I am going to share a little secret with you: a before and after of one image. It’s something I rarely show. Are you ready to peek behind the curtain?
I’m not going to discuss politics or how I feel about the election results this week. A lot of other people are doing that already. What I will say is that this week was an emotional one and I had to find a way to cope with all of it. Aside from hugging Bruno (who’s not a fan of hugs) and eating ice cream (something I already turn to in difficult times) I decided to use the act of creating as therapy.
Who out there hasn’t experienced a creative slump? At some point every creative ends up facing a creative block. We can’t keep it from happening, but we can learn to cope effectively with it when it does. Otherwise, it’s too easy to fall into the head games and that can have serious setbacks. The strategies below have all worked for me and although the examples are specific to photography the same strategies can work for all creatives.
[This is a guest post written by Amy from PhotoOrganize.me]
“What do a computer hard drive and a gerbil have in common? Their average lifespan is about 3-5 years.” – T.E. Ronneberg
Curling and perhaps cracked around the edges, your grandparents’ black-and-white wedding photos stand a better chance of surviving than your own digital photos.
The dreaded question: Practically every time I tell people I am graduating from an MFA program I get the question: “What are you going to do with that?” and my answer is usually “um…” While it’s a valid question the undertone is more about why I would choose to go for an advanced degree in the arts. The question implies that an MFA is not only a waste of time and money, but an endeavor that won’t provide anything worthwhile. The question irritates me because of the implications it has, and because I don’t have a good elevator pitch. And I can’t help but wonder if those pursuing an MBA get asked the same thing as often.
Be authentic, they said… Be yourself, they said… But what if you’re not in the best of moods? How can you be authentic without telling the truth? There’s no denying that this time of year can be difficult for many (myself included). As artists we have the option to create something that speaks about our feelings; something beautiful can come from our pain. This allows us to be authentic and true to ourselves while at the same time putting something positive out into the world.
So here I am being authentic.
A TV commercial for some pickup truck, that’s how it all began. In the commercial the girl puts her surfboard into the back of her truck right next to a pier (which, by the way, could never happen because you can’t park right under/next to a pier like that). When I saw the pier I thought ‘that looks just like Venice Beach Pier’ and then the girl drives away and right under the Venice Beach sign. That’s when it hit me: all the piers in California are different. And so it began.
“Making money to support your art is not selling out. Allowing others to determine its direction, is.” – Colin Wright
This quote expresses clearly a concept that has been in my head for several months now and I have been debating whether or not to publish this post for a while. It’s never easy to share personal struggles, but my hope is that for every post I share there might be a person out there who realizes they’re not alone. So, here goes.
Look around today and you’ll see a multitude of books on mindfulness, living in the moment, finding meaning and simplifying your life. There seems to be a shift in this direction, or maybe that’s what I see everywhere because my life is shifting in this direction. The things I have lived through during the past four+ years have led me to radically change my values and the pursuit of a simpler and more meaningful life has become my focus (no pun intended).
Last fall I received an email I thought was spam. Someone contacted me and asked if I would be interested in partnering with Pottery Barn and become one of their artists. I thought it was a joke. Turned out it wasn’t. I kept it secret while we were in negotiations because I actually was afraid it might not happen. But it did. It is an incredible honor that I my work is part of Pottery Barn’s wall art collection. The whole process was really interesting.