All images by Kim Winey.

How do you write about an experience so complex and impactful that the mention of it brings tears to your eyes? How should I explain a dream and a reality rolled into one, such that it gives weight to the significance of the dream and the dream of the reality? This year I hosted my third Promoting Passion convention. I named my blog after my favorite pairing of words – Passion, because it evokes a primal and I daresay sacred emotion within, one that perpetuates our need for meaning in our lives, and Promoting, because without this word the former becomes one-sided. If we don’t promote our passion, we lose the chance to inspire others through our craft – and life.

Promoting Passion is simple: gather creative individuals in one place to share a common idea, the idea that our lives are vastly different, but our emotions, our desires and our dreams are the same; that we can engage and encourage one another by example, and that instead of focusing on gear and technique we could focus on what really matters at the end of our lives, and that is how much we loved what we did with our time.

Promoting Passion is my home.

How many of you can say that you have experienced deep, meaningful, and lifelong relationships formed in the span of three days? How many of you can say that you actively, without boundaries or ties, give yourself over to growth? This is what 100+ of us did this year in the middle of a reddening forest in New York.

I ran frantically around Buffalo, NY in the days before, buying far too many supplies from Target and hoping that I was accurate in my assessment of things I needed for my attendees. I am a worrier by nature; I over-plan. I do not strive to under-promise and over-deliver. I over-promise and over-deliver. It is in my nature to be more and do more and make sure that I inspire others to be the same. I do not always succeed. But I do try, and in such a fashion I tried to create the best possible experience for my family of Creatives.

Things went wrong; they always do. And experiencing things going wrong is my way of growing, of being challenged, and of learning to be better than I was before. I remember the first year I hosted Promoting Passion – it was fall of 2015 and one of my speakers couldn’t come last minute. I had to figure out a plan overnight. I cried, I panicked, I shook, I collapsed in an unrecognizable version of myself. I was broken from the fear of letting people down. I felt barely able to manage myself.

Fast forward to this year, 2017, when one of my speakers couldn’t make it last minute. I panicked for about one minute, and then composed myself. I breathed deeply (a lesson I learned from my yoga practice), and I experienced two simultaneous emotions: confidence, and peace. What will happen will happen, and without belief in my abilities the right solution will not form. So, I believed I could make everything better, and I did. I let myself be human. More than that, I let others see me that way.

It rained on our bonfire, but we played games until it stopped. Our projector broke three times, but we worked around it with grace. A model got stuck floating in a boat in the middle of a lake, so I swam out to get her. Almost simultaneously a woman fainted and another sprained her ankle, and a quick ambulance ride and urgent care drive later, everyone felt taken care of and loved.

Things go wrong – it is not in our power to stop them, but it is in our power to grow from them. To give love in those moments. To be human and embrace it.

And so many things went right. A seemingly endless array of beauty and light and magic danced in front of my eyes. My speakers showed up ready to give, and every single one of them went to every single workshop and lecture. They sat with attendees at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They stayed up late by the fire talking to those who needed them most. They gave like I have not seen people give before. And even I, who felt so unworthy of even writing that first email to these people I have admired more than anyone, got hugs – they talked to me in such an honest way – and declared us friends, declared that we are soul-connected and better for knowing each other.

Unworthiness. What an interesting human emotion. That we can be so filled with multitudes and so certain, at times, that we are filled with nothing. This duality plays at my heart too often than I like to admit. Promoting Passion is about eliminating that feeling, or accepting it. Which of the two I am uncertain of at times, but either way, it is necessary and beautiful.

I called Vivienne Gucwa, one of my immediate soul-friends, to fill in at PPC this year. She came with a gorgeous story about her current artistic transformation and shared her willingness to shift. I worriedly hit send on an email to Ryan Muirhead, fearing his genius (as silly as that sounds), and he broke the room down into tears with his story of raw, honest human emotion. What drives us to create? Our very being, and all the mess that comes with that. I called upon Jesh De Rox to speak about connection, and I was moved to laughter and tears as he shared about the ways in which we find connection to our work, to others, and beyond.

My friend Dracorubio came to teach Photoshop, but under the technique was the idea that you can create anything if you can dream it. My heart Joel Robison did what he does best – shared himself, in his beautiful, bashful, open way. He showed how he works, how he thinks, and most importantly, how he gives…with his whole self, in ways that touched every single person there. Jessica Drossin came out to show us how you can build a life for yourself out of the vision of the world you are attracted to, and in doing so created some of the most beautiful images I have ever seen. Mindy McGinnis, a writer who I created book cover art for, came and gave us the deepest insights into how we experience imagery, symbolism, and how that relates to the world. Her way of seeing is significant and remarkable (in the truest sense of that word).

And finally, perhaps the most emotional and humorous part of Promoting Passion, was having Jeremie Saunders share his time with us – which, if you know anything about him, is limited. He shared how he lives with Cystic Fibrosis, how his life expectancy when we was growing up was 30 years of age, and how he is now 29.7 years old. He showed us how precious life is, how none of us know how much time we have, and how the combination of humor and passion can create a life worth living. What’s more is that he modeled for attendees, had important conversations, and even jumped into the pool with me so I could photograph him.

These humans are the most giving I have encountered, the most good-natured, the most concerned about making sure others are living their best lives – and that is not just a phrase or a silly motivational quote, that is their life’s dedication. That is their soul.

And, I think I can finally say, without looking down at myself, that it is also my mission. That my life is dedicated to giving other people the best lives possible.

My time is always so short at Promoting Passion – how do you give over 100 people your undivided attention in the span of three days to have conversations that are meaningful and intense? On the last night I finally got to let my guard down and not worry about everyone and everything, and I talked to so many people with so many stories. I met a new friend who had a quote of mine tattooed on his arm. I have my favorite writer’s quote tattooed on mine, and it was really moving to see that something I said could move someone that much.

There were many people who touched me, many people who showed their souls where often they put up walls, and they were gorgeous, and unrefined, and honest.

On that last night I got to speak to someone who I wanted to set aside proper time to talk to, someone who I had been conversing with for the last few months. After the lectures ended and I spent over an hour in a sea of people hugging each person closely, I snuck away to sit with this friend who I had wanted to spend time with. He and I had never had a proper conversation before in person. Immediately he started sharing a story with me, tears running down his face, holding my hands. He told me of a time when he tried to end his life, and how close he came to succeeding, and how, just at that moment, an image of mine flashed in front of his eyes and he felt connected.

And he didn’t jump.

And there we sat, one year after, at Promoting Passion. Our hands locked in each others, both of us crying the most sincere, life-changing tears; both of us needing the other in a profound way. And there we sat, embracing, until suddenly, we each had what we had come for. We felt released. And then we laughed, and smiled at each other, and I knew that something transpired between us that I could never properly describe.

Here is my message to you, my friends who maybe I have never met: There is hope in connection, there is soul in art, there is beauty in sadness and there is life in each of us that means more than we know. I share these experiences with you because my life is dedicated to the promoting of passion so that we may all be uplifted by the example of those who pursue what they love.

Life is too short not to.

Please allow me to thank our sponsors very publicly and widely for their contributions to Promoting Passion this year. Without their support I could not have created this event, and it is because of them that I grow in confidence every year that we are doing amazing things for our community.

WHCC
SONY
XRITE
FUNDY
ZEISS

The incomparable KIM WINEY took all of these incredible images in the span of 3 days. She is an amazing photographer/artist and friend, and I highly recommend you take a moment to give her some love for the beauty she brings into the world. She is based in PA and is hirable for her gorgeous photography services.

  • September 18, 2017 - 11:47 am

    Paulo Carvalho - I wanted to say something… Or better write something, but I’m speechless! I feel a deep joy to see these pictures… By the way good work from kim! Yet, I also have a certain sadness in me, for not living such magical moments with all of you. 😉ReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2017 - 2:06 pm

    Anna - This makes my heart sing! Can’t wait to share blog post part 1 from this trip. It was such an honor to meet you and share this weekend with so many incredible people. I truly felt changed when I came home, and I honestly mean that! Thank you for wanting to make a difference in people’s live and promoting passion 🙂 Much love <3ReplyCancel

Revelation sharing time. I had a thought today that transcended any anxieties I have been having about my work, what I will create, and what I will share:

I choose to let you see me.

I often ponder if I would still create art the way I do if I had no one to share it with. The answer is almost definitely yes, but a very large part of why I love creating is because I love sharing. I used to think that made me selfish. I thought I had to hide that because people would think I was an attention-seeker. But now I realize that it is an integral part of my process. The more we recognize important parts of ourselves, the more we can grow with them rather than push against them.

I spent my whole life hiding from people – in school, choosing to sit alone rather than talk to anyone, and even now, going to stupidly weird lengths to avoid eye contact in grocery stores. I grew up believing that I wasn’t special, not because of anything anyone told me (quite the opposite), but because I simply wasn’t particularly good at anything. I struggled through school in a big way my whole life. I never made the top sports teams. I was never the fastest or the smartest or the tallest or the skinniest or the bravest. I always felt normal, which, for someone who has desired to be abnormal, is like a cage.

Sidenote: I remember getting braces and I was excited to finally have straight teeth. About a year into have them, I completely regretted it. My desire to find something that made me different took hold in a bigger way and I wished I could go back to having four teeth where there were supposed to be two. (I had vampire fangs, and it was freaking awesome). My parents deemed that ridiculous and since so much money had been spent to correct my teeth, there was no way I was going back. Now I’m holding out hope that I lose a tooth so that my teeth shift back to some strange configuration.

Enough about my teeth. Back to my revelation.

I have been so worried lately about creating new, darker work that I couldn’t see this new way of thinking. Now I do. And it goes like this.

Artists have a choice: let people in to see their creations, or not.

In fact, people have the same choice. Let others in to see who they are, or not.

And really, that is the heart of the artist’s crisis – what if no one likes my art actually means what if people don’t like me? After all, our art is a true representation of a piece of ourselves.

I never before thought of sharing as a choice. I have always done it, I never questioned it, it was a reflex. But it is a choice, and the more conscious we can be of that decision, the more we can control it, own it, and define it.

I choose to let you into my world.

I can choose to let you out of it, too.

But I won’t. Because, now that I am older, now that I’m not as scared, now that I am as abnormal as I want to be, I can make choices that are braver and bolder and more empowered.

I choose to let you into my world because it is honest, and kind, and vulnerable. Take a look at who I am, beat me down with your words if you must, I won’t break.

And, after my last blog post I am certain, I’ve got a herd/gaggle/murder/group/FLOCK of individuals behind me, holding me up and reflecting my own courage back at me in their faces. You are my soul-family, the ones who tell me to be myself because everyone else is taken, and, and, etc., etc.

I have a new definition of creative bravery. It is not only looking within and creating what you see, but taking control of your creativity in every facet. It is not leaping with blind faith into your work, but taking control of the work you do, how it is pieced together, and the way it is presented.

It is incredible to me that after so many years of creating, the acknowledgment that I have control is a revelation. Why should it be? Why did I not realize that ages ago? The answer is simple: the Internet would have you believe otherwise. Not “the Internet” as in a big monster that hides in your computer, but the very nature of how we interact online. You feel that you have to share, because that is the culture we are all living in. There is a push and pull of your creative energy to produce, create, share, do MORE.

And on top of that, there is a semi-problematic view that what we create is ours and ours alone, despite our constant willingness to share it. So, I am changing two ways of thinking from here on out.

  1. I choose to let people into my world.
  2. When I release my art, I truly release it.

I’m not saying I’m letting go of my copyright claim, or that it is any less mine, but simply that it is equally everyone else’s. Not only do I invite you to see what I’m doing, I invite you to feel how you want to feel about it. Be as angry as you want, as understood and delighted as you can be, but for goodness sake, do it wholly.

Thank you for your indefinite and unwavering support of what I’ve done so far. This is going to be a wild journey.

 

  • September 3, 2017 - 9:28 am

    Jessica Anne Breisnes - I’ve been following your journey for about a year now, Brooke, and am so excited for this new path you’ve chosen. This blog post speaks to me SO much. I’ve recently started blogging about my writing, life and art for almost identical reasons. I’ve chosen to stop hiding. From myself and others. Thank you for being brave and lighting the way!ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 9:36 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for sharing that. I’ll definitely have a peek at your blog and see what you’re up to – it sounds like a wonderful, deep journey. XO!ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 9:46 am

    Vicki Kurasz - Your side note about your teeth really cracked me up. Part of why I love you. Thank you for letting us into your world. It makes so many of us feel better about our thoughts and insecurities.

    I share my stuff but don’t really know why. The thing I noticed is 100+ people will “like” a crappy out of focus candid photo but only 20 will like a photo that is actually good. Friends and I have joked about this because we have all seen it. So I don’t put stock in the number of likes I get on anything. I guess I just put my stuff out there for people’s enjoyment. I want to share what I think is good (for now, a year later I learn more and like it less usually).

    Keep pushing yourself and sharing with us. We love you and everything you give us.ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 9:49 am

      brookeshaden - Aww Vicki thank you, I appreciate your thoughts and your friendship <3ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 10:00 am

    Geetha Slock - It’s kinda creepy how much I can relate. I had one vampire fang which made me scared to death to laugh out loud because people would make fun of it. I share my work online because the ultimate dream would be for it to become meaningful for someone else in a way (I seriously wrote a blogpost for this which I was set to release in two weeks. Not kidding :o) I’m not an attention-seeking person either because if people praise my work I will always be doubtful. Compliments scare me. Anyways, your epiphany was an eye-opener. I love this journey you’re on and you letting us be part of it. Lots of respect. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 10:01 am

      brookeshaden - 😀 I love that Geetha!! We must be distant siblings! hehe 🙂 thank you for your words of encouragement!ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 10:00 am

    Alicia - Brooke, I have been following you for several years now. Your work, your words, and your rawness have always inspired me. You inspired me to be my true self, to be vulnerable enough to share my art but strong enough to also know that it doesn’t matter what others think of it. Someday I hope to meet and thank you in person. Please keep sharing your journey with us. It truly is greatly appreciated.ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 10:01 am

      brookeshaden - Alicia, that is so kind and wonderful of you, thank you for uplifting me!ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 10:02 am

    Margherita Introna - Oh dear Brooke… You totally made me giggle about the braces! I also had those fangs! Although I was very grateful to my parents for being able to have had my mouth corrected at such an early age. It was hell wearing the braces… they hurt, they looked awful… but without them I would not have been able to close my mouth and the extra row of teach would have eventually caused major issues later in life. But you really touched me deeply when you spoke of your childhood. I had a hard time as a child for many reasons, which I will not go into, but the way you described it really hit a nerve…

    I am so looking forward to hearing more and seeing your new series unfold! It is making me even that much more excited to work on a series I have been sketching out for the last few months. It is not scary or dark, but it is about an incredibly personal journey I am currently facing. Only two people are aware that I am facing this journey. As it stands, I have no idea how the journey will end, but it is going to be the most intense roller coaster of emotions I have or ever will be on. I have chosen to deal with these emotions through this new series. I do not let people into my world very often. In fact, more and more I have been withdrawing from the world as I become more and more solitary. But my work, and the older and more whimsical fairytale world I create in my images, makes the emotions conveyed easier to bear. And that is what gives me the courage to share. Because for some reason it must be shared. There is a need for it to be shared. I am not always sure why this is, but for me there is a release of the emotions by sharing them in this way that makes them easier to bear. This has always been my philosophy and what inspires my work.

    I know this differs somewhat to what you described in your post and how you work, but it touched me in the same way. Does that make sense? Your post made my heart sing! It seemed to lift an imaginary burden of some sort. I am not sure why. It echoed what I feel in my soul. This is definitely one of my favourite blog posts! Thank you dearest soul friend <3ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 10:21 am

      brookeshaden - Ah Margherita! Tooth twins and beyond. I love that you are channeling your current situation into art. If you ever want to talk, I’m here – anytime. Lots of love to you!ReplyCancel

      • September 3, 2017 - 10:43 am

        Margherita Introna - Yes! Channelling my current situation into my art is one of the main inspirations for my work. It was what led me (I always say “led” as that is how it felt to me) to conceptual fine art photography in the first place back in 2012/2013. I did not just wake up one day and decide to become a conceptual fine art photographer. For me it was a journey and a process. And that journey, both photographically and my life experiences, influences the work that I produce. Photography has been a passion of mine for over 20 years and I have enjoyed many different genres, but when my life led me to conceptual work, it felt like such a homecoming to me. It was what I was searching for in all those years behind (and infront) of my camera. I think that is why I am so passionate about what I create, because that discovery was such a massive turning point for me…
        But I am rambling… I get so excited talking about these things!!!
        I have been meaning to write to you… You have been on my mind the last few days and so I will email you tomorrow!ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 10:08 am

    karimparris_photo - As I read the blog post, I saw so much that I could relate to. Beautifully worded I might add. It was only recently that I choose to be more active in sharing my work using social media as a platform. In that way, my experience was slightly different because I always viewed it as a choice and usually went with not sharing and much later came to the conclusion you did. Because there is a business side to what we do as well, I eventually felt slightly pressured to unveil a bit more but now find comfort in giving my work freedom and life outside of my own thoughts for people to experience it as they choose. It’s also one of the few reasons I rarely ever name my images and allow the viewer to see what they see and possibly shape new meaning for each one or share my vision. That doesn’t apply to my commercial work quite as much but you understand I’m sure. Thank you for inviting us to see and feel your work and parts of your day in a wholistic manner. Side note: bring back the fangs / let the fangs hang. – karim p.ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 10:22 am

      brookeshaden - Karim, I really admire how thoughtfully you’ve gone about all of this. That is A+ in my book. And I’m glad you’re sharing more 🙂ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 10:32 am

    Howard - Thank you Brooke for sharing your deep insights. I am sure I am but one of thousands upon thousands of people who support you 100%. I once read somewhere, “It’s abnormal to be normal, and normal to be abnormal.” Normality is over rated, in my opinion. It’s not normal to have boundless creativity burning inside your heart, as you have. It not normal to bear your soul through your art, as you do. And it’s not normal to be such a kind and loving human being as you are. Thank you for being you!ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 10:33 am

      brookeshaden - Your words touch the very core of my heart. Thank you truly, Howard.ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 10:34 am

    Michelle - Thank you so much Brooke for letting us into your world!!! Your work has inspired me up to this point in my life, to be more open to other people about what I create. I too have been afraid to show people my work for fear of that I was trying to be an attention seeker. I had many mouth surgeries as a kid and I did have fangs too. lol I am super excited to see your new work and anything else that you have to share in the future!! I hope to learn more from you and your photographs!!!! Keep inspiring others!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 10:36 am

      brookeshaden - Aww thank you Michelle, that means so much! And I am proud to be part of the fang club! 😀ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 12:29 pm

    Hope - Hello Brooke, I just wanted to say…thank you really!! You truly are an incredible human being and not just in your talent with words and imagery. When I’m feeling panicky about what on earth I think I’m doing I look to you and how amazing you are, your willingness to be vulnerable and open inspires me to try and do the same and not feel bad about it. There’s a certain type of joy you get from sharing work and words alongside it, making your own unique mark upon the world. I’m about to take a major leap of faith tomorrow in my own life and I’ll be taking your words along with me.

    Thank you as always for being you,

    Hope xxReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 1:11 pm

    Michael Giberson - I have followed you from your break-out days, when you were stuffed in your oven, covered with mysterious brown goo. I loved your woodland phase and your cephalopod creations. Your worldwide rise in the art photography world is remarkable and your blog posts are often inspiring.

    I normally do not critique the art of other persons; their art is their art. But something you said in this blog moves me to comment.

    You mentioned that you go to extreme lengths to avoid eye contact in grocery stores. I recall that I once complimented you on one of your works where your model (not you personally) made bold eye contact with the observer. The effect was striking – and (to me) refreshing. You very kindly thanked me for my compliment, but I don’t remember any other posts where your subject makes eye contact with the viewer.

    I, too, sometimes avoid eye contact with strangers in public places. I recognize that such behavior in my case is rooted in caution and the fear of negative reaction by others. I don’t know if this is the same for you, but if it is, then your two new ways of thinking, (i.e. “1. I choose to let people into my world,” and “When I release my art, I truly release it.”) must necessarily somehow engage or embrace or examine your fears. All artists do this, consciously or not (just look at the paintings of Heironymus Bosch as an extreme example).

    The point here is not eye contact. The point is examining one’s fear in one’s art. I address it because you seem to be declaring that you are soaring into new territory, and because exploring one’s fear in their art interests me and I have addressed it (obscurely) with you before. I won’t belabor the point. I just hope it means something.

    I don’t know where you’re heading but I’ll be there to see.ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2017 - 4:12 am

    Tanya - Well, I can’t say I had fang teeth so can’t be part of the ‘fang club’. However, I can be part of the ‘fan’ (silent ‘g’!) club that is deeply inspired and moved by you and your work. Glad you’ve decided to go down the wild journey pathway and I, for one, will be looking forward to seeing the results 🙂ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2017 - 9:23 am

    Caz Harris - You are like a flower opening it’s petals for the first time, you will get bees and you will get wasps, but all have input.
    This is gonna be one hell of a ride…..
    Go for it, we’ll ride the tide with ya.ReplyCancel

  • September 4, 2017 - 2:04 pm

    Gallagher Green (Fit BMX) - I have always had trouble sharing my work, but the creative challenge classes of yours have helped me so much!
    This new journey of yours is so exciting, and it is even more so after reading this post, which is very inspiring by the way. 🙂
    I loved the story of your teeth. If you still wanted to be weirder you could file you teeth, or maybe get you tongue split!!! 😉
    Thanks for including us in this journey and all of the previous ones as well! <3ReplyCancel

  • September 5, 2017 - 7:20 am

    Dave - Attention comes and goes. Popularity comes and goes. People rush in and rush out, in ever faster cycles it seems. Especially with social media. The Eagles song “New Kid in Town” kind of covers that phenomenon. At the end of the day, all you have is yourself and what you’ve created. What you create should truly please you because the ones that only loved you when you were popular or because they were told they should, don’t matter. They’ll have moved on to the next big thing. And you’ll still be Brooke. The Brooke that was true to herself.ReplyCancel

  • September 6, 2017 - 10:03 pm

    Paul Johnston - Hello Brooke! Just keep doing what you wish and keep sharing. All your well-wishers and your delightful soul will cancel out whatever negative energy the world wishes to dish out. Loving your smile and knowing it comes from your heart, well, that’s pure sunshine!

    I think I first became aware of your art style when you were on Creative Live. It was wonderful to see that your creations came from your mind versus using lots of fancy equipment, wardrobe and props. Your editing is done using basic tools that results in wonderful masterpieces! This lesson of being creative from the heart, accomplished through simplicity is a valuable one for any artist!

    Keep on smiling, creating and sharing!ReplyCancel

  • September 16, 2017 - 2:20 am

    Rose from Norway - How curious and wonderful that you write about this topic today. I have just awnserd your creative live survey, and now when I reed this blogpost you have hit the the same essence of what I was trying to convey in the survey.

    My childhood was kind of opposite of yours. I was very out going, great at sports, prom queen, I did very well in creative subjects at school (but not so much in math, Norwegian and english ..hehe). I was always very open, vulnerable and honest. I think in English you call it wearing your heart on your sleeve? I think I have always shared becouse I feel I have to, and sometimes, that makes me feel exposed, raw and taken advantage of. Sometimes I think to my self, why in the world did I get so personal with this person i don´t even know!?! Why did I make my self so vulnerable for this person? I don´t owe him or her anything, and still I kind of give them everything I am, every raw emotion, believes and being. I need to learn how to protect my inner self more. I want to spread love, and light, and make people feel good ( most likely becouse I want this for my self ) .

    It is so true what your are writing. I need to be conscious about the fact that it is MY choice to let you inn, or to let it be. And if I let it be, then it do not mean that I am a lier, or mean, it just ment that I did not want to share in that moment in time.

    Thank you for this blog post.
    Hope you have a lovely day Brooke and the rest of you guys. So fun to see that I am starting to know so many of you guys that write here <3 Lots of love to all of you.ReplyCancel

At the end of 2015 I conceived of a new photo series and I spent all of 2016 creating what ended up being 9 images in that series titled “Fourth Wall”. I loved [almost] every moment of creating that series and it felt amazing to finally have it produced and hanging on walls. I stopped myself from thinking too deeply about my next project until Fourth Wall was finished because I have a tendency to bounce around between many ideas and never fully dedicate myself to one of them.

When my show hung in January this year I let myself breathe and explore my imagination again. I thought, after so long focused on one project, a new idea would come to me immediately. The funny thing about creativity, though, is that sometimes the longer you practice it, the longer it takes for ideas to come. Let me clarify – the longer it takes for GOOD ideas to come, and even longer for GREAT ideas to come. (And THE BEST ideas may never come, or we may not realize they have come until after they are born and grown and out of our hands).

Come see this series exhibited and meet me at the JoAnne Artman Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA on October 5th! Details on my events page: http://brookeshaden.com/events/

I decided not to rush my newest series. I decided I would not force myself into an idea. I had a sense that something big was brewing based on events in my life this past year and where I find myself in my own private thoughts. I knew something would emerge. Each time I thought I saw it’s little head peaking, it turned out to be a false alarm. Every idea I had was stale or a version of something I had done before. Everything felt contrived or boring or not good enough.

I think part of artistic maturity is knowing when you are NOT ready to create yet. I used to throw myself into ideas and I had a lot of fun with it, but now it isn’t as satisfying that I can find an idea with almost no effort. That is not bragging in any sense, and in fact it is the opposite – an admission, that I too often fall back on ideas that are recycled and simple. The ideas are not hard to find; the good ones and great ones and best ones hide deep and deeper and deepest.

I was talking to my friend Amy about some things that had been on my mind when I was traveling in Thailand in May – I didn’t say anything particularly spectacular, but I think that letting out some of my recent story triggered something in my mind. A few hours later I listened to a song off the album “I Can Spin a Rainbow”, Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spell’s newest collaborative record, and I felt the words in me. The music felt true to my life right now.

A few minutes later, reflecting on that music and on my recent thoughts I had spilled to Amy, I had an all-consuming vision. It was perfect. It scared me. I immediately got butterflies in my stomach. I was nervous and anxious and I had trouble breathing. I was excited and elated, even. I had a new idea.

And that idea wasn’t stale and it wasn’t easy and it made me feel sick.

That was how I knew it had to happen.

I started explaining it to Amy, who I knew would or could appreciate it, and in the middle of my sentence I noticed a shift in my mind. The idea went from hypothetical to already happenedI believe in manifesting your desires, or thinking of them as already finished. That happened naturally and without warning as I told her about my idea. I felt that it already happened.

I won’t say what the idea is yet, as it will require some legal hoop jumping and a massive look into the eyes of my fears, but I will say – it is different and dark and deeper than I’ve dared to look.

And that brings me to the question I wanted to ask, and why I am writing this to you.

If you had an idea that you knew
would offend and upset some people,
would you do it anyway?

I am going to create my new series. It will offend people. And I am afraid of that – I won’t act like I don’t become anxious (and sometimes even non-functioning) at criticism. In fact, it is my worst quality and biggest inhibitor on my life. And that is precisely why I feel I need to do it: partially because it is already in me, partially because I feel the need to be honest in my creativity, and partially because the series itself is about directly confronting fear.

I already feel uncomfortable writing this. I never mind if people don’t like my work, truly, as I’ve far outgrown that fear. But I am highly sensitive to personally being a source of unpleasantness for someone.

Logic says that the whole world cannot love us,
Reason says that our best chance at a fulfilling life is an honest one,
My heart says that I am not ready to confront my honesty,
My willpower says that I will do it anyway.

Thank you for following this newest journey. I hope I can push through to make it a reality. All my gratitude.

 

  • August 28, 2017 - 1:33 pm

    Inés VQ - Give an opinion or a point of view is not offensive. But if you really think you will offend somebody with your work I think you should first be sure that you have tried to honestly understand their situation and point of view. My credo, you can only criticize the thinks that you care and love.
    Kisses, you are greatReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2017 - 1:34 pm

      brookeshaden - Really well made point Ines, I agree! Thank you for sharing. <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 1:47 pm

    Kathie - Very exciting! I can’t wait to see your new series and happy you are excited to create work that won’t please everyone. You are amazing. ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2017 - 1:54 pm

      brookeshaden - Thank you Kathie!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 2:02 pm

    Kate C - How wonderful!!! Have you read Liz Gilbert’s book on creativity, Big Magic? Your description of inspiration here is so similar to her description, and it strikes me that all of human inspiration has a shared quality of enlivening us and terrifying us at the same time. I’m so excited to see what your new series is.ReplyCancel

    • August 29, 2017 - 10:12 am

      brookeshaden - Yes! I only got 1/4 of the way through, so I need to pick it up again and really digest it all!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 2:12 pm

    Paulo Carvalho - Is your main purpose in creating your ideas are to offend someone? Is that the purpose? I do not think so! Here, we say that wickedness is not in the words uttered, but in the mind of the one who interprets the words. I think we can apply to art too! If it is with respect, just do it!ReplyCancel

    • August 29, 2017 - 10:12 am

      brookeshaden - You are lovely 🙂 Respect, always.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 2:47 pm

    Jim Dawson - Honesty will always bite some , but others will be uplifted . Either way it will help them develop into “real” people . You cannot not do this & remain honest to yourself….so dig in & accept that we got your back 🙂ReplyCancel

    • August 29, 2017 - 10:12 am

      brookeshaden - I love that perspective and will take it as inspiration into this new series! Thank you Jim!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 3:03 pm

    muneen - I think it’s the first time I really read an artist’s writings. I was really captivated, as if I totally knew what you felt when you had your ‘vision’, even if I never experienced this myself…

    All I could say about this, to answer your question that has no real answer, to me, is that you need to create this serie. You need to produce, you need to bring this vision to life. You need this.

    So, do it.
    If the only reason not to do this is the perspective of offending people, it’s not a good reason to me to stop you.
    If it’s really a problem, don’t show it… It’s not what I think you should do, because I believe art is offending to some people, whatever it is. Okay, I got the point that this might really be offending to many people, but.. so what?

    Art, real art, is made from what artists have inside themselves. And it’s not often a pretty sight to behold. People who love real art know this, and will probably not be as offended as you may think they would. Especially people who, like me, know your art and love it for what it is -a kind of reflection of what’s inside your soul.

    I don’t know if it will help, but I really wanted to answer you, because you deserve this. You’re a wonderful artist, and your questioning is totally rightful.
    I really hope you’ll made your mind about all this, and I heartly look forward to see this series.ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2017 - 3:09 pm

      brookeshaden - I really appreciate your wisdom in this – thank you for writing <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 4:31 pm

    AB Hsieh - I had a similar moment earlier this summer. I was preparing to speak to a large audience of peers in my technical field. One stale idea after another got crumpled up and thrown in the proverbial circular file. Gradually it dawned on me that I was actually hiding what needed to be said, trying to find a diplomatic way of criticising this group – and by extension, me – and others who were holding back progress. Many of these things were being said in private but no one was willing to say it publically. The more I said those things, the more real they became and the less scary they were. Still, it was a radical departure from what I had done before, so I didn’t really know how it was going to go over.

    The presentation was well received by many and criticized loudly by others. Before this, I would have felt awful about the criticisms, but having it run through my head a million times before that day helped me to keep focused and calm.

    Art or not, being true to yourself is truly a gift to be shared.ReplyCancel

    • August 28, 2017 - 4:42 pm

      brookeshaden - That is so inspiring, I am going to keep that story very close to me in the coming year <3ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 5:02 pm

    Angela Willis - That is the great thing about art Brooke. I can look at it and see one thing and you can look at it and see something entirely different. It speaks to our emotions and our very soul.
    I understand your concern about people being offended but not everyone will , that is because you have a kind heart. If I were you, I would only ask myself one question. Will this project make me happy? If your answer is a resounding “yes!” then I think you know what to do! 🙂

    Ps: I can’t wait to hear and see what you’re up to!! The suspense is killing me!ReplyCancel

    • August 29, 2017 - 10:14 am

      brookeshaden - I love that Angela 🙂 You are the sweetest and really managed to set some of my fears aside. Thank you darling!ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2017 - 9:26 pm

    Gallagher (Fit BMX) - When I read this I started to get butterflies in my stomach and and felt a little sick, I was wringing my hands together. Because I have been reading your blog a long time now and I have never seen a post quite like this befor! It scares me a little, it feels like this idea is going to show your true potential, that none of us (maybe including you) never even know was existed (your work is already so high up there). You have to do this, no matter what others say. I know you (through this blog at least) and you would never hurt anyone or anything, you are the embodiment of kindness, so following this idea is the right thing to do.
    This sounds like it will be a big undertaking, and I know there is nothing I could ever really do, but if there is anything I ever could do to help with anything please don’t hesitate to ask.
    (Hug)

    P.S.
    I am so excited!!!!ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2017 - 1:41 am

    John - Purely depends on you intention I would suggest. The fact that some may find it offensive should not stop you from moving forward. If that was the case there would be much art that never got made. If your intentions are justifiable then surely you have nothing to fear. Good luckReplyCancel

    • August 29, 2017 - 10:14 am

      brookeshaden - Well said John!ReplyCancel

  • August 29, 2017 - 11:46 am

    Gallagher Green (Fit BMX) - I thought of two quotes this morning that fit your situation.

    “The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies.”
    kate chopin.

    Art is not a mirror, but a hammer: it does not reflect, it shapes.
    Leon TrotskyReplyCancel

  • August 31, 2017 - 5:49 am

    Tanya - “It will offend people.” What, ALL of them? Are you sure about that? 🙂 That’s one heck of an undertaking – to offend everyone, everywhere! Tongue-in-cheek comments aside, some people in life get offended by anything … what someone else wears, how someone else speaks, how they look, the fact that it’s raining when they want to go out … the list is endless. However, ‘being offended’ is also a conscious choice that we, as individuals, make. Being offended can also be a natural reaction to fear; we don’t want to face what we fear, so it’s often easier to be offended by it instead (perhaps it’s more ‘socially acceptable’ somehow?). But who knows – maybe by ‘offending’ some people out there, you’ll actually help them conquer their deepest fears instead. You are one of the most cathartic visionaries I’ve come across and your work challenges and heals in equal measures … don’t let your own fear of offending people hold you back, and don’t ever be apologetic about creating what YOU need to create.ReplyCancel

  • August 31, 2017 - 6:51 pm

    Linda Maveri - Brooke,
    You are a genius in my book. With a kind heart and soul.
    If there is something inside you that needs to come out, and it’s darker than what people “expect” of you, I say too bad. I think when you first started, there were quite a few people who saw you as a fairytale princess whose work didn’t jibe with her everyday persona, and some people were disturbed with your work. I’m sure you were asked over and over why you didn’t create something nice, something sweet, something pleasant.Obviously people were a little shocked at the time, but you know…they got over it. Look how many people love you, follow you, even though they know your work is rather dark at times. I think you will help all of us grow and inch out of our comfort zones. You are a trailblazer who will make it possible for others to let out their TRUE art…not what might be safe enough for the masses. Now, you may lose a few followers, but great change doesn’t happen without big moves that are sometimes painful. Go be YOU! We will be rooting for you and stand behind you when the “mean people” show up.ReplyCancel

    • August 31, 2017 - 6:53 pm

      brookeshaden - I can’t begin to describe what your words mean to me – you’ve brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful to have your support and I will move forward with more determination than ever.ReplyCancel

  • September 3, 2017 - 11:46 am

    Tim Stephens - Brooke – The way I see it, meaningful art initiates a dialogue. It starts with the artist posing a question or making a statement that turns on a light in the viewer’s mind. That light may reinforce existing beliefs and ideas or it may reveal conflicts and dissonance – schisms in the viewer’s framework for relating comfortably to the world. I think the degree to which people are offended depends on how bright that light is for them and what it reveals – how long that part of them has been left unexamined in the darkness. So be it…

    For the artist, making art is the process of turning that light on inside their own head and trying to make sense of what they find there. Sharing that art is the act of sharing that revelation with others. There are many motivations to share what we reveal or recognize in ourselves – ‘The Truth’ as we see it and understand it in the moment. But to share out of love – to offend out of love – is noble.

    You may already have a feeling for the sorts of people who might be offended by your new series. If, at the end of the creative process for a given piece, you can say, “In the name of love, I offend thee!” you are on pretty solid moral ground. Which is not to say there won’t be repercussions or consequences. Rather, that you succeeded in creating art to further the greater good, sharing your emotional and intellectual journey with honesty and integrity.

    More power to you! And lots of love!ReplyCancel

    • September 3, 2017 - 11:55 am

      brookeshaden - What a beautiful comment, Tim, and I am so grateful for your words. I will carry them close to me as I begin to create. Thank you! And I’ll see you soon!ReplyCancel

It felt weird writing 31/31, and timely, too. As I reflected on this past month, there were so many sentiments I wanted to talk about. My personal growth, which was tremendous. The amount I learned about my craft. The amount of new skills I acquired. The amount of spider webs I walked into, and so on.

What stood out most, though, was the word commitment. I kept coming back to it. Sure, the commitment is obvious: I committed to 31 days of content. A photo, video and blog every day. That’s 93 pieces of content in one month. It is a commitment in every sense of the word. But the word commitment feels hollow if I don’t pair it with community.

I am part of this community, and you are, too. Every day I woke up with a desire to share my life, my unfolding story, with anyone who wanted to listen. Because, at the end of the day, I am not creating solely for myself. I am creating to unleash my imagination, to understand myself more deeply, but also, and equally important to me, is that I am creating for those who feel they cannot. I am creating for those who need to feel connected, who need to feel those two most beautiful words rising in their throat:

Me too.

I don’t take this community lightly. This is my life. This is my craft. This is my soul. I am sharing it because that makes me complete. I am sharing it because if I can do some good in this world, I will try with everything I have. This month took everything I had; every ounce of energy, every bit of patience, and a lot of miles on the road. But it also brought me so much beauty. I was incredibly present. I was connected. And now that the end is come, I desire more. I want to help more people. I want to be a light for someone who is in darkness. And one day, when I am the one in the dark, I know someone from this community will be there to light my way.

Thank you for your support this month. This image is a representation of how I have felt – held up by hands stronger than my own. I owe you.

Today is the last day to sign up for the 15 Day Content Creation Challenge. We begin tomorrow! This is a creativity challenge for any type of artist. You will receive a 52-page e-book, content creation chart, daily challenges and emails, and a supportive Facebook group. And, there is no set cost. You pay only what you can. And 40% goes to charity, so win-win! Registration closes at 5:00pm PST, and emails begin at 5:00am PST on August 1st!

  • July 31, 2017 - 12:30 pm

    Julie Oshiyama - I’m speechless; therefore, I’ll leave you will this very humble, yet, heartfelt, Thank You!!!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 12:31 pm

    Emma - Wow!! You are truly a star and a light for us! I have been inspired by you since 2009 and still you are one of My greatest source of inspiration both by the art you ceratet and the way you are as à human. Everyday this month has been à thrill and I really look forwaed to the 15-day challenge and I hope I Will find time to join everyday. Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 12:32 pm

    Tuttie - Hi Brooke. My name is Tuttie. I come from Zambia. I’ve been following you ever since Instagram featured you and I must say I love every piece you created.I am interested in photography myself but I’m an amateur at the moment I cannot afford a real camera and I just use my phone. I would really love to do your 15day challenge though but I don’t have anything to contribute at the moment. I don’t know can I still do the challenge? Looking forward to your response ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 12:35 pm

    Tuttie - Hi Brooke. My name is Tuttie. I come from Zambia. I’ve been following you ever since Instagram featured you and I must say I love every piece you created. Each one unique, telling it’s own story .I am interested in photography myself but I’m an amateur at the moment.I cannot afford a real camera and I just use my phone. I would really love to do your 15day challenge though but I don’t have anything to contribute at the moment. I don’t know can I still do the challenge? Looking forward to your response ReplyCancel

    • August 1, 2017 - 4:37 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Tuttie, I have added you to the challenge and you will receive emails each day at 5:00AM PST 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 12:49 pm

    Gallagher Green - Bugger, you’re going to make me cry with a post like that! (Big HUG!) Your posts mean so much to me, they not only help keep me creating even when I don’t feel like it. But they help guide me through life as a whole, they and you are truly a gift.

    4-5am walking through the forest, I can only imagine how many spider webs that must have been! You need to invest in a good stick to hold in front of you as you walk. And stuck in the mud, I have been there a lot over the years, and it is never fun. LOL
    I can’t wait till tomorrow, I am going to try really hard to keep up.
    Thanks again for sharing your July challenge with us.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 1:05 pm

    Caz Harris - Well it is done. CONGRATULATIONS! An epic task and a teriffic result. I’m sad it’s over…I’m being selfish as I’ve really enjoyed taking the journey with you, if only as a spectator.

    The sentiment in this final July image is very touching. It’s good to feel part of the community, you are the best friend that we all had or still have that is always there whenever we need them in good times and in bad.

    I’m looking forward to the 15 day challenge…wow not sure how I’ll fair but I’ll give it a damn good go! Girl….you’re a hard act to follow 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 1:16 pm

    Shana - First off, congratulations for completing your challenge!! By all means, this was definitely an adventure, it had all the elements of excitement and surprise. I love your strength and dedication to your craft, you honored what you set off to complete and now you have 31 images, 31 videos, and 31 blog posts as a testament to your commitment. And I love your eagerness to share it with the world, so thank you. It has become part of my daily routine to stop by and be inspired by your newest post. You have definitely created a community and I feel so fortunate to be part of it.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 1:42 pm

    crackle - Hey Brooke – Congratulations – and thank you for all the authentic sharing and amazing creating you have been doing. Love all these – images – Just magical – just like you! xox Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 3:25 pm

    Vicki Kurasz - I consider your going off in the woods as adventures too. The meaning to words often mean different things to different people. My photography friends and I love going on our little adventures. It will never be skydiving, but they will always be fun for us.

    Can’t believe how much work you did this month. Time for you to take a breather. I will miss stalking you every day. 🙂

    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 5:51 pm

    DAD - Beautiful journey. Can’t wait to see your next adventure.ReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2017 - 12:17 am

    Rose - I got the join up email at midnight on 1st August my time, and when I went to register, it said it was closed.

    Given the timings and time differences I was never going to get access to this, which is a real shame, I got a lot out of the 30 Days of Creativity.ReplyCancel

    • August 1, 2017 - 4:35 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Rose, I have added you to the challenge and you will receive emails each day at 5:00AM PST 🙂ReplyCancel

      • August 2, 2017 - 1:29 am

        Rose - Wow! Thanks. Can I donate somewhere or pay etc?ReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2017 - 2:09 am

    Trish Edwards - How exciting and well done such an amazing journey.

    I live in Australia and went to register for the 15 day content creation challenge, but missed the deadline obviously because of the timeline difference. 🙁 Hopefully I can join the next one.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us 🙂ReplyCancel

    • August 1, 2017 - 4:36 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Trish, I have added you to the challenge and you will receive emails each day at 5:00AM PST 🙂ReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2017 - 5:55 am

    Mira - Brooke!!! Thank you for this July. It was a great adventure. Every day a new world! It was magical!ReplyCancel

  • August 2, 2017 - 7:33 am

    Mary Gonzales - Good Morning Brooke I love your work and have followed you since first seeing your Photos at the Annenburg in Century City.

    I registered for the 15 day challenge but have not received the emails. I checked Paypal and it seems my donation was sent. Please help.

    Thank youReplyCancel

  • August 8, 2017 - 11:02 am

    Erin - Just amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. I’ve learned so much from your videos. I just binged watched the 31 day challenge last night. Lol Unfortunately, I found out about the 15 day challenge too late. I would have loved to join along. Next time for sure. 🙂ReplyCancel

This morning I was dragging a little bit, hesitant to get out of bed with my 4:30 alarm. I did, as evidenced by my putting content in this blog post, but it was a struggle. I picked today to drive to my favorite forest because there was no rain forecasted, but it rained the whole drive up and the whole (hour long) drive back. I have been really inspired lately with no shortage of ideas for photo shoots, but my body was lagging behind the enthusiasm of my creativity. And, if I’m honest, even that was a little bit lacking today. I saw so many amazing sights on my drive, like fog rolling in down a long and empty road, elk grazing on the side of the highway, and mud puddles that, on any other day, I probably would have jumped in.

As I drove home I realized there was construction on the back way that I decided to take, which I only took because I wanted to inspire myself and lift my attitude a bit. So, my little car bumped and scraped along for miles and miles until it finally cleared. I stopped at my favorite cafe for my favorite hot chocolate, and as I watched the footage back from my shoot with the rain pattering overhead, I finally found it. I found my happiness. It wasn’t shining as brightly, but we all have days like that. They probably exist to make the days that aren’t like that even better.

I filmed this one on my phone so you could see the camera process!

As I started editing this picture I put my favorite calming music on and got lost in the details, and felt really peaceful. While this morning I felt a bit doomed to have an off day, later this morning has brought me a lot of joy. I can still taste the hot chocolate that I had and the rain is dripping outside my window, and it all seems to be glowing beauty.

How perfect for this image that I made today. I shot three different pictures this morning, but this one called to me the most. Now I see why. We all have choices to make; to choose happiness or not. We can choose inspiration, passion, and good spirits or we can choose to be negative. And honestly, I’m not remotely saying that I make the more positive choice everyday. But I do try my best, and I recognize the power of our choices.

Over the years I’ve lost time and energy for people who constantly take the negative path. The people who make excuse after excuse as to why their life has never been and will never be fair. What is fair, anyway? None of us control outside influences that would knock us off our feet. None of us chooses the unforeseeable slams that life throws down. But we all choose how we react to them. I believe what is even more important than how we react to those random, big life events (after all, we’ve had no practice with each of those individual demons), is how we react each day, and the choices we make in the little moments.

I may not have felt good this morning, mentally or physically, but I didn’t have to choose anger. I didn’t have to choose cynicism. It might have taken a couple of hours, but I’ve chosen acceptance and gratitude and joy. That is my goal every single day.

Remember that your choices matter. Every little choice leads to the culmination of your life’s happiness. And I believe that your life won’t be summed up by that one big moment that tore your world apart, but by how you reacted to that moment, and all the moments to come. How you chose to separate yourself from your anger, or not. How we choose happiness, or we don’t.

Here’s to not waiting for tomorrow to take away some sorrows, but to making a choice right now that gets us there faster. As for me, I’ve got a few more hours of work and then I’m going to make a big mug of my favorite tea, read a good book, bake some apple crisp, and get to my yoga mat.

 

  • July 30, 2017 - 11:56 am

    Caz Harris - After the month you’ve had no wonder you’re exhausted.
    we’ve had a very wet windy weekend here, which doens’t help with inspiration, unless you’re looking to get wet 🙂

    This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Such a lovely feel to it.

    Life is a constant battle with choices and it isn’t always easy to choose the best option, so to turn a crappy day into a good one is a triumph! Mind you hot chocolate is a wonder lol

    The images plus supporting works you’ve produced under the pressure of this challenge have been brilliant. You are an inspiration to so many, and I’m sure like today it isn’t always as “easy” as it looks.
    Well you get a gold star from me.ReplyCancel

  • July 30, 2017 - 1:19 pm

    Gallagher Green - Today’s post really hits home with me, it seems like everyday I have to remind myself to be in a good mood. For about the last year I have really lost tolerance for that have nothing but excuses on why their life is so bad. It isn’t good to be around them.
    Hot chocolate always puts me into a good mood, so good choice. And an apple crisp to boot!
    I see why that is one of you favorite locations, it is so open, I love it! Kansas doesn’t have much for woods, and what he do have is often so dinse you can’t even walk in them. Not to mention poison ivy everywhere!
    Beautiful photo that really represents today post nicely.

    P.S.
    Only two days until the new challenge starts!!!ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 2:04 am

    Clenda Sabrina Lahr - Happiness is just a choice away.
    That’s actually something I wrote a while ago.
    And so your words, your art really spoke to my soul today. In general, too, for that matter. So thank you! Thank you for thinking about the world and sharing your art. And, as I am also a person who constantly thinks about the world, the Universe and everything, thank you for inspiring me.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2017 - 5:06 am

    Ellen - You just made this into a thought-provoking summer for me. I will definitely miss the daily posts after July. Thank you Brooke!
    Like you I have a huge soft spot for forests. In fact I specialise in Fine Art forest photography and I just wanted to let you know that if you are ever back in The Netherlands I would very much love to take you to a forest that would suit your style perfectly. In fact I am quite sure I will never be able to drag you away from it once you are there. I would love to show it it you and show you around if you were to ever come back here and have an urgent need for a forest fixReplyCancel