Answering the Call: Acting on Your Call for Creativity and Self-Expression

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a quote and wrote about the importance of making time for yourself and your creativity. (You can find that post here.)

" I've seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write...and you know it's a funny thing about housecleaning...it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectability) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she "should" be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

While I wholeheartedly believe in this practice, I also believe in the stolen moments. If I'm honest, many of my self-portraits have been created in those very brief moments over the years. When inspiration hits me, I have an undeniable urge to act. I've never been known for my patience. Along with many of my ideas or visions for self-portraits comes a great sense of urgency.

I understand that acting on this urgency and rushing through creating something with limited time can lead to sloppiness. It could limit me and hold me back from producing my best work. Or maybe I thrive in that type of setting?

Working in these stolen moments has given me an abundant amount of experience over the years. It has allowed me to work in all types of lighting and weather situations during various times of the day. It has helped me find ways to make the best use of small and limited spaces. It has required me to both think and act fast. Have I set myself up for failure this way? I've definitely had my fair share of failed attempts at bringing a vision to life. But more times than not, I have learned something new and created something unexpected out of each brief experience.

My needs for the process of creation and self-expression strongly outweigh the desired outcome. It is with this open mind-frame that I find my best work. For example, by closing myself off to the ideas of creating in harsh light or in the late evening when the sunlight has faded, I would be limiting myself and my creative process. Creating gives me a sense of freedom and to put limitations on that seems detrimental to me.

I was able to shoot this self-portrait in under 15 minutes over the weekend. That even included the time for me to go back and forth in my mind, questioning if I could pull it off. By sneaking in this creative moment, I was able to appease the sense of urgency and fill my creativity cup. The most challenging thing about this was waiting until Monday to share it!

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So while I 100% believe in making time for yourself, I also hold a high value on the stolen moments. It's those 15 minutes before the school bus is due to arrive, the 10 minutes while you're waiting for that pot of water to boil, the moments right before the rain approaches. You'd be surprised at what you can accomplish in such a restricted and limited time.

How do you prefer to create? Do you time out and plan for that perfect moment? Or do you do it more on a whim?

The next time inspiration hits you, act on it. Don't wait!

** 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 sharoncovertphotography@gmail.com 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.

Self Doubt

I quit 100 times a day. I quit and then I talk myself down and start once again. Every. Single. Day.

What do I have to offer? I’m not qualified to do this. Maybe this is just an expensive hobby. Maybe I’m not meant to make a living from this. Maybe I’m missing the whole point. What is my purpose? Maybe I’m too busy trying to make this work that I’m actually missing out on enjoying my so-called “gift” to the fullest potential. Maybe I’ve lost sight of my passion and my true WHY as to why I actually do this.

And just like that, for every negative I miraculously find a positive. This is my calling. This is my voice. Everything I’ve gone through has led me straight to this. There is nothing more fulfilling than creating, teaching, sharing what I know, supporting like-minded women, forging these intimate bonds in such a short period of time, inviting women to this safe space and earning their trust, supporting them, lifting them up, gathering in such a sacred space to let it all go and create with wild and reckless abandon. All of the masks fall away, the false beliefs and stories we convinced ourselves of no longer hold any truths, and we’re left with beautiful raw honesty in its purest form. In our vulnerability we find our strength.

My most recent block of Expressive Self Portraiture is wrapping up this week. To all of the women who trusted in me past and present, I thank you, wholeheartedly. Thank for you showing up with open minds, open hearts, willing to do the work, in all of your brave fierceness and honesty. ♥️

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Rejection

Have you ever been rejected?
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It doesn’t feel good, I know.
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But what if you used that rejection to fuel your fire🔥 and become even more amazing?
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Instead of allowing it to bring you down, let it motivate you.
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I’ve been checking my email for weeks in hopes of an acceptance email. You usually can tell by the header. “Congratulations!”
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Today the email came, except it was a rejection email.
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For a brief moment I let the sting set in and bring me down. The questions began circling through my mind. How? Why? What could I have done different?
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I quickly put a stop to it and decided I would continue submitting to them. After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
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So many people share their successes and leave out their failures. I’ve been guilty of doing that myself ✋🏼. I think many of us have feelings of shame in rejection and failure. It’s embarrassing.
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Have you been rejected recently? Or have you had a recent success? Either way, I’d love to hear about it! Comment below and let’s lift each other up and inspire one another.

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Hi! I'm Sharon Covert

Hi, I’m Sharon Covert! For years I lived under this false belief that you could get to know me through my art alone.

I allowed fear to control what I shared.

I allowed fear to censor my words, my truth.

Fear of judgment. Fear of not being understood. Fear of not being liked.

I hesitated on sharing the good things that have come my way. The things I have worked hard for, all in fear that you would think I’m bragging or being show-offy. I made that word up, but it fits.

I held back my WHY, my reason why I began experimenting with self-portraiture.

All in fear.

This year the one sentence that has come up the most for me in my journal is this-

Lead by example.

It’s small yet profound, and I plan to do just that, for me, my children, my family and friends, and you. I can’t possibly be the only one who has experienced these feelings.
And while I may be writing more for YOU to get to know ME better, I also want to get to know you better. Has anyone else experienced similar thoughts and feelings when it comes to your art and social media?

If you made it this far, thank you, and it’s nice to meet you!

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Myths, Legends, and Dreams - PhotoPlace Gallery, VT

I'm pleased to announce that my self-portrait, Artio, will be in the upcoming Myths, Legends, and Dreams exhibition at the PhotoPlace Gallery in Middleburg, Vermont. The exhibition will open on March 7, 2018 and run through March 31, 2018. If anyone is in the area, I'd love for you to stop by and check it out! 

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