To say that I have an active imagination is an understatement. Most adults left behind the world of playing pretend for a more "serious" outlook on life... but I am one of the rare ones that chose to keep my imagination active and ready for any given moment. My imagination has it's own air space and zip code. It is bigger than most adults can fathom; I was once locked in a room with (50) 5 years old and I calmed the natives with just a simple improv story told in a made up voice. But for anyone that knows my mother, they wouldn't be that surprised... everything I am is a direct reflection of her.
I like to tell people that I'm a "mover and a shaker" - it means that I will get things done when things need to get done. I learned that from mom. She and I grew to have a reputation of re-arranging the furniture in the house whenever my dad would leave for a long weekend. It was a can-do attitude combined with a need for change. To this day, I still like to rearrange my furniture about once every 6 months. It's funny how it refreshes your mind and puts everyday life into a new perspective.
My best memories from our childhood, is how many songs she would improv in order to get us to do something - or learn something. She was/is always making up songs... my sister and I laugh, because we have both inherited this trait, constantly humming a tune - whether real or made-up in the moment - that comes directly from Mom. (Yes, I'll share some of these to come).
In 2016, my mom asked that I take her to some of my favorite places in Columbus. Places that she had never visited - so we went to the Columbus Museum of Art and Franklin Park Conservatory. We took a picture together to commemorate the experience. (It was one of those pictures that was a bit of a wakeup call... I hadn't realized how big I had gotten. It helped spur the action of getting a trainer). The next year she wanted to go up to Mansfield's Kingwood Center. Afterwards we met up with the rest of the family and we took another picture. (Do you see the difference in both of us?? We both started exercising and eating better). And then this year, we didn't have time to do much besides lunch. But still managed to get a new picture taken. (We both have lost so much and yet it has only made us stronger).
I am often mistaken for being younger than those that are younger than me. I think it's a combination of my youthful looks and the ability to not take myself too seriously - both attributes I can thank my mother for. We both think growing up is overrated. My mom's imagination is still just as active as it was when she was encouraging us to think beyond the obvious. Now that she is retired, she is often creating in her home studio - she paints, draws, sews, does woodworking and has become a re-purpose artist. All things that come naturally to her - spiked from an active imagination and curiosity that forever says, "why not?”.
So as we celebrate our mothers today, I would like to take a particular time out and thank my mother for allowing me to see myself as a creative artist. Her constant encouragement allowed me to imagine the impossible. My personal motto is: "She believed she could, so she did". But really it stems from, having a mother that believed in her daughter so fiercely that the daughter was able to believe in herself.
Thanks Mama, for everything!!
I am horrible at remembering quotes that I like. This one above came from a movie - I had to stop and replay this one scene over and over to make sure that I was getting the quote exactly right. Any guesses as to what movie this came from?? haha, you'll never guess... or if you do, then did you cheat and put it into Google? (That's what I do). Give up?? Kung Fu Panda 2. Surprise!!! I love kid movies!!
So in 2017, I was nearing the end of May and decided that I did not want to turn 40. I just wasn't ready for it. Which I find comical now, because generally I don't pay attention to how old I am; in fact, there are times I have to remind myself of it because it is truly just a number. I don't act, nor do I look, like I'm in my 40's. I feel like I should still be in my early 30's... that makes more sense.
But to focus on something other than a number, last year ON my birthday, I launched a new division of photography: Columbus Fitness Photography. I have become very fond of traveling to people's gyms and photographing them showing off their hard work (their physique). I have a new appreciation for their dedication since I started working out a little over 1.5 years ago. You can click over to that website dedicated to this business to see what I've been up to:
I love the fitness photography, and will continue to market it to the Columbus area. My purpose in launching it when I did is because personal fitness photography is very popular right now in the UK, and anything that is super popular there will trickle down to us in about 2 years. So I wanted to get in on the ground floor of this new trend. And it turns out, I'm really good at it - and love it, so it's a win-win-win. :)
My ultimate goal in life is to constantly push myself to new heights. And as I'm trying to accomplish this, I'm tripping and stubbing my toes, but I'm also having a few revelations. Most of you that follow me know that I create "Wonderland" portraits - they are my highly imaginative conceptual fine art portraits. Where I take a fairytale character and transform her into a lady boss of some sort.
I turned The White Rabbit into the Creator of Time, and Mad Hatter into a Bar owner, and Ariel into the Antique Dealer (who often dips into the black market as well).
Recently, I met another photographer at a networking event. And after sharing my photographs and my wild fantasy stories about my Wonderland Lady Bosses, he asked what I was doing with them? When I told him I was just doing these for fun, he encouraged me to rethink that... that I should think about making them into a coffee table book or something. I have friends get excited about work, and allow me to ramble about my latest musing... but to have a total stranger, encourage me to consider pursuing these stories as something more than just a hobby, it made me wonder. Later, I took a small photography workshop, and these sentiments were echoed by the 10 other woman business owners: "You need to do something with these portraits and stories".
The thing is, I have had a strong desire to write since I was in middle school - maybe even earlier. I like to say that my imagination is so big that it needs it's own air space and zip code. :) I am always developing new stories and characters in my head, or jotting things into my phone... I people watch in crowded spaces, creating stories about where they are going and what they are up to. I'm the driver that talks out loud to myself while everyone is whizzing by. And 90% of the time, I'm monologging a story just to get it out of my head. BUT I NEVER do anything with it... it just sits. I tell myself it's because "I don't have time". But that isn't true... I waste so much time online. I could tick off reasons "why" I am online as much as I am... but the reality (if I'm being honest with myself) is that I would accomplish SO much more and still have time for friends and family if I just stayed off of the rabbit holes social media sites.
The thing is, for years I had a fear of allowing myself to show the "real me" - especially my clients. But this last year I've had more people tell me how much they enjoy seeing my quirks out on display (I've been doing a lot of FB live videos and they are being well received). Going live on FB is the one place that I cannot actively filter what I am thinking... because that's dead air. So I've spoken more candidly - just saying whatever I want to... and the response is overwhelmingly positive. It's rippled down effect has been an increase in my confidence - which was unexpected. Which makes me more open to being me - the real me, who is more than just a little quirky. So I've decided to take a huge leap of faith and start sharing my creativity. Start sharing my stories, and my crazy thoughts.
I think I can bring a lot of value to the world by just being me. I am creative to my core... and I wouldn't have it any other way. But so many adults long to be creative but they just don't know where to start. Creativity, Talent and Imagination can all go hand-in-hand but they are also not interchangeable. It's time that adults start understanding that creativity isn't reserved for children and those that are talented. And that talent can be nurtured and built. And that imagination is free to all that desire it. I'm here to debunk the myths and teach you the way... one step, one story, one tutorial at a time.
So hang in with me, cause I'm about to open my world up to you....
Unapologetically creative, I have been a business owner since 2012. I believe impossible things are possible with Grace & Hustle. And I love sharing knowledge with the creatives who are killing it - one day at a time. If you are interested in my photography or business workshops, go follow: Confidently Creative.