When I first started painting I struggled a lot with letting go of my photography. It has been everything I’ve known for such a long time and it has been such a core part of my identity that I felt like a fraud for even attempting to try something different. I worried that if I started painting it meant that I was throwing away all that I knew about photography. All the experiences, all the knowledge I had gained, and the hours I had put into it-which looking back meant years of my life! Was I ready to throw that all away for something I barely knew anything about?
Then one day I was listening to a podcast* and the artist related the shift in her work to passing on the torch.
In the Olympics, they pass the torch from one athlete to another until it reaches its final destination. Concerning her work, this artist explained that she had enjoyed her time with the first medium and was ready for a change and felt like now it was just someone else’s turn to carry that torch.
I loved that imagery of passing on the torch. I loved how there was no hesitation in the pass; only a recognition that it was someone else’s turn to hold it.
After listening to this, I knew that’s what I needed to mentally do with my photography work. I needed to pass on the torch. I needed to let go of what I thought I might be losing or walking away from and realize that instead, I was giving someone else a chance to enjoy success in an area I once did.
I thought about when I first graduated from college and imagined the possibilities that were ahead of me in photography. I was so excited and ready to do anything and learn everything. I wanted this feeling and energy to somehow belong to those who were now ready to take the path of photography as I slipped into the background to try something new for myself.
As I have made this mental shift it has been easier for me to let go, to move forward, and to continue to find happiness for my success as well as others' success as we run this art race together one leg at a time.
It’s also been a good reminder that sometimes running a race isn’t always about the final destination. Sometimes it’s about enjoying the race itself.
*I cannot remember which podcast I was listening to or even the name of the artist who shared this story. Facepalm moment…
Oh Hey! it's me, Amy
These are stories about my art, experiences I've had in my career, and some other fun stuff too. I will probably overshare, I can't help it when I'm writing. Get cozy, these are great rainy day reads!