Photography, the studio, what happens next?

Hello my lovely readers,

Many of you have been following me since I started my blog back in 2013 and thank you. You have seen the highs and lows and the obstacles I’ve faced throughout the years. You have seen me fall in love, get my heart broken, and pick myself back up again, thank you.

Many of you leave comments of encouragement and have helped me in my darkest hours, thank you. You are all so supportive, words cannot describe the gratitude I have for you readers and my blog.

Back in 2014 when I was in Florence, Italy I discovered my love for photography. When I got home and started using my DSLR I was hooked. I took pictures of everything and I just wanted to learn and explore. Having that camera signified my life changing experiences in Italy and the possibility of all the new adventures I would go on whether they be international or in my own backyard. I learned different editing techniques in Lightroom and really started to flourish.

Fast forward to April 2015 when I got my art studio. What a monumental experience it was when I got the keys to my own little space of creativity. I was excited, nervous, and wasn’t sure what to expect what having an art studio would be like. I worked part time so I knew I would have the time but, shortly after getting my studio about three weeks later, I started working full time. The drive to my work is about an hour each way and I usually don’t get home till the evening, this made it harder for me to get to the studio as it is about thirty minutes away from where I live.

Not only was I not going during the week but not on the weekends either. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t motivated to go whatsoever even with having weekends off. When putting together my studio I started really digging into the business side of photography such as pricing and services and I started to feel overwhelmed.

So, I stopped going, still paying a bit of money every month for a place that I never went to. A place that was supposed to be a creative outlook for me but yet gave me anxiety. I couldn’t understand until literally yesterday at my therapy session why this was so. What it boiled down to was this: I thought it was expected of me to have this flourishing photography business, a successful business model where the money would be pouring in from my art. That I was supposed to be this artist who promoted my artwork and soon I found that I didn’t enjoy taking pictures or painting anymore. I felt like I had to fit in with the community of artists where my studio is (there are five floors of art studios with so many artists, it is quite inspiring!). I didn’t/don’t want this for myself. I did my time in retail and sales, and I hated it. I hate trying to sell sell sell when in reality, I just want to be passionate about my art, enjoy it, and have it help me heal.  I put this negative stigma on the studio because I felt that all of these outrageous things were expected from me when in reality they weren’t. It was my anxiety putting this doubt in my head, the fear of failure or disappointment. I also realized that there are no standards when it comes to art and that I can’t compare my art or talent to someone else’s because that would be outrageous.

So, I am going to make my studio a positive and healing place. A place that I can create beautiful art and enjoy my surroundings. No more anxiety, no more expectations, and no more business. Yes, that is right, I deleted my photography website, changed my FB page to “just for fun” rather than “professional services” because photography is a love and passion of mine and I don’t want that to change and I know that the minute it becomes a business, the enjoyment of it will disappear and put me back to where I was. I still have every intention of sharing my photos on my photography page on FB and what not, but I’m just not promoting a business because that doesn’t make me happy. The photography business world is not what makes me happy, and I need to do what has to be done to make myself happy and comfortable.

I feel really good about all of this, thank you all again for always supporting me.

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Sunday thoughts

I’m kinda of messy.  I like to think I am neat but in reality I am just messy.  Every Sunday I clean my room, vacuum, laundry, clean sheets, you name it.  I feel so great knowing that I will keep my room clean all week…not.  Each time I clean my room which is has been every Sunday the past three months or so, I tell myself that I will keep it clean.  I think I will make a mini cleaning habit each day so every Sunday it takes less time to clean my room to the point where I won’t have to spend hours cleaning it.

I also noticed that when the weekends come I don’t sleep as much.  I mean, I stay up late, wake up early-ish, then fall back asleep only to wake up at noon or past noon.  Working a 8-5 job five days a week can really take a toll on your mind and body but I am thankful for where my life is going.  I am productive and successful for someone my age, I work full time, go to school online, have my photography business, maintain a blog and a fitness social media presence (follow me on IG: jpalmer_fitness) (shameless promotion!).

What is remarkable is that I haven’t collapsed from an overworking brain yet which makes me pretty proud.  I still have time for me, my boyfriend, my best friend, family, Netflix, and reading.  I definitely spread myself pretty thin but at least I am moving in the right direction.

Johnny Cash

I’m sitting here at work listening to my Johnny Cash Pandora station and just reflecting on life. I have many plans and goals ahead of me, ones that I need to stick to and make damn sure that I don’t fall off track. I have to save a great deal of money while also paying my numerous bills, I know there will be times where I will say this isn’t worth it, or I just want those damn workout pants that are on sale online, but I know that if I stay consistent with my goals and budget, I’ll be able to go on another trip to another beautiful place, I’ll pay down my credit card debt, and I’ll lose weight because I won’t be eating out as much or spending my money on stupid junk food. 

Life has really changed me, I like the person I am, truly. Each day I reflect on where I’ve been in life and how fortunate I am to have the life that I do. I am truly happy and motivated to do great things and explore this world around me. I am also grateful to have such great friends, last night, Tarah helped me budget and set up how much I need to save each month (which is a lot…) in order to go to Ecuador next summer and although I’m going to be stressed and upset at some points during this mental journey, I’ll develop better spending habits, and achieve an awesome task of actually paying for this trip in full, all by myself with my OWN money. Although I am MORE than grateful for my parents taking out a loan for my trip to Italy, being able to pay for Ecuador myself will definitely be a self esteem booster and something I can look back on and say yeah…I did that all on my own. Granted, I haven’t had the best record with spending and especially credit cards, but I am confident that I can do this, I just need to remind myself of the end result which is exploring and traveling, and doing what I love. 

I love Johnny Cash, his music always grounds me and brings me back to a good place in my mind, his music is so soothing and raw, especially his newer songs and covers that are known in the American albums, Desperado, Hurt, and I Don’t Hurt Anymore are some of my most favorite covers/songs that he released, so full of emotion, I’m thankful that I enjoy classic music artists such as him. 

Worried

Throughout my life I’ve always wanted to try new things such as hobbies. In grade school I wanted to join the sketching club, I didn’t think of myself as a bad artist and I thought this could be MY thing. I remember walking into the sketching club, run by my art teacher, and seeing all of these awesome drawings my classmates were hanging on the wall. I sat down, opened my notebook and started to sketch flowers, the kid next to me scrunched up his face and sneered, “That’s not how you hold a pencil when you sketch…” he laughed, and then walked away. I looked at my photo, the lines were harsh, not blended, and I always tend to grip my pens and pencils very tight so, the lines were intense compared to the sketches of my other classmates. I was so embarrassed, I went home and never went back to the sketching club because I just knew it wasn’t MY talent, even though I’m not half bad at drawing and with practice I bet it could have been something I loved to do, but my anxiety and embarrassment stopped me from pursing it. 

Then in middle school I wanted to play soccer, I had played when I was about seven when every child on the field runs after the ball rather than having offense and defense players, kids at that age are too young to understand strategy such as that. So, I thought, I know how to play soccer this will be easy, well, with my bum ankle that I broke when I was younger and never healed right I got discouraged, but I knew I could work around it. However, I then saw at practice all the girls who have been playing consistently for years, they had a groove, a natural talent, and here is me, the duck among the beautiful swans, kicking the ball in every wrong direction possible and making a COMPLETE fool of myself, hearing the laughs from my teammates completely broke me so, I went home, quit the soccer team, and never tried out for sports again. 

When I want to try something new, or try to find my “special talent” I try too hard, go too fast, and I give up because I don’t want to be judged or laughed at, I want to be praised and feel like this is something I am good at. My whole life I have been surrounded by people who were good at SOMETHING whether it was drawing, soccer, or what have you, I was always that person just hanging out. I know I’m good at things like singing (in the shower), cooking, I’m pretty knowledgeable in reference to the gym and nutrition, and I’m a half decent writer. I just, I don’t know, every time I wanted to put myself out there it ended with being laughed at and being put down by myself. I know a lot of this anguish is due to my history of being bullied and my own self doubt, but in my defense, it is also intimidating when you pick up something new and meet someone who is literally a genius in that subject or hobby and you are the newbie, the person who has yet to discover much about the said hobby and it is overwhelming, at least for me. But my new “hobby” is more than a hobby, much more than that, I think that is why I am terrified of falling short because it is something I love to do. 

With photography I am determined, yes, it has definitely overwhelmed me but, it is interesting how you can almost paint a beautiful piece of art through a lens. I love how the camera feels in my hands and how empowered I feel, so in control, it is like I am the artist and anything I see through the lens is my canvas and how I create the picture and capture the moment is the paint that puts it all together. Although I won’t be a pro overnight, I am motivated to learn because I’ve never felt this connected towards something, it is like an addiction, holding the camera, thinking of different pictures I can take, and putting it all together just makes me feel so fulfilled and happy. It probably sounds crazy, but when I think to myself, “OH! I can go here and take a picture of this really cool thing, no wait! I can go to the beach and take pictures of the sunset, etc…” that in itself gives me great happiness, I get to stimulate my brain and put together these pieces of a puzzle, I get to challenge myself and push my mind to ideas that I may have never thought of before and I dig that, a lot. I’m just always nervous of falling short or making myself look like a fool, I’m trying to stay positive and hopeful but it is easy to let the past creep up on you and influence your mind set. Moving forward I’m just going to keep going through the motions, I know there will be times where I feel discouraged, but there will also be those moments where I take a great picture and I can be proud of myself for that. Either way, I know I’m moving in the right direction, as long as I continue to be motivated and eager to learn, I know I will be okay.

And so it begins…

Our plans to go hiking today fell apart because my car decided to fall a part last night, I was looking forward to cleansing my mind and now I’m stuck in my house with nothing to do. All I want to do is just take all this bullshit out of my head and relax and not worry about what life is going to throw at me next. I’ve been doing well at avoiding that idea, the idea that life purposely throws shit at me but today I’m in one of those moods and mindsets, but it is okay because everyone gets down in the dumps, I know it is normal, I’m just bummed I can’t go hiking today, but that won’t stop be from writing or taking pictures, even if they are all of my dog.

Jer wants me to watch this video that goes along with my Nikon D3200, maybe I’ll watch that so I can learn more about my camera and please him. I should probably take notes too because my mind tends to wander and forget, but I think because I am very interested in photography and connect with it, my attention span should be on point, if it was about math though, my attention would be out of the window.

If Dad lets me borrow the truck, maybe I’ll hit the gym tomorrow if my car isn’t done for tomorrow. I think that would really benefit me and my mindset, get me out of this rut. I am determined to have a good and productive weekend, maybe I’ll douche my room and go through all the clutter, maybe move some furniture around, that always makes me happy.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have left such kind comments on my blog since I started it over a year ago, it truly touches my heart to know that y’all care about what I have to say and have almost grown with me, thank you again, so much.