I don’t, for one second, take for granted that I get to create art and capture precious memories for others. Or that I’m realizing a lifelong dream and taking what once was a passion and turning it into what I pray will be a long, inspired, service-oriented – and yes passion-filled – career. More importantly, one that honors the One who gave it to me.
Creating art for others simply feeds my soul. But somewhere along the way—and I know this is something a lot of my friends and family struggle with as well— I’ve lost a bit of the hunger to create for myself. To play. To explore. To find inspiration not only in the brightest of days, but also in the uncertainty. Or maybe life just happened and I forgot to carve out a little space for myself in which to create and play and dream. Perhaps I’m just afraid of sacrificing one thing for another…of being able to do both and do them well. I’m quite sure it’s a combination.
I do long to create. God wants me to create. I feel called to create. Sadly, I don’t give myself permission to do more of it just for me. I know if I did, it would only enrich my art, my relationships and my well-being, as well as recharge that initial passion I had for it. So much easier said than done. But I’m working on it…
And this was my first self-imposed assignment in a very long time:
I’ve had this session “brewing” in me for a while but wasn’t quite sure what it looked like or how I was going to execute it. I was kind of scared of it. I buried it. I could see it getting a little too “dark”. Until last month when everything fell into place and the timing was right. I knew I wanted to depict a combination of darkness and light, sanguine and melancholy, quiet and chaos, the calm in a storm. The juxtaposition of beauty…and imperfection.
I tapped one of my faithful muses—my 10-year-old niece Sailor who’s no stranger to my camera, to be the star of my “story” and, after a quick styling (again wasn’t sure what I was going to do with her but it all came together perfectly) we set out into the woods on a chilly February afternoon. With barren branches and fallen trees as our backdrop, I reveled in capturing her beauty, innocence and light. Childlike faith. Hope. Courage.
Two literal symbols are present in this session (something I don’t typically do but felt compelled to for at least a couple images) – a white butterfly and a dove. I’ll spare you the details as to what each means to me personally because this session encompasses so many themes and emotions. All of them complicated yet so simple. And I think I’d rather keep a little piece of this story just for me. It’s the beginning of my journey to create more for myself. Thank you for being a part of it.