The right moment?
It is so easy to wait. I fall into this trap regularly. I think to myself, “This isn’t a good time, surely things will get better.” Or I say, “I’ll wait to do this until I have more _________,” insert whatever word fits for you: money, time, energy, hope, help, tools, gear, etc.
There are many things I’ve put off in my life. Making a documentary. Creating a fine art book. Publishing my novel. Just to name a few.
But at the same time, there are many things I have done. I am not someone who sits and counts the seconds on the clock. I ignore the clock entirely, most days. I do what feels right despite the risk. I am, at heart, a perpetual risk-taker.
But even those of us whose brains seemed to be blocked from whatever tells us something is dangerous, it still creeps in.
That is how I know it must for other people, too. I make excuses, though I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t. We all do.
But what if we didn’t? What if we didn’t need the life raft that excuses let us hold on to and instead we swam, for dear life, to the place where our dreams dwell?
Where would you end up?
That is the question we should answer today:
Sara - Hi Brooke,
You inpsired me to create my first photographic series last year. My husband had a stroke and I created a series of composited self portraits called “Stroke of Emotions”. I never intended to show anyone my work, but participating in your month long online course last October gave me the courage to “put it out there”. The results have been amazing! Five of the images were accepted for a month long exhibit at a photography gallery (my first “paid” exhibit). I conducted a one hour presentation to over 40 people at our local library (I am terrified of public speaking!) which was well received. I created a self published book based on my talk. The series was featured by an online Canadian photography magazine, and six images from the series have recently been published in a book called “Seeing in Sixes 2018”. My series was one of fifty projects selected from over 1000 entries. It is truly amazing what you can achieve if you have the courage to try. Thanks for all that you do to encourage others!
brookeshaden - Wow Sara!! That is an incredible way of turning hardship into something more beautiful…and then owning your creativity and confidence and putting yourself out there! I am so happy for the success you’ve had. Keep going Sara!!
Gallagher Green - Holly monkey Sara, that is amazing! And so inspiring! ❤
Congratulations, and not only on these successes but on throwing out your excuses and making this happen!
Anna Bruce - Oh Brooke. This. First, let me tell you that I have a personal obsession with the theme “Time”. I did a whole piece on it in school. Right now I just feel overwhelmed. So overwhelmed. Everyday I do something in the way of what I’ve set out for myself but some days it feels like it’s just not enough. I woke up in a funk today so this post is appropriately timed. I need help with figuring out how to run my business but have no idea where to turn. Everyday I make it a point to not let myself defeat myself. I try to peptalk myself out of being impatient and kindly remind myself that it’s a journey, not a race and my journey has truly just begun.
brookeshaden - I hear you and I feel the same so regularly. Self-employment is such a struggle between all of those emotions! I’m here for you if I can be, just an email away if you want to throw some questions my way.
Kristy - Sometimes I find it hard to believe that you can knock these images out like this, I just watched you shoot this live yesterday. Ha ha ha
I guess that comes with patience and practice though. Beautiful piece!
Jacob - Hey brooke! I have been admiring your work for at least the past 6 months now. And it led me to do a research project on you for one of my classes and then a photo assignment for my other class. I major in photography in college right now and your work has inspired me to bring a story to my work besides just having a nice picture. I am starting a project because of your work where I bring mental illnesses a visual using my photography and my photoshop abilities. I am doing this work because of the people around me who are all impacted by it and with your photos it gave me a sense of direction in how I wanted to achieve this work! I really want to say thank you and keep up what you do because your work in finominal. It’s also cool to see that you shoot with a sony camera as well! 🙂 Can’t wait to see where this journey takes me but thank you so much for the inspiration!
Gallagher Green - I started trying to stop making excuses a year or so ago after reading one of your blog post about making excuses. LOL I still find myself making them, but I now recognize when I do stop myself and say “Is that just an excuse or fact?” sometimes it is fact. But 90% of the time it is an excuse, and since I have started confronting these excuses a lot has changed!
Excuse: “I am too broke to go to PPC.”
Fact: “I worked and make it to PPC.”
Excuse: “I can’t do conceptual work without a model.”
Fact: “Yes I can, I just had to drag myself in front of the bloody camera.”
Excuse: “You can’t move to France without money.”
Fact: “Yes you can, it will just be a little harder, and more fun!”
Excuse: “Writing a book is unobtainable.”
Fact: “No it isn’t, you just have to do it.”
These are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are all true and incredible!
Love the photo!
Julie Powell - Gallagher Green that is awesome!!!!!!!!
Bob Barford - Letting go of a life raft can certainly be scary, particularly if it is a job (even a frustrating one). Like a life raft in the water, a great deal of anxiety, concern about bills, and even slipping under the surface so as not to make it to shore is a real possibility. Sometimes, I wonder though if moving toward something just a little bit better, no far how far from the raft, might be worth the risk.
Angela Willis - If I let go of my life raft, I would drown, since I can’t swim.
As always I love this piece and your lovely words to support it, Brooke. Also would love to see the live that you did (if you recorded it), I spaced out and forgot about it…
Super excited about your “Death” series, can’t wait to see it.
Rocio Villanueva - For the last year and a half I have been swimming without my life draft. I have been creating art, specially fine art photography, and the waters haven’t always been easy to manage. Some times it’s very disappointing and frustrating, not making enough money from this. But I really don’t care because not all in this life is about money.
I love to show through my art my life, my soul, my mysterious secrets, and passion. To live my life in the fullest way, I make art for my self, to be happy,to be a complete person.
Usha - Dear Brooke. I think this is true artistry. To feel the vision, to execute it and have the skills to make beautiful images out of literally nothing. This is what draws me to you time and time again. After attending PPC this year, I made a decision to bear down and keep practicing and putting work out there and ask how to improve and learn from the comments. I really, really, really want to get to a stage where I can sit with myself and feel like I could express my emotions via images I make. I am determined to get there. I used to be a huge extrovert. As I am growing older, I am tending to retreat and want more and more alone time….to the point of getting panicky when social situation arise. This type of art making really is appealing as I can be OK being with myself. Its been a tough journey to find my authentic self and not immediately and easily “turn on the me” the people expect. I do that well. Being truly me is the hard part for me. Anyway, thanks for the White Wall Wednesday inspirations. Somehow, I have a lot of sadness in me. I don’t know why. Being around you and your art and your community really is bringing that up in me. I need to explore and feel it and find peace with it. I will use this to FIND my true self. Thanks you for your inspiration and kindness. (Also, will you be posting the post processing work flow somewhere for this?). Have an amazing day Brooke.
Piet Cosaert - If I let go my life raft, this means I should give up my life as I know and start a life full of art and filled with joy and happyness. But this should also mean a poor lonely life, because I lived too long in an exact science world. A world of engineering and managing projects etc. Nobody is accepting me as an artist, not even my own friends and family. They think this is not the person we know, so he must become insane or something.
So what am I waiting for?
Usha - Hi Brooke. Don’t know what happened. Sent a long comment…but it doesn’t show up. Hope you got it.
Julie Powell - Hi Brooke, I saw this post and it actually spurned me just doing a project I was working on….an online photography class. And you are right I was wasting time and making excuses thinking it was the wrong time of year, or what if no-one wants to join in, the what ifs are endless. But instead I just did it, put up the teaser and already have 12 people signed up in less than 12 hours! Laid the groundwork and put the finishing touches on the first few lessons and I’m off, it starts on Sunday. Scary, but thrilling and exciting at the same time. Thank you XO