I’ve been fortunate to have my photographs shown at a few different venues, (thanks to the Art Gods that be, and the mortals who support them), and it has gone better than I ever would have expected. I am happy and extremely grateful to dance through the doors of opportunity that have graciously opened for me.
However, it involves the daunting task of intensely scrutinizing my photos in a lame attempt to see my pictures through the eyes of other people, as if I really could. Without a filter of rational judgement and some self-love, my inner critic is off and running faster than I can say, Namaste.
I’m stymied by the process of deciding which of my pictures will appeal, artistically, to another person? I have taken photos that I knew that I would love even if no one else did but when I am trying to market them….I get a little queasy and a lot more uneasy. I can get lost in an endless loop searching for the perfect photo, (doesn’t exist), and wasting valuable time trying to get into the minds of other people. In the end, I just try to pick what I like, what moves me and I remind my inner critic, being a photographer, is a labor of love not a destination.
Well, the children have returned to school, finally, after their Christmas/New Year break. The first thing I did, and I felt slightly guilty and extremely decadent, I got a cup of coffee, snuggled down into my bed and read a whole book, cover to cover. I didn’t have one interruption and the silence was heavenly. It was a great start to 2014.
I had an amazingly creative and inspiring year and I needed a few days alone to process all the amazing things that happened to me in 2013. I should begin by saying that my motto for 2013, was to say Yes, to new experiences and opportunities where and when they appeared. If a door opened, even if I wasn’t exactly sure where it would lead, I said, Yes. I began to have faith in my intuition and artistic instincts and each step of the way, someone offered me advice and support to help me grow further.
Creatively, in 2013, I started selling my photo cards, after some prodding, at my friend Beth’s Store, (simplysoapsmv.com). Beth has been a huge source of support for me as she endlessly encourages me to believe in myself as an artist, so I said Yes. She is also an amazing Artist, business woman, and best friend, saying Yes to her was easy.
A few months later, at my local gym, the owner Holly, asked I could help her fill up a blank wall in the gym with my photographs? Um, Yes! Then, Holly suggested that I put prices on them and see if people would buy them, so I said, yup you got it, Yes. I arrived the next day to hang six framed photographs and before my class was over, I had sold them all. I couldn’t believe it. I would repeat this process three more times and each time the photographs sold out. I was delighted, terrified, and a totally flabbergasted, but so thankful that I said Yes. I am so grateful that Holly gave me this wonderful chance to display and sell my work.
A few months ago, Beth began offering different Artists the chance to have an art show at her store during the Holiday season. I was hesitant, probably fearful is a better word but I said Yes. I was able to sell my photographs and cards and my confidence continued to blossom. I have attended many art shows but have never been the subject of one and I learned more than I can say from that one experience. Yes! Thanks Beth.
As if my cup hadn’t already runneth over, I received the opportunity of a lifetime, going to Italy with Beth. She called last February and asked me if I wanted to go with her to Venice, Florence, and Rome for 10 days? I didn’t just say Yes, I shouted, YES, YES!! The trip changed me as a person and raised my artistic perceptions to levels I haven’t even processed completely. I was awestruck, inspired, and astounded by the beauty and the culture of Italy,. The country, the people, the food, the wine, and the art work, sublime, a totally out-of-body experience. Everywhere I went I snapped pictures on the move, clicking away on my camera like a maniac. I was spinning and whirling, pausing and shooting at a breakneck pace. I stopped so many times to take pictures, Beth was afraid she would lose me somewhere in Rome just turning in circles cackling with delight. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of buildings, canals, churches, bridges, mountains, cathedrals, museums, art, architecture, Pope Francis, and food, lots and lots of pictures of food.
What I learned from 2013 is that my dreams can be bigger and more limitless than I could imagine. If I can let go of my need to orchestrate my life and follow the breadcrumbs to where I supposed to go, my destiny unfolds in technicolor and with great clarity. Besides battling upstream is so much harder than traveling with the current. I found that I could put my energies to better use and push myself to grow, develop and to create in ways I have not yet explored or as yet discovered.
The people I have met on WordPress were among the first people who gave me the confidence to believe in myself when I finally summoned the courage to post my art. Each blogger has opened themselves up and shared their talents with me and others, and for that I am eternally grateful. Just seeing all the amazing work that creative people are contributing all over the world, humbles me. With just a click of a button, the blogging community embraces other Artists who have the courage and can bear the vulnerability and fear necessary, to reach out and claim their dreams. To say that I have been influenced, inspired and amazed by these fellow Artists, is an understatement. Thank you hardly seems enough but I am grateful for your contributions and for your kind support.
For 2014, my aim is to continue to grow as an Artist and as a person. I will move with purpose and faith to further propel myself beyond my own perceived boundaries,expectations, and self imposed limits . I will continue saying Yes to new opportunities as they appear in my life. I will continue to value the experiences and the people who have helped shape the Artist that I am today and the Artist I hope to be one day. Once I stepped away from fear and the negative nay-sayers, I found a community of fellow Artists who have encouraged, supported and inspired me every step of my journey. Here’s hoping 2014 exceeds all of our wildest expectations.
Wow, spring came so fast and with it the end of the school year and all the activities associated with ending the year and moving up a grade. I feel like I’ve been running at warp speed trying to prepare for the “lazy cool days of summer”. Don’t get me started on that topic as we tend to be even busier in the summer and by we, I mean me, taking them from one place to another, remembering swimsuits and towels, bats and balls, bubbles and more? I may officially apply for my chauffeur’s license by July.
Anyway, I have been taking pictures and working on getting them out into the world, more about that to come. But I wanted to share a photo or two and to thank you all for sharing your work and passions with me. It has changed my life.