Breaking Through Creative Barriers

Lesson 2/6 - 9:15 am - Breaking Barriers


Breaking Through Creative Barriers


Lesson Info

9:15 am - Breaking Barriers

I feel like I'm cash I feel like there's all these miss about creativity out there, do you know I'm saying and they're like these tapes that we tell ourselves like, you know, well, if I'm really an artist, if I'm really a good photographer, if I really deserve to pick up the camera, then I will never feel these things. I will never experience these things, and as these things come up for us and we start to experience and what a video we go, I should probably go home, right? I should probably put the camera down I should probably never try to write that book or whatever, and so I and so it took me ten years to write my first book, I was like, so close to having it done, I'll never forget the moment I was watching sign filled with brian on the couch and my I heard this like weird crackling sound on my laptop, and I looked it, brian, I was like, do you like computers make noises like that? I saw the back of them running in and he like said, oh my goodness, this is crashing right now and I...

can you believe I didn't save I didn't back out my first lesson and backing up I did not have a backup of that book, and I had a start all over from just like drafts that I had printed yeah so that whole ten year process of writing that first book so many barriers I came up against crime and there's there's something like I don't know it's probably like to have paul where I go does this mean something? Maybe I'm not supposed to write that look maybe I'm not supposed to keep going forward right? I'm putting a little too much value on circumstances and how we feel s o I know I'm probably the only one guilty that I'm but it was such a process and then too and then tow like let people know this book was out and then when I got into photography to let people know I wanted to take their pictures like let people know I wanted to tell your story and like how did we do all this in the barrier after barrier and so really over even though photography has been in my life for I really like the last ten years I had his wonderful experience of being a working artist for twenty years and I'm excited to talk about barriers that we just simply hit and that are in like the road up ahead because I think that if we know that we're going to hit these things then they start to lose their power does that make sense? Okay call sue the first one I feel like we hit is rejection this barrier of like I'm just so afraid to be rejected how did how many of you does anybody feel like that? Okay, so rejection is I think, right it's almost like this nasty like negative nelly friend that is waiting for you every time you start to do something artistic it's like oh nobody's going to want that? Oh, nobody here pictures aren't different than anybody else's oh that's like, why would you start a business based on that who's ever going to sign up for that? Having you heard that fifty million people try that and already felt right it's rejection and it's so immobilizing but here's, what I want to say about rejection is that it's just part of it, you get rejected over and over and over again and you just keep putting yourself out there. I pitched oprah's producers for two years and was rejected and every single time they email back and they'd say that's a really great idea but that's not our show and you know what I learned is every single time they email me back, I knew better how to email them back. I learned like I started learning from their rejection what I needed to say to them it wasn't that they didn't like me or they didn't want me, I just had it figured out at it tell them what I was offering does that make sense so s so too I mean, we were on a camping trip and we got so close and we pulled over to the side of the road to talk to her producers and it all fell through at the last minute and it's emotional right? You go up and down and up india, but it gets less emotional if you put yourself out there in all different ways I remember when I was riding and I was trying to get published I had this little box that I kept on my desk and it was, you know, like these little four by six how but anyway, it doesn't matter you know how big a note card is, right? So I had these little note cards, and every time I sent out a magazine article, I would fill out the artist, you know, fill it out with who I was sending a tune I put in this thing, and every time I got the rejection slip in the mail, I mean, everyone rejected me. I wasn't see I would put it in there, but the day I got there injection I'd send before I send it out to four new places because you just need to feel like you're moving like you're staying in motion the moment you take rejection in and say, oh, this means something now you've stopped to moving, you know, enemy and if you stop moving, people can't move towards you because you're not you're not out there anymore and so rejection, I just want to say, is a wonderful part of the process because it will find tune you it'll help you fine tune what you're about, and people want to be what you're about, so if they aren't about you yet, then they just haven't like you, they just haven't heard you, they haven't, and you have it gotten to a place yet where you really like can articulate in that one sentence what you're about does that make sense? Is that resonating with people? Ok, so the next one is expecting instant inspiration does anybody else deal with this it's like and that's like I think that's one of the cracks is of being an artist is that we we know what it physically feels like to be inspired, and we want to stay in that zone all the time, right? But that is like that's so rare and far between I mean, has so many people tell me that they want to write a book and they have a really great idea for a book and you know, I listen and everything, and then I say you should do it, but just know, like a book is a lot of work and by the time it comes out you will like hate the book because you've rereading it so many times and and if I waited for inspiration toe like get me to start riding or start shooting or doing anything creative I would never create I just never would and so I'm honestly like sometimes in the morning for myself whether it's like my block I need I need a right ah post for disney or I need to write something for my own blawg sometimes because I don't feel I don't feel inspired by need to do it all like literally start by copying like literally typing in aa whole page of a favorite author of mine and she likes the rhythm of her words and everything is she'll get me into that place and then I'll be able to take off and I'll I feel like I'm in motion or when I you know when I was taking photos in the beginning I didn't know what to shoot so I pulled things out of all magazines that I loved and I just thought I'll just shoot all these until I get my own ideas because my own ideas will come maybe not right away but I'm I'm I'm sure like people online are not going to agree with this but I think copying people's photos is a great idea to start with I don't like it's so funny to me because when my like daughter sense it's day onto, like play the piano or practice the piano if they were to like practised a water dion version of furley I'm the nobody in the neighborhood goes who do you think you are playing beethoven, right? I mean like nobody says that but we see that in the photography world a lot and it really like it's me frustrated because we're so are we supposed to start by really copying like the people that we love and in that inspiration will start to come for us and then we'll start to, like launched from there but we want instant inspiration and when we don't have it, we feel like that, right? We just feel like it shouldn't be doing this like this is so frustrating and I'm it's just and it just gets everything going inside of us and what we don't realize is that all that energy that's like whirling inside of us is being wasted on how frustrated we are versus being put into like what we're supposed to and meant to create right perfectionism hey perfectionism! So so we're artists right? So I have no I'm saying to myself as I say it to you because I don't know why I do this but I constantly expect myself to be like perfect why first sit down to do something and if it's not perfect, I beat myself up like insane, but the crazy part about it all to me is, is that we're artists were meant to create were meant to get our hands dirty were meant to grope in the dark. We're meant to take nothing and turn it into something with no guarantee of what it will become like that is really like the calling of being an artist is that we are willing to volunteer. Lee, get in the dark and believe that we can create something from nothing. How can there? Perfectionism has no place, you know, and yet, and yet it's, like always there, taunting you always right. I have little voices all the time around me, all the time and it's, just like, and I've learned to come in a place where I'm they're just they just, like, may never go away. Because I spent so much energy for so many years trying to get the voices to go away, and they just don't that I'm just like for crying out loud, you know? Well, I'm going to go on my walk, and I'm not going to talk to any of you this morning, but they'll continue to have their dialogue and I just and it's just like whatever, you know, those voices air just always going to be there, but I have to still keep going into the dark. I still have to keep allowing myself room to breathe. The problem with perfectionism is that there's no room for error, right? There's, no room for air, and I need room for air when I'm creating and so but but like, this is like a really thing, because when you're providing for your family, be song, what you create, some of you I know do this part time and some of you do it full time. But when brian, I made that leap tio do this full time and provide for our family, it's that it's a really thing that you've taken on and when you have little ones and you feel like we can't make a mistake, because this is how we're providing for them, you start to lose oxygen. In the real right you start to feel like there's no room for air so when this starts to come up in me because it's a very real thing not because I want it I'm just like be perfect and be all put together all the time but because I don't want this time I'm spending away from my kids to not count for something do you know what I'm saying I needed to count for something but but there's never going to be any guarantee every time I set out on creating something new there's there's no promise at the end that I'm going to be okay so I'm I have to like create room for air so I will take a painting class and I will something I don't know how to do it all and I will like for six weeks just paint once a week with this class and and just let myself make mistakes all over the place slap myself just like be I'm brian started taking my husband started taking guitar lessons a few months ago and she's always play the goods are but he's never taken guitar lessons so the other night he comes up to me and the kids are at my mom and debts and he's like we're going to set in different tonight and he has his guitar he's like come on over here babe so we go over to the piano and I'm like why are we going? A piano and he opens this bottle of champagne and he pours me a glass and he's like we're going to just play music together tonight okay like I am terrified because I've only grown up playing the piano was sheet music I've never liked learned how to just improvise and play like what comes out of the soul or whatever that just terrifies me and so I'm like no no no hunt that that's not really for me you know he says to me is like well you're the one who's always out front talking about making room for air I think this would be a great like exercise for you and so he starts playing and I'm sitting out of you and I'm like I'm not going to do this so I'm going to go do something different and he's like I'm still waiting on his plate and he like I'm like I'm not like all of a sudden can you? I mean all the senate I'm like yelling at him I doubt it because I don't want to risk making a mistake there is no one in the living room with us there is no one who can hear it outside it's just me and the person I trust the most in my life and I'm terrified to like start line and not know what I'm playing and to make a mistake and sound silly and embarrass myself in front of who who am I embarrassing myself in front so she just kept playing because if you know my husband he's like la waiver you know but it's so finally I was like what? And I'm like I dunno I just like so frustrating I'm like I can't stand you like and you know he's like I love you I think this is like we're just working this out together because it is such a internal angst inside of me now I don't want to look foolish I don't want to be silly to people this everything I create means something to me I don't want youto lab I don't want you to see c is meaningless because if you d'oh does that mean that I'm meaningless? Does that mean that what I have to give is not worth anything do you know I'm saying it's a really thing and we start like we kept going through it and he's like you need this baby and I'm like you don't know what I need I think we're going and going and then finally like I just started having fun and I just started playing with him and he's like I'm in gordy I know what cordy is on the piano wives but I've had this lie in my head I only know how to play sheet music now I'm not saying I'm a great piano player right at all but the reason I'm telling you this story is because my like desire to be perfect when I whenever I sit down that at the piano was affecting I think our kids because I really wanted our kids to take music lessons and I really wanted them to experience that but you know how you can say anything you want to your kids that you want them to do but if you don't do it yourself they have like no model of how to do that so the other night brian says to me, why don't we like do what we did with the kids because they never got to hear us and uh I'm like, you know, and all that fear comes up side of me again and I'm like that was like a one time wonder thing think on he's like I'm going to start thing starts and can I just tell you that blaze wandered into the room are eight year old and he said can I kept that jim bay and like play like the drama with you kyle and he sat down and he started playing this drive and I wanted to cry I just felt like we we had just let all this creative oxygen into our room and it was like it was ok to, like, play and wander and experiment and be messy and not know where we're going and just like the oxygen that's come into our house just from that like one simple thing but the real fear that it was to push pass because I just wanted to be perfect and nothing else yeah yeah yeah okay so I think that was three you ready if we had like ten okay guilt guilt uh guilt guilt right so so we kind of we launch our business or we launch our passion we start finding that people are responding to us we're not we're not experiencing the rejection that we feared ok? We're getting some freedom from perfectionism we're starting to find that we don't need instant inspiration we actually have a creative well in us that's always bubbling and flowing out and we're really loving what we're doing guess who's waiting for us when we get home guilt I don't know if men struggle with it is like into the intensity eric you're going to be our representative of all men today I don't know but I know for me as a mom guilt has been like the biggest thing for me to wrestle with because I feel like is it okay for me and enjoy something this much that takes me away from my kids and is it ok for me to pursue something that I don't really know how that's going to pan out or work out and uh you know, guilt killed is constantly there and at one point I am felt so so strangled by it I couldn't move like like nothing I did was enjoyable anymore? Do you know I'm saying because every thing I did, I just felt so guilty about he felt so guilty, but I felt I just was so overwhelmed with kill my eye, a business coach of the time, and she asked me to write down all the people that I feel guilty about I took up like two pages because the crazy thing about guilt is once you start to feel guilty about this person, then you like, let the floodgates in and now you feel guilty about this person and this person and you didn't show up at your friends get together because he that was your only time to create and so now you're a loser friend and you you know, I forgot to pick your kids up in school because he was, which I have done because you were so excited about what you were creating I'm a loser mother, you know, you just feel guilty all the skill coming on and guilt like has to literally be, like, taken and just said, uh uh like this, I'm worth this because I feel like at the at the time at the crux of guilt underneath it it is an issue of work and all of us because whenever gil has come up for me, I know that underlying all of that is me wondering if I'm worth doing this for myself in my work because I feel so selfish sometimes, you know, I'm saying, and so I'll never forget when I was when we brian ira, shooting high end weddings, we were that in that season of our business and we were traveling, all of our winnings were out of state, and I'll never forget feeling so bad because the kids would be like, you just got home, you know, just like you got to go again and whether we've been home for two months or two weeks like that was the same thing that they played and I felt so guilty, and so I would go toe I'm so sorry, I'm cam, I know I'm leaving again, I'm the worst mom, I just start crying on, they would start crying and brian would be like, we really need to get to their board. I think we given my call then once we're in the guard, I'm like but a horrible bob. I feel like I know time I rolled down the car window. I'm crying bye bye bye bye. Thank you, brian is such a is such an amazing man because I cried the whole way to the airport and if he said one thing what big that took away from my gil I would just be like you're so not committed to our kids you know, because I loved our kids because of how guilty like I felt and on like it wasn't serving me at all so I'll never forget my business coach at the time say into me meera I'm ok so the next time you go on a trip I want when when passed clean she was only like five at the time I'm with haskell lean says to you, I don't want you to go in and mom images I came home you know and like all this step that she's really feeling instead of like trying to rationalize with her well be back in three days or because you don't know you know what you mean and the truth is is if you're happy your kids they're happy, right? So she's like no matter how you feel inside I want you to pick her up and I want you to hold her and squeezer and just say, honey, I'm so excited to see you when I get home I can't wait to hear about everything you did I can't we wait to just ask you about all the adventures you had why mom was god and we're going to do it, we're going to do and I'm just so excited to come home to that she's like that's what I want I'm like how can I be oh don't feel that way way she's like I don't want you to like respond on how you feel I want you to do because if your daughter and your son see you happy and solid about the decisions you make then they're going to be like totally fine and I was like no you don't know my kids you don't know passed clean it's not gonna work okay so the neck strip came and we were getting ready to leave and getting all the suitcases to the door and passed colleen she's probably cracking up right now who knows what she's saying on twitter right now? She was like it's just she came up and she's like um I don't want you to leave again and I went like I took it and he brought the courage on I picked her up and I held her and I said I'm so excited to see you I didn't even address that she didn't want me leave I can't wait to see see when I get home I can't wait for us to play and catch up together and you're so beautiful I can't wait to come home to your face and all these things you know what she did? I felt completely ditched she went us and I'll see you later on ok already and I remember like getting into the car and going just wait like I just remember you're like going, oh my gosh, if I'm good about what I'm doing, my kids air good about what I'm doing, and I try it again and again to make sure that wasn't like a weird one off thing and, you know, of course our family, like goes through hard times or is this easier times, but, brian, I when we're solid about what we're doing, the kids are right in line, they're ready, they're up for anything, and so I'm sharing the story because even if you don't travel what I hear this same scenario for moms, when they leave their house to go do a photo shoot, right, they leave their house clearly there all the way, even for three hours, but they feel is immense skill of like caution saturday, they've been at school all week. How can I leave my kids for three hours, but it's, so important for our kids to see us work past skilled and to see us doing something that shows that we value who we are as a creative as an artist film? Well, I just wanted to thank you for sharing that story a and it's something, the guilt um because I do feel like as mothers and fathers or it's, so important for our kids to see us do something we're passionate about and something just for ourselves, and I really with my youngest daughter, I tried to get her involved with taking pictures and letting her bree creative, and where can we go? What do you want to wear? And so she can kind of enjoy it, teo and so she gets excited when I leave, because you'll ask questions where you going, who you taking pictures of? And when I told her, I said, I'm I was elected to be part of my favorite photographers finance today, and she took my face and she said, oh, mama, I'm so proud of you on, so it just made me feel so good, so I just wanted to thank you for sharing that and just encourage people out there don't feel guilty, we need this for ourselves. Yeah, yeah, hey, thank you for sharing that that's, so sweet, what your kids are proud of, you that's like the best thing that could say anyone else or from the audience that's watching or, well, I just want to say myself, I could have used some of that this morning, just working through the guilt and you're I think you're right, just showing that this is what I want to do, and this feels right for me and and I think that really does translate, so I think a lot of us, whether we have kids or not, can definitely relate to that. So thank you, mira that's now that's a wonderful example, I think. It's so isn't it crazy, though? How, like, our kids read us? And so if we're guilty, you know, if we're feeling like guilty and they see that discomfort on us, they go inside something's not right, you know? And then they respond, they react to that versus, like, if they seem, I'm just like, solid and in this mom cries alliance, so that that doesn't solid doesn't necessarily mean like you're happy all the time, but they they see mom solid and what she chooses to spend our time on and what she does, like I think that they start to read flack that to us and their kids are just this amazing test, always this reflection right in your spouse. So for your business partner, here it is, you know, you're whatever you choose, the mood that you choose, a move that you bring and what you're putting out there, yeah, I think our clients pick up on it. You know, our clients like we meet with our clients to do the shoot and we have this energy inside of us that's like I feel like so bad for being here, what is like what's going out to our clients, you know, and just thinking about that and I'm and killed is like none of these things are things that I feel like we can just, you know, change our mind about I feel like they're actually gifts task in a way because they force us to, like, work through what it is that we need to, like get more confidence about a word my like favorite were more confidence about in our life, but I'm I mean, I'm going to move on to this next one because I think a lot of a lot of us feel it too just like guilt is getting stuck in a creative read how many of you I'm feel like you just take the same pictures over and over again like you just write, you just kind of get tired of it and you're like, pan, this is so like this used to be fun and now I just feel like it's the same photo every single time and we're gonna have so much fun today in the session second session because I'm going to actually talk about ten stages of growth for a portrait photographer that I've identified I'm so many people that go through and how this creative read this barrier can be broken through, but I feel like every time we start to feel this, I think it's a flare that goes up in the sky and it it's just this for player that's letting us know we needed like risk again, we need to push ourselves again because we don't have to stay stuck in the creative right, but it's kind of safe in a creative brett there's not like a lot it mean out there there's not a lot that you're you know being vulnerable and so you may like, hated and you may despise it. You may feel frustrated about it, but the same time you kind of like couched it in your life comfortable and in so every time this comes up for you, I've learned to like recognize it as a flare it's not it's, not an accusation it's not a gauge of how creative I am or not it's not I'm a temperature telling me like I all of a sudden and failing at everything I create it's a flare that says it's time to risk again, it's time to push my limitations again it's time to push my boundaries and get uncomfortable again exhaustion josh running on empty right? This is a serious creative barrier and and their seasons in our in our life where we're like we're burning both can I am so bad at what do you even call it yes thank you thank you. You know there are seasons when we're doing that and it's and worse it and were meant to do that right but this overall exhaustion of just running on empty and just never feeling up and and really like creating from fumes right that's just that's not sustainable and that and so the other piece of that so then what do we dio too like defeat that or to overcome that barrier and what what would that be what would some things be that you would do to help combat exhaustion sleep yes sleep on what else? Green juicing green judy I had my vitamins this morning I brought it you know, just we're going to talk about that what else can you do with exhaustion getaway scene change oh they okay on we need the mike I'm sorry that's my fault getting away just getting some sort of change of scenery just yes just like almost like resetting your chiapas right for your own like mental self I'm what about getting off line earlier in the night my husband and I have this rule in our house like it's not like a rule like you know, a new oppressive role but we have this boundary that we've set for ourselves where we don't talk about finances and we don't go online after ten o'clock at night because nothing good happens nothing good happens if we talk about finances after ten o'clock at night we're going to just argue it's like we're just too tired if I go online and ten o'clock at night and I start looking at everybody's websites I've literally like time to myself by ten o four I've convinced myself to never pick up a camera again like it's just like you know we're just so exhausted and then we're getting online and we like are looking for something tio distract us from our exhaustion and we're telling ourselves that it's helping us when really it's just beating us down right? And so we kind of been working on this thing and not all seasons can be like this but we've really been working at this sing for each other where like from six thirty seven like about dinner time we don't get back online we don't like work now that doesn't work for every season but like trying to like have that in our that pattern and our life has made such a huge difference and just overall like mental exhaustion that I sometimes like, I'm constantly feeling because of all the noise and all of it you know I'm same so we're going to talk about in the last session tools to actually deal with exhaustion in your business and howto had to work through that but that's just something to think about like do I really need to be online right now is this really serving me is looking at all my friends facebook updates really like getting me any closer to the goal that I've set for myself and I'm it's so it's so obvious and we all know it but I'm but it's hard because there's this like fix that we get you know I mean we get this fix and then we feel like happy all of a sudden and then all of a sudden thirty seconds later we feel worse right? So exhaustion she said that she said the vita mix diet diet is a creative barrier that I don't think artists talk enough about it that the glamorized artist isn't one who's like a really late at the coffee shop smoking cigarette writing his next novel who is that person like? I mean that person like I have never I have yet to meet like a published author that success well that has that routine for their work and just put like diet what are we putting into our body? Physically I have like a kazillion food allergies and I fought it forever because I don't want to be allergic to gluten and I don't want to be allergic to dairy I don't want to basically be allergic to the whole american diet, but at the same time I feel like cried if I don't nourish myself and it directly impacts my creativity, I'm brian, I every year we've started doing this cleanse where it's insane I'm sure some of you have heard of it the master cleanse where you on ly like too lemon juice and cayenne pepper and maple syrup and we do it for like a week too just like cleanse out our system I'm it's probably that's enough said about okay, so why we're doing it? But I it's so insane because by day for my mind so crystal clear it is so sharp and I realize that what I put into my system and how I take care of myself with my diet directly effects like the cloudiness and the cobwebs in my head all of that right? So that's another barrier disillusionment I think is another barrier of just feeling like this this was going to look so different once I reached that goal, I you just you start out with such fervor and you're so exciting! And then all of a sitting u reached that goal and it's like that's not what it was supposed to look like or feel like and so I'm but instead of going ok, there's actually more for me to like more ground for me to cover I don't know about you, but I can start to internalize it like I've done something wrong and this doesn't look the way I thought it was because there's something in me that's making it that way does anyone connect with that? Yeah, so disillusionment is e I love having all of you because your faces are like, but I'm just disillusionment off what we thought we were aiming for and then getting there and just finding that man, this is, like a much harder than I thought it was going to be. And then we hit this wall and we're like, do I want to keep going? You know? And so it's, so funny because people, I'm people that have not met me before have not heard any speakers something they see like my disney show airing right now, it's every night on the disney junior channel and I get these e mails because they think like, the I think that it just, like, happened so fast, right? But it's been such a long road, it's been twenty years in the making of getting to a place where like, that can actually be a reality and that's not our end goal like we have other things were working towards, but every like, every time I've come to this place of growth, I've hit this barrier. I think of disillusionment that I thought I thought that when I saw that person living that life in fact, it was different for them. So what? I'm being silly now, but, you know, I thought travel was really glamorous until I'm like getting bad and dionne and every party should never be touched in by security, you know, for the fiftieth time and so just or I thought like this ideo this this business venture was going to take off and explode. Why isn't anybody responding? Should I keep going? So just disillusionment and knowing that that's something that we can't avoid? It's part of our growing process as well? Fear of production versus creation, fear, production versus creation, this one, this one was so big for me, mrs temper second, I'm because I I had written I'm well, ok, so I have that I have my first photography, but your baby and pictures, right? Some of you know about that book, and when I pitched it to the editor, I'm his the editors and photo random house that's the editor, I pitched this idea of it being a siri's, and they're being like these photo recipes and so it's kind of like a cookbook for moms except it's. How to cook up a photo you want of your kids, and we like, do this structure, okay, I had so much fun creating the idea for this book creating the structure creating what it was going to look like and everything and I felt so alive and I was like oh we can do this we could do this so we could do just like going crazy and then it came and and then it came out and and it's been doing really great but then it came time to write second one I hit this wall where I felt like well I just don't want to produce another book just to produce it you know what I am saying I don't want to just do something because I want to create I don't want to produce and so and I felt like I was betraying myself as an artist I felt like I was just now becoming one of those artists who just like makes what you're supposed to and if anything about all of this is this is my idea that I sold like the publisher on right so I'm so I couldn't get past this mental creative barrier I kept hitting every time I sat down to work on that second book your child and pictures I could not get passes so so we go to costa rica we my husband night we don't shoot weddings anymore but I'm a former sony exec who really was my champion when I first started working with sony there I'm I had told her that when she gets married I am shooting you're ready so I love that she picked costa rica to get married so she picked up so here we go there and we're at dinner you know, one night with all the people there it's this wonderful group of her friends and family and I'm sitting next to this guy and he happens to be the screenplay rider for the pursuit of happiness the movie with will smith and so I asked him I'm like ok, so you and I were both in costa rica you're an artist has found success I am an artist like I just have to like pick your brain and I told them I said I am really struggling right now with this second book I really hit this barrier I cannot get past because I feel like I'm just filling in holes I'm not doing anything authentic with the creating process and I like to feel like that because he's made several movies like written several screenplays and he looks at me and he goes I feel like that all the time on he said you know what I do for that it is every time I get paid for a movie that gets by screenplay that's get daughter something I take a percentage of small percentage of what I get paid and I put it into this fund that is just for me to use to create whatever randomness I want to create because he said, you know if if if you're r is a part time thing for you it's a if it's a little bit different, but when it's how you provide for your family there is this aspect that you need to produce and your audience starts to fall in love with what you're producing and your your servant to your audience you want to continue to give them what will help them and grow them so you do need a pretty produce but there is this aspect where you need to always stay in this place of unknown and you need to give it to yourself to create and just to feel like nobody's paying attention the bills aren't riding on whatever comes out of this part of me right? And and then he said to me he said he said I because I said to him I said, well, I just feel like the second like book in a series it's just like never is good as the first one and so I think and so I think I'm afraid of rejection s so you know he started peeling the layers away right and he's like, well, I'm I think that you need to do some research on movies and books siri's and you need to find like siri's were the second one just like totally kicked butt and they did it with excellence and that you needed feel yourself with that inspiration that the second one can be just as good if not better as the first one and I'm listening to all of this and I'm just like just trying to like take it in because what he's doing is he's saying you do need to produce that is that's a mature piece of being a working artist you need to produce, you need to pay your bills and you need to like be able to keep a cash flow revenue coming in it but then there's this other side that you need to always have for yourself where nothing's writing on it and then you need to, like, fill yourself with inspiration that this can actually become something that will feed people again that love you and love what you're about right? So I'm I feel like this happens in a photo shoot because I kind of took what he said and I brought it into my shooting because when I show up for a photo shoot I'm especially in the first few years I felt all this pressure toe like show them that I am an amazing photographer we're going to get right start shooting right away, you know what I mean? And I would just like I feel like if I took a long a long time to actually start shooting that they were going to think that I didn't know what I was doing right? And so I'm as I like grown in confidence more and more I learned that it's ok for me to dial into myself before I like actually start creating with them but what his advice translated for me was it's ok to like do the safe shots that I know that the family always buys it's okay to start there but then leave this other part of this shoot to my creating time my out of the box time because there has to be both simultaneously working together because this one has no accountability this side that's just creating to create there's nothing like riding on that and so if I don't feel like creating than nothing, you know nothing wass nothing gained I doing live inside my dad he's korean and he has said all these phrases like, you know all different ways so brian's like that's not actually with the phrases but you know, so like if you don't if you're just creating all the time but you know what nothing's riding on it? Well, then you're like risking getting stuck in a creative right because there's no like pressure ever move anywhere. But if you're just producing all the time you're not being creative, then you just feel like you're sellout, right? So the two like have to simultaneously lend and work together I'm talking with him was so powerful because to hear this this guy who has written the screenplay for the pursuit of happiness has worked with will smith worked with all these amazing actors and still is like going into the dark by choice to create the next thing and so many of his screenplays never see the light of day but the one that dies you know it's just like it lights and that and so just I don't know I wanted to share that with you because I feel like artists kind of get into this funk in their dialogue with each other where they're like well I'm a true artist because I don't produce or I don't repeat myself or whatever I'm always just organically creating and then like they kind of hate all the artists that are like actually like making something with what they're creating her I don't know does that make sense merit? Can I ask you a question from online out the finance part from a peacock who says I work a full time job along with my photography can you please tell us when you first heard your protectively business did you have a financial back up plan in case your income was not what you needed to survive? No I did not no I didn't and when so so they the process of like how we went full time is like a story all into itself in some ways and I know we want to get into that more later but just I love his question because her question is it got me not sure okay, I'm I think it's a it's a really valid question of like when do I launch? When do I start what I'm saying it has to do and go just go for it and for me I feel like the answer to that question is when you simply can't find anywhere to sit in the nest anymore, you know, like you're just like he don't know what a mother eagle does to get her babies to fly she picks the nasty part until there's nowhere for that baby eagle two sit and they're just literally forced is like finally and jump and I think that we got to a place where we I couldn't sit anymore I couldn't sleep anymore and even though I had no guarantee no backup plan, I wish I had a slush fund wouldn't that be amazing? I heard of people who have a slush fund, you know, but like it just there was there was that was never gonna happen. I needed to jump and he's a leap out of the nest and and I needed to not just jumped one time but over and over and over again and so I know we did not have a backup plan in fact, brian was working at the time when I was when we were doing in high end weddings, he was working ah, full time, high tech job, I'm he was like, but he was like, communing for hours a day so he would come home at, like, seven o'clock at night, and we would have a brief dinner with the kids, and then he would help me with the business. I'm starting at ten at night, and then he would, like, go until four in the morning, we did this for two or three years, hoping we were going to get to this place of a cushion where it was insane to jump out of that nest and go for what we wanted, but the cushion just never came, and we got to this place where we were, like, we can't like serve two masters, we need to make a choice, we're either in this or we're not, and so I'm so yeah, and that was terrifying, but everything started, like, come together, the finance piece didn't necessarily come together, but the wholeness in our home started to come together. Is that make sense? So is that you? You know, that's, why I love that metaphor of the eagle and the great visual as well, I actually wrote a post today for disney's parenting website babble it's called it's one of my favorite phrases by jeff yoakum he's been my I've been lucky to have him as a mentor for almost seven years but his his phrase is not falling is not flying and oh it's just like that when the first thing he said that to me I was like, what is he talking about? Like that's a tongue twister just even trying to say it back to him and and I'll never forget like him saying to me a number of times mirror and not falling is not the same as flying and I just you know how and you think about like how much energy you put into just trying to like today in the air but that's not flying that's not like it's insane and dizzy just put out this wings of life all their nature stuff is insane, right? It's so incredible the video ah graffiti in the filming there's a cz one part were in the trailer where this hummingbird is like a cannonball rolling the bumble bee is going in a spiral in the hummingbird is dancing in the spiral with it is unbelievable that they can capture video of this and I'm like that jaime bird is flying that hummingbird is not focused on not following that hummingbird is totally in flight just like born to dance and fly so yeah here's the last one everybody fear of nothing left to dream, fear of nothing left to dream. I think this is ah, a barrier that it we come up against when our dream is given us so much life that we're like, starting as we get closer and closer to the dream were like, well, if I actually, like meet my dream, then what will I dream after that? I don't have any of you read the alchemist? Is this one alchemy is this is amazing, wonderful book and there's the there's. This guy in it who sells crystal glass is and he tells the main character that he's always had this dream to take the pilgrimage to mecca and to do that spiritual journey for himself. But he says that I'm never going to go because and I choose not to go because the idea of the dream it's so like, gives me so much that what will I have after that? Once I go, what will I dream? And so I really struggled with this when my first book came out, I have this picture of me speaking when I was teaching high school so before I'm I before I got into speaking or my book my first book was published I wanted to just speak everywhere actually wanted to be an evangelist but no no church would let me come and talk because I never knew what I was going to say I just want to get up there and talk to their church so I'm for some reason they weren't comfortable is that so I remember having lunch with this guy who actually was an evangelist and he said if you want to become like that that is your profession then you should probably become a high school middle school teacher because if you can hold the attention of that audience then you'll be fine in front of any other audience because if you've ever tried to teach riding to a seventh grade class the enthusiasm is not very inspired right that you're getting from the class so I'm so so I taught for almost seven years in the classroom and I remember going through the graduate program and we all stood in a circle and we all you know said like why were part of this program and why we're here and everybody had these beautiful stories of like my grandma was a teacher and I've always going to be a teacher in a god to me and I was like I want to be an evangelist me speaker and so that's why I'm here and then everybody was like that different that's, that's. Great. I'm and so I, you know, was afraid for that. I was afraid to finish that first book because I thought, what what what am I going to write about next? You know, I was afraid, like when we hit this level with our wedding photography like, well, now we're getting published in magazines, and I'm getting to talk like do platform talks through whatever trade shows. But now, like what? What will be next after that? And when I am discoveries. So beautiful is that there is another unfolding there's, another beautiful thing waiting for us. But it takes the courage and the train and the strength and everything that we had to muster out to get to that dream, to prepare us to be able to tackle the next piece that we're headed into. And that's one of the things that I love about photography actually in especially in in women's lives because so many women, especially moms, feel like they're not smart enough to understand something technical, like photography. And this is actually why I call our workshops. The confidence workshops because once we inspire confidence in them that they can take beautiful pictures I am amazed at how the confidence just like seeps into every other part of their life and it starts to unlock all these other things I can't tell you how many workshop attendees have emailed me like one lady became like a yoga teacher she like left her day job and became a yoga teacher one became a shaft one became a photographer for mission trips I'm like all things like that aren't ness certainly tie directly to photography but they had to tackle that first dream to be able to even know that they were capable of what lies ahead and I think what was always buried down deep inside but they had to do the digging first you know today's earth day and uh and it's just nature just blows my mind because every time I feel like I should be somewhere else natured reminds me that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be you know I think about the monarch butterfly and I think about how this this monarch it starts from an egg right? It starts from this like this little tiny egg and its first stage of growth is breaking out in that egg that's its first breaking that's its first talk about a barrier breaking like eggshell it has to break out right and then and then it's a caterpillar and it in it like has to eat milkweed have you ever tasted milkweed? Milkweed is so bitter milkweed is so nasty and it has to live off of milk we because milkweed gives its wings color and the more color the wings have the more dangerous it is to its predators if it skips any part of eating the milkweed it will not be protected and it will not be a threat it's predators it won't be bright enough in its wings so how many times have I have I and have you come to this place where words so tired of eating the milkweed right? We're so tired of it but we know it's the diet for today we know exactly where we're supposed to be we know it's the only thing we're supposed to consume and this this really warren struggle of bitterness is always there I should be about her fly I should not have to be the caterpillar I love my girlfriend my dearest friend in texas she's a pastor there she writes she writes a whole book about this process of the monarch butterfly it's called when women reign and I love how she says, you know she's a pastor but how she says we all want the glory but god keep the thorns right we all want to be the butterfly but I don't want to be the worm I don't want that and and then once it moves on from being a word it attach is itself to a limb and it hangs upside down and everything that was right side up is now upside down everything everything that makes sense doesn't make sense anymore how many of you feel like that when you're growing in your creative process everything that means something is gone and now you just feel so lost and you feel like you're upside down and yet there's nowhere else that you're supposed to be except upside down and then from there it goes into chris sauces and it literally starts to shed where after layer after layer does you know that a mark butterfly amy my friend in texas is telling me this it actually becomes completely liquefied in that shedding process everything that was a substance is liquefied how many times have I felt that everything of substance in me is being liquefied god this can't be the right place for me there's nothing glorious there's nothing wonderful about this everyone looking from the out side in can feed that I'm clearly in the wrong place I've lost highway I took a wrong turn somewhere and yet every time I get up every time I do what I know to do I'm still being liquefied there's no rushing that process and after it's fully liquefied then its wings start to break out and it is finally ah monarch but guess what it has to fly thousands of my hole across the atlantic ocean so like it's finally like it's finally what it's supposed to be and now its journey hasn't even started yet right? How many of you feel like that? You finally go through all these stages you hung upside down your world was turned upside down you're the caterpillar you ate the milkweed you did the bitter stage you know you finally had the everything liquefied about who you are you finally become the butterfly your wings air like beautiful and everybody sees it and recognizes it and then all of a sudden your life goes you're going there and you're like I can't even see the shore what do you mean I'm going there and that's your that's, your destiny, theirs and theirs and that that's what you were created for there's no going around that journey I think that we come to these stages of growth and we hit these barriers and then we get to this place we feel like we should own it. We should be it we're ready to like take it and then we see this like long road ahead of us and we're like are you kidding me? I don't like I'm not cut out for that, but you are because you never skipped any of the process is you never skipped any of the growth you stayed true to eating the milkweed you stayed true to shedding every layer that kept you from expressing who you are to people you allowed yourself to be liquefied you allowed yourself to be upside down and not know right from up you have everything you need to cross transatlantic so this is our first session this where I wanted to start I want to start with what the barriers are that are common that we all hit and to remove this sense of well there must be something wrong with me because I'm up against this no, you're exactly where you're supposed to be and this barrier that you're going to push through and go through is actually going to give you what you need to cross the transatlantic and where your dream is waiting for you thank you so much more I just find it incredibly inspiring and I think all of us can can really relate to it and I think that just the importance of trusting the process of that journey were no matter where you are in it whether it's still just a thought or you're in the middle and you're feeling really ensure um so I personally feel very inspired by by what you've shared with us this morning and I know we have lots of people online and I'm sure here in the audience as well that that agree so thank you for me it's that what you were just speaking about as faras this is where I thought I would be after I've done I ate the milkweed I ate it I think why isn't this why why doesn't this feel like what I thought it would feel like to be here yes so that is really that's what I'm totally engrossed with right now is just thinking about that off you're exactly where you're supposed to be yeah that's a wrap my head around that I like it I like the idea of dealing that but yeah it's a new a new perspective so yeah step into it awesome thanks I feel like I'm coming at it from a little bit different perspective coming in on the tail and hopefully not my career but um after being a math teacher and knowing that all the time technical side of things that it was amusing to me teo teo hear and feel the other side of that like now can I be creative? Yeah, you know if I don't have a business will that be okay, right? Is it ok for me just to dream and and to provide something for families for free? You know you hear that a lot from photographers don't ever do that kind of you're ruining it for the rest of us but is that okay? T do that? Yeah, I think it's detrimental that you follow what you're crave spirit is asking you to create because not about like what it is ok for me to do or not to do it's about being faithful tio your journey because there's something in this for you you were a teacher for so many years and you're starting over and you have these beautiful four grandchildren and they're all they're your audience there watching everything graham is doing your legacy that you're creating right now, it's so powerful, who cares what anybody else that's? Because everybody is always gonna have feedback for you, right? Everybody is always going to have something to say about what you're doing, but one of the things about being creative is allowing the creation to be birthed and, you know all about breathing, just being a mom and agree on that right and it's painful, especially towards and and I don't know with my kids like my first one, I certainly never thought she was ever going to god like I we we got to be in two weeks late, and I thought I was going to be on the cover of national enquire is the first woman to actually never have a baby just be pregnant forever, so there is like sense of like him, I just meant to be pregnant and I just met toe have this desire growing inside of me for pursuing something creative, pursuing something totally different than what I've spent my life doing yes, it's living in you it's growing and then dark in you. And it needs to have your permission to come out with no guarantee of what that will look like, because your grandkids will know what to dio when they come to that place because they watch grandma, do they often put their hands up now in front of the camera because you don't want me to take a picture? Sure, you know, and that you're gonna learn together how to like, be together with this new life in your home with this new life in your dynamic there's nothing there's, nothing wrong with them doing that because you're in a process figuring out how do I capture the motion of a child where they feel like I'm giving them voice versus there, performing for me and that's a process, you know, so but how awesome that they get to be in the process with grandma and they don't even know it. You know, I love that graham is a really important grant is to anyone, anyone? Yes, yanira way have several questions, and I want to touch a little bit of again on how you find the inspiration. I thought that was really very valid that it's ok to look at others work for inspiration and row nineteen, seventy three asks ah, look at different photographers work, and I think I like this idea from this photographer and this idea from the other and so on and so forth. Then sometimes I think I may not have my own style or niche. How do you know when you found your style or you're mitch that's, like a whole another three days really like jackie o? Come here right next to me right now. How do you like how do you know? Like out of specialize in what are you supposed to specialize? And I think, you know, so let me back up first. I'm what I would tio in getting inspiration from other photographers, is I at the time, like, there wasn't like all this craziness online, so I actually would look at magazines, and I still have this big scrapbook folder at home and and I would tear out magazines that just stuck out to me. He and I would make notes on it, like I would draw in a row, that the light is coming from over here, that the window was probably here, that, you know, like, how close they probably got in? What kind of lens did they probably use that to me is good is a different process. Then just clicking, clicking, clicking you know I'm saying there is that there's a fine line between looking at others people's work and starting to sink internally and then feeling empowered by looking at other people's work so that's the first thing I would say for like the inspiration but I'm I had this huge ah ha moment I'm a few years ago where my heart is to empower and inspire, I realized I need to stay inspired spot where people it's so obvious it's ridiculous, but when I had that ah ha moment I started making it a priority to stay inspired myself and we're going to talk about in the last session, some of the tools that being one of them and how I do that and what that look like. So if it's okay to come back to that is that our right not tio weight average it? That would be great I'm specializing figuring out like what you're about is one of the uh most most painful and invigorating processes you will ever go through because to truly specialize and get it right, I is to dig deep inside of you and find what you're about could specializing is not I'm a wedding photographer or not? I'm a family photographer even you know I'm a high end wedding photographer that's not specializing specializing is what you are about what gets out of bed and being able to put that into words so that you can declare it and your audience that's waiting for it values it can respond to you and come to you. And that is I mean, you know, we can talk all day about three words that, like, really signify your photography what you are, but we don't know that three words don't mean anything if you haven't like ben in the coal mines of your heart and really dug for what those three words are for you. What makes you you what you value most important in life, so I'm specializing we should cash we should do a whole night with jeff sounds good there's so many great conversations that are going on in the chat room says, well, I think it's really hitting home for people, okay, um, this is an interesting one from gardi how does one handle being criticized or made to feel inadequate by family? Were people close to you for things that you believe in? And yet tio be able to continue to follow those dreams? And how does that maybe talk about that barrier of creates isn't like over the people rise to you? Yeah, yeah, I think that I think that is a great question, because if you think about it, you know all your friends around you you know all your family around you there there so few people that are actually existing and living and what they know they were meant to do in this life right so when you come out on the scene trying to like go for that and figure that out you subconsciously I believe threaten all those people because if you figure it out it's not ok anymore for them to say it's impossible to figure and so it's gotta like a mobile that hangs above a baby's crib one of those pieces get hit what happens to the rest they all have to readjust so the overly critical friends the naysayers the family that means members that mean I understand they're like the mobile pete like inspiration and like vigor has hit your life and you know that you can no longer be what you've been before like you have a hunger now to go forward well they all have to readjust so sometimes knowing that that criticism is there like process of readjusting and knowing like that that can that can be a line for you and it's important to have people in your life that can speak life into you that can encourage you that you know there's been seasons and brian eyes life were we literally had to draw back from different friends in our life because they did not have the faith for where we were going and it was so vulnerable and what we were trying to go for and go after in this the mountain that I didn't need anybody telling me, I'm wasting my time because I knew in my own life there's no other way, but to go over this mountain, so we've had a pullback at times for different seasons, and just not show up at those gatherings or just not email those people back because at different times in my life, I felt more vulnerable, and if you don't have the faith that's more than when I even have her myself, this is not a good time, I like I'll have to call you back at another dive and there's nothing wrong with that, I guess because there has to be a little bit of self protection and, you know, I mean, I don't I don't spend, like, hardly any time on facebook because I feel so weighed down when I get off, you know, I'm saying, I feel like just so heavy when I get off, I don't feel that inspired, I don't feel more vigour, I don't feel more faith, I just feel like weighted down there's so much we already in this world that is trying to push us down from, like, moving forward, so I think it's really I'm people look at it and say were you better than everybody else? I've had. People say that to me, like, do you just think you're better than everybody else? No, I'm weaker than most people and that's. Why? I know I need to take care of my self, because I'm not strong enough to withstand that conversation, you know, so just I'm really like taking ownership of what you can and cannot handle.

Class Description

Join Sony Artisan of Imagery Me Ra Koh for a photography course on breaking through creative barriers. In this creativeLIVE course, Me Ra outlines her signature "10 Stages of Growth for a Portrait Photographer." This comprehensive guide is designed to highlight the different phases of a photographer's journey andoutline the various challenges each photographer faces during their professional career.

This photography course is all about breaking through the creative "glass ceiling" that photographers face. Ma Ra showcases real-world examples on how to overcome common barriers, and how to leverage them to build strength for yourself and your photography business.

This inspirational workshop was part of creativeLIVE's Shoot What You Love event, a 3-day inspirational event sponsored by SONY featuring fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, family photographer Me Ra Koh, and conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier.