My Thoughts

Darker elements can lead to a path of light

Keeping a focused perspective by using the darker elements to lead us along the path of light.

Rethinking the conversation I had yesterday evening with a friend, I had some revelations this morning. Often I feel like little Miss Mismatch with my interests and loves going every which direction. I find it hard as a creative to stay in the present moment. There is a lot of emphasis put on the present moment these days, if we are there, why aren’t we, what takes us out, and if it’s good or bad. I have resolved to try to stop judging the rights and wrongs of my existence by not beating my self up too badly when I find myself getting scattered, but its not always easy. Clutter is a big distraction for me and I do my best to keep it to a minimum, but I love to fill my space with meaningful and artistic items.  They bring me joy. I do the same with projects. I have so many ideas flooding my brain at any given moment its hard to weed through the ones that are right for me, and then I have spent another hour decluttering my ideas. You can see the struggle and that’s only a small part of it.  

Lately I have been excited, and scared. Embarking on a new project that has deeply inspired me and filled my mind with so many ideas, I find myself looking far into the future. It’s easy for me to project each scenario with success and failure. I would consider it one of my coping mechanisms for survival. I have patterns within my existence that I have developed to help me cope with everyday life. I haven’t always identified them as that, but it’s starting to become clear as to what they are.  

Often my projections give me some anxiety about what I assume would be the uncertainty of what they will bring. Will I be rejected, will I fall into the same patterns as I have in the past and ruin what I have set out to succeed at. I turn to different messages that I receive as I go. One that really stood out to me this morning is to remain curious and observant of every moment of my life. Right down to folding my laundry. Each moment is a gift. That’s a quote I heard somewhere and its pretty cliche but if I can really dive into the meaning of it, I believe I could be on to something. Although hard because I have conditioned myself to always look ahead and prepare prepare prepare, I feel like I may be missing something.  

Back to my conversation this morning. We were discussing composition of a photograph and all the elements that play into achieving an image that works. In one instance it can help to have a dark vignette around the edge of the image. Why? The fun of an artist creating a 2D piece of art from a 3D world is to give the viewer something stimulating to look at. We like to lead the eye around to different aspects to tell a story. Darkening the edges is one way to do that. It simply creates a void space so that the eye does not linger there too long.and it can quickly move on to the next thing. It’s called leading the eye to the subject. So we can achieve this in many different ways. The easiest is to simply burn in the edges of the images, post production. I use that technique called vignetting quite often. But if you want to get a little more technical you can start to use lighting or the colors that already exist to create this.   

How does this apply to my life? In order to relieve the feelings of chaos I experience at times, I like to create a space that is aesthetically pleasing. An artist is always creating images with the policy in mind to stimulate a certain feeling in the viewer. In my opinion, the artist is actually doing that for themselves and to be quite honest they are actually sharing a part, or a whole of who they are in their work.  

I recognize consistencies in my work that match my decorating scheme in my house which also match my personalty and passions. All this can be a very intentional attempt at self expression, which I believe is imperative to the emotional well being in anyones life.  

We all do this in very different ways and there is no exact formula. For me, the problem happens when I find my focus on too many different subjects and there hasn’t been enough shadows in place to lead me back to the most important moment. The present.  

I can see myself at times, looking deep into the shadowed parts of my life like the future and missing what it is that I am needing to experience. Like a good photograph, the shadows should not be so dark that there is no detail. It is the same with life. We need to keep perspective. We need to balance our bank accounts and still remember to feed the dog. But it can remain in the shadows till we are ready to address that. I believe our soul is alway lighting up the way to which we need to place our focus. I like to think that we live in an intentional geography which has an amazing path set up for us to follow. There will always be light in the exact area we need to go, even if it is surrounded by darkness. Sometimes that darkness gives me new meaning when we finally reach that light. I have to remind myself all the time not to get too hung up in the shadows, because they are usually just a symbol giving me bits of information that contribute to the whole of the message. 

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