Aah, part 3...the growth.
Recalling my best professorial voice, I state any personal/professional growth resulting from photography (and painting) has been "multifactorial". A happy confluence of events, people, places and experiences brought together by art - mine and others. It seems taking a camera to eye forges a connection into the psyche I may not experience with a paintbrush. Perhaps looking through a viewfinder distills life to a purity that leaves me feeling vulnerable. And still, there is a mystery. Which secrets must I unlock in order to capture the nuance and beauty of this moment?
The entire process of defining my fear brought a comfort in my own skin that seems odd given my life-long learnings. (Yes, that was an euphemism about my age.) In the deepest levels of being, I now feel a grace brought to light. That grace fuels an acceptance of my own timing, my own process, my own learnings, my own interests. I sincerely doubt I will ever take "in your face" street photography. Just not my style. And that is totally okay.
Photography has opened an exciting new world of colleagues. I am blessed to share this life with people who are willing to collaborate, share, guide, laugh and commiserate when needed. Authentic kindness is a hallmark of these new colleagues. The world is full of people who want nothing but the best for themselves and others.
And, yes, there are those photographers/artists who prefer snarkiness, entitlement, or a feeling of superiority. In these cases, I know “... it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending." (Thich Nhat Hanh) I offer these folks kindness, lots of kindness.
Growth also involves knowing and accepting the current level of experience. I have not yet reached Malcolm Gladwell's magic number of 10,000 hours. I'm not even close to 10,000 photographs! Yet, I know "good stuff" when I see it. And to see it is to work towards it and finally, achieve it. Ira Glass spoke eloquently of "getting to the good stuff" through working, working, working. Click over to Ira's brief and inspirational talk. You will feel a big "warm fuzzy" about your own creative progress.
Bottom LIne: Art has brought me quite a distance through the spiral of my lifetime. I have learned much more than just the technical skills of art and photography. I have learned more of myself. I have turned down the volume on the Space Family Robinson Robot. I have made many new friends. Art has been good to me.
How has your art pushed you to grow? Are you a better person because of your art?
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