Even when we don’t try, when we push our feelings and emotions away, when we create with outside inspiration, we put ourselves into what we do. It may not manifest outwardly in an obvious way. It might not be something that you feel deeply connected to. Or it might be in a way that is very personal and intimate. Artists are in touch with something within that reveals itself in all that they do.
I am the first person to say that my images do not reflect my personal life. Yet in a way, that is not wholly true. I do not take personal experiences and translate them into images. I do not take an emotion I might be feeling one day and turn that into an image for a release. I do, however, internalize all of my emotions as life goes on and I turn those into inspiration for images in the future.
This picture that I did recently is a great example of this. I learn from my life and I turn those lessons into visual ways of connecting with others. I did not create this picture to heal myself; I created it to show that we all feel this way sometimes. “This way” is not one specific thing. Being able to understand our emotions and turn those into symbols is a powerful way of relating to the world.
Now, an emotion I once felt is no longer simply an abstract emotion. It has physical representation: form, color, location. By assigning those identifiable, physical attributes to an emotion, the emotion is now translated into many languages and cultures. We can understand our collective feelings by looking at images that reflect those emotions.
To have wings. To lose wings. To use someone else to lift us up. To allow others to help. To demand help. To hurt others to help ourselves.
All of these ideas went into the making of this image, and depending on your world view or state of mind, any of them could equally apply. There was a time when I felt that I couldn’t fly any higher, that I was about to fall. I wished for wings then. There have been times when I needed someone to lift me up, and I found them. There were times when I felt my well being was more important than other living creatures and so I used them to serve me. More and more I try to be like the butterflies, lifting others and myself all the while.
What does the world look like from your point of view? How can you get others to understand that through a visual medium? What symbols are important and present in your life? What do you want the world to understand?
Andrea Gore - For me the world looks like an opportunity, an adventure. I always try to portray movement and emotion. Both I feel are so important for growth. I want to be constantly learning and expanding as an individual and I think my photos help me pour out all that comes with that journey. It is hard to narrow down specific symbols as I feel there are so many I identify with. The moon is for sure something that I find constant inspiration in. Sometimes bright or hidden by clouds, showing in crescent form or full force it is always present. I hope that people could say one day I was always present. Through the good and the bad or changing of circumstances I was always REALLY there in the best way that I could be. I think that is the biggest message I would like to portray as well. Always be present. Always be real. Even if you can only muster up half of yourself in a day. Let that half shine for what it really is. Thanks Brooke <3
Tom Newforge - Brooke I am still working towards learning the means to represent my vision but I think mine will be that there are still wonders to behold in this life. We have just barely scratched the surface of our understanding on everything and anything. Anyone who tells you differently has much to learn.
I’d also like to show that despite how it may look at times, there are really good people out there. People who genuinely mean to lift those around them. To tell people how they “can” instead of why they “cannot”.
We are taught constantly that this is a naive point of view. That the world is hostile and to survive we too must be hostile. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few people in my life to show me differently.
The secret is understanding. Through understanding we can realize kindness and through kindness we can achieve happiness. One of the happiest moments in my life was seeing someone else’s success and knowing I had an anonymous hand in that success. I didn’t need credit or validation for it.
This view may not ever make me rich or successful by some standards but I hope that at some point through my art that someone somewhere will smile or be inspired to create:)
Mike Claydon - Brooke – You will probably think I am past it as I am retired but one of the things I have learnt in life is always be prepared for change. If you do not change you are stuck in a rut. But there are times when despite everything you get depressed. Last year I was in hospital for 3 months having operations. I really thought the end had come – but I came through. There was hope at the end of the tunnel and we have to hang on to that however tenuous it might be.
I love your pics
Melanie Bryan - I have just now realized that fine art is what I really want to do and I feel that my biggest challenge will be using symbols and photography to relay the proper emotion(s) that I want to convey. Thank you for the continued kind words and inspiration.
lovelyn - The world is a wide open space full of possibilities, vision, and color. There is a fully of anticipation in each moment. I’ve always been attracted to dragonflies. They represent living life to its fullest to me. They are fast and their eyes are positioned so they can see all around them. They live life hard because they know their time is limited.
Sarah Allegra - Beautifully written! I love your butterfly goal, I think I’ll adopt that as well 🙂 Great post as always!
Paulo Alexandre Carvalho - Love the image, Love the post. 🙂
Bree Gaudette - Good questions!
I want the world to understand that you always have a choice. Always. No matter how small or limiting or desolate your options feel at times, there is still choice, and that’s a powerful thing.
I want the world to see what they normally walk on top of everyday. I want them to know the splendor in the grasses, the grains in the ocean floor, and the wonder of the world of trees.
I want the world to love well and widely. To on an energetic level, but consciously. I want them to understand and practice compassion with every single life form on (and off!) the plant.
Oh, and world peace. 😉
Thank you for prompting those answers out of us, what a useful inner dialogue!
Shonda Hilton - Brooke,
I wanted to say THANK YOU! I met you yesterday at ClickAway and it was amazing to hear you speak from your heart about passion and showing the world your vision through photography. I have created a note on my phone for ideas that have started to flood me. I had only 1 idea yesterday before I met you and now I have 7 written down. It is like hearing you unlocked an outlet that I had shut off because I didn’t think people would get it including my husband. I closed off all the dark feelings because I thought I shouldn’t have them in my fairly normal/happy life. I now see I can have an outlet and share these feelings. A million times over THANK YOU!