Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Photo

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ticking Off the Bucket List

I started teaching a couple of new sessions at the Light Factory several weeks ago. Whenever I start a new session, I have everyone in the class introduce themselves, tell me what camera they're using and tell a little about why they are taking the class.
I had someone actually say that they signed up for my class as part of their bucket list. This was not an older person, mind you, but they were getting a jump on things.
It's kind of cool being on someone's "bucket list"... Not me, per se, but the act of learning something just for the simple pleasure of knowing something new. I love people like that.

I think when I left TV news to become a photographer, it was part bucket list, part escape from the extreme stress. Now that I've been crafting a new life for myself, I'm not always sure where day to day tasks end and the bucket list to do's begin. I think I'm OK with that.
I mean, with all the responsibility (taxes, health insurance, running a business anywhere but into the ground...) I still have the freedom to set my own course. If I were still in corporate America and the "powers that be" screwed up, I would be at the mercy of faceless upper management. If I screw it up, it's my own fault.... and as scary as that is in this economy, it's just as empowering.

I think I finally feel a connection to my pioneer great-great-grandmother. She built a life with her own hands on the banks of the Yellowstone... I'm building a life with my camera on the banks of the Internet.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creativity Conduit

There are many different ways to express your creativity. Luckily, how we harness and share that is determined mainly by us --- the creative people.

I never would have made the connection between Kevin Clash, an attractive 50 year old African American man, and some yardage of red, furry fabric. But the man has put his voice to that fabric and is able to touch millions (warning… this video made me cry joy tears). I’m sharing this link with you because it just made my day. I admire the man for his ability to touch hearts and funny-bones simultaneously.

As visual artists, we have tons of choices to help us express ourselves. It always torques me when I hear someone telling someone else, “You should be using this method” or “You aren’t a serious artist because you aren’t using this medium”… If it gets your message across, it’s art. Period. A big, slurpy raspberry to those who say otherwise!

Okay, that last bit is my childish way of battling my inner critics. It can be lonely exploring a new avenue of creativity. What if it doesn’t represent your voice? What if it doesn’t convey any message at all?

I keep dipping my toes in different mediums to see what comes out. Some experiments have been successful. They usually garner me financial gain or some sort of prestige. Some experiments have not been successful. Those are the ones that have gifted me with that emotional joyride. And to be totally honest, I can’t begrudge them. Ultimately, they are my own, however uncomfortable they are.

It’s time again for me to try to push myself into the uncomfortable realm of the potentially unsuccessful. The call has gone out for the Light Factory’s 4th Juried Annuale. Maybe I’ll put Elmo up in the studio for some inspiration.