make the artist (adventure)


“We must first make the artist before we make the art. Out of nothing nothing comes.

About two years ago, maybe more,
I felt lost in my creative heart,
unsure of what I had to say or even contribute to the conversation.
I sat down with a massive piece of blanket paper
and listed all my loves, likes, inspirations, passions, curiosities,
I filled the empty page with words and scribble.
A process over days. It was every little thing.
I then grouped these under three words: HOME, HEART, ADVENTURE.

I decided to break these down and share my thoughts on these three words. They are not the usual "three words to describe your style" but help guide my creativity, my voice, my day. Each word is a tree with many branches and roots. Whenever I feel lost, and start to drift, I pull myself back to these words. They are my anchor, and my why.

I shared HOME and HEART here if you'd like to read that as well.

Adventure is my chaos, my curiosity, my wanderlust.

When we decided to pack up our young family of 5 ( my youngest was 6 months at the time) and move to Brazil, the comment that I heard most often was, “You’re so brave. What an adventure!”. I didn’t feel brave at all but knew it was an adventure for our family. I assumed everyone would say yes to this opportunity but quickly realised that many would say no. I was excited to step out of the box and try something new. It was a whole lot of new, more than I imagined, and a massive plate of chaos. It tipped my normal upside down and inside out. I didn’t know if I was failing or succeeding, but every day was certainly an adventure.

But I never understood that this adventure was an essential part of me until I did this process of writing down my inspirations. I felt it was something in the background rather than at the front. I couldn’t see how it connected to my creativity or my photography. I felt drawn to the calm in my work and focused more on the quiet than the chaos.

But a recent aha moment put it together for me. Technically, I am adventurous. I’m happy with blur and creating work that isn’t technically correct. I’m the happiest outside of the box with light, colour, and focus. Again, I thought I everyone would be glad to venture outside of the rules but have realised this isn’t true. Many feel most comfortable inside the rules.

It’s the chaos at the end of the seesaw with calm on the other side.

I now wear my adventure with pride. It’s the chaos at the end of the seesaw with calm on the other side. I may focus my camera on the still or the quiet, but I use chaos to add depth and story. It’s my voice in the scene, and it turned my art upside down and inside out.

Cindy CavanaghComment