No Plan? No problem
Heading into my artistic sabbatical & renewal, I didn’t have a plan. If anything, I had an anti-plan – the plan was NOT to have a plan. I’ve sat in this creative space long enough to know that while I might have a vague idea of where I want to head, the final outcome usually looks like nothing I might have initially conceived.
Although I didn’t have a plan, I did have a mentor & coach who helped me discover that I needed to breathe life into my time as an artist, free from the constraints of commercial work. I had originally hired Terry Bateman as a business coach to help me pivot & focus my studio work this Spring – with a new lab, new products, new pricing. So when I pivoted, he met me where I was at and was able to serve as a life coach – a spiritual guide of sorts. Through our regular conversations, I figured out my Vision Board and some broad strokes around how to reorient myself to creating art for its own sake.
My Vision Board for my sabbatical itself was a learning experiment, as I created it digitally from images I took myself or found in the public domain. I took pictures of artwork given to me by a friend (the giraffes), and even included a picture of my 2021 Vision Board, which I had created in January using magazine cutouts and cardboard. I used some of the techniques I learned in Thom Rouse’s workshop – the beginning of my intense conceptual period, experimenting with digital art.
I’m a visual thinker (I’m learning), and so I literally created a life sized project board where I could brainstorm practices, people and projects to feed my inspiration and creative time. I studied industrial engineering, so I’ve always had a process-focus. The opportunity now is to expand that left-brain thinking, combining my superpowers with new creative energy.
The Rain in Maine
After my one-day class with Thom Rouse , I knew I needed more time & instruction. So, without almost thinking about it, I signed up for a week-long workshop he was co-leading in Bar Harbor, Maine with Al DaValle. Al is a landscape photographer, so it was a chance to learn many new skills. I haven’t done much landscape or travel photography since I got into photography. I had done some nature photography early in my explorations – my so called “bumblebee & butterfly” phase – with lots of macro work and flowers. I think one of my take aways is learn from it all, and carry forward the parts that I enjoy. So, I’m pulling back in some of my passion for landscape and architecture – city scapes are after all just urban landscapes!
The mixology of Al and Thom means I can break through my self-imposed constraints that I have to shoot what’s in front of me. Now I see each image as a starting point. From there, I create something totally new that has never existed before.
And I am having fun!
Here are some of my favorite images from my time in Maine – some more creative than others, but nothing like what I think will be coming… So hold on to your seats!