A more personal post today, but I promise you it ties into my business.
I graduated high school in 2011 with light in my eyes and a fire in my belly. Just like every other 18 year old, I wanted to become something, anything to get me out of my small town and an earned independence. I raced off to college to pursue my dream of becoming a self employed photographer, only knowing one other person in my new town. I was excited and fairly cocky, thinking I was on my way to achieving my dreams.
Two years went by like a whirlwind and in those two years I made many friends, made the Dean's list, joined clubs and groups and seemed to ease myself well into the community of my college. My school became my sanctuary, like a wall between myself and adulthood. So the day I found out I could no longer continue to go, my world seemed to crash. Financially it was no longer doable anymore and I was thrown into that adult world I feared so much.
I swore I would return to school and started working three jobs to get me back. One of these jobs was my photography business. I had always gotten business here and there from my friends, but not enough to solely rely on it as my only income. As I tried to frantically earn as much money as I could I started shooting anything possible, booking up my days until photography was all I thought about. The goal to return to college washed away and smaller goals took its place like getting a better camera, creating better images, mastering my art.
I became consumed with growth and it left me hungry. I started self teaching instead of looking to teachers, professors and mentors. And as time went by, my work changed. Instead of dreaming of images, I was creating them. The time I was in college my work looked the same from the day I started until the day I left. Now less then two years after I left, my work has grown leaps and bounds.
College HINDERED my work. I could never turn off my "photography mind", but college definitely clouded it. They were forming me into the artist they wanted instead of the one I was meant to be. Leaving school forced me to research artists and their work that inspired me, instead of the ones they approved of. I was forced to photograph many more hours out of my day instead of wasting my time in various different classes. I was forced to become better to make a living, instead of making good grades. If I stayed in school I would not have grown at the rate I did, and my art would be tainted by their ideals. College is not for everyone, and it wasn't for me. Art can not be taught in a classroom, it is created inside of yourself.