Living so close to the ocean, I often end up on the beach unexpectedly. I posted about it about a month ago. This time I was on a different beach as you can tell by the topography and type of sand. I wasn’t able to capture the true impact of the storm that was blowing in without my gear (again), so I focused in on the beach:

Stormy Sands © 2012 NATE METZ

Damn Good Advice – SEVEN

It seems to be the achilles heel: all the talent in the world, but no work ethic to go anywhere with it. It has been stressed to me time and time again by peers, mentors, and my own experience that being an artist takes a lot of work. But, it is the most rewarding to share yourself with the world in this way, enriching the lives of many. I digress though, George Lois, on working yourself to a burnout day in and day out. In my spiral journey I have to keep my drive in balance with the rest of my being. Certainly there are days that I invest more, but to repeat draining activities day after day negatively impacts my art. I need more than a nights sleep to fully recharge: reading, a salt bath, taking my dog on a hike, flying a kite, chilling with friends, or many other options. I’ve learned that devoting my everything to any one thing is not healthy for my quest to be a whole person. So, yes to a work ethic, no to running myself into the ground.

What if? Why not?

Last night I spent a very inspiring evening with 25 other local artists. We sat down for dinner and conversation exploring some very colossal ideas about the next stage of our art careers. While we are all at various stages from beginners with no sales to seasoned artists that travel and have a large rolodex, we are all following the guidelines and stipulations for making and selling art set forth by other people in the industry. Dare we make our own art movements? Can we legitimately put forth our work and our ideas, and establish our own relevance and importance? This shift for me is very radical and very enticing. As much as I have urges to rebel and create revolution and change the world, I don’t have a skill set or experienced history to make a great impact in the art community. Belonging to a group of like minded individuals wanting to be game changers and really elevate the quality,meaning and impact of our collected works is a very powerful manifesting energy. At some point, the momentum would carry us and work for us without each of us individually working overtime to market and sell.

In addition, I met some new people, networked and learned from their experiences. I also got to show off my book, AWAKE. I am looking forward to nurturing these new relationships and sharing more of my work. One of the great conversations started by my book was about my photography. I have ZERO formal training, not even a course at any level of schooling on how to use a camera. I am an autodidact. But where and how did my eye develop? I have a pretty established point of view and style to my photography that has not changed much. I’ve said it before how great it was to peruse 10 years of photography and see how in taking pictures from the first couple of months with my first digital point-and-shoot are stylistically similar to what I shoot now that I have a dSLR. I am convinced that the art comes from my soul. It is who I am. I have the talent and the skill…all the raw ingredients if you will. Where I am today is learning how to share my work, my message, my ideas with the world. It has been a short 4 1/2 months since I decided to take my art to the next level. Thank you for sharing the journey with me!

CHALLENGE: Portrait of Grounded Beings

Portrait of Grounded Beings(left) and Portrait of Grounded Beings in Profile(right)
© 2012 NATE METZ

The latest challenge that I entered was for portraits of people or animals without capturing faces. As I had predicted most entries were of artisans using their hands or some clever silhouetting slash messy hair slash object just covering the face to capture the portrait. My entry was the one on the left (above). If you remember before I didn’t place too well, and that was the case again: 26/27. I received some constructive criticism about my lighting choice and barely blown highlights, but I don’t understand the comment that said the foot should have been on a ball or something to add interest. Maybe my title reference to the ground was not understood. I prefer to give little explanation of my work and let viewers interpret and see what they may, but perhaps my abstracts with metaphysical leanings could benefit from a quick note:

Trees illustrate many spiritual truths. Here, I captured a tree’s exposed roots to show how it is grounded. One of the greatest grounding experiences we can have is walking or standing barefoot on the earth. Portrait of Grounded Beings captures a simple frame of two beings grounded on a beautiful sunny day.