Let’s talk about the artist’s evolution. As you continue in your craft – grow, change, repeat – your art will grow with you. It will evolve and expand and collapse. You will hate it and love it and hate it again. You will want to change it, and you will, and you’ll regret that sometimes, and you’ll move forward.

I’ve been a photographic artist for 10 years. That’s a DECADE, people! And in my fairly young life, that’s a third.

In a fortunate turn of events, I’ve also had an audience for those 10 years that I’ve been an artist. From just a couple of weeks into creating up until now, I’ve had people looking at, and commenting on, my work.

Which makes it understandable as to why I’ve heard this comment more times than is countable:

“I prefer the old you.”

In my career this has meant anything from “the you of 10 years ago” to “the you of last week”. And it used to bother me.

Can’t they see I’m GROWING?!

It doesn’t matter if you have a big audience or not. Anyone from your mother to a stranger on the Internet will likely tell you the same exact words sooner or later. Here’s why:

1. People change.
2. People hate change.

…And we all have opinions.

I’ve had periods of what I consider really, really bad art-making in my life.

2013. What a bad year. I look back at that year of my art and cringe! It was so flat, so boring, so not where I wanted to go.

But I had to make that art. I had to do it to move myself forward. To experience, to know that it wasn’t me.

I used to get upset when people told me they prefer a different style that I used to make. I thought it made me less of an artist. I’d second-guess my artistic direction. I’d let it consume me.

Imagine a friend calls you up and they say: You know, I really prefer your personality from a couple of years ago. This one just isn’t cutting it for me. I don’t enjoy being around you as much anymore.

That’s basically the conversation around art and change.
(That might have been a tad dramatic).

So it makes sense that feelings get hurt and that it stings a little to hear it.

As an artist, you want to yell back: “Don’t you see?! I’m doing the best I can!”

But you can’t, without sounding paranoid.

The fact is that we are doing the best we can. Even if you haven’t created in months, that’s the best you can do for yourself right now. You might look back in a year at this time and recognize just how much you needed a break.

Maybe you feel your style shifting and it scares you. Let it, but keep going. You never know where that will lead.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made some art that I don’t like. And I don’t blame you for not liking either. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worth making.

Perhaps the most difficult part of being an artist with an audience is knowing that, inevitably, someone will tell you that you were better before. And they’re not necessarily wrong. I value every opinion. I don’t disregard someone because they think differently from how I do.

But I do know that the bad art is as necessary as the good. That where I am now is where I’m meant to be. And that where I’m going will remain fulfilling if I listen to myself…

…All opinions valid, none as much as my own.

  • April 24, 2020 - 3:23 pm

    Anna Bruce - Honestly? I like most of your work. There are seasons in your career that I gravitate more than others because of my own personal preferences. I am a photographer because of my life experiences and I gravitate towards more photographic images most of the time. The reason I like most of your work (I have to say most because your wedding cake piece was a bit questionable but I am so glad you shared it because it’s also hilarious) is because of you. You’ve put so much into your brand that is not just your art. And, in a way, just like someone’s personality can make us fall completely in love with them so can your personality make me fall in love with your art. I think this is why it’s so important for artists to share their process and themselves.
    I’ve definitely had people tell me they liked it when I was a wedding photographer more and I’ve definitely had people say that they thought I was super talented but they preferred people who actually painted canvases. Funny world. Anyway, you have a fan for life. Keep being you and the rest of us will follow through the ebbs and flows of your life. Some people will break off, some new ones will join and some will stay for the whole journey.ReplyCancel

Yarn is the most interesting prop! It is soft, organic…can strangle, can mend…The colors are endless, the uses diverse. I have been using yarn in my art for the past 9 years, relentlessly. It carried a great amount of symbolism and I find it to be incredibly rich.

I can’t wait to see how creative you get with this! If you don’t have yarn, use rope or string instead!

I’ll pull some of the art that I see this week to feature!
Use the hashtag #PromotingPassionChallenge so I can find you!

Here is some food for thought. Enjoy the challenge, and remember to push yourself creatively!

Do you know the feeling of total excitement when you start a new project? I don’t always feel it, but sometimes it sneaks up on me. Like starting White Wall Wednesday again. I love making YouTube videos so much – it’s totally in alignment with how I like to work. I’ve been more productive in creating images because of it, and I’m enjoying putting it out there so much!

Here’s what I did this week, including that new WWW video. I hope you enjoy all this amazing content!


This editing video is really in-depth. People ask all the time for more in-depth editing videos, so please do share this with anyone you think would benefit!

I also released a video where I break down how I edited this image!

I’m releasing 2-3 new videos per week now on YouTube. That is the place to follow me if you want to watch them. A lot of them are dedicated to shooting and editing so I think you’ll enjoy it!

I released a new image this week, too!

“Lilliputian Lungs”, self-portrait, April 2020

To go along with the image, I wrote a poem of the same title:

There is something uncultivated in me, 
wild and untethered, aching,
and it sings to me from a cage it has outgrown.

I call it my largeness that is
hidden in my Lilliputian lungs
and I feel it pounding when I breathe.

It comes out in small bursts
like a lion muzzled or a 
winged bird clipped.

Even those small eruptions are sweet
and ease the bitter breeze
that washes my mouth clean of it.

I am the wilderness of abandonment
and the wholeness of great cities tied down
by too small a body or too silent a voice.

I am the shivering storm that threatens
and the battlefield of ancient men,
but they are too old to fight anymore.

There is something uncultivated in me,
wild and untethered, aching,
and it sings to me from a cage it has outgrown.

I hope you enjoyed the work this week! Stay well and creative and let me know if I can do anything to serve you in your creativity.


  • April 22, 2020 - 1:45 pm

    Anna Bruce - Thank you for always being so amazing and sharing all of your knowledge with us <3ReplyCancel

I have been sharing so much content that I’m actually overwhelming myself, so I thought I must be overwhelming other people, too. Thank goodness I created some of this content back in August last year or else my head wouldn’t be above water! But regardless, it has been a hyper-productive few weeks. I can’t keep up with posting all the links to all the things I want you to see, so I’m making weekly roundup posts now!

Here are all the noteworthy things I did this week!

  • I REBOOTED WHITE WALL WEDNESDAY! This is definitely the biggest one as it was extremely requested and I loved making them. So here we are. WWW is back!
I created this new image thanks to rebooting WHITE WALL WEDNESDAY!
  • I shared a new video: 6 WAYS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT TO AN AUDIENCE. Is it weird to say that I find this video really inspiring? Oh well – I do! I find it particularly helpful. I give exercises to do and I really think it’s an A+ message for branding/marketing on social media.
  • The last video I want to share is my weekly DECONSTRUCTING THE EDIT video! It’s a double feature this week all about walls and how to edit them. Sound weird? Good. I hope you enjoy seeing me take apart two of my images in Photoshop!
  • I recorded a podcast with my good friend Jed Taufer for his series This Conversation. I have never, ever, in my whole life, found more profound connection when talking to someone before…except my husband…but that’s another story. Jed is, simply put, the most curious, compassionate, and steadfast soul. I hope you enjoy our very candid conversation. It’s almost an hour long so download it to listen to in the car, while you’re doing dishes, cooking, etc.
  • I wrote this new article: WHY INVESTMENT IN ART MATTERS. I think it’s a well-articulated argument toward the importance of buying art and might inspire you to take up the mantle today.
  • I’m doing a webinar with PHOTOGRAPHERS WITHOUT BORDERS and my good friend Danielle Da Silva. She has such a unique outlook on life and I always look forward to our moving talks together. Join us, or rewatch!
  • Finally, our new challenge theme this week is RED! You have until April 11th to submit. All you have to do is upload an image to Instagram and use the hashtag #PromotingPassionChallenge for a chance to be featured.

I hope you enjoy all of this content!

On a personal note, I’m down to working about 15 hours a week due to not having childcare right now, probably the same boat as many of you reading this. Life is HARD when you’re full-time parenting and trying to work in odd hours. I’ve finally got a schedule down, but it took 3 weeks to do it.

To be honest, that’s not very different from what I was doing. Since becoming a mother almost 4 months ago, we’ve only had our foster son in daycare a total of 7 days, so I never was able to find a normal routine. I guess this is just par for the bumpy course lately.

In any case, I was really happy I could get all of this new content out to you and I hope that you enjoy it. I make it with my whole heart and soul in the hope that it resonates.

Happy Creating,

As I speak to more and more people from all age groups, there is a mounting desire to be self-employed and a growing frustration in corporate drudgery. In great numbers people are cultivating creativity and trying to go it alone. The problem is that we have been taught from very young ages which jobs matter and which ones don’t; which jobs make money and which will lead to a life of suffering.

At the top of the suffering jobs list is art. Parents worry about their kids when they want to grow up and be artists because it is a notably unstable profession. No one wants their kids to struggle. But what about the, dare I say, equal importance of struggling and succeeding? All the better if that struggle is in pursuing something you love instead of struggling against a job you hate.

Either way you were raised or what you were taught to believe, there is a growing trend toward creativity in the workplace and jobs in art. That desire often comes with conflict, as though responsibility and art are directly opposed to each other. If there is a cultural shift toward creativity, there needs to be an economic shift in that direction as well; our actions must perpetuate the creation.

We need to learn to value art like we value other commodities. If you ask the average person, they would likely say that buying a car is an easier investment than buying art. Naturally so – buying art is frivolous and buying a car is responsible. But is that really true? Let’s dissect what it means to invest in art, for yourself and for others.

There have been massive renaissances throughout history that favor beauty, desire, and art. These periods of time are ones that we look on with fondness, a more idyllic time that allowed us to partake in art as an everyday cultural experience rather than an elitist activity. Perhaps we’re moving into one of those art renaissance periods.

Investing in art brings about social, cultural, and economic changes. Socially, we learn to stop putting artists down for having ‘self-indulgent’ jobs. If we invest in art, we make art a natural part of our lives, one that brings a greater attention to beauty and darkness, to introspection and deep thinking. Culturally it brings attention back to those things that weave the fabric of our societies together. It highlights trends in popular and low-brow thinking, waves of inspiration centered around the time we currently live in, and informs us of how we evolved out of trends of the past.

Investing in art economically allows artists to thrive, and in doing so gives weight to those who are driven, creative, and forward thinking. In this great technological boom, a time that could be defined by mass tech and assembly lines, we see more artists than ever before stepping out with that technology and creating wild, mind-bending works. Those creations aren’t purely aesthetic or frivolous, though; they give us a lens to see our culture, our shortcomings and successes, and our place in the world. They teach us how to engage in business and relationships more freely and creatively. And most importantly, they teach our youngest generation how to incorporate creativity into every part of what they do.

Trends show that the more creative an individual is in all aspects of life – business, relationships, personal and beyond – the more successful they become. The rules of the economy are changing. I graduated college at the start of the recession in the United States and fell into my normal – a world where jobs aren’t secure, where a steady career isn’t guaranteed with a college degree, and where I have been continually rewarded the weirder and more creative I get.

I take that as personal proof of change for myself and others in my generation. The more we invest in art, the more we show the next generation that art is a worthy thing to pursue; that your vision and your unique voice is valued and heard. If you have something to say, you can not only say it, but succeed in saying it. In a world where art is valued, individuals are valued. Free thinking and creativity are pulled into the limelight. And in a world where those values are praised, artists can rise into beautiful inclusion in the topic of worthwhile careers.

If we want individuals to believe their voice matters, we need to begin investing in art. Through the commitment to personal expression, we create a world where anyone can change the future.