Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Creative Beginnings


The story of my creative beginnings is my unique story but beyond that it's not very exceptional.  There is no real drama in it and in many ways I think my choice to follow my creative instinct is just that, a choice.

I have a five (nearly six...how did that happen?!) year old daughter.  Right up to the time she was born I was leading a busy life in a job I loved.  I loved it so much it's pretty much how I defined myself, although I didn't realise it at the time.  I was thrilled to be pregnant and the day my daughter was born was the best day of my life.  I gave up work to be with her and I have absolutely no regrets.  I wouldn't change a single thing.  But when I gave up my job, I lost my identity.

In terms of identity, becoming a mother was both my downfall and my salvation.  Picking up a camera to record those precious milestones of my daughter's life made me realise how important those details are.  And not just the milestones.  Every detail.  I keep the pictures of the 'potion-making' and Jessie the Cowgirl doing yoga right alongside the pictures of the birthdays, the Christmases, the 'firsts'.  It's all pieces of my family and our lives and recording all those moments is a way of both remembering but also of finding and celebrating the contentment in our 'ordinary' life. 

My creativity embraces and celebrates everything in my life - motherhood, domesticity, the 'ordinary'.  I love my ordinary, everyday life and photographing it, all of it in all it's messy, disorganised and imperfect detail is my way of celebrating it.  Through it I have found joy and contentment and a new sense of my place within it.


Of course, nothing stands still.   The more I photograph the more I want to be able to photograph and to express what I really see.  And so I chose my word for 2012, 'grow'.  Growth in my creative abilities to continue to see and celebrate the joy of my ordinary life.  Nurturing my curiosity, being attentive to the detail, finding the humour.  To see my life through my heart as well as my eyes and to express that through my art.

I have hopes and dreams for my art but for now I'm happy to live my life in a relaxed, attentive and contented way and use that as a springboard to grow within and through my creativity.

As Patti Digh says in her book Creative is a Verb "Because it's our ordinary, we believe it's everyone's ordinary.  It is not."

Ordinary....it's the new extraordinary. ;)



Written for Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers.

15 comments:

  1. May you enjoy your journey of growth this year, Becs! :)

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  2. I'm so looking forward to Beyond Layers and reading stories like yours just helps to make it that much more special.

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  3. What a great outlook on life--your extraordinary life! Best wishes for a revealing year of growth and discovery!

    Sue from New Bern

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  4. Love your comments nothing is odinary is it we are all extraordinary.

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  5. Thank you for sharing, your identity is you, Cheers

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  6. Becs,
    Such wonderful writing. I completely understand the way a career can become such a big part of your identity. As retirement approached, I wondered how I would do without my job, in which so much of my self-esteem and identity were tied up. It has been an amazing journey to fill my days with creative endeavors instead which easily fill the job-sized hole in my life.

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  7. I enjoyed your story. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

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  8. Beautifully written! I thoroughly agree with you and always look for the beauty in the everyday:)

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  9. beautiful--nice to hear a bit more about you.

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  10. This was a wonderful post, Becs. It takes me back to the years when I was privileged to stay home with my own young children. There was so much variety, and yes, creativity, in each one of those ordinary days. I look back on that period as the most fulfilling time in my life (so far!). I'm so glad you've discovered that you are not your job.

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  11. I'm looking forward to growing through Beyond Layers right along with you. I think it's going to be a good year! :)

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  12. I could relate to so much of your story! Thank you for sharing it! Love the word "grow" as the word of the year! Looks like we are all off to a great start. Looking forward to getting to know you better through Beyond Layers.

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  13. Your story can never be ordinary, because it is YOURS! I really enjoyed reading your post and look forward to more this year in Beyond Layers.

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  14. I loved reading your creative beginnings Becs! I used to identify myself by my work as well, and it's amazing how creativity has changed that. So glad you found photography, and yourself in the process!

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