I am so proud of myself! I had to share. This post wasn’t in this week’s plan, but I am on cloud 9!

Here’s the deal. I had my first painting class last night. I got on my blue Townie bike with my bubble gum pink fenders and white basket, and went up the road to the local art studio. Having no experience in painting, I sat myself down and decided to try something new.

A few years ago, I was talking with the father of the groom at a wedding we were shooting. He was a well known surgeon. He told me that everywhere he teaches himself a new form of art. That year, he was learning how to create oil paintings–the year before he was taking watercolor classes. He said that taking the time to learn a new discipline, a creative discipline, kept his mind alive in the operating room. Art played into his work much more than his colleagues would ever knowledge. And instead of his job becoming mundane with surgery after surgery, he was inspired from within his creative spirit. I never forgot this conversation.

At our last CONFIDENCE workshop in Seattle, I was telling the women to not think of themselves as just photographers but to think of themselves as artists. My reasoning was that as a photographer, you limit your modes of inspiration. In fact, let me ask you this. When you go looking for inspiration to your photography, do you unknowingly limit your search to photography websites, images and blogs? Or do you inspire your photographic self by way of doing things that don’t even involve holding a camera?

If you see yourself as an artist, everything is available to you for inspiration. If you only see yourself as a photographer, or only a writer, a painter, or even a surgeon, the world of inspiration starts to close in. Well Seattle Sistas, I took my own advice and signed myself up for a painting class.

If I only depend on my camera to inspire me, I feel pressure to perfect my photography and then that makes me tired. But what if painting could inspire my photography? What if working with the color wheel and taking in the various shade of green–what if those simple acts of focus ended up giving new inspiration to what I see through my camera?

I learned about the Alphabet of Drawing last night: the circle, line, curve and angle. I learned about timing myself as I draw something. Giving myself 60 seconds to complete a drawing b/c that forces the left side of my brain to give up. The left side of my brain tends to doubts my abilities–it’s so practical. But the right side of my brain believes I can draw any thing. Sixty seconds for a drawing isn’t enough oxygen for the left side of my brain. I was AMAZED at what came out of me.

When I rode home last night, everything around me had shifted. Instead of houses, I recognized circles, lines, curves and angles everywhere. I can’t wait to find out how this will affect my photography. That’s the great part about nurturing the artist within, when you feed one part of your creative self it spills over into every other part.

Now it’s your turn! Here is where the post gets even more fun! If your reading this today, take a moment and post ONE thing you could do to inspire your creative self and thus inspire your photography.

I’ll get the juices going with a handful, but please share your ideas! I need your help getting out of my box too! If 100 people posted their ideas, think of the resource we’d have here! Don’t be shy!

Here’s some of my ideas to help get you going.

Take Salsa Lessons

Scuba Diving Lessons

Knitting

Water Skiing

Cooking Class

Learning to Play the Guitar

a Writing Workshop

a Dance Workshop

Voice Lessons

…okay, now tell me what’s popping into your mind! Don’t edit, just tell me!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series is continuing to grow, faster than we know what to do with! If you haven’t ordered your own copy yet, check out our popular Instructional DVDs Refuse to Say Cheese and (They are BACK IN STOCK!! Yeah!!), our 101 Kits for starting or expanding a business in photography, click on the titles of your choice

Except for the reserved Running on Empty spot, our CONFIDENCE DC Photography Workshop for Women is SOLD OUT! YEAH!!! We’ll announce the next city soon! Stay tuned!