Resources & inspiration #2. Be yourself… whatever that is


“In order to have self-expression, we must first have a self to express” (Julia Cameron)

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life” (Chekhov)

In order to find yourself, you must first lose yourself. Lose some old petals to bloom again.

As I told you last month, I would like to initiate a series of monthly articles in which I share with you my sources of inspiration, motivation, learning, development, not only related to photography, but things that had an impact on me, therefore on my photography, writing and blog.

I hope you will find something here that will inspire you too.

In short, the themes of last month’s post were “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” (it’s written on a postcard that I have in my room 🙂 and also the experiences of more photographers or writers about what it takes to succeed as an artist (shortcut answer: a lot of work 😉

This month, the general theme is how we –  our personality, our experiences – reflect in what we create.

Have you ever tried to make a collage in order to describe yourself?

About three years ago, when I started this blog, it looked very different, a lot simpler,I only posted photos (that now I think kind of suck) and no writing. I thought I had nothing important to say (even now I sometimes think that). However, I still felt very vulnerable in front of my “big” audience (a couple of monthly visitors, probably most of them were my friends). I think that exposing to the world something that you created and you put effort and soul into it (and when I say creation, I mean it in the least pretentious way), it’s like releasing into the world a part of yourself and you won’t know who’s gonna meet, if it will be liked, trashed, mocked at or ignored. Of course, there are big chances of being hurt and who wants that? And then there are the personal doubts. When it’s about things that are dear to us, it is very difficult to rationalize and argue: yea, everybody has their right to have an opinion, even if it is different than mine and I will just go ahead doing my stuff even if nobody cares.

These petty little things that make our life...

However, coming back to the blog, I thought a lot what I want to write and in what way. I also asked myself this also in regard to photography (and I tried to answer to this question in the section “About me”)

At first, I started by saying what I did NOT want to do with my blog (or my photography or my writing). I don’t want it to be a way to tell my life in detail, nor to create a cool/funny/positive image of myself- a bit like the ‘facebook syndrome’, nor to do anything just to get as many people to like it.

Always look at the bright side of life?

Then what?? Well, I would like to be myself and express this in everything that I do. Authenticity. This is what I appreciate in other people too. I don’t want cool stuff or trendy stuff or things to please. But in the end, this is not about blogging, or photography, or writing. It’s a about who I am and how I chose to relate with the world. And the more truth there is in this relation, the better my photos or my writing will be. At least this is how I think.

I leave you with these thoughts and  afew articles that speak about being yourself in life, in art and in blogs.

I am pretty, oh so pretty

Elisabeth Halford: The introvert photographer.

Sherry Otts: Wonderings on a bus.

Gwen Bell: Digital Warriorship. I think Gwen Bell influenced me the most in regard to blogging, with her idea of aligning your presence, online and offline, the idea of disconnecting to reconnect, the idea to speak only from your own experience (a bit like what Hemingway was saying, hat when he didn’t know what to write, he wrote the truest sentence he knew). A small quote from the introduction of the book that I hope will inspire you to read it: In the summer of 2010, I found myself on a bus absentmindedly flipping through applications on my iPhone. I wanted to kill time before my stop. Wait. Kill time? As if life is long enough to spend some of it in an act of killing. No, I decided in that moment, it’s not.

In an effort to get clarity around my online behaviors I took a month-long Digital Sabbatical. I powered down for a month to consider my relationship with technology. The Digital Sabbatical gave me new perspective on my habits. (And not just those of the tech variety.) I realized all the ways I was caving to socializing online when what I really wanted was to turn inward. I saw for myself how my desire to constantly check in with others moved me further away from my own heart and practice.

Susannah Conway: Unravelling 2012. It’s a questionnaire, that will help you reflect on the year that passed and the ones that will come and get more clarity about the things you wish for the future and the things that you left behind.

Chris Guilbeau, who created the website The art of Non-Conformity (I think the title says it all). Here The Tower and a quote from it: “The world insists that you build this tower and you must inisist on doing it your own way”

How did yo like the articles?

if you would like to share something that inspired you, please leave a comment below. Thank you 🙂

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