7/31 July Challenge

7/31 July Challenge

One week in and I can’t think of a better way to be spending my summer. The mornings are cool and dark and peaceful, my editing sessions are filled with tea and music, and my afternoons are for working. Evenings bring walks and yoga and cooking up new recipes. Nights bring Star Trek and reading.

When I began creating images years ago, I was just out of college (technically still in the very end semester), and I had nothing to my name. I had no money. I was moving and unsettled and had no place to call home. I took a job as a receptionist and saved everything that I possibly could, eating lots of Ramen soup and paying off my student loans extremely diligently. One year in to being out of school, I had paid off my student loans and I was moving toward this dream career.

I remember waking at 5am each morning to shoot before work and editing when no one was looking throughout the day. I remember how exhilarating it was to have the freedom to create; to come up with a new idea everyday made me feel powerful. I also burned out on it, as we all do at times, and I’ve found balance since then. With this July challenge brings memories of that time in my life, when I had never taken pictures before so everything was new. Everything had never been done before, in my world.

During those times, because money was so tight, I had a strict rule for myself: buy nothing. I used hand-me-down equipment, a tripod from a thrift store, and anything I could find around me. I remember once dragging a shopping cart up the stairs to my second floor apartment, getting stuck and pinned on the way there. I remember gathering branches. I remember finding old fabric in an alley. I remember my utter amazement, and subsequent empowerment, I felt at realizing the great many uses of a bed sheet.

We don’t need fancy things to create. Our imaginations are free. We are free to use them. And they can set us free.

Today I celebrate how wonderful it is to be a CREATOR in this beautiful world. To see the things that others don’t; to see potential where others see roadblocks. Is that not what makes an Artist? Seeing something different in the world and expressing that view in your own unique iteration?

Today I photographed the most ordinary items: a rope, an old oar I’ve had for ages, a candle holder…and I created from that. Can I afford more now than I could then? Yes. Do I feel that I need to spend money to prove myself? To make myself feel more ‘professional’? No. So here I create in my happy world of my own building, where rarely does anything cost more than $10 and I can exist blissfully inside my imagination.

There’s lots of room in here, if you want to join.

3 thoughts on “7/31 July Challenge

  1. I am having SO much fun watching your journey each day. I am heading out for a two week family vacation tomorrow to a land with extremely limited internet. I love disconnecting, but will really MISS seeing what you are creating each day. Can wait to see what has developed when I get back!!

  2. That is one thing I have always loved about you is that they are always low cost, but are as good as any other piece of art out there! I love the work of several other artist, but their shoots most cost thousands.
    I have lived my whole life pretty much broke, so I know what it is like to live on that lousy Ramen soup! The shrimp flavor is vegetarian. 😉
    I really like that first photo, love that back light!
    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post. 🙂

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