What qualifies? 

I just got back from my first major “post pandemic” trip (can we say post pandemic??!) to windy Chicago. Besides just being thrilled to be out and about in the world again, I was also excited to immerse myself in Chicago’s art scene. I got to spend a lot of time in art galleries and museums, gazing at Monet’s vibrant lily pads and Andy Warhol’s crazy colors, staring at really old canvases and trying to understand really new art. I also spent a lot of time with students at the Art Institute of Chicago who were getting their master’s in fine art. We chewed on both silly and serious conversations about what qualifies as art and what metrics we or should/do use to judge it. Is it art if I declare it so? 

I really resonate with these long chewy conversations for many reasons, some obvious (I’m a professional photographer who values artistry in the projects I undertake. I sew and sing and write poetry. I teach dance.) and some maybe less so. I have a career in the arts, but when people ask me if I’m an artist I tend to demure. I often struggle to find artistry in the corporate photography gigs that I so often take. I always shoot as creatively as I am able, using my yearning and drive for creativity to inspire standard headshots to be more, but corporate portraiture is its own consumer-driven beast and I often question whether I can rightfully call myself an artist. I do hope so.

From my best shoots I get the feeling of having created something great. The feeling of creating art is what keeps me motivated, through Covid times, winter times, dark times. The shoots I do for my portfolio, for fun, they’re what fire me up and make me want to exceed, excel, move mountains and hearts. They’re what makes me proud of my career and efforts, and they’re the shoots that take the most effort and energy. They are my art.

I’m headed into a new portfolio shoot in April and I want MORE!! Ping me with ideas, daydreams, creative desires. I’m all yours. Ping me if you want a headshot but want it to be MORE! 🙂 

Thank you for reading my rambling thoughts 🙂 

“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others” — Salvador Dali