This first letter is from Amy Peyton, a friend in Oregon. I first met her a few years ago through a mutual friend, as she returned from her most recent experience living abroad. I look forward to seeing her again, very soon!
[Note: I’m in the midst of moving from Italy to the US right now, so instead of letting my blog sit idle I’m sharing some of my favorite images from the last two years of living in Italy and traveling in Europe. If you like them, you can vote for my portfolio in the One Life 2011 photography contest.]
Friday night I came home from work exhausted. I don’t know why, it hadn’t been a terribly stressful work week and I had a holiday on Thursday. Saturday morning I woke up looking forward to a morning on my own. My husband and son were heading off early to watch a bike ride and I had the house to myself. A rare treat. I sat at the computer to get into some of my creative work and what happened? Nothing. There was absolutely nothing there. No motivation, no inspiration, no creativity.
This had never happened to me before, around my creative work. This was new. This was scary. My mind quickly went from tired and unmotivated to panicked. So I took a deep breath. Centered myself. And then did something I never do: I turned off the computer.
Here’s what I did instead:
Took a bath.
Read a book in a sunbeam on the couch.
|(For info on how I processed this photo, see end of post.)|
I am so, so excited to tell you that registration for my Find Your Eye: A photo course with heart and soul is up on wishstudio.com! You can read the description of the course and get the registration details here. Instead of repeating the course description, today I want to share with you the story of what’s behind this course, where it came from, and why I’m doing it now.
For those of you who have read my blog for a while, you know what an amazing creative journey I have had during my time in Italy. (If you’re new here, you can get a sense of it from my About Me page.) I have come in to my creative, artistic self through my photography and experiences, and I’ve chronicled each little step and realization along with way here. Being able to say my mantra has taken a lot of personal work: I am an artist, my medium is photography, and I have a unique vision to show the world.
Along the way of realizing this truth for myself, I’ve realized that this is true for everyone. We all have a unique vision to show the world. Every one of us, whether we realize it or not. Whether we are able to see it and own it, or not. With that realization, came the growing feeling that I might have a way to help others interested in photography learn to see their unique vision, by tapping in to my experiences. I could help others to gain the confidence and freedom that has come for me, as I have found my eye.
This feeling started to grow on me, and I would jot down notes here and there. Ideas would come randomly during my walks or the shower – you know how creative ideas happen when you least expect them. I started to carry notebooks every where with me to capture these ideas so that they would leave me alone. After a while those ideas started to build themselves into a framework for the class. But not now, I would say to myself, I’ll wait until I move back home, to Oregon.
The ideas didn’t leave me alone. I call it my “creative nag.” All of the excuses I would come up with for not doing this now, my creative nag would slowly dispel them. Until finally, I relented. Six months ago, I sent an email to Mindy at wishstudio with this crazy idea of doing a photo course that was not like most photo courses out there, from a completely unknown quantity (me), and donating the proceeds to charity. Surprise of all surprises, Mindy was interested and even excited to see the proposal. You can see the result, it’s all coming together now…
I have been given a gift, with this experience of mine in Italy. I have been given a gift, by seeing how I can help others find their eye too. It is time to give that gift back to the world, and that is what the course is about. It’s not the usual digital photography course. Yes, there will be some on aperture and shutter speed and things like that – more to ensure that everyone has a foundation than to teach these in depth. That’s not what I really want to share with you. The core of the course is giving you tools and exercises that help you learn to develop, recognize and find your eye. Gain confidence in your unique vision of the world, the way you express your heart and soul in photography.
Are you ready to Find Your Eye? I hope so, because the world needs your unique vision too.
Yes, you. No, don’t look behind you. If you are reading this, I’m talking to you. I want to thank you for joining me here. Thank you for reading my words, commenting on the blog, dropping me a note via email, visiting me on Mortal Muses, liking me on Facebook. Even the lurkers who read via feed – I see my stats, I know you are there. And I’m thankful for you. The stats are not just numbers, they are connections. Each time I post, each time you visit, we connect. Thank you!
This blog and the interactions with you all in the online world have brought me so many wonderful things – it truly has been an amazing journey. Today I want to not only share my image and words, but a little something “real” with you too. To thank you I’m going to giveaway some of my new postcards, the Burano Color set. To win, leave a comment here on the blog through Monday. I know it’s a holiday weekend in the US, so I’m giving you some extra time! I’ll do a random drawing and announce it on Tuesday.
(You can find more info on the photos I used for the Burano Color postcard set in the following posts: Color is Like Music, Be Still My Heart, What do these colors make you think of?, Complimentary Color, Color and Texture)
Now it’s time to Hop! Link your blog in below, and join us in visiting blogs from all over the world. (If you want to display the link tool on your blog too, grab the code here.)
Oh, and by the way, thank you!
In the last day, I learned something new. Another piece of the puzzle that is me, my creativity, my art fell into place. I started to see how the exploration of other art provides insight into my own. Influences my own. Directly.
In September, during my solo weekend trip to Paris, I recognized that I was really drawn to colorful abstract paintings. In a post on that observation, I wrote:
Well, here it is, in the form of the colorful abstract images I captured in Burano a couple of weeks ago. My desire to capture color for color’s sake, the interest in the color and form as the primary elements of the photograph.
I’ve known for some time, that seeing art in its various forms has been a huge influence on me during my time for Italy. I’ve known that this is an important part of my creative journey. I’ve just never recognized the direct link between the two like this – the viewing/observation of an interest in other art and then the relationship to it in my own.
I think many people believe that my creative inspiration is all Italy. “Of course your photography is beautiful/great/improving, you’re in Italy!” I hear. But I know that’s not true. Being in Italy has helped me for sure, but only because it’s caused me to take an active role in exploring and observing and creating, and then learning from it all. I believe that you can too, no matter where you are in the world.