I think it's human nature to want to expand and grow. From the moment we come into this world we are continuously transforming ourselves into better versions than we were the day before. As an artist, I can tell you that learning new things, trying new techniques, playing around with new concepts is what keeps my passion and energy alive. It's funny what a positive and negative place the internet can be. For me, I look to other people exploring their craft and sharing it online as a source of inspiration, a place to glean creative energy, and a community of people who have similar interests that I have. I follow photographers that are a million times better with their lenses than I am as a constant reminder of what cool things you can do in this field, and new skills I could potentially learn. I've used this platform many times to say that art is subjective, but I also want to remind anyone that needs to hear this right now that just because someone else is doing great does not mean you aren't also doing great. You do not have to, and shouldn't, measure your success on someone else's rise or fall.
So often the dark side of the internet is bullying, criticism, and a place where people can maliciously connect with artists. This makes me sad. I've never understood why people who don't like someone follow them to purposely wait to see them fail so they can feel better about themselves, or visit their websites to remind themselves how much they don't like their work. This is a place of happiness people! The world is hard enough.
In a space where you are constantly watched, and not always for positive reasons, it's easy to be shy about being vulnerable. Trying new techniques can be scary. Inspired by my wonderful photographer friend April, I've wanted to get into more photoshop. I personally don't photoshop my photos very much, but to April it's a skill that is used as beautifully as a chef uses seasoning. It can be a tool if you know how to wield it. I will say after an intense 40 hour course I'm still no where near her level of craftsmanship, and my appreciation for her abilities has grown ten fold, but I also feel a reguvination that I haven't had in a while. I have a new skillset to help me grow as an artist.
While COVID is at different levels for everyone now, some having been back to work fully for a while now, and others still wearing masks and teleworking away, it's easy to feel a little disconnected with where we should all be. Screen time is more prevalent than it has ever been, and burnout for all work and life stress levels is all too real. It's easy in an environment like this to feel unmotivated to move forward with things you once had great passion or love. I know I've been guilty of ignoring the writing I typically do and haven't practiced new photo techniques. That was why sitting down and locking myself away from everything else while I took this course was truly important. I wanted to have that energy a student has, the laser focus on just one thing without worry about scheduling, emailing, or giving that energy to other things. While I've learned a myriad of things over my course, a concept kept me doodling during my breaks and after our class was over at night.
I recently discovered a fantastic, not truly- I'm so impressed by her skill it's hard to find her real and not a magical unicorn - painter. She comes to weddings or events and in the course of four short hours she paints a scene from the day on canvas. Her images are so incredible it go me thinking about how cool photographic moments look as a different form of art. I started to play around with images I had taken, what if I threw in an artistic interpretation here and there along with the original?
You may or may not like this technique. I think it's really cool and started having so much fun creating them. I can see how many would find this to be lame, and probably something that was popular five years ago LOL (I'm always a bit vintage). For me it was how excited and inspired I got doing it that mattered. I felt creative again. In a year where it's been hard to just tread water, taking time for myself to actually grow and not have to fight against that growth or split the time with something else gave me a refreshed perspective.
While I have a ton of photoshoots coming up and from the past to still share with you, I encourage you as you move into fall to find some time for yourself and be honest about your interests. What inspires you, who inspires you, how does that inspiration translate? Can you grow from it. I plan to share some of my favorite artists on here too, as well as some things I love, to hopefully share some of the love and admiration I have for fellow creators. Keep it positive people.