My Momma the other day "You are never going to draw again!". The words hung sticky and sad. Weighting me down. I know those words weren't meant to hurt me. They were coming from a place of fear. Her fear, not mine. Yet they did sting. Somehow I was no longer living up to her divine destiny for myself. This feeling has kept me from so many things these past decades. Now I am taking a position of choice, not obligation to follow or disregard these vast and varied hesitational fears from those I love and respect. In honor of myself, my happiness and my life.
These words were brought on by a purchase. I had Just bought a new camera. I am in love with it! Beautiful dynamic range. Images sharp as a tack. A sophisticated tool to help me achieve not only my goals but my artistic vision. While I do posses a spontaneous side. I someone obsessively mull over decisions. I enjoy being educated, informed, knowledgeable about whatever I am about to undertake. This camera was no different. I weighted the cost, image quality, handling, warranty, manufacture, on and on and on. An exhausting amount of hours and brain energy went into the purchase of this camera. I should think my obsessive self for sparing me for buyers remorse. All of this effort put towards this decision felt deluded and in vain at the mercy of her words.
Yet, I am happy. But maybe not everyone else is. They have ideas, these other people. Notions of what and how my life should be. These ideas coming from other people have been plaguing me for far to long. I know I am not the only artist in the history of the world, to suffer at the words of others. And I know I will not be the last. The key is to acknowledge then choose. Choose to heed their calls of dissatisfaction or not. I am thankful for my weeks and moments spent in "The Artist Way". The insights I have gained. As well as the friendships I formed. It has been pivotal to this moment now. This moment of disregarding others vision of my life and supposed happiness.
You see I have always loved. I mean LOVED Art! All forms, textures and layers. The theater excites me. Music has the power to bring me to tears. The artistic vision of a fine chef can be enlightening sensual and broad. The written word is like directly speaking to someone's soul. It is my belief that Art is where humanity truly lives. In the expressed pain and beauty of those not only sharing it but also those witnessing and partaking in the Art. I would do it all in a heartbeat. Write, act, sing, document, craft, build, paint, sculpt, make, design on and on. I would leave no stone unturned, no medium left unexplored. Perhaps that is a life goal of mine.
When those words left my beautiful mothers lips. I was taken back to all the times before, when I was more or less told "No, Not you". My Aunt gave me my first camera when I was 11. A little Kodak, It was awesome!
and then another lovely camera when I was a teenager. These cameras gave me the power to stop the world. To freeze, magnify and explore my vision of what I experienced. Rolling out the film, slipping it to its designated home inside my camera. The snap and subtle shake of the shutter. Popping the rolled film out, The weight of the film in my hand and anxiously taking it to be developed and waiting even more anxiously for the development to be complete. The glossy metallic feel of the negatives. The bulk of a folder full of photographs waiting to be mulled through. Have you ever torn a photograph? Of course you have! Even the feeling of ripping a photograph is so satisfying. These little precious objects, printed paper. that when it is good and right, it is cherished preserved. Passed down.
The process. I love process and I love the process of photography. I excitedly took photography in high school. The scientist in me falling in love with the chemical reactions. It seemed like the perfect melding of my love of Art and Science. I started to more clearly flush out a career direction, a life direction. Who knows how old I was when I first peeked inside a National Geographic. Small tot I am sure. Without a doubt I was in awe. I can not recall ever not wanting to be those people. Not the ones you see but the ones behind the lens. I was stepping into something that spoke to me. That called to my heart. Yet is was all brushed aside so quickly. By words. Words of friends and loved ones. "But your thing is art, not photography" "Why do you have to take everything" "But you're not planning on doing anything with it" "This is just a phase you'll get over it" "Your painting are so much better". I stopped photography to stop the words. To stop the hate and the shame. Their tactics worked. What a shame isn't it. All those years hiding a passion away like a dirty secret. Even now I feel the residual hesitation when I post a photo on social media.
I believe Art is like Love. There is enough for everyone! In it lies pain and heartache but also beauty and worth. My love for photography does not diminish my own love of painting or anything else. Nor does it diminish your own. My love of painting does not make your love of painting or want of painting any less worthy. There is enough for everyone. Humanity becomes richer for every artistic input. regardless of skill level or talent. I want to live in a world thick of Artistic visions. Thankful that we do. So add yours. Cause I am adding mine.
May your heart be light, your hands never idle and your mind inspired