20 October 2014

Guilt-Free Creative Living in the Rhythm of the Seasons



Summer is for living, fall is for reflecting, that is the lesson I learned in the past months. I spent the summer traveling, meeting people, running on hot sands and jumping over waves.

The feeling of guilt for not blogging was following me everywhere I went and the more time passed by, the less inclined I felt to write. Have you felt the same too?

Don't resist
On some days, my head was exploding by the thought that I could not collect myself and write a single post, on others I blamed myself for not taking pictures to update my etsy shop, but I refused to give in to the guilt. Instead, I chose not to resist.

You see, I believe in not resisting; if a creative urge comes, I succumb and try to live it as fully as possible. So, in this case, the urge was to live in the moment. For the first time in three years I stopped blogging and for the first time in more than ten years I left my camera at home. If you are a blogger you will understand what an effort that was. If you are a photographer, maybe you will be appalled.

But guilt has never led anyone to good decisions. Actually, being guilt prone is only ruining your life. Psychologist Guy Winch advises to try to define if the signal of guilt is real or not, then to identify if you are really doing something wrong and if the message is false to ignore it.

With my feeling of guilt identified as faulty, I simply decided to trust the rhythm.

Trust the Rhythm

Trust the rhythm
Trusting the rhythm of my emotions is very much connected to trusting the rhythm of the seasons. I believe that every creative person is influenced by the natural world, and the changing of seasons. So, instead of trying to follow a strict regime of creating – be it writing, painting, photographing or sculpting – you might want to listen to your urges, stop feeling guilty and enjoy a detour on the your creative path.

Summer is a vibrant season. Instead of shutting yourself off from the world, go outside and be part of it. Even if that means you have to stop what you're doing.

Feeling guilty is so out of the question in this situation because even when you are not literally crafting or creating, the impressions and the change in activities will charge you up for your next endeavors.

Trying to follow a routine regardless of season will only make you feel stuck and sooner or later your creativity will perish because of the pressure you put on yourself.

So, you know how everything in nature evolves and follows an up-and-down curve? It's quite the same with us, our emotions and our creativity.

If we accept that summer is the season for living outside, then fall is the perfect season for reflecting on all that we lived through and employing it in our creative process. Then comes winter, when held indoor by cooler temperatures our reflections deepen and we have enough time to create an to live in the virtual world of our thoughts, followed by an awakening in spring and new creative juices.

Don't push yourself, follow the natural rhythm of the seasons and breathe.

breathe

Breathe
Breathe in – breathe out;
work – rest;
create – collect impressions;
day – night...

It's as simple as that. Don't push yourself. Try to understand and respect your rhythm instead, as you do the rhythm of nature. Allow yourself time to rest and time to be active. Keep this dynamic balance alive and your creativity will flourish.

Now it's your turn: Have you gone through long periods of burn-out and how have you dealt with them? Leave your reply in the comments below.



03 July 2014

The Photographer's Connection to Nature



When I planned buying a macro lens (and that took quite a few years) I was sure I would never shoot bugs. Not that I wasn't interested in them but I thought there were enough male photographers doing that already, plus I couldn't figure out how I would include them in my surreal photography.

But as the saying goes: Never say never.

What do you think happened on my first official "macro" walk? I shot mostly bugs and I was actually impressed about the way I handled them.

The Photographer's Connection to Nature

I thought it would be extremely hard to make them stand still but some of them even cooperated. For example, this blue guy was flying very frantically, but impressed by his color (why did I decide it was a male?) I waited for him to calm down until he landed on a leaf and stared right at me while I was getting closer and closer.


Then, in a magical moment of connection between a human and an insect he stood still until I managed to focus on his eyes. We stood there, hanging in the moment, while I was pressing the shutter-release button, making sure I have a few of his poses to choose from. I thanked him and I left happy by this divine communication.

See, this is one of the most important things I love about photography. When I am alone in the wild, I am able to hear and see more than in the town. I feel connected on a level that is more powerful than words. The magic of art, of reconnection, of listening to your heart...

Whatever it is, thank you, Nature for sharing your beauty (and bugs) with me.



27 June 2014

How The Moon Was Born



Astronomers have been trying to find out how the moon was born for ages. Why didn't they ask me? The moon was born in a pea pod. I even have evidence:

How The Moon Was Born

Take note of the gentle halo and the way the sister peas are reflecting the moonlight.

This photo comes as the answer to a question I posted a couple of days ago on Google Plus. Let me know what you think and if you expected such a development for the original photo. If you haven't seen it, here it is.



You can buy this original surreal artwork while it's hot and sizzling on Fine Art America. For all Kanelstrand readers I created a discount code CYRCTU which will give you 15% off. The code is active until November 17th.

Art Prints



25 June 2014

Cherry Tomatoes: Macro Shots



This year I entered the realm of tomato planting. It is a world of gentle touches and delicate aromas. I've been watching my plants grow, expand and bloom. And the time came for the first very tiny and still green cherry tomatoes. They are almost as big as peas.


cherry tomato

Armed with my new macro lens AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED I am spending a good amount of time around my plants each morning to take their portraits, up-close and personal.

cherry tomato blooms

Happy Wednesday to all of you, cherry lovers out there.