Posts Tagged ‘California’

Confidence

What is confidence? How do you obtain it? Better yet, how do you teach it? Good questions. All with varying or even elusive answers. We all struggle with it at times. Some more than others and seemingly there are those who have obtained all the confidence in the world.

As an artist I often struggle with confidence. Not so much in my abilities, more in my confidence in surviving in the vast wprld of artists. I am but a speck in a huge sea of talent and creativity. How do I shine? How do I stand out? How do I get noticed? Yet at the same time I do what I can to not dwell on that much. It is a waste of time for my thoughts and energy to waste away on that which really is not realistic. If we all thought, “Well, there are an awful lot of artists out there, I don’t see myself succeeding. So I am not going to be an artist.” That then is an admission of defeat from the beginning.

Opportunity

“Opportunity” By Natasha Myrick

I believe in persistence. I have been persistent for several years. Putting my work out there. Growing, bettering myself, posting, blogging, etc. I could have easily given up based on feedback or the lack thereof on my Facebook posts, Google + posts, etc. If I were to compare myself to others, then I should quit. I should throw in the towel based on the numbers.

Don’t look at the numbers, don’t look at the stats! They mean nothing! What matters? If you are posting something, your art, a photograph, your passions, then that means you believe in that. You enjoy, love, what you do and you post it. What matters is that you feel it is important. It mattered when you shared it with the world and it still matters! What matters to you is truly all that matters, do not forget that!

Had I given up, I would not have my work hanging at the amazing Incredible Artist Gallery  in Cathedral City, CA. Had I given up, I would not have met many amazing artists who today I call friends! Had I given up, I would not be writing this blog and you wouldn’t be reading it.

Had I given up, I would not have had the opportunity to mentor 14 year old Natasha Myrick. Due to my ties with the Incredible Artist Gallery, I was given an awesome experience to meet the Myrick family at the beautiful Colony 29 in Palm Springs, California. The Myricks were brought out here to California to give their 5 year old son Liam the experience of a lifetime. Liam was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma when he was only 3 years old. Needless to say the lives of the Myricks has been hectic, many ups and downs. Their time here in California was meant to create an up that would be part of their memories forever. For me it was a wonderful experience getting to meet all of them! Playing with Liam and his 8 year old sister Natalie. Watching them paint, play, swim, and simply enjoy life without worrying about anything for a few short days.

Look What I Did!

“A Proud Moment” Natasha proudly stands before her works at the Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Paul W. Koester

A good portion of Liam, Natalie, and Natasha’s stay in Palm Springs was spent preparing for their very own art show at Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Natalie and Liam created paintings to sell at the gallery to raise money for Liam’s medical expenses.

Natasha is the oldest of the Myrick siblings. She has not had it easy. With Liam’s numerous hospital visits, being the oldest means having the most responsibilities. She doesn’t live the typical life of a teenager, yet she doesn’t complain. She understands and loves her little brother. Yet through all of that there is a creative side to Natasha that strives to be revealed, it has been suppressed. I discovered that talent as I mentored Natasha and helped guide her in creating some pretty amazing photos.

The Light

“The Light” image created by Natasha Myrick

Grandma's Promise

“Grandma’s Promise” Image created by Natasha Myrick

Natasha's Reflection

“Natasha’s Reflection” Taken while on a photo walk in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Paul W. Koester

Here is where this whole thing comes full circle. How do you teach confidence? The moment Natasha and I picked up our cameras, Natasha began saying to me, “I can’t do this.” “I am not good enough.” Lots of negativity was sensed. It was strong enough that I thought to myself, “I am not going to be able to teach her.” How do you teach something to someone who is this critical of themselves? I knew some of her intimidation was derived from me. So instead of addressing her insecurities I had her shoot away. I lead by example and just started taking pictures of the surrounding area.  She asked questions and I answered. My words were simple to her, “just have fun”. In my opinion that is lesson number one with photography have fun, then learn, always have fun. Setting her mind at ease was important to me. Being overly critical of our inadequacies does very little to help improve ourselves. Recognizing them, yes, that is important, but then move on and work on improving. How do you improve? Well that is simple too. Look back at those things that intimidated you. Are they as intimidating now as they were back when you were first introduced to them? Did you improve? Chances are good you did. Due to that knowledge, now know that you can do that again, and again, and again.

Soon I saw a change in Natasha. I saw her relax. She began to enjoy being behind the camera. I watched her get lost in the moment. That’s the golden moment, getting lost, that is when you truly create. As you can see she created some amazing images that she has every right to be proud of. Together we edited the images and Natasha gave them titles that she felt from her heart. While Natasha was out getting ready for the gallery showing I went and had them printed and framed. The next time she saw her images, they were prominently hanging on the walls of Gallery 446. What a proud moment! I was proud of her as was everyone else, simply amazing!

Natasha's Creations

“Natasha’s Creations” Beautiful images created by Natasha Myrick hanging on the walls of the Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Paul W. Koester

Paul and Natasha

Paul and Natasha at the Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Rick Pantele

Believe Tree

“Believe Tree” an amazing and beautiful tree with words of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation written on it’s branches. Image and design created by Paul W. Koester

Believing in yourself is the key to confidence. It starts with us. If we don’t believe then how can others? Never underestimate yourself or doubt yourself! We all go through it and we all need to be reminded of our self worth. Chances are good others will not remind us of our self worth, we have to do it for ourselves. When others are down on themselves I do what I can to encourage them and remind them of how talented they are and how important they are. As an artist I know what it is like to be down and have those dark moments when things just seem like they are not coming together the way I would like. The doubts creep in, we all need reminders that we are better than that! We all need from time to time reminders that we need to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!! The Believe Tree is a beautiful and amazing tree with words of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation written on its branches. It serves as a visual reminder that we can get through and overcome any challenge. Quite often that biggest challenge is convincing ourselves that we are good enough.

Back Alley Retreat

The Offspring – Gotta Get Away

It was a “I’m not feeling it” kind of day. Not knowing where to go. Still I needed to get out and shoot. There were several types of shots I needed and still need. Images with raw emotion, stock images, and landscape. Doing all of that in one trip is a big task. Still I didn’t know what it was exactly I wanted to do. Forcing it produces crap. So I opted for emotion and some possible stock images and headed to Ocean Beach in San Diego, California.

First off I grabbed a couple of slices and an IPA at the Newport Pizza and Ale House on Newport Avenue. Great pizza, like Wow good! Now that I had the mojo I needed, I was ready to go. After walking around for a few I ducked into the alley behind HodBack Alley Retreatad’s and right then out comes this guy. What was an already gritty and grungy scene becomes one filled with the raw emotion I was looking for. It was obvious there was a lot on his mind. So I didn’t want to bother him too much. I asked to get his picture as he was, looking down, hands together and he agreed. Now the question is, will it come out as I see it in my mind? I think it did, it speaks to everything I wanted it to.

This whole scene spoke to me about our life. How there are times we need to get away. The pressures that weigh us down and try to bend us and make us buckle. It seems that there is always perpetually someone breathing down our necks for something. Sometimes we just need to check out, breathe deep, and recharge. The struggles we face can either break us or build us into someone stronger. Even if all we have is a back alley it can be a retreat from the crud that we are bombarded with.

This is a #lyricallyinspired post.

A Moment In Time

From the beautiful shores of  La Jolla, California.

Scarlet Fever

I noticed the skies were cooperating as far as clouds are concerned. So as always I hoped for a great sunset. From October to January we had some amazing sunsets here in San Diego. I missed almost all of them for various reasons. I got to watch several of the photographers I follow post them on social media. Lots of great photos, none of them mine. That’s how it goes sometimes.

In early February I went out to the tide pool covered shores in La Jolla and finally got my opportunity. It was a Tuesday so fortunately no one was down there to get into my shot for my 4+ hour shoot. I used the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 ultra wide lens to capture this. So it doesn’t take much for something other than the intended composition to enter into the frame. It’s often a game of patience; a plane, person, bird, something in the frame not intended. Some things can be cloned out in post process. I would rather not, it goes against my original intentions. I’m not against cloning by any means, I would just rather it be right when created.

It was a perfect evening from pre-sunset all the way to post. Every stage was unique and different and had its own color and detail scheme. It was multiple special moments in time. At one point the clouds looked like feathers as if a young bird was first taking flight and lost it’s first feathers and scattered them across the sky. As the sun dropped low beyond the horizon the sky turned to crimson. Then ultimately finished out in a deep purple. Collectively a moment that will never reoccur.

While I was standing there, as time stood still, completely lost in the peace and beauty of it all. The world around me continued to change and all that life throws at us the amazing, the crazy, the good, the bad, and all the crap we don’t want to talk about still happened right behind me. For me, the contents of this photo, this is reality. The rest of  it we create, it is our doing, so we need to create good stuff every moment we can.

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