Throughout my life, I’ve gravitated toward things that I tend to naturally do well at and avoided things that I didn’t think I was good at. I think that’s what most of us do. I can cook, run long distances, and write, so those are things I like. Go figure 😉
And I’m equally, if not much more, aware of the things I “can’t” do. That list includes understanding anything scientific, reading maps or graphs (honestly, my eyes glaze over every time I see a bunch of lines and dots), driving well, and making any type of art.
Cooking and creating recipes is my favorite form of creative expression (I’m convinced anyone can be a great cook with some practice!). In general, though, I’ve always classified myself as “not artistic.”
I can’t sing, play music, or carry a tune. I can’t draw, make pottery, or paint. Not because I haven’t tried those things, but because I tried and they were a bust 😉 I went to a canvas-painting event during my freshman year of college and actually tossed the mini canvas in the dumpster on my way back to my room because it was a train wreck.
So, I’ve spent most of my time in high school and college doing the non-artistic things that I naturally gravitate toward, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But I’ve realized that I’ve been putting myself in a box by telling myself I’m a logical thinker, not a free spirit, an artist, or someone creative. I’ve always told myself I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, and I’ve come to realize that’s not completely true.
In days filled with lecture note-scribbling, paper writing, and LSAT studying that leave me mentally exhausted, I’ve found a creative (and dare I even say, artistic) outlet not just through cooking, but also through photography.
I first began working on my photography when I started this blog because I loved cooking and wanted my recipes to look edible. Taking iPhone snapshots of my dinner in a dimly lit room wasn’t going to cut it. Even as my food photography improved, I still didn’t consider myself creative or artsy in any way.
Now, I’ve realized I love people photography, not just food photography. Am I even allowed to enjoy photography if I’m not artsy? I don’t know (and I have a ton to learn!), but taking pictures of people is seriously so much fun for me.
I started out by photographing friends & family, and now I have some “real” portrait sessions booked. I’m even photographing a wedding this summer (super low-budget, but still so cool!)
Something I’ve realized is that by putting myself in a box, I’d hold myself back from trying out things I might enjoy just because they didn’t fit my mental picture of what I’d be able to do well. I’ve become convinced it’s very possible to be a thinker and also a creative. Or a science whiz and a great writer. Or a fantastic artist and a careful planner.
I’m sharing this because I’m willing to bet you put yourself in a box sometimes, too. Maybe you avoid things you don’t think you could do very well because they don’t seem like they go with your personality, your college major, or what everyone else in your family does. I’m also willing to bet that, like me, you haven’t discovered all of your facets yet.
Sometimes, doing the opposite of what you think you’d be good at is a great idea because either a) you get to discover a new talent or b) you get to tackle a new challenge and develop new skills. Just my thoughts– tell me what you think!
So tell me…
What are some boxes you’ve put yourself in?
Have you ever surprised yourself by doing well/enjoying something you didn’t think you’d be able to do well?
That is so awesome! And I can completely relate to what you’re saying ! I’ve always stuck to things that are more analytical and now I’m working in a job building websites which is forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and I have been loving it!
How cool that you’re getting to explore your creative side! It sounds like we may be similar in the way we think. Using the visually creative part of my brain is so challenging and fun for me because I think that part of my brain has been asleep for too long haha.
It’s amazing how quickly we can put ourselves into boxes instead of letting ourselves ‘ooze’ as my dad would say. He says that people never fit into boxes. I’m not a complete extrovert or a complete introvert, and I don’t think I’ve met anyone who was 100% one way; we all kind of change and I’m thankful for Jesus sanctifying us too; because I don’t think I would want to be the person I was 5 years ago or even a year ago.
I love how our creative pursuits change and develop too; you are really good Liv at all kinds of photography. I’m glad you’ve found different ways to express your gifts!
I wasn’t even thinking of the introvert/extrovert boxes we can put ourselves in when I wrote this post but that’s such a good example, too! Some people are somewhere in the middle and I think lots of people have good qualities of both introverts and extroverts!
Riley Foster says
This is lovely Liv. I love your ability to self-reflect and challenge yourself, two things that we’d all benefit from doing more of. I’m so lucky to have you as a friend–you inspire me every day!
Wow, thank you, Ri!! I feel beyond blessed to have you as a friend!
This is awesome that you are getting into photography! Those pictures are beautiful. I find myself putting restrictions on what I want to do with my life. And putting myself in boxes in the fact that I won’t be able to do everything I want to!
Can we make a pact – no more boxes for ourselves?!
this is so cool liv! it’s interesting how unexpected things come out of blogging 🙂 your photos look great and best of luck with photography!!
If I made a list of all of the unexpected things that of come out of blogging…it’s been such an interesting and fun journey!
You’re an awesome photographer, Liv! I cannot draw, sing, or paint either, but that doesn’t mean I’m not good at anything. There is SO much out there and we haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg. I don’t care if you’re 10 or 100; it’s never too late to discover new aspects of yourself and take chances. Wishing you a wonderful Easter <3
Love this and totally agree that it’s never too late to discover new aspects of yourself and take chances on new things. Happy Easter to you, too, Edye!
Claire B. says
That’s so cool that you’ve gotten into photography! (I wish we lived close enough that I could book a portrait session with you!) I was very much a math-y, science-y kind of person in school, so I was kind of nervous to work at a nonprofit last summer doing primarily writing and communications-type work. But I actually loved it, and now those are the kind of jobs I’ll be looking at when I start applying! Funny how that happens. 🙂
That’s awesome that you had that writing & communications experience to help you realize that you really enjoy that type of work! And I wish you lived closer, too! We could do a photo session & eat all kinds of delicious food together 🙂
Kristy from Southern In Law says
Shooting a WEDDING?! That is incredible! Go girl! <3