Calm in the Chaos: the artist within
There is a moment in our photography journey when we realise that we want to do more than taking photos. It's a moment when our head (I want to remember this) meets with our heart (Oh, that light is so lovely). It's a buzz that is addictive, a desire to create, a story that needs to be told. We grab hold of it, sometimes by the tip of the tail, and we hold on. We read we learn; we shoot, we make. The tail swishes us around as we grow, as we make mistakes, and become an Artist.
Then we let go; I am not an Artist. I am not a creative. I am not a photographer. Our fear and self-doubt encourage us to let go of our creativity. It's wild and untamed. We reach for safety and comfort inside the box. And for a while, it feels good. We continue to shoot, to make, to take. We feel safe, and our work is safe. It's technically correct, and it tells our story. It's good.
But it's not great. We start to feel a longing for something else, something more. We long for depth; we want drama, connection and real emotion. We look outside of ourselves. We turn to social media, and we covet hearts or likes. We turn to pods and groups, hoping someone has the answer. Our voice, the creative one, gets softer and quieter. There is so much noise that we can't think, let alone create and imagine.
We search for calm when it is there all the time waiting patiently in the wings. You can't find the artist within by looking outwards. You find it when we run to grab the camera. You find it when we tap our husband on the shoulder as you drive along a country road and while they see miles of the same, you marvel at the endless beauty. You find it when we visit a museum, the farmer's market, or stop at our favourite cafe to enjoy a coffee. You find it when we celebrate the artist we are and the not the one that we want to be. It's found when we find calm in the chaos.
I write these words, not because I have the answers, but because I have made these mistakes. I know what you are feeling. I have looked out rather than in, and I have struggled. I wanted more and realised that I was letting labels like "Artist" get in the way. I feared someone would tap me on the shoulder and say " You don't belong here". But recently, after a whole lot of reflecting, I realised I feared something more: I feared not being the artist, the creative, the photographer, that I imagine. I fear this more, and when I felt the swish of the creative tail flick by me, I grabbed on.
And I can help you find the calm in the chaos, too, if you want. We are all on this creative journey together and being our best Artist is something to celebrate.
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