Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bootcamp Day 3

Note:  My comments were broken for a few hours last night and today, sorry for any time you wasted trying to comment.  Thanks to the kind souls who notified me, they are working again.

After spending several hours last night working on my Bootcamp assignments and checking out the work of the other participants I was determined to step up my efforts today, so I woke up excited to read what Maegan had planned for us.  The journaling assignment - creativity buzz kills - got my mind working, and the daily theme - multilayered - started bringing images to mind.

I continued to puzzle over both items as I got ready for work - spending most of my time trying to come up with a subject for a photo to go along with the multilayered theme.  I thought about rich pastries with flaky layers, but couldn't come up with the name and location for a place to pick one up.  I moved onto the next idea, the multilayered cliff formations I've seen on some of my travels in Kentucky - but the nearest one I could think of was an hour away.  A workable idea if I could figure out how to work a trip into my evening.

As I started my commute I started mentally freaking out about all that needed to be done today (full day of work, week's worth of laundry, packing for my trip home tomorrow and today's assignment.)  My idea of capturing a great photo of the cliff formations started to feel impossible.  I began doubting my ability to participate in Bootcamp and then that little voice telling me I wasn't as skilled as the rest of the participants started in as well.  Then it hit me - I am my own worst creativity buzz kill.  I was letting the stresses of daily life and my own perfectionism kill the joy of the assignment.

I mentally pulled myself back from the cliff - remembering that what really mattered was the attempt and the journey.  With that thought in mind I started to look around with a more open mind, looking for other illustrations of multilayered, something that wouldn't require several hours of driving that would have to be fit into an already full day.  Then I looked up and saw the morning sky, full of layers of thin clouds and golden morning sun.  What I needed to complete the assignment was right the staring down at me.

I took a few minutes after arriving at work to capture photos of the morning sun.  I walked around the building looking for better angles and discovered a retaining wall of layered stones, another great subject for the assignment.

Today's assignments provided the perfect lessons for me:
  • reminding me to look around, keeping my open to the inspiration around me all the time
  • not to get my mind so set on one goal that I can't see the beauty closer at hand
  • to let go of the need for perfectionism that can paralyze me with fear and enjoy the lessons that come from the attempt and even those that come from failure
  • to enjoy the journey and have faith that by trying and participating my skills will be developed
I've been looking for an opportunity to post this song for over a week now, so I'm glad I finally found an excuse (pictures of the horizon - a song called "Horizon.)  Sometimes my mind is very literal in its translation.

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Stephanie said...

Cool cloud layer pics! I love that moment when you realize that an "ordinary" thing has just become extraordinary. Such a good feeling...

You need to head over and read my posts from yesterday. There's something there for ya... :o)

Maegan Beishline said...

Amazing job today, Jamie! So wonderful how you got, really, the whole gist if the assignment! I have heard that same thing {about perfectionism holding us back} over and over today and I know it to be true in my own life. Once we can let that go we can really go places!
{And I was one of those people trying to comment...so glad it's all worked out!} xoxo

blue china studio said...

What a great post! I love your lessons learned. The one I can totally relate to is letting go of perfectionism. It is my lesson to be learned as well. I think this boot camp is helping with that.

Diana Joy said...

Like your pictures of the layers of nature and your honest journaling. Perfection is a personal creativity killer for me...I sometimes wonder if I'll ever stop being so hard on myself.

Linda Jackman said...

i love that you got it! Nice job on your layers but the job you allowed yourself to learn is much more important.

J. said...

Fantastic!!! I want to take your points you learned and quote them ... so true!!! Especially the perfectionism - my worst buzzkill.

Love, love, love this. All of it. And I never even considered clouds! Excellent!

Corinne said...

The process is so much a part of the journey. And the letting things go and finding our way is an incredible thing :) Gorgeous shots!

Anonymous said...

I'll bet there are lots of us in this class who know exactly what you were feeling today. It happens over and over to me. Keeping your eyes open today certainly paid off. The sky was a great idea, but the photo of the wall is my favorite. We have several stone retaining walls on our property and not once did I think of using them for this prompt!

LD said...

aside from the beautiful photographs, what i loved most about this post was your very lovely and honest description of the creative process, especially when it's centered in a too-busy life. oh, that little voice that haunts us.


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