August 31, 2010

redefining ourselves

Lately I have been thinking about the ways in which we continue to redefine ourselves throughout our lives. about how we are fearful of living up to the world's expectations of our existing roles, no longer identify with a role we once played, or long to try on a different persona but are afraid of potential failure or criticism.

so often i hear creative folks say, "oh, i am not an artist". and yet they are creating "art" all of the time (i get that the very definition of art can be argued for hours but i believe in the really inclusive ones that are out there). simply put, if you make art, then you are an artist. it is out of your control as to whether the world perceives you as a "good artist" or a "bad artist" but you can still claim the title of artist, you are "entitled". just like if you run you are a runner, no matter how fast. if you dance, you are a dancer no matter how silly, write you are a writer and on and on...

so here I am more than halfway through the first year that I have taken on the new role of "photographer". I have no formal training and am completely confused by, and am honestly rather uninterested in, the technical side of it. I do not take pictures for a living nor do I currently aspire to. however, I am finding that by simply redefining what it means to be a photographer in my mind, I have created room for myself in this identity and i am happy here.

The camera is one more medium that allows us to express ourselves when words fall short. I am particularly enjoying exploring what can happen at the intersection words and images. Though I certainly don't feel confident in this new role, I am having fun discovering a new side of myself in it.

I encourage you to think about a new role you would like to step into, try it on for size, and see what happens. and make sure to tell someone about it. the feeling it gives you might be contagious.

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