I am stuck at start. Being afraid eventually fuels the excitement that evolves into fun. And boy, do I like fun.
I feel like my brain is always at war with itself. My right brain is an this forever active eccentric lunatic, throwing fits when I don’t make the time to release creative energy. I always find things during the day that inspire me, and tuck them away into a corner of my noggin to attack later. My right brain hates this, but the logical left side of my brain reminds me that I have school, and work, and groceries to buy and assignments to plan…the list is quite daunting. Recently I have become anxious because I have stored so many ideas away, that I have forgotten what excited me about them in the first place. As the ideas pile, I become overwhelmed and start to dismiss the projects that once sparked that passionate artist in me. This makes me sad and frustrated, and I feel guilty for not feeding this creativity that has gotten me to where I am today.
So for my New Years resolution, I decided to paint a new painting each week. I don’t mean to start a painting to only let it die in its beginning sketched out stages; I need to dedicate time to my art. It feed my souls and makes me happy, and It’s an easy promise I can make to myself. I am aware I am in a time in my life, like so many people, where there are so many things to accomplish that require our full attention. But it is important not to forget what you thrive on. In my case, as an artist, I thrive on creativity and turning inspiration into a tangible expression. But we all have the simple things in our life that make us happiest; the things that drive us to better ourselves as human beings. Don’t abandon the simple things, because chances are they will always bring joy to your life. Self fulfillment ins’t a luxury, it’s a choice.
I want to capture confidence. There is no other feeling like knowing where your feet stand and in what direction you look towards. We are humans, and we have moments where we have no idea what path we are on, or even if we are on a path at all. I have been there and so have you. But you can keep venturing on until you figure it out. During your journey, through it’s ups and downs, you may discover something about yourself. I found that if I clean my whole office (organizing, redecorating and clorox wiping EVERYTHING) I get into this creative zone where I feel like I can tackle any idea. I keep learning things about myself and finding different sources of inspiration. When I finally decide I have found a path to follow, the things I learned when I was struggling a bit made me more confident to take on this new journey.
When I left San Diego for school, I left a best friend. She is a beautiful soul who found a passion for photography before I did. In sharing that love for seeing the world composed behind a lens, she sparked inspiration in me to follow this artistic path. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her. She was the matchmaker of the camera and I.
I had the chance to come home and photograph her for a change. We took a trip down to a local winery on a beautiful overcast day (yes! I love that overcast!). I don’t even know how many times I made her jump in between those rows of grapevines. I can tell you it was a lot. Of course, she was willing. She understands the persistance that has to be behind every shot, just so you can get that perfect one. She also knew I was lying every time I said, “Okay, okay. Last jump. I promise. Alright step back a tad, make sure your arm is more at your side…okay onetwothree jump!” She is the best.