As we gain Strength

Amber Grains

“There is a recognizable ebb and flow to the process of recovering our creative selves. As we gain strength, so will some of the attacks of self-doubt.” Julia Cameron

I just finished watching ‘Work of Art’ a reality tv show of challenges to choose then next great artist. I was amazed, thrilled, and a bit disturb about the things I don’t know about art. The challenge was to create a portrait of one of their fellow artist, getting behind that artist and finding the person. Many brilliant pieces of art, a few so so, a couple too conceptual, and considered not portraits at all and would not be seen a portraits.

This way

So the quote I lead with, spoke to me after watching this show, and wondering if I have a more creative talent, could I create a portrait that expressed the essence of a person? I don’t have the training as an artist, or really even as a photographer. I do what I do from a deeper place within me, and with the gallery show coming up in Mid July I have been considering the pieces that I would use, why such and such, should I go with a more gay themed approach, or a varied expression of my best work?  Can I wow them, can I wow myself? How creative am I really? So as I recover, walk out on the edge of places I choose to go, self-doubt wants to rear it ugly head. The quote goes on to say, “This is normal, (speaking of self-doubt) and we can deal with these stronger attacks when we see them as symptoms of our recovery.” One thing I have learned is not to compare myself or my situation to others, I can only measure myself to myself, using other artist as examples, as guides, as teachers and mentors, as I can use the show “Work of Art” to inform me, excite me and teach me!

Bolted tight!

I was thinking I wanted to have a fun blog today, I seem always to be so serious, and here I am being serious once again. This journey is serious, this is my passion, evolving into heaven knows what. So still no fun, I don’t think, humor may show up at some time, but I think he is out drinking or already asleep.

The weekend looks like it will be a full weekend of social and photographic opportunities. It is Gay Pride weekend in Philly. Saturday  the Radical Faeries support the Dyke March with supplying them with Water Ice throughout the rally and march, and I will be there once again to document that event. Sunday is Gay Pride March and Festival on the river front as well as many other events throughout the day and evening around the city of brotherly love.

So my artist date this week was to visit other Photographer portfolio on Redbubble! Diving deeper into their work, viewing photographers works that I have not seen or even visiting artist work that are on my watch list. To see if I have missed some pieces, to comment on new works. And the genera extends from nature, to portraits, to candid, expressionist work with shots of rusty, peeling paint. Making comments and picking favorites helps encourage and support fellow artists, as well as allows me to see and experience what else is out there. One thing that has been happening is that I have notice that I have been only getting two or three comments on most of work, and usually from the same people. So I need to look into why that is?What else I can do to stir more interest in my work. I know it is suggested to journal more, enter challenges, comment on as many peoples work as you can. Hmm? Thought I was doing all of that, need I do more?

Top This

Well it looks like my recovery is in full swing because I have self-doubt yet I am looking for solutions. Creating personal challenges, and creative challenge to shift my work to another place, to get my work viewed, shown, sold.

Ooppss, once again I step into the serious road, so why did serious cross the road?  To find humor, to get run over by a car, to take a photo of fun, or something in the middle of the road?

One of the Basic Principles of the Artist’s Way that I will use as an affirmation is “It is safe to open myself up to greater and greater creativity”

Thanks I needed that!

I am Love, Jeff

Growth Question: Does self-doubt stop you in your tracks or can you use it to inform you to create new exciting challenges for yourself?


9 thoughts on “As we gain Strength”

  1. Jeff – “This way” and “Top that” are my two favorite photographs.

    You said, “One thing that has been happening is that I have noticed that I have been only getting two or three comments on most of work, and usually from the same people. So I need to look into why that is?”

    Maybe it’s the time of year. As we leave the snow behind, I make a point of being outside more. Something’s gotta give — for me it’s computer time. That will change again when the season does.

    You asked, “What else I can do to stir more interest in my work?”

    For the writing aspect of what I do, I submit, submit, and submit some more to magazines. That may be a good venue for you as well. I typically go to Border’s and find magazines that are likely to print articles in my areas of focus — Energy Medicine, Personal Growth, and Spiritual Awareness. I make a note of their website addresses. When I get home I get online and check their submission guidelines. If I agree with them, I submit. With time I’ve learned that there’s nothing fatal about a “no.” I’m still alive to tell about it.

    Growth Question: Does self-doubt stop you in your tracks or can you use it to inform you to create new exciting challenges for yourself?

    When self-doubt knocks on my door, I usually invite it in a sit with it a while. I ask it why it’s come — listening carefully for the answer. When our visit’s over — I’ve ascertained what I needed to learn — I thank it for its visit, and send it on its way.

  2. Laurie,

    This is the most words on a page/comment I think I have ever seen from you! Thank you for responding to the questions, and offering suggestions. I do have photography art sites that I belong too that I have not posted work on for some reason or other. And you may be correct people are off and about enjoying the weather.

    Yes allowing “self-doubt” to have a chat to see where it is coming from is an important step in creative recovery.

    I am Love, Jeff

    PS: This Way and Top That are two of my favs at the moment too! Thank you!

  3. Oh, just call me “Chatty Kathy.” All kidding aside … we had to cancel this Sunday’s “Attracting Abundance” workshop because of lack of registration. Between graduations, vacations, and delicious weather, people don’t want to be stuck inside for 2-hours. I’m not taking it personally — it’s just the way of it.

  4. Absolutely! When one door closes, another one always opens — and it’s usually for a fantastic reason that we don’t always understand at the time. Have a FANTASTIC weekend, Jeff!

  5. Jeff — you might have been writing serious today, but I found your captions to your pictures pretty funny (especially “Top This”). I read Laurie’s responses (sorry for eavesdropping but I have no shame when it comes to learning something), and I agree that getting people to look at and buy our stuff (art, writing, photography) is all about marketing. It is putting it out there over and over and over and it is something I have to do myself. I simply must make the space in my life for writing and marketing my writing. To answer your growth question, yes, self-doubt is like a brick wall to me.

    1. Barbara K.

      Thank you ! Because I knew the blogs/pages were on the serious side, I choose to find some humor and place humor where I could.
      You are never eavesdropping the blog is there for everyone to read, the responses as well. For another’s response may trigger another thought, response, or just be an interesting why to perceive what has been written. We are all learning from one another!

      Yes, I believe part of our work as creatives/artist is also to be able to market our work, our art, as well as to create it. It is an avenue that I have traveled but not a often as I like.
      Self-doubt can be turned into self-examination, doing a pro and con list, or something like that.

      So glad you came by to read and comment!
      I am Love, Jeff

  6. I like “This Way” and “Top This.” It must be a challenge trying to make a living doing something creative. Do you have any artist colonies near you? Several generations of Tim’s family owned a house in Provincetown, Massachusetts, until recently. His great-granduncle was an early modernist painter who lived there until he died in 1935. (E. Ambrose Webster) We used to vacation at the house and sleep in his studio. The light there is exquisite and the energy of the place is so accepting. I’ve heard that Taos, New Mexico, is much the same way. We had a sculptor renting the studio for a while, to help pay for upkeep. He struggled for quite a few years, but he’s found his place now. Phew, am I off on a tangent… just Googled his name out of curiosity and found his website… Forgot where I was going with all this, but it sounds like you do have showings so you probably already know just how much connections and locations can help…

  7. Barbara R,

    I am not aware of artist colonies around where I live. I belong to photography groups and the Salem County Art League, and have connection but have not joined yet, the Philadelphia Photography Society, which is one of the oldest photography groups in the country.
    My connection to the Radical Faeries is one of artistic connections and well as social community.
    Thank you for sharing your family history with creative people and for the link. I have not given it a look see yet but I will throughout the day!

    I am Love, Jeff

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