Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Artist Inside

My college photography professor was exactly what I needed in a professor. He was easy to read in someways, like if he really wasn't too impressed, but he never would just straight cut me down. There were plenty of professors like that. The ones that just saw all my work as something to criticize. And if it hurt my feelings, well then I was taking things too personally. Well, except for that one time. The time I bawled hysterically to a professor. I told him he never told me what I was doing well. And there was a lot more going on in my life than just his class. From that day on he started telling me positives. And giving me hugs. Other students said it was needed. Anyways, thats getting away from the point.

My photography professor was the one who told me I should major in photography. I think he also knew I was never going to make too much money taking photographs. At least not in a studio or with a private business. He knew I loved people, traveling, emotion, and art. Maybe he knew I should keep with it because he too loved photography and didn't make that much money. I mean he taught at a private Christian college. I can easily forget a lot of things. Especially in school when you are being told so many things at once. But I remember almost word for word certain things he would tell me. One thing I tell myself still almost every time I take is pictures is that I do not need fancy equipment to take pictures. When I went to JBU there were lots of kids that just had money. Well their parents had money. Some of them had way nicer cameras than me and they didn't even take photography. My professor knew I was always struggling to print my books and for supplies mostly because of the money. He told me though that things like lighting and composition are what make truly beautiful pictures. If I could take great shots with whatever camera was given to me, then one day if I had the top of the line equipment, my work would just be that much better.

Sometimes I get frustrated when I look at other people's photography or moms that take pictures of their children and blog. Everything is just so clean and crisp and clear. There is always someone doing it better. Andrew and I talked last night about how money really does help people. I mean, money is power. But in the end I don't think it really is. Passion is power. Passion will bring a person so much farther in life than money. I tell myself that actually taking pictures more often is what will make me better.

I think a big part of motherhood that is especially hard for me as a creative type is that I have little time to create. I have another artist mom friend. She feels the same way. Although now I guess she has just given up sleep and maybe cleaning her house to pursue her dreams. She inspires me daily by her ability to create with a one and two year old running around. I admire her creativity and passion in keeping with her little business. She has started to become noticed more and more in the last few months. Her work is popping up everywhere. I think she started with pillows and has worked to banners. Visit her shop. She is awesome.

Sometimes I wonder what it is I should be creating. I mean other than babies. I seem to be pretty good at that.

I think photography is hard in this stage of life because my hands always seem to be full. But I am writing this to inspire myself. To remind myself there is something out there somewhere, that I will stumble upon and capture just the way I have been wanting to.

For whatever reason I have always been drawn to Sylvia Plath. She was the poet I picked to study in my high school creative writing class. I think I thought she was edgy. However at seventeen there was very little of her work I actually understood. Now as an adult and mother I enjoy reading her work much more. I am reading through her personal journals at the moment. I am in her journal from her first year of college, and in one part she describes having this feeling like she is on the very brink of something. Maybe it is an idea or a revelation. She knows it is there but can't quite reach it. This is why I love reading her words. She describes life in such a detailed and poetic way. She has written out the feelings I have had fifty years before I had them. I feel like there is something I can't quite grasp. Some sort of expression I have that is yet to be discovered. Maybe some of you are wondering if I am a little crazy. I think most artists are. Maybe thats why we dye our hair blue and walk off the path a bit.

I am a mother at home. Changing diapers and sweeping the floors. But most of the time there is a world behind that image. One that I try to grab and bring forth. I know I had my babies because I am in love with the human experience. I wanted to carry life and feed my babies with my own body. Just like I wanted to experience India and Spain, I wanted to experience having babies. Plath writes about how she would like to live a hundred different lives, of all types, just so she could experience more of humanity. Maybe I write all of this just to tell myself I am more than a mother. I love being a mother. But that is just part of me. And writing and creating is what reminds me.

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