Has anyone ever told you that you can’t do something you want to do?
Or that you shouldn’t, or that it’s best not to?
This past week I had an idea to make myself look like I was covered in tree sap while hanging upside down from the most epic tree I’ve ever seen. In order to do that, I had to cover myself in molasses…or, as it ended up turning out, corn syrup.
On a micro level, there were many reasons why this wasn’t a good idea.
The sticky mess that would take hours to clean.
Messing up my camera equipment.
I had a thought while I was planning. “You’re 31 years old now. When will this stop?” That line of questioning no doubt comes from countless sources, from parental figures to television.
The answer came immediately: It will never stop.
If we stop pursuing the little wonders, the absurd, the silly, the messy, the childish…
…We will lose our sense of wonder.
In my life, if I want to do something and it won’t do any harm to anyone else, I do it.
I don’t care if it is uncomfortable or difficult. I don’t care if it is easy or not. I will do it because I must prove to myself that I am all in for this life.
If we don’t pursue those wild things that are uncomfortable or difficult, our childlike desires will start to disappear. Just like a plan that doesn’t get watered, our imagination will die if it isn’t loosed.
I have known so many people who think I’m nuts. People who think I’m too childish. People who cannot fathom doing the things that I do. But at the end of the day, when those people see the process and result of my madness, they don’t think it’s so mad anymore.
We spend so much time making excuses for why we don’t do something. We come up with difficulties in our heads that don’t really exist. We prefer things to be easy and clean and sterile. We want certainty.
I crave those things too. I fall into long, terrible lulls of ease.
But I recognize them and I want more. I want to look back at my 31st year and remember that Friday that I spent covering myself in molasses. I want people to think I’m crazy. I want to stand out from the crowd. I want to make this life worthwhile.
You may not see the connection. How does covering yourself in molasses make your life more worth living?
It’s a fair question. And it has nothing to do with molasses – not really. It’s about doing something that creates a memory, about doing something uncomfortable so that you feel more.
What is one thing you can do this week that is outside of your norm?
Share it so that I can get more ideas of crazy things to do…[insert evil laugh]
Gallagher Green - I love this photo, and the process to get there!
This makes me want to do a reshoot of a photo I took a year or so ago, but this time I am going to have to cover my arm in paint! But it is only one arm, so that’s not too bad.
I have a friend that two days ago ended up covered in and sitting in mud even though it was 30F outside, but he got the photo he wanted, and that’s what counts! 🙂
The things we do for art, and fun! <3
Chrystal Kelly - Good morning! I was truly inspired by the redwoods too. I felt like all the fairy’s were running along with me. I love this image and how u created it. I actually took some time to myself yesterday to work on an idea that’s been nawing at me for a while. Another thing I’m addressing at the same time is that I have been wanting to create a gallery series of images that I feel confident presenting as a serious body of work. So I was able to somewhat solidify my idea by asking myself a series of questions that had to do with the subject of my project. Now I have to create in a whole new way, it’s going to take time, financial investment and allot of hard work. So today I’m studying and researching how to create a 8’x8’ room that is portable and start figuring out if I can get some of the stuff I need from the habitat for humanity restore. I’m feeling excited and apprehensive at the same time!
Wendy Baker - I could not agree more. Keeping the sense of wonder alive in myself is key. And still you inspire me to bring more of my childish behavior to my art.
It’s my birthday week– I’ve asked for a waterproof camera– so I’ll come up with something crazy this weekend and share it with you. Thinking…Thinking…
Gallagher Green - Happy Birthday!!! 🙂
Julie Oshiyama - L.O.V.E. love, love!!! You are so my hero, Brooke. I have always been accused of being a cartoon, yet over the past few years, I’ve reduced my cartooniness. This blog of yours reminded me that staying true to one’s self is the proper way to live; thank you for this blog. Ok, so I have an idea for you, but first this: I recently finished reading your book and completed your CreativeLive courses, one of the lessons I took away from both is to first find your story. One of the ways I find my story is through music, lyrics to be more specific. So, with that, my idea for you, since you seem to like gauze, is to have you wrapped in gauze while tumbling down (a hole, hill, tree, etc.) with the gauze trailing behind to fit with the song Come Undone from Duran Duran. Perhaps one day I will give this a try. But for now, that’s my crazy idea for you.
Deborah Gichan - Wow Brooke, this was hands down my favorite video of yours. I love following you, but to watch you in action as you created this image was so honest, real and actually cute. But I am a mom and an older female photographer, so I get to that you looked cute…
So the project I am working on is based on a theme where the world around us is looking strange because Mother Nature is not feeling well because we have hurt the environment. I touch on this in my website. This week I want to complete an image I began to composite of a house that is partially demolished. I put it in a scene with a stormy sky and a hill with a large hole. I want to dress up in a long dress with my silver wig, shoot multiple images of myself looking like a Grecian vase of dancers who are holding hands. I want the dancers to look like ghosts in front of the house as they dance around the hole in the ground with an image of a muddy female reaching out. Ok…wish me luck.
Anna - Love this so much Brooke! I frolicked in the ocean wearing bedsheets lol. It was a lot harder than I expected as the ocean kept bashing me around and stealing my sheet!!!! I will be working with flour in my hair next week. I love that you do weird, crazy things. Never stop!