The Artist Itinerary

Baby Love, Books, My Friends, Matrimony, Parenthood, & Family, Parenthood, Philosophy of Life, Photography, The Artist Life

Fiercelings,

You may remember awhile back I was reading a book called the Creative Call. I wrote posts about it here(this is pretty much a follow up post), here and oh yeah here too. I loved this book so much! I discovered it in my church’s library back in Oklahoma, I devoured it, then returned it and I am thinking I need to order a copy of it because I loved it so much. Recently, I shared it with one of my sisters who purchased a used copy off of Amazon for a penny (plus 3.99 shipping). I am including that link here for you.

The author, Janice Elsheimer, has a chapter or section of the book dedicated to doing the work of creating. She talks very practically about having the space to do the work of creating and she also shares about a year that she resolved to say no to things. She said no to volunteering at church. She said no to social invitations. She said no to obligating herself to things because she had a goal to focus on her art – namely, writing and playing the piano based on what I read. In the book, she references Madeline L’Engle’s book Walking on Water so much that I currently have a copy of that book from the library that I intend to write a review of on here in the near future. I am loving these books.

 

The adorable reason why I can’t accomplish everything I want

 

What is the work of creating? It is doing the work. As artists, we tend to have a lot of ideas. Our brains move at 90mph and there are no brakes. We will never be able to get to all of the ideas that we have but we for sure won’t get to the best ideas if we don’t do the work. Elsheimer talks about clearing her schedule and not overcommiting herself so that she can have the time to pursue what she really wants to pursue. L’Engle makes time for being. You may remember my last post about being anti niche. I want to pursue photography, music, writing, painting etc. Here’s the thing though, I cannot pursue all of these things every single day. I can try. But I will only successfully accomplish one, maybe two. So about three weeks ago I made myself a week artist schedule. An itinerary. It was a way for me to stop feeling like a failure everyday because I only accomplished 1 of the 10 artist things I was wanting to do. Which it is unfair of me to expect that of myself! My full time job right now is caring for my little bundle of joy. My husband is working 60+ hours a week and so I’m in a season of life where I am being supportive of him and being available during the small amount of free time that he does have. I can do a lot but the reality is that I truly only have maybe 2 hours to myself a day because my daughter takes an hour and a half nap – 2 hours. It’s a rare day that she’ll nap longer than that. Sure, I could wake up before her but the problem with that is her daddy doesn’t get home until 9 pm or later. We want to stay up late. So we sleep late. Which means I have 2 hours to myself on a regular day. I don’t share my schedule dynamic to bore you but to show that this is my reality and as an artist I don’t want to create a fairy tale world where I do all 10 things I want to do. That world doesn’t exist and so without further ado I give you my artist itinerary:

  1. Monday – Blogging Day. Hence the last 2 weeks that I have successfully posted a blog.
  2. Tuesday – Painting Day – I can’t wait to show you my latest work.
  3. Reading Day – This is kind of a built in catch up day, if I didn’t finish a blog post or painting I can work on it here because hey, I read a page of the book I’m working on. But seriously, I find having a reading day is fantastic for the artist of me. I am intentionally focusing on books by artists or topics on creating/ being an artist.
  4. Thursday – Music Day – Violin and guitar in one day, yes please.
  5. Friday – Writing Day – Different than blogging, I am working on a book idea.
  6. Saturday – Body Day – A day that I focus on yoga, running, or cardio. I try to workout more than one day a week but I’ve found that having an artist day to focus on working out benefits all the other days. Yoga is art.
  7. Sunday – Rest Day. No pressure.

 

I love her no matter how much time I end up taking care of her when I would rather be doing art!

 

You may notice that I don’t have a photography day and I chose to do this on purpose. And it has worked out very well. On music day, I was done early and took my camera outside with Izze to get some photos. I am working on getting photoshoots booked. By knowing that I have accomplished other artists pursuits I have more time to focus on photography! Life is good. So during my season of life right now I am being a supportive wife and caring for our daughter. As an artist I am fulfilling my creative needs by pursuing a specific creative endeavor by accomplishing and focusing on 1 artist pursuit a day. This is my artist itinerary.

 

“How can I prevent Mom from doing what she wants today?”

If you read up until this point, you’re a trooper. This post has been a doozy even for me but I cannot overstate this as artists we have to do the work of creating. We can only do the work if we have the time and we’ll only have the time if we make the time. You have creative needs. You need to fulfill them. You may remember this Richard Price quote from this post, “I think the definition of an artist is not necessarily tied into excellence or talent; an artist is somebody who, if you took away their freedom to make art, would lose their mind.” I know having a schedule isn’t sexy or romantic but it’s wonderful. It shows you take your art seriously. It helps you not lose your mind! Creating a schedule benefits you which in turn will benefit everyone around you.

 

Fiercely,

alexandria

Advertisements

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.

Moi feet

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!

Izze doing yoga

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

 

 

I am an Artist

Being an Artist, Philosophy of Life, Photography, Quotes, The Artist Life

As a creative person seeking to make a way in the world as said creative person one of the challenges that I believe you must overcome is thinking of yourself as an artist. When you think of the term “artist” what comes to your mind? Leonardo Da Vinci? Monet? Van Gogh? Maybe starving? That’s what I think of when I think of Van Gogh anyway, he is the definition of a starving artist. Do you think of the person playing the guitar that you pass on your way to the subway? Do you think of some eccentric character? Whatever you think of when you think of the title “artist” can you apply that title to yourself? Recently, I have.

sea shells

For awhile now I have been tagging blog posts “The Artist Life” because ultimately, I believe that’s what this blog is about. I express thoughts and opinions on various things but the main idea connecting all of them is art, being an artist and living life as an artsy/creative person. However, I am taking that even a step further by saying ‘artist’ now. I have always thought of myself as an artsy person. From a young age I was always interested in music, acting, primarily the performing arts but eventually that led into painting (which I am not very good at) which then of course led me to photography because even though I may not be able to paint what I see/want I can attempt to capture it in photography. Which is wonderful. Ahh….I love photography. But all of those could be considered hobbies. But they’re more than that for me, they’re apart of who I am…I am an artist you see.

Driftwood -full

I don’t like the idea of identifying yourself by your occupation or job. What you do is not necessarily who you are. Perhaps, I put the term “artist” up on a pedestal because at one time I didn’t feel worthy of calling myself an artist. But that is what I believe I am. A person is a lot of things and I don’t like the idea of putting all your identity into one thing but I guess it’s different when you’re an artist. Creative people see the world differently and by claiming that I am an artist I think it’s a sign to everyone that hey I don’t think like you do. This sounds like a mystical thing which on one side maybe it is – afterall, why do artists see the world differently? But I don’t actually think it is. I think it makes perfect sense. To help clarify this, I of course turned to a quote! Surprise.

“I think the definition of an artist is not necessarily tied into excellence or talent; an artist is somebody who, if you took away their freedom to make art, would lose their mind.” ~ Richard Price

Oh. My. Gosh. I think I can just end this blog post right here and now! I think I’m fairly talented, but there are people more talented than me for sure and I love this quote because it says hey, someone who is extremely talented, that’s not what makes them an artist. What makes someone an artist is that they would go crazy if they didn’t make art. I think that is actually why artists are viewed as eccentric or crazy in general, they have this insatiable desire to make art and so they’re viewed as odd because art is always on their mind, creating is always running in the background. It can be aggravating sometimes because you can’t turn it off. It can be frustrating sometimes because you don’t have time to pursue art as much as you’d like to. So, let me step on my tiny soap box and say if any of this rings a bell in your mind firstly, call yourself an artist. And then, once you’ve done that, don’t lose your mind, go create art. Afterall, you’re an artist and how fierce is that.

Driftwood

Fiercely,

alexandria

Doing What You Love

Photography, The Artist Life

Hello, 2016.

Talbot Island seashells

 

The New Year has treated me well thus far. I really do like living in Jacksonville, Florida. As 2015 came to a close I took stock of all that has happened in the closing year – my mother in laws death, moving from an apt to a condo to Florida. Also, in 2015 I really discovered that I want to be a photographer which has then taken be to realizing I want to be an artist in other capacities. I have done a few things here and there but it would be difficult for me to claim the title photographer as an occupation. I don’t feel as if I have succeeded as an entrepreneur aspiring to be a photographer but with that said, I don’t feel as if I have failed. I love the quote by Elbert Hubbard,

“There is no failure except in no longer trying”

I have come to realize in pursuing photography that I simply love it. And as much as I would like to make an income from it I would be perfectly happy to do it for fun and as an expression of myself. Coming to this realization has been rather liberating because it takes the stress off of me to be “successful” – whatever that means. And if I keep pursing what I love, and don’t stop trying, well then there can be no failure in that.

So as 2016 has gotten into full gear I challenge you to do what you love for no other reason except you love it. Do what you love, now isn’t that fierce?

12338855_205443143127237_1825935904_n

Fiercely,

alexandria

Go Happen to Things

Philosophy of Life, Photography, Quotes, The Artist Life

As promised, another marvelous Da Vinci quote.

“It has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things”

Oh. Yeesss. I am just drooling over this one! It’s so fabulous. It’s stating something so obvious and true but then when you finish reading it you feel challenged. People of accomplishment, which I believe everyone should or does aspire to be a person of accomplishment, don’t sit back, I won’t sit back. They – accomplished people – went out and happened to things. So this post is pretty straightforward. Go out and accomplish what you want to accomplish. Go happen to things. Let me get all nike on you right now and say “just do it!” ( I have no idea what my fetish with Nike is. I don’t even think I own anything by Nike. As it is, I’d go buy Under Armour for active wear. I promise this Nike thing only happens when I’m blogging).

bridge

Don’t listen to the voices in your head saying you can’t do something. You can. Prove those voices wrong. Be fierce, be fierce, be fierce.

Very fiesty and fierce today,

Go HAPPEN TO THINGS.

alexandria

Queen Fierce

Life, Simplified

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

I have been pouring and drooling over Lenonardo Da Vinci quotes. I have long loved the original Renaissance man.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Having moved from an apartment to a condo to halfway across the country I definitely have had opportunities to go through all of my stuff. There is something about moving that makes you go “why do I have this?” “I don’t want or need this anymore but I don’t want to throw it away” “Do I give this away?” and then when you go to Goodwill to give it away you see everyone else who has given away their junk. I remember when I dropped off some clothes at Goodwill how the room was fillllllled with stuff. Pointless stuff. I hate stuff. I love it when I go to someones house that seems a little sparse. This is one of those things that living in American culture that just seems to happen. I don’t think anyone really intends to accumulate so much stuff but if we’re not intentional about what we have we end up having an absurd amount of stuff.

multi colored flower 2

You may have heard of the idea of a “capsule” wardrobe. It’s an idea about dressing that has floated around the blogopshere. The main idea is that you have a small amount of clothing that you absolutely love and makes you feel great. How many times have you walked into your closet or opened your drawers and lamented “I have nothing to wear!” A capsule wardrobe let’s you wear your favorite pieces over and over again but in a different way. It’s about simplifying your life right down to what you wear.

When I read Leonardo’s words on simplicity I think of our homes and what we have in them, I think of what we put on our backs and keeping these things simple. It’s ultimately one of the most sophisticated ways for us to live according to Da Vinci. And it’s fierce =D

When you think of living simply what do you think of?

Fiercely,

alexandria

P.S. More Da Vinci quotes coming!

 

 

Monotony

Being an Artist, Creative Process, Personal, Photography, The Artist Life

Florida life is beautiful. It’s December right now and yet it feels like summer. I am seriously considering going to the beach today simply because I could. This might seem silly to someone who’s lived near the beach or vacationed on a beach frequently but for me, having grown up and lived in a landlocked state my entire life, the ability to visit the beach on a random warm day is quite a feat. 

Izze and Beach 061

Currently, I am blessed and cursed with the luxury of endless time on my hands. Since I turned 16 I have always worked at least part time to more often full time or 40 hours+ a week. When I worked regularly I would fantasize about a time when I would have ‘time’ to pursue art to my hearts content and yet now here I am with endless time and I feel more unproductive than ever. There is a myth or lie that our culture teaches: busyness = productive. Of course, just because you are busy does not mean that you are being productive or successful. I heard someone say that Samsung is really busy, but Apple owns 90% of the smartphone market with iPhones. I’m not busy at the moment because I just moved to a new city, therefore I don’t really have any connections or obligations. I’m not working, although I will definitely say that watching my 16 month old is a full time job. With that said, I don’t remember ever aspiring to being a stay at home mom, yet I essentially am one. My life can be summed up in one word: Monotony.

edit 10

My desire is to create something, something great. Yet, I find myself immobilized and trapped by daily life with an infant/toddler. It’s hard to accomplish anything when the only time you really have to give something your full focus is the 2 hours when she’s napping. My head was spinning with an idea for a book but I barely accomplish the little blogging that I do so I don’t know how I would ever time for a book. Then, I have an idea for songs that I would love to compose on my guitar but it’s hard to play the guitar when you want your child to be sleeping. Plus, I feel a desperate need for a piano to help chord. I desire to paint but I would have to finish painting before the paint dries out…I love art, and I desire to do art and I don’t have anything draining on my time besides my one sweet child so why haven’t I created anything? I’m not sure if this post is more of a lament or more of a desperate command at myself to do the things that I want to do. Just do it.

Not feeling so fierce so I am telling myself my mantra, “be fierce”

(un) fiercely,

alexandria

Weddings

Fierce Photography, Photography, Prices, Wedding Photography

Wedding dress 2

Oh my goodness! You’re engaged(mini freak out dance)! Congrats! I’m so happy that you’re checking out the details of my wedding stuff. I know you have lots to do; invitations, venue, THE DRESS, the SHOES, cake, flowers, bridesmaids, guest list, you have got to decide how to do your hair and makeup and etc, etc.

Ring on wire

You might be thinking oh yeah I do want to hire a wedding planner now! And then on top of all that you have to find someone who can capture your day and immortalize it in pictures! Seriously, what’s the point of putting in all this work to make the happiest day of your life the happiest day of your life if you won’t be able to look back on the day with great pictures? It’s your wedding day, after all. You want to have great photos to put on the mantel of your casa with your spouse. Gollee, so much to do! Take a deep breath. Your day is going to be great!

Holly's Wedding 095

So here’s the deal, I have four wedding packages. All packages include an engagement shoot and an online viewing gallery.

Package I $2000

Engagement Shoot

10 Hour Wedding Coverage

Disk of images with photo release

4 8×10 prints

chest down

Package II $2700

Engagement Shoot

10 Hour Wedding Coverage

Disk of images with photo release

Lay flat album with best photos

1143 fixed

 Package III $3500

Engagement Shoot

10 Hour Wedding Coverage

Disk of images with photo release

Lay flat album with best photos

25-40 prints & 2 canvas prints

Holly neck down fix

Package IV $4000

Engagement Shoot

10 Hour Wedding Coverage

Disk of images with photo release

Lay flat album with best photos

25-40 prints & 4 canvas prints

LOVE LOVE LOVE

I am in the Jacksonville, Florida area but I’m available for travel anywhere! You wanna get married in Europe? Cool! Alaska? Awesome! Hawaii? Heck ya! Email me at alexandria.fierce@gmail.com for travel rates. My general policy is the cost of the package you pick + travel expenses if you want an idea of how much it’ll be. I do special rates for elopements and/or weddings with 30 or fewer guests ( but like if you have 33 people that qualifies!). Email me for pricing on those! Email me for booking. Pretty much email me for everything! alexandria.fierce@gmail.com

425 fix jeff with boys and beer

 

I hope you have the wedding of your dreams! I hope whoever you have photograph your special days captures it exactly how you want. Some of the best advice I got on having a successful marriage was “besides the whole God thing…the way to have a great marriage is to screw everyone else.” Ha! Seriously, someone told me that at my wedding shower. SO. I offer the same advice to you, it’s you and your spouse now. You have to change your mentality to an it’s “us” against the world. I also offer that advice to you for wedding planning! It’s your day, plan the day you want – screw everyone else!

Holly and Jeff happy with logo

Fiercely,

alexandria

sparklers with logo fix

 

New Theme

Personal, The Artist Life

Fiercelings,

I was scrolling through my blog and felt super bleh about my theme and the way it looks so I looked at some new themes and volia! I hope you like the way it looks now. I hope it is a bit more user friendly. I tried to find a theme that highlights my photos and provides more eye candy.

cropped-79-color1.jpg

While I was updating my theme I went through some old posts and came across this one. I wrote it in June and I was talking about how moving to Florida was at least 9 months away but I was of the mindset that we should just move immediately or at least sooner. It’s funny how here I am 5 months later already in Florida. We have been here almost 3 weeks. I’d be lying if I said I was not a bit homesick. I am happy we’re here but simultaneously I am missing my family, friends and the familiar. With that said I am excited about making this city our home for awhile.

Baby Feet

The one wonderful thing about being in Jacksonville of course is the beach. My daughter loves the beach. When we first went to the beach I thought she might be scared or hesitant to have the waves wash over her but to my delight she is fearless when it comes to the beach. She runs toward the waves much to the horror of her father and myself. I told my husband that maybe we should just let her fall head first into some saltwater because then she wouldn’t be so keen to tread into deeper and deeper water. But he looked at me like a crazy person just for suggesting the idea. Anyway, it sure does make for some fabulous photos.

Izze holding daddy's hand

I guess there are worse places to live then somewhere that enables you to go to the beach in November!

Mommy and Izze

Fiercely,

alexandria

Queen Fierce

P.S. Let me know what you think of the new theme!