I call this self-portrait "Breaking Free".
I started the year off being a bit reflective. I've noticed that birds are often in my artwork. I think I'm intrigued with birds and how they defy gravity to fly. Seriously, that's some magic right there and they live among us!
This year, I have been exploring why I create art, particularly, self-portraits. Like everyone else, I desire to be seen and heard, but I think it may go deeper than that. I am inspired and motivated to tell a story through a world that I would love to visit or live in. I often have little visions of images that float around in my mind. Sometimes they are filled with symbolism exploring themes playing out in my life and sometimes they are pure fantasy.
Lately, the theme has been breaking free, and not because I feel trapped. Far from it. I love my life! I think because I've been reflecting back on the past year. It was year one as a full-time photographer. I moved in with my Love. Basically, I broke free from my comfort zone in all areas of my life. I entered a new place much like the birds breaking into a new place here as the girl bears witness to it.
I often say that getting out of your comfort zone is good because it challenges us in a positive way. But most of us don't get out of our comfort zone. I understand why. It's freaking hard; even for the most prepared.
I did all the things to make the transition of side hustle to full time profession smooth. I have savings, a studio, a plan, process, product and community. And, I had an excellent first year. In saying that, there are things that you can't always prepare for such as living with a level of uncertainty, creating routines and systems for productivity and efficiency, how to manage your time and commitments, how to manage work/ life balance, prioritizing, marketing, and so on. The other thing I did (at the exact same time) was move in with my Love. Did I mention we have both lived solo for the past 15 years? You know that comes with it's amazing moments as well as challenging ones. Just being honest here.
So with all this change, one big lesson came up for me last year - when I face uncertainty or fear, I freeze. Typically there are 3 responses: fight, flight or freeze. I f-r-e-e-z-e. That's the worst one. So I work on moving through instead of freezing. I have a "roadmap to calm" for myself. I work on breaking through conditioned thinking and thought patterns like worrying or scarcity, or trying to figure it out instead of allowing it to unfold. I work on coming from compassion instead of ego. I try to prepare, cultivate faith and only concern myself with what I can control. All of that, to me, is breaking free.
I'm so grateful for the growth, knowledge, stronger commitments, and deeper love. I'm excited about the road ahead and how far it will go, and how wide it will expand. I think that's why when I thought about breaking free, this is the image I saw in my mind.
Below are the images used to create it.
Freedom is always worth striving for. Please comment and share how you break free of patterns or handle uncertainty. I'd love to continue the conversation.