The life story of a creative is one that contains many emotions. There is joy, struggle, restlessness, successful moments, moments of failure, honesty, doubt and anticipation. Creative people are fighting a constant battle between creating things they love and doing things people need. Most people who are seen as creative, or see themselves as creative, are trying to take something that they love and utilize it to make money, support a family, and have a legitimate career. But it's not that easy.
I consider myself to be somewhat creative. I am a photographer, social media manager, creative director and consultant, blogger (that one is still developing, ha), and I dabble in painting and other forms of art. There are a lot of things I enjoy doing...obviously. I am constantly being inspired and drawn to things around me. I long to create my own forms of art, that will inspire others just like I was inspired.
I think I speak for many creatives, including myself, when I say: I want to do big things, but I only have small resources.
Because I am so young, I lack the money, experience, and connections, to do the type of projects that I see on Instagram, Tumblr, August (more on August shortly), and other places where people post their stories and photos and projects. Those people are usually older, more experienced, and have established a name for themselves. People take them seriously.
I want to be taken seriously. That isn't going to just happen randomly. It needs to be worked for. Since my resources are smaller, I need to be wise with the way I use them.
So as an artist (in the general term) who is motivated to make things work, I am putting one foot in front of the next. I have a lot of ground to cover, but the only way that is going to happen is if I keep trying. I constantly think: What is my motivation? Do I want to succeed? Do I have what it takes to work hard, and not give up when things are difficult? Those questions have been going around, and around, in my head the past year. I understand that things take time, and work, and a whole lot more. That doesn't make the hard work any easier.
Sometimes life stands still. There are questions unanswered. Emails you sent, that have not been replied to. Requests and ideas presented, that have not been acknowledged. Sometimes, I feel like I have done everything within my ability, and all I can do is wait for a reply. As a highly impatient person, this is one of the hardest things. But patience is necessary. If you asked me what I am learning right now, I would say, "how to be patient".
Things take time. Work. Motivation. Ambition. Perseverance. A lot of times, exhaustion, laziness, and fear take over, and completely un-motivate me from trying. That internal struggle must be overcome. It will be hard. But the potential for success isn't relient on where you live, who you know, or how much money you have. Anyone can put their mind to something, and turn that idea into a reality.
I am learning to wait. But not just wait. To be proactive in my waiting. Without being proactive, there will be no small achievements. There will be no learning, growth, or opportunities.
As I wait for emails and phone calls to be returned, I turn what I have, and what I am capable of, into small results. I take classes on Skillshare (https://www.skillshare.com/home) to learn new things, develop ideas and skills, and connect with other people who are striving to learn.
I post my projects, stories, and results on Instagram, Tumblr, and August (https://www.agst.co/). If you are an artist, photographer, or creative, and you are looking to interact with other like-minded individuals, you should go check out the August app. You wont be disappointed. It is designed for people to share their stories, and also to find inspiration from other creatives.
You aren't just going to wake up one morning and be successful. It takes a commitment to do what you can with what you have, to work hard, and to not give up in the face of doubt or discouragement. It's not about being lucky. There aren't a whole lot of lucky people out there, but there are millions, and millions, of hardworking people, who are trying to make it. Trying to succeed. Working to succeed. I want to be one of them.
Thank you for reading this. It is a lot of random thoughts that feel good to document. I almost decided to delete this post halfway through writing it, but that would have defeated the point of my whole message.
If you are someone who understands what I am talking about in this post or are going through similar thoughts and questions, then let's talk! I would love to hear where you are coming from and where you are striving to be.
Here is a new project I have been working on for those of you who were waiting for the pictures:
I set up two lamps, and used colored composition paper to create dramatic color and shadow.
This was a simple project, shot on iPhone, that called for only household items. I took the eucalyptus from an arrangement that was wilting.
More photos like these can be found on my Instagram (@iambencalhoun)
These were edited using the VSCO app and Snapseed.
Sometimes, simplicity is necessary. Start with simple ideas. They tend to be the most extraordinary.
Thanks for reading!