I believe every individual who is deeply in tune with their creativity finds themselves in a slump here and there. Sometimes I look at my hands and I wonder how we got so lucky to have such useful, weird-looking body parts. Other times I look at my hands and I want to damn them for not conveying the things stuck in my mind in one creative outlet or another.
For as long as memories have been made in my head, I can recall being exposed to creativity. My mother is an artist in every possible definition of the word. I often wonder what would have become of her if she never released all of her creative energy… would it build up into something beautiful or explode into some awful mess?
In many ways I envy my mother. Perhaps it comes with more maturity, but I cannot seem to understand why I never see this woman in her creative slump. A slump of emotion, perhaps… but what does she do with it??? She CREATES! It drives me nuts. While I mope around the house in mis-matched socks and tap my fingers on my chin with indecisiveness I am guaranteed to come across her working on some project. This morning I woke up to her in her studio that sits beside my bedroom crafting a tag to attach to one of her up-cycled pieces of furniture. I walked into the hallway to go to the bathroom and had to make sure to not kick my foot into the basket of handmade jewelry and painted creations sitting outside my door. Once I make it downstairs, I found her sitting on the porch staring at my childhood playhouse that she has decided to repaint on a whim and turn into a guest cottage. She bugged me to get out of my mood and get moving this morning so we could get out for a bit and I didn’t want to have any of it. I just wanted to DO something, and while I am surrounded by the millions of things my mother seems to do, I found myself getting more and more annoyed. It was all at myself of course… unfortunately falling off of my being with a crabby attitude as my mom shot out idea after idea of things we can do here and there. I do not think I will ever understand how this woman can make anything into something else, but maybe I’ll get there some day.
The thing is, while I joke with my mother about how we can’t eat at the dining room table when I visit home because its covered in her latest creative endeavor 99% of the time, I adore her and the creativity that she has sewn into my being from the start. It’s a huge blessing to be welcomed home by her mind and I do not think our home will ever look the same on one day as it does the next. She keeps me busy and helps fight my lazy energy with inspiration. It is an awesome thing, but why am I so persistent about digging these giant holes in my mind when I’m in a slump that are way too high for me to easily climb out of?
I am eager to photograph people, to write, to draw. I am eager to make my environment better and more cozy with every day. I am a lover of the light and I fall in love with my glass prisms more and more every sunset. I love the way things look- yet I love to hide it all from other people as well.
I am torn by my eager ability to make good things and yet an absence of desire to share them. It’s difficult for me to be so full of ideas that would allow me to celebrate another human being by simply catching a photo of them laughing when I am often so afraid to take that first step and be able to photograph them. It is not that I fear making less than “quality” work- I fully accept and have made peace with the concept that to make great work, I have to start somewhere small (Often meaning photos/etc. that I am not satisfied with. It happens!)… I believe I fear catching people’s interest. I am a people watcher but not a people person. I absolutely love figuring out what things people do that make them who they are and capturing it is so special to me. I believe that idea is what sums up my love for portrait photography in a whole. Yet, I worry too much that I bug people. It is such an annoying character flaw for me to have and it stands in the way of SO much of my work. There are days where I find myself developing an incredible vision of capturing someone’s presence, yet I hold it in the back of my mind that I would not want to take time out of their day to have a camera in their face. It is a weird idea because I know I am harmless, and I know my intentions. I know how happy taking pictures makes my spirit, and I know that the people I photograph would not let me do so if they did not want me to in the first place. Why, then, do I stick myself in this slump-y attitude?!
Two people who I sincerely cherish dearly told me that in all photography that I do, I need to shoot selfishly. I need to remember that I am shooting because I want to be taking my time to do so. It’s supposed to be fun, after all. I am a photographer because I love what I do. I do it for myself and I feel good when I do have something to share with those I photograph. I do not take pictures to get likes on Instagram or any other form of social media (seriously, who gives a shit?) and I do not take pictures to make money. I am happy when I put my creative energy out. I am happy when I have photos to look at. I am happy that I have the opportunity to photograph beautiful people. I am happy that I have made a business out of it. It’s a cool lil thing and it is well in my soul- I just have to make peace with myself sometimes.
I need to make peace with myself now. Maybe I need a bubble bath or a good cry. I wonder that if I was a wine drinker I would be having a glass and singing along to some top 40 song about how I’m a strong woman who don’t need no man right about now. Maybe I just need to suck it up. I’ll probably just rearrange my bedroom furniture as I always do when I have an internal conflict (it’s a blessing in disguise that furniture is my downfall & not the wine I previously mentioned) and then go to bed. One way or another, I’ll make peace with myself.
I hope to wake up tomorrow morning and be out of my slump. Maybe I’ll crave a cup of coffee (with two sugars and a dot of half and half) and I’ll wear my favorite shirt. Maybe tomorrow I’ll take the best photo I’ve ever taken. Maybe.
I’ll get somewhere. I’m on a creative journey and I’m in a creative slump. It is all alright and I am blessed to be on this journey on the first place.
Thanks for following me as I take it on.