What It Really Means To Be An Artist
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What It Really Means To Be An Artist

Behind the lens of a camera, I have learned so much about myself and those in the world around me.

What It Really Means To Be An Artist
Blake Nelson

I remember when I fell in love with the art of creating. I was 11 years old the first time I picked up a camera – The real deal “I’m a legit photographer, everyone!” type of camera. I ran around our backyard taking pictures of the trees, leaves, grass, and sky. I was finally able to capture the world the way I had always seen it. In macro and micro, in angles and frames. This camera gave me the chance to create those same thoughts and perspectives from behind a lens in the form of a photograph – that idea simply blew my mind.

A hobby I fell in love with quickly morphed into a business that I now own and love with all of my heart. I hope that I never forget the feeling of insurmountable joy I had as I held my family’s heirloom camera. No matter how big or small this business might one day be, I never want to stop thinking of the world and all who are in it as a canvas at my fingertips, ready to be captured.

Artists see the world just a little bit differently than everyone else.

Not only do they see what is before them, but also see what could be – what can be. Our passion can be used as an outlet to fearlessly create and communicate to the world around us. We can share our heart, creative ideas, and so much more. Creating art is a vulnerable and daring experience. A journey that we take not only as artists but as a people walking through life.

Behind the lens of a camera, I have learned so much about myself and those in the world around me.

I have listened to clients I now call my friends as they share their inspiring stories, biggest hopes and dreams, and plans for the future. Those who have found their way in front of my lens have taught me so much. I have learned how to love people better and remind them of their value and worth. This is what it really means to be an artist. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love creating beautiful photographs! I get super pumped when I click the shutter and instantly feel the magic of a photo.

Learning how to create unique, artistic photos is a big part of being a photographer. While I do love the creative process behind photography, being an artist is about much more than the craft itself. Just as a painter does not paint simply because of their love for canvases and paint (although they do love, appreciate, and enjoy these things), a musician does not compose solely out of their love for music theory. They both craft, create and compose out of their drive to make their audience feel something. It’s about the connections you make and the story you tell. It's about sharing your heart through your artistic love.

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
- Thomas Merton

As I write this, I can say with complete and utter certainty that photography has played a huge role in developing me into the person I am today. There have been days when I love being an artist. There have also been others when I felt as though I’d lost my way completely. In the midst of a business-driven world, it’s easy to get lost in the emails and numbers and forget what it really means to be an artist.

BUT I absolutely LOVE what I do. I truly do love being an artist. It’s easy to lose sight of the opportunity that we have to truly make a difference. And not just those who would call themselves artists, but us...All of us. We are all artists. Whatever the opportunity looks like in your life, chase after it wholeheartedly. Take the leap and never forget what the “heirloom camera” is in your life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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