“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent van Gogh
When you create a piece of art, what are you creating? Something beautiful, yes. Something unique, yes. Something valuable, absolutely. But you’re also releasing a part of yourself, into the world.
When we create with our hands, our vision, our time, we transfer parts of ourselves into every brush stroke, every word, every frame. Good art is pretty, but truly great art requires transcendence. It’s not something that can be taught, its not even something that can be explained. Like love, it simply is. There’s no formula, reason or rationalized science to its existence. It happens often by chance, and in the most unexpected ways. It’ll strike like lighting, and once the spark fires, the light will burn bright.
When we love we give. We seep our souls out, we bleed connections, and we expose parts of our hearts that we keep hidden behind lock and key. When these vaults open and we access these inner places, and connect with ourselves, we move past, expectations, technicalities, and reservations. And just like falling in love, not everyone will understand, but it won’t even matter.
The truth is to make great art, we need to love and understand ourselves first.
As a photographer, it has taken me years to make sense of this.
When we moved from Charleston to Chapel Hill almost 2 years ago, I lost myself. I missed my community, I missed my culture, I missed everything that resonated with my soul, and my art suffered. I made random images that made no sense to me. Were they pretty? Sure. Where they good? I don’t really think so. The truth is, they were empty. Lifeless, and I just didn’t care. In losing myself, I lost my vision, and I lost my art. I stopped connecting to my subject, and felt more like a picture taker than a photographer.
A year of strife, wondering, searching, and trying to find my “me” again, never did me any good. And then one day it just made sense. I am not constrained to my geography, I am not a tree, I have roots, but I also have legs. I am seeker of the interesting. I am not stuck. My work is me. I am a traveler. I am an adventurer. I love culture, I love my culture. I am a Southerner. I am endlessly curious, and a little bit vintage. I am who I am. To expect my art, to be anything but a reflection of me, is a nonsensical notion. I understood, what I wanted my art to be, because I understood myself. I gave up on trying to be fabulous, and let my own light lead me. I let go of convention, ditched the rules, and released myself through my work, and reconnected to who I am.
Curious what that looks like? View my work here.
I spend my days, looking for myself. Not by sitting around but by wandering strange cities, exploring new places, and finding reflections of my own soul intrinsically embedded into the world. I capture my own curiosity, I shoot, what excites me, I create images, I love and with love, they find love in others.
So, I’ll leave you with this last and final thought, be who you are. Be bold, scream it to the rooftops. Embrace your weirdness, your difference, and the thing that makes you, you. Seek out your inspiration, and when you find it don’t let it go. Shine your own light out into the world, and let your love guide you to where you need to be, and great things will happen. I promise.
About the author:
Katie Hoessle is an award winning self taught fine art photographer, who’s work has been featured in galleries across the state of North Carolina and nationwide. Her work is available for purchase, through private dealers, commission, and her online store front. Always on the go, catch up with her and follow along with her adventures on her blog site: www.rebellephotographie.wordpress.com and of course at the April 25th Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Festival, be sure to drop by and say hi!
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