The Simple Joy of Taking Photos

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Still quiet on the creative front.  Without “producing” anything, I almost forget to blog!

But as I reflect on the month, although not robust or showy, I still am embracing the creative daily.

For the past month I have been painstakingly & slowly photographing and loading my work onto Etsy.  I knew it would take a long time and with this knowledge I have pushed it off for years.  But my intuition has been saying “NOW” and “DO IT” and “GET IT DONE” and who am I to argue with the big voice inside me?  Heck, it generally knows more than my ego bird brain!  … so I sit day after day, at my computer.  I have read up on Etsy strategies.  I’ve been struggling to understand the best way to calculate shipping…day by day I am learning, tuning in and observing.

It’s through this quiet process that my photography has greatly begun to improve.  It could also be that I am always rushing and I don’t give the lens it’s proper due, but in this month I have really stopped and tried to take better photographs.  Here are some examples:

These two images above were taken on white fabric using a light box.  They are perfectly acceptable or one might say perfectly average.

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Now these photographs were taken incorporating backgrounds and visual texture.  As I read the Etsy strategies, it was explained that a better approach to photography is to try to incorporate where or how someone might use the product.  If you have a piece of jewelry, photograph it on a dresser where someone might put it in their own home.  If you have a piece of pottery, photograph it on a hutch or filled with flowers, giving ideas to the person on how they might use it.

More examples:

Above plain old backgrounds… or….

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…the products can become more personal and interesting.  You can better envision incorporating them into your life.

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Again, above is a plain photo…… or…

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Show your potential customer how they can use your product.

So, if you are a creative you might be saying “Big Duh!” to this simple concept, but for me, I sometimes forget these big duhs!  I was totaling planning on plowing through all of my inventory with the trusty old light box.

I’m glad I took the time to read some of the Etsy tutorials and slow down enough to pay attention.  In doing so, this project which I dreaded for it’s monotony and data entry foibles has become quite fun and enjoyable.

When I look at my little Etsy store and how it is coming along, I can now take pride in my work , I can see my progress as an artist and I can see the joy I exude from being creative every chance I get. It feels really good.

…..Amazing Awesomeness Baby!!!

 

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Bird Totems

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Wow, dust this off.  I just looked up when I started these ceramic birds and it was July 2nd, 2015!  Here were the beginning stages:  https://becreativemary.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/birds-taking-formation/

You see, this is what happens when a month or two pass and you never got around to finishing that thing you were working on.  You walk back into the studio a month later and you look at this strange idea you had and you think to yourself  “What was I thinking?  These bird totems are absolutely ridiculous and non-functional???”  Those were my exact thoughts and so every time I walked past them I’d think “I should really finish these and get them out of here” but in my next breath I’d think “why bother what in the heck am I going to do with 6 strange bird totems???”  Obviously this battle in my head played out for quite some time, since 6 months went by!!!

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But alas, I finished them off.

I still have 50 walking sticks I collected off a beach in Block Island and forced my husband to attach to the car and take home with us.  I insisted I would be attaching these birds to them….and it was going to be great….and of course highly functional!!!!

Oh my dear husband :)

This spring I will have to attach the birds to sticks if only so I can slightly wipe the grin off my husbands face for thinking I am a total freak!!!

But let’s face it.  He knows, you know and secretly I know, that either way I will still be a freak that took six months to finish some strange ceramic bird totems!!!

Amazing Awesomeness

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 Amazing Awesomeness #2 – A Gift from the Goodwill Gods

Power in the Divine I say.

Thank you person who received these for Christmas and were appalled at their brightness.  Really, when kicks are this crazy what on earth would you wear them with?  And so they were donated with the tags still on them.

Imagine my bliss when I walked into the thrift shop and saw the clouds part as a white beam of light shone down on the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I swear it is like the universe wanted me to have these.

And don’t you worry, I am absolutely sure I can find something in my closet to wear them with!

Quiet on the Creative Front

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I cannot believe I haven’t blogged in two weeks. How is this possible?

I feel like time is moving EVER SO SLOWLY and yet I blink and two weeks went by? …jeese.

It does sum up this month for me though.

I am regrouping.  Paying bills. Processing all of my financial activity over the holidays and tackling a few things that were on my personal TO-DO list.

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#1.  Make myself a duvet cover to brighten up the cold winter nights.

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I hate to admit I bought the fabric in October and never had a free moment to sew it!

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Let’s just say my cat thoroughly enjoyed the process … and she still is!  At this very moment kitty is snuggled up and slumbering swimmingly …lucky little cat.

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#2 on my TO-DO list was to create an Etsy store.  I’ve had it on my list for 3 years and never felt like it’s been the right moment to launch one … Well, as they say “There’s no time like the present!”  So I have been photographing and painstakingly logging in the twenty points of data for each item that I want to put in my store.  I’d say I have 50-60 items which is quite ambitious considering I have only been able to load 5 items a day.  I decided to do 5 items a day start to finish as opposed to photographing all 50 and then data processing all 50.  Somehow 5 seems do-able whereas I might spend 7 days photographing everything and then never get around to loading the pieces onto Etsy.  This way, at least something gets manifested each day!  I’m proud of myself for taking this route, it is very “unlike” my personality to pace myself :)  However, I better get to loading 10 pieces a day or I’m going to get stuck in data processing land for way longer than I can handle!

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I’ve been keeping up with pottery.

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I hand-built for the past 4 months and thought it was time to get my butt back on the wheel.  My pottery instructor is always saying you have to throw a hundred pots to get to that mastery state, and she doesn’t mean 4-5 pots every three months. She means crank them out over and over continuously until you build up that pottery mastery muscle.

Hey, being part humming bird / part Gemini – I’ll do my best! But I always find myself wandering into something else …can’t help it.  I’m starting to embrace this about myself and not spend so much time thinking of this is a character flaw, but more a CREATIVE ASSET!

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A lot of this month has been just that.  Reflection.

I’ve made my vision board for the new year and a couple resolutions to boot.

1.Embrace myself as perfectly amazing exactly how I am.  I spend so much time worrying about what the world wants from me and I am giving that up this year.  Where should I be? What should I be doing? Am I using my time the best way possible?

My affirmation for this this year is that I am exactly who I need to be.  I will do exactly what I feel I need to do and there is no right or wrong.  Also, however long this takes is exactly how long it needs to take.

This is a pretty tall order of a resolution to infuse into me, chicken Little’s BFF, but I’m feeling really strong and at peace on this the 13th day of the new year.

2. Is very personal.  I blocked out all sorts of emotions as a child.  Mostly anger, lonliness and the feeling like I had no control over my life.  I think I’ve figured out that my childhood asthma was directly related to holding my breathe in hopes of holding back my emotions.

I was pretty successful, by the time I was ten I could numb out my body to all of the sadness and anger I was feeling, but it had a cost.  -I numbed out feelings of joy, gladness and optimism too.  I can’t be scientifically sure, but I think I rewired my brain to not feel any emotions good or bad.

This served me well through my teens and early twenties.  I could look at everything as black and white.  I could give myself a moral code and push on through life.  And I did, quite successfully actually.

However about mid-thirties I started to realize I was a bit different from those around me.  I could stare at profound beauty and understand very clearly that I was not absorbing, processing or enjoying it to it’s fullest.  I was numb and I didn’t want to be that way anymore.  The difficulty of a troubled childhood was in the past.  What ever defense mechanisms I had created no longer serve me.

This is still an ongoing affliction in my life.  I know the answer is in stillness, meditation and simply ALLOWING.  I have to take a little bit more time than the average human to process and embrace.

This is hard for someone who never sits down, tackles twelve projects at once and fires off ideas in her head like dandelions embrace a field.

This is big for me.

I have various ways I will be working on this in the upcoming months, but I can’t tell you how amazing the blogging process has been for me.  It forces me to stop for a moment, reflect on what I’m doing in my life and astoundingly see such amazing things.

Blogging in itself is a therapy for me.  It helps me embrace gratitude which leads to a feeling – dare I say joy?

I always have my camera or phone in tote.  As an extra creative gift to myself, I am going to spend the year documenting the very small amazing parts of my life.  Daily reminders of gratitude and looking for the good.  I will name it AMAZING AWESOMENESS.

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Amazing Awesomeness #1.  My child in slumber with ice cream on his nose.

As a mom, I might have been a little disgruntled that this little rodent ate dessert and then passed out on my bed obviously without brushing his teeth.

But no.

I saw the absolute beauty in a kick-ass day.  We played hard. We ate ice cream. We passed out.

This is the sign of an awesome life.  NO war, no violence, no pain, no suffering.  All your needs are taken care of and you are overly loved.

I can feel this thank God.  I can feel the gratitude for this and every time I look at those rosy cheeks, red lips and beautiful eye lashes I know that he is blessed and I am blessed.

and then he wakes upwhich is another story!  ;)

So, if you see a pic with the title AMAZING AESOMENESS, you will know why and I hope for all three of you that got to the end of this 1500 word blog, that maybe you will join me in documenting your own amazing awesomeness.  Just think of what kind of year we could have!