Don’t wait to do what you love

They say that when you do what you love, that you never work a day in your life. Over the past few years I found that statement to be very true.

I used to do what everyone else thought was good for me, but never took the time to consider what I really wanted out of life.

When I was looking for a potential career, people always talked about money and job advancement, but never what my true passions were. Even when the topic did come up in conversation about my love for art, writing and working with others, it some how got manipulated into something so far gone from where I started with that I didn’t even recognize it.

It would be like saying “Oh good you like to write, because there is lots of paper work in this job.” Um, no…not even close.

I hate that people feel like have to put aside their passions until they retire. I read obituaries as part of my job at the paper, and I can tell you that people are dying every day. I have always said that, “Some people don’t get their someday.” And it’s true; sadly not everyone will live long enough to do all those things on their bucket list.

I understand that people can’t just quit their day job and run off to what ever they want, but I think that people should work at creating more time in their lives to do the things that they love.

Love LifeIt can seem selfish to indulge in the things that we love to do, but the dishes, the housecleaning and mowing the lawn can all wait.

Set aside time, even if it is just once a week or even once a month. Do the things you love, take a walk with your camera, sit down and start reading a book, tackle your bucket list starting today.

Okay that came out a little direct, but I mean it. It really kills me when I hear people say that someday they will learn to do something. By putting those things off you are not doing anyone any favors, I promise.

Something I have learned from taking pictures

I always feel like I have to start some posts with a disclaimer, so here it goes. I am not saying there is a right or a wrong to do some things, this is just how I am doing it right now.

When I first found free picture editing websites I was very excited to see what I could turn my photos into. I loved using different effects, shadowing around the boarders, and of course put my name at the bottom.

When I was done editing my photo, it really did look like a piece of artwork. A lot of time and care was put into the image making sure that it looked just right. I did this for a while, obviously liking my results, but recently I began to change my approach to the final product.

After a while I couldn’t help but feel like all that doctoring up took away from the image. When I took pictures my goal was to capture the natural beauty that I was seeing, so why was I trying so hard to make the photo look so different?

I ended up not liking this method, and began taking a minimalist approach to my photos. I used some basic features like clarity, vibrancy and cropping. I also stopped digitally signing my photos.

simplicity-quotes-tumblr-beautyIt took some getting use to, but I found that my photos looked more natural and believable. I also had the satisfaction of knowing that what I was looking at and sharing with others was my photo, not some doctored up image.

I have continued to keep my approach to editing the same, using a minimalist method. I truly like I was see, because I am actually look at the image free of distractions and noise.

I have also found that I am getting better at taking pictures too. I rely less and less on the editing process and more on getting the right lighting, angle and subject matter.

With all lessons learned in life there is always a greater meaning if you are willing to look for it. We always hear that simple is best, but usually fail to see how it applies to all areas of our lives. Consider this one, a lesson learned.

Collections

Like a collection of books,

our life tells a story.

The decades pass

and the chapters are written,

but who we write our story for

will always be our own doing.

The character are made

in our own likeness.

The tension, the chaos, the drama;

just all part of the plot.

In hindsight the memories

are better than the moment,

and the truth that we tell

will grow sweeter and wiser

with age.

-K. Lukasak

“When flying, be your own pilot.”

Over thinking things is basically something I am very good at, but there are times when that personality flaw comes in handy.

I have a hard time saying no, and maybe not in the way that you think. I say no all the time. “No I can’t go out tonight, homework to get done,” “No I shouldn’t have that extra cookie,” but there are times when it is hard to say no — When the question presents itself as an opportunity.

Working your way through life can seem like strategic planning. Picking the right job, volunteering your time and being involved with extra curricular activities, but eventually you can get overloaded.

I should know……

FliesI think it was about this time last year I had to revisit how I was spending my time. I had worked really hard to branch out, but instead of feeling good about my achievements I was feeling stressed. After some deep reflection I had realized that I took on all the extra tasks for the wrong reason.

As much I loved being a part of certain organizations and activities I wasn’t doing it because I really wanted to. I started saying yes and even seeking out opportunities for growth, because I thought it would be good for my professional development.

In some cases this is true. Being involved is a good thing, but it still has to be for the right reasons. I found that I was doing not only myself but the people I was involved in a disservice.

I could see the level of dedication and enthusiasm that these people had for they were doing and my heart just wasn’t it. What I thought would be beneficial for me turned out to be stressful.

The hardest part for me was walking away. I felt really bad. I don’t like to go back on things that I have promised to do, but there comes a time when you have to listen to your gut. Eventually I was able to feel better about my decisions, but it took some time.

I think it’s important to reevaluate your life every once and while and see if the direction you are headed in is the right one. It can be hard to prioritize how and where you spend your time, especially when it seems so beneficial, but it has to be looked at with the bigger picture.

Don’t get mad over spilled milk

I know that’s not how the saying goes, but in the world we live in today, anger versus crying comes to mind when I think about how we react to things.

Moving on is an acquired taste. Like drinking beer it isn’t something people start off doing willingly, but over time you learn to embrace it, and even look for ways to utilize it.

I find my life is complicated enough to have to worry about the extras that come along. Homework, deadlines at work and everyday things happen. With only so much energy to expend each day, it would be considered a waste to use it on things that don’t benefit me or others around me.

Move-On-QuoteIt’s funny how everyone likes to mock those three famous and sometimes annoying words from Frozen, “Let it go,” but there really is some truth to it.

Why spend our time dwelling on the negative when we should be embracing and living the positive.

Just a little words for thought as we get ready to start a new week. I am finding that June has some how escaped me, and July has already begun knocking.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly life goes by, don’t waste it being angry.

Looking up to others

When I think of a leader, I think of someone with confidence, motivation and a vision. Leaders are kind, good listeners and know how to communicate well with others. They come across as approachable and friendly; someone you would like to know.

So why is it when I think about leaders, that I don’t think about me?

I make it a priority to be active in the community and support local arts. I also like to follow through with my word, because I want people to know that they can count on me.

Recently a few of my friends have made comments about how they admire my work ethic and achievements. To be honest it caught me off guard, because I just felt like I was doing what people should do. It finally started to occur to me that people are watching what I am doing, and may even look to me as an example.

LeaderI’m not going to lie, it’s an odd feeling when people make these types of comments. It’s both humbling and slightly overwhelming to know that there are some people who see you as a role model.

When I think about those people who view me as their inspiration it reminds me how important it is to always try my best. When I’ve tried explain this to others, they think I am crazy, but I really think there is something to be said for it. Because just like I depend on other, there are people who depend on me.

I am learning to welcome and accept these thoughtful comments from my friends, even on the days I feel less than worthy.

As I’ve said before, it’s important to share the positive qualities you see in the people around you. We can work together to uplift people and let them know that they are on the right track.

More than just art

My posts are becoming few and far between, but if you could see my life on the other side of this screen you would know why.

Besides the normal, work, school, mom, wife, friend routine; I have been working on myself, specifically my artist self. I have been working on my identity, channeling my focus, and looking for ways to bring my aspirations to life.

White Bleeding HeartsSince my last post at the beginning of June, I have been working on solidifying my new line of greeting cards. I took and processed several photos, and then put them out to my friends to vote on the six best photos.

Once chosen, I’ll send the images off to the printer and then when I have my cards in hand, I will be busy working to find them all good homes.

I’ll likely start local, selling them at the summer markets, and setting up card racks at some smaller stores. Online selling might also be in my future, but I’m not really sure which site I want to use yet.

I am really excited, because I have always wanted to make greeting cards using my art, and now I am going to be doing it. Although it’s taken some time and a little leg work, it really came down to effort.

Once I got myself in motion everything else seemed to fall in place. It’s nice seeing your dreams become a reality.

Go ahead, take the first step.

Remember you can always see my latest pieces by visiting and following www.fatcatartist.com