Childbirth & Creativity

Art, Childbirth, Creative Process, Fierce Photography, Matrimony, Parenthood, & Family, Philosophy of Life, Photography

Hi Fiercelings,

Childbirth is a rite of passage for women, I believe. One of the most obvious and striking differences between men and women is the woman’s ability to conceive and bear new life. This is not to condemn or pass judgement on women who are or have been unable to conceive. Barrenness has historically been regarded as something extremely tragic and I mourn with those who have experienced it while being extremely grateful for my effortless conceptions.

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The rest of this blog post is going to be about the correlations between pregnancy, childbirth, and how they are informative of the creative process.

Anything worth doing in life is hard. I just wrote life in the previous sentence without any hard work but to even get to a life a lot of work has to have occurred. Being pregnant is hard and I say that fully recognizing that I have had two easy and non-eventful pregnancies. In spite of having easy pregnancies I would never say I loved being pregnant. I love the finished product of my pregnancies but being pregnant isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Delivering a child is hard and yet, ironically, I look back on my births as joyous events. Why? Because that pain brought two of my greatest creations. This is what the creative process is like. When I see a painting I have made on my walls, I don’t think about all the negative feelings I had when I was actually creating that painting. I see the painting and appreciate it but I know back when I made the painting I thought I had ruined it at least a dozen times. But of course, I look at my paintings and think how pretty they are and how I should paint more.

Creativity is like giving birth. It’s labor. It’s hard. It takes time. Inspiration is essentially having an orgasm. It’s fun. But for it to fully develop into a new life, it must be carried for months, and then it must be delivered. Or perhaps inspiration is one of those first real kicks that you feel when you’re pregnant. It’s a jolt. You feel it and think wow this is really happening. The sonograms you saw before were cool because you saw the baby but now you’ve felt the baby. That’s what inspiration does it lets you feel it and feelings are exciting. Feelings are a motivating force. When you have an idea for a painting or a song you think oh this is a good idea and you might pursue it. But for that idea to bloom into that painting or song you have to actually sit down and work on the painting or write that song. And sitting down and doing the work can be hard. We procrastinate about it. We say, never mind that wasn’t a good idea. You say you want a baby, but then you wind up in a hospital or are at home in the middle of a painful contraction and you think why am I here? How did I get here? I’m never doing this again. I literally thought these thoughts at least a dozen times during my first labor. Pain is one of those things that it’s hard to really describe unless you are currently experiencing it. Being in labor in many ways is not as hard as our society thinks it is. Movies and television shows portray it either in a comedic way or in a horrific way and I wouldn’t describe labor in either of those terms, especially the latter. But we will put up with pain and labor for a good cause and having a baby is the best reason to put up with some pain. They’re magical. And a little pain for some magic is worth it. This is what happens when we create, we want some magic but in order to bring a work of art to life it must be born and birth is painful.

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My second bundle of magic

How many times do we think as artists this isn’t good enough? Or I should just give up? What we are really experiencing is that doing art despite all our natural or learned artistic abilities is challenging and laborious. We hit this bump on our creative road and think I’m a fraud, I’m not a real artist, when in reality this “bump on our creative road” is birth pains. This is really a contraction and contractions lead somewhere if you breathe with them. The common phrase, “no pain, no gain” comes to mind and is spot on. The only way to have a bundle of magic is to labor and the only way to have a work of art is to labor. Don’t give up. Breathe with it.

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fiercely,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

 

 

 

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Anti-Niche

Art, Fierce, Philosophy of Life, Photography, The Artist Life

Hello Fiercelings,

One thing I have noticed while being in the creative world is that everyone encourages you to find your “niche” to the point that I hate that word! Seriously, everytime I’m reading some creative forum, blog, group post or listening to a podcast everyone is niche, niche, niche. So I have something slightly shocking to those that worship at the ground of the niche:

I am anti-niche.

Did I just say that? Oh no. I guess in order to be more specific (no pun intended) I think I am anti niche. Here’s why; when it comes to photography I love shooting weddings, couples, children, babies, seniors, heck I’d probably enjoy shooting a funeral. I love fashion photography and I love fine art photography. I love it all. And that’s just photography. When it comes to paining, I’m all over Monet but then the next moment I’m looking at a Warhol. I’m currently working on an art piece myself that is definitely more abstract and modern but I’m just as likely to start a still life landscape next week. One could argue that I am testing and experimenting with my artistic whims and I just haven’t found the thing that I’m great at…but I don’t take that view. I think I genuinely love it all. And I don’t think I need to apologize for wanting to dabble in or pursue art in 100 different directions.

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The beach we were at had millions upon millions of tiny seashells like these that you had to walk over to get to the water. Walking on eggshells takes on a whole new meaning!

 

You may remember that a few posts ago I wrote about Leonardo Da Vinci here and here. Since those posts I have thought of the Renaissance man some more. I won’t pretend to be a know it all about who Da Vinci was because I’m not, I know about as much as anyone who’s watched The Da Vinci Code knows. I know he painted the Mona Lisa which is one of the most recognizable paintings in the world, I know he painted the Last Supper which is also very recognizable. I think most people would recognize the drawing of the Vitruvian Man. All this to say was Da Vinci just a painter? Of course not! He was THE Renaissance man afterall. He was fascinated by human anatomy as the drawing of the Vitruvian Man shows, he also studied the fetus’ heart and was very much a scientist in his own right. Wikipedia actually titles him as an engineer which I think is both fitting and surprising. He was interested in flying and created lots of blue prints for machines to fly, I believe there is one in particular that we would recognize today as a parachute. My goal in sharing this is not to give you a summary of the works of Da Vinci, although the historian in me is loving this! But to simply show that artists have never been niche oriented. I’m not necessarily saying that’s bad. I mean Margaret Mitchell only wrote one novel but it was Gone With The Wind. Did she need to do anything else? Nope. In Da Vinci’s case though did he need to do anything after painting the Mona or the Last Supper? Probably not. Are we glad he did go on to do more though? Absolutely. He’s a fascinating person in history, his work is proof of that and generations after him are happy to be able to study him and enjoy his works of art.

Another person who is proof that artists do not have to settle or focus on one thing is…drum roll! Michelangelo. A contemporary of Da Vinci’s, Michelangelo is of course best known for the Pieta, David and for painting the Sistine Chapel. Thank the Lord that there wasn’t anyone during the Renaissance whispering in Michelangelo’s ear saying “You can’t be a painter and a sculptor, you need to find your niche.” You can see how preposterous the whole “niche” concept is when you apply it to great artists. However, Michelangelo wasn’t just a painter and a sculptor he was also an architect and poet. I find it fascinating that Da Vinci was messing around studying human anatomy and Michelangelo was designing buildings, most famously St. Peter’s Basilica. Anatomy and architecture are more commonly seen today as science subjects or at least not very artistic pursuits which angers me to no end. I love art and I also love learning science stuff. One thing I am really looking forward to is when I am homeschooling my daughter is all the science experiments we can do!

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Izze doing yoga on the beach! 

I am anti niche because I want to be a photographer, painter, musician and writer and chances are I’ll add pottery someday! I look to great artists like Da Vinci and Michelangelo, who were accomplished in multiple arts and get inspired. I understand that the niche speakers are attempting to encourage people to focus on something specific but I don’t want to focus on just one art medium, I want to pursue them all. That’s fierce to me. I want to be a triple threat. Heck, I want to be an octruple threat!

Be fierce!

alexandria

 

 

The Creative Call

Being an Artist, Personal

Back when I was in Oklahoma,  I stumbled across a book titled The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer in the church library. I immediately fell in love with the book! It is a very practical book for artists of any kind or simply for creative people in general. I was drawn to the book because you will remember my word for the year is create. This book is all about being a Christian and being an artist! Ahhh, I am in love! It is kind of like the Purpose Driven Life meets being an artist.  I finished the book not long after I got it. The book is designed for the chapters to be read weekly which I didn’t technically follow per se but I believe I did end up reading it in roughly the amount of time it is intended to be read.

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One of the things that the author talks about in the book is having space for you art or having a studio. I’ve been thinking of this recently considering the fact that I am in a new house in Florida. I need space to do my art. So I have mentally blocked out parts of the house that don’t seem to get used very much that can be “my art space.” Another thing that the author talks a lot about is that in order to create art you have to create art. Meaning that you have to do the work. This is another theme that occasionally I find myself learning about. What is my creative process? Sure, every artist has moments of inspiration at times where everything clicks and works out splendidly, but what led up to that moment of inspiration? Can it be reproduced? I read something somewhere that said a lot of artists have a specific process that they return to that can help get creative ideas flowing. I have said before in a previous post that inspiration comes in waves, so you better learn how to surf. I just love how fitting that is considering I live by the ocean now =D

Waves and seashells

Lastly, the author shares that in her house she has a quote on a wall that says “Go to your studio and make stuff” which reminds her to just do art. Good reminder. I made a painting that simply says the word create.

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Fiercely pursuing my creative call,

alexandria

Creative Process 

Creative Process, Fierce Photography

Creativity is not a bolt of lightning or unexplainable luck. most successful artist have a process that they return to so that they can produce striking work.”

Last fall, I discovered the above quote by Lindsey Adler. I had borrowed a book from the library called 52 by Adler, who is a well known photographer in the fashion industry. The book is more of a journal type piece of work detailing Adler challenging herself to photograph something unique once a week, hence the title 52. I really enjoyed the book and particularly remember enjoying discovering different artists that Adler was inspired by, most prominent in my mind being Henry Cartier Bresson. This fierce Frenchie is known as the father of photojournalism and he was well known for shooting solely with a 50mm lens! Gah, I’m dying. I only own two lenses for my DSLR. One being a 50mm 1.8 and the other being a zoom lens 70-300mm. I have used the zoom lens on probably 2-5 occasions. Which is French for I only shoot with my prime lens. No shame! I love my prime lens! I  just love finding out that someone widely acclaimed and successful as Bresson did what I am doing. Or rather, I am doing what he did.
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Adler’s quote is very encouraging. I myself have said that inspiration comes in waves so you better learn how to surf but alas, inspiration is only one facet in the creative process. Taking my analogy further would be to say that if inspiration comes in waves then I better learn how to produce waves. Or at the least have ways to create them in my repertoire. Therefore, I am learning what makes me forget everything except creating great work and filling energized by it. I remember this feeling strikingly when I was shooting at the dance studio so it is a matter of figuring out exactly what was so great about that and reproducing it.
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Creatively fierce,
alexandria

Adrenaline Rush

Fierce Photography, Photography, The Artist Life

This past week has been crazy. I’ve worked like a mad person. I helped a fellow photographer shoot an entire dance studio! Which works out to about 800 dancers. I planned to have a Degas moment but photography style. Hehe. It was crazy fun and exhausting. The photographer let me shoot a bunch and there was one evening when I was shooting that I was enjoying it so much I felt so energized and it wasn’t until I stopped shooting that I realized that shooting gave me an adrenaline rush. It was so exciting because the dancers were doing crazy awesome poses. Think jumps, leg kicks, and other cool stuff like that. It was fierce to say the least! And did I mention exhausting? Finally, I have gotten to get some rest and this evening I shot for myself and did some stuff that I have mentally envisioned for while now. Be fierce.

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Glass and good lighting makes me happy

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I followed a lady bug up my hourglass =D

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Be creative. I have been feeling very artistic lately because it is art festival season in my city. Happiness.

Be Fierce,

alexandria