If I allowed my fears and worries to control me, I would never share the art I dream up and make. I'd still create it, but setting it free would be another story. When I first began exploring photography, I took a cookie-cutter approach. It was the time of Photoshop actions, color, sun flare, over-exposed images, and *gasp* selective color. The thing to do was use your children as little models, dress them up, throw in some props from time to time, and call yourself a photographer. I did what I thought I needed to do to earn the title, Photographer.
The thing is, that's not me.
That's not who I am.
I wasn't making art when I was mimicking others and trying to fit in. With that said, I needed to go through that process. I needed to recognize and learn that making that type of work didn't light me up. Taking pictures of other families was great practice for me, but it made me question if this is really what I want to do and how I want it to be.
The answer was a loud and resounding, NO.
When I began to show up unapologetically in my art, I found my voice. When I decided I wouldn't allow myself to be defined or swayed by societal pressure, I found my freedom. It's easy to fall into the trap of being small to avoid judgment from others. But there is no growth in that. If you approach your work with an open mind and open heart, you can expect to expand and grow as an artist.
I encourage you to tend to the next idea that pops into your mind. That little spark of inspiration is trying to tell you something. It's trying to show you pieces of you. Create the world in your dreams. Don't let fear stop you!
Embrace your inner weirdness. Everyone is a judge! So what?!
I found my inspiration for these self-portraits in a deck of Tarot cards. It came to me instantly in a flash, and I knew I couldn't let it go. I needed to bring it to life.
What is the oddest thing that has inspired you? Share in the comments below!
** Sharon Covert is a teacher and mentor at The Define School. Sharon's courses, Expressive Self Portraiture and The Art of Authenticity are both available through The Define School. For more information email Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit The Define School by clicking this link. You can sign up for Sharon’s newsletter HERE to stay up to date and receive a bonus black and white editing video.