When I was in college I went to school for a good seven years. Yup, I said it. Two at a community college and five at James Madison University. The first year at JMU I thought I wanted to get into a program called “SMAD” – Students of Media and Design. I believed that I was going to be photojournalist. To get into this intense program one had to pass the intro exam. A whole semester later of learning about the birth of NBC and radio I took the exam & failed. My dreams of being a National Geographic Photojournalist were over but like other kids my age I was on the hunt to find my niche so I kept going. I KNEW something was missing in my life so I had to get back to my core – art. I became an art major. YES YES YES, I knew I was on to something here. My soul lit up when any conversation about Andy Warhol or art came up. After getting advice from some wise friends I decided to pursue graphic design, after all it paid well right? I loved EVERY ASPECT of being an art major. My creative juices were flowing and I was surrounded with like minded people who saw the world differently like me. I WAS LOVING THIS MAJOR until it was time to take my first graphic design class. I just wasn’t getting it. I could draw naked ladies all day long but lining up fonts just had me stumped. I thought, “I’ll get this eventually” and stuck with it for years. I was a class or two away from graduating with this degree. I had several professors approach me and express that this didn’t seem like my “niche” and that maybe I should rethink this major. Oh boy was that a blow to the heart. It wasn’t until one day I had a breakdown in my car before a typography class. My project wasn’t done and I was so far behind. It was one of those moments where you know you need to let go of your pride and realize you failed, AGAIN. I walked into class and told the teacher I was switching majors. So what if I had to be there ANOTHER year to complete my photography degree. I did it. I switched! I loved my photography classes and jumped out of bed with excitement to finally go to a major that felt right. The thing that I loved most was that my professors encouraged us to tap into our souls and really create personal work from the heart. I miss those days. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond grateful that I get to be a wedding photographer and be a part of someones love story. How incredible and honorable is that!?? But I am more then a wedding photographer; I’m a street photographer, a fashion photographer, a portrait photographer, a creator, and an artist. I miss those improv photo shoots where I would call my friends and ask them to dress up in trash bags just because I had a vision.
Or when I would have my friend Kyle come into the studio and put pipe cleaners in his hair just because I wanted to give his dreads extensions 😉
What happened to those visions? Those last minute, sporadic shoots were so fun. I WANT MORE OF THAT. 2016 is the year I want to get personal & creative again. I don’t know how I am going to do that, or what that entails but its going to happen. I actually WANT to wake up at 3 in the morning so excited about a wild idea that I can’t fall back asleep. Creativity comes when we put forth the effort, and take a leap of faith on an idea. – – When we tap into the deepest, wildest parts of our souls and just do it. I think we get too consumed with the idea of perfection that we don’t even try. I don’t want to be consumed with the craziness of life anymore that I don’t even create. What a waste of a beautiful mind. I hope that you too can make art that is simply . . . for you.
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