A Scared Artist Child

Book Review, Lifestyle

Hello from the other side. Big Magic.jpg

This is a long-awaited moment. I’ve been in a funk. A cloud. A dry-spell where my creativity has totally left me. I scared it away. For real. I haven’t touched my camera in about two months. I haven’t danced in about that long and writing is just starting to come back. I’ve been reading a book called Big Magic and it’s saving my life. Saving my artist child. I really did scare her away because I’ve been putting so much pressure on my need to create. I’ve been frustrated, yelling at her; “why aren’t you inspired? Come up with something to work on. You’re not hustling enough. You’re not hustling at all. I have to deal with this exhausting surviver job while you hide in the corner. Nothing is happening. It’s not even worth it.”

This desperate attitude is not helpful.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love has been shedding light in that corner and revealing how backwards I’ve had it. My artist child is not here to provide and protect me but I am here to provide and protect my artist child. I need to assure her that there is safety to create and surplus resources for imagination. I needed to take the pressure off. My photography provided for me for so long but it won’t always. It may not be realistic for it to and that’s ok. I have to come up with a living that will allow the both of us to flourish. I need to come up with a way so that adult Autumn can pay her bills, pay the rent, buy food and clothes as well as provide artist child Autumn with resources for her creative life; a dance cover ticket, a writing date at a new coffeeshop, polaroid film, a ticket for a weekend trip, printing postcards with her photography and wine and appetizers for hosting a bookclub.

I don’t know what that looks like longer term. For now, it is a newly promoted night manager at my coffeeshop. Within a year, it might be something different. But finally the distinction has been made and direction has been given on how I can once again live a rich, balanced and creative life.

Hostess Artist Child

Lifestyle

HospitalityCurrently, I am going through the book The Artist Way with a group of artists and week 2 is all about identity. It’s amazing how many things, memories and experiences that make up our identity.  I’ve mentioned this book before as it’s my second time going through the 12 week artistic exercise of becoming unblocked. I expected to discover new ways of expressing my photography or writing – skills I wanted to take to the next level. However, since this experience is also an exercise in open-mindedness, my discovery this week took me by a pleasant surprise.

My daily journaling pages revealed a memory of the birth of my hostess artist child. 

I love hosting parties, bookclubs and friend dates. Wherever I have lived, it has looked a little different and there is always room for growth. There are always possibilities for blockages; living with roommates who are less social or limited financial resources. There are always hindrances from doing something exactly how I can effectively host.

But the more I lean into my doubts, the more they melt away and the possibilities come. 

One of my roommates moved out last weekend, which means she also cleared out the whole living room furniture, decorations and kitchen supplies. As much as this sounds like an inconvenience, it is also a wonderful time to clear some brain space to imagine how to rebuild the living area.

Going through The Artist Way seems to bring about other sources of inspiration so coincidently enough,  I’ve been reading a book called Bread and Wine. It is a book about hospitality and cultivating a heart for hosting people in and outside of the home. This book is very inspiring and brought on a significant childhood memory.

In my journaling, the memory I mentioned was one of being at my grandparents house, of waking up in the morning to find my Grandma ready to make me breakfast, sit at the table while I watched her count pills or write out a grocery list. Living life together. My grandparents house was small and simple and my grandma was an average cook but her big heart to host, serve and welcome anyone into her home was beautiful.

My hostess artist child was born at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house. 

Even in my tiny three bedroom, five floor walkup harlem apartment (sorry guests, you also get a workout), I am excited to start where I am to practice hospitality; imperfectly, humbly, while hoping that all who come will feel the same, safe love as I received from hospitality at Grandma’s house.

Photo taken from Apartment Therapy where I’m gleaning decorating ideas. 

Creative Seasons

Lifestyle, New York

As I reflect on my artistic career. My resume is full of variety and changes. I am beginning to see a series of seasons that have made me into who I am as an artist.

As a child, I had seasons of acting. As a young adult I had a season of piano performance and competitions. In college, I was incredibly blocked due to academics but upon graduation, the year 2014 brought on the year of social dancing. I did more dancing in that year than ever; salsa, swing, tango, waltz, blues – so much blues! My life was highlighted by late night dances and social events. As I moved to New York at the end of 2014 into 2015, I transitioned into a expansive season of photography. And this year, 2016, I am anticipating a new season. I have ideas of what it might be and while I consistently strive to incorporate all the aforementioned periods into my life now, I sense a season of something totally new, something I have never tried before.

At times I get anxious when it feels like I’m at a standstill and I try to force a season from my past into the present. But when it doesn’t come easily, I realize that it may be because that old season is fading so that new one can present itself.

This real-life concept reminds me of wisdom from the book Ecclesiastes (Chapter 3) about seasons;

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens … He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.”

Trusting the ebb and flow in life is sometimes hard but through immense gratitude, I am able to see the guiding Hand that is full of wisdom and love moving us on to new purposes for each adventure, lessons and periods of growth.  Trust the seasons of your life. I believe that our hearts desires are fulfilled at just the right time. A season characterized by incredible curiosity, freedom and joy.

Seeking Normality

Lifestyle, New York

 

Living in New York this past year, I’ve quickly learned that the amount of places and people one has access to can make you feel like you’ve lived a lifetime in just a year. Emotions of the year have made me feel the highest highs and lowest lows. Everything that made up 2015 was purposeful, wonderful, scary, joy-filled and adventurous. I love that. It’s more than I could have hoped for.

In 2015 I have

  • Met so many new friends
  • Interviewed some talented artists
  • Moved five times
  • Had four different jobs
  • Traveled in a plane five times
  • Traveled in a bus long distance three times
  • Started a business
  • Photographed for work or fun in
    • Alabama
    • Minnesota
    • All over NY
    • Richmond, VA
    • Long Island, NY
  • I’ve been an explorer and adventurer

Heading into a brand new year, I do have a list of to-dos. I have goals to pay down debt, read more books, maintain the friendships I’ve made, be open to a romantic relationship, grow spiritually, build my business and grow a healthy mindset through yoga, eating less sugar and flossing more. Above all of that though, I want to be constant, stay in one place and just be.

Pressing forward as yourself, not trying to be anyone different, is both a noble goal and accomplishment.  My goal for the year is to be present and steady as much as possible. I’m always open to adventures and I’m also looking forward to the ebb and flow that brings normality.

Write “Did” Lists

Lifestyle

A couple people in my life have said we should write a list of things we’ve accomplished instead of always having a to-do list. We are always focusing on what’s next and what hasn’t been done yet that we don’t analyze how full our lives our, how good God has been, how many rich experiences, how many crossed off successes we’ve had. This is a simple post but I challenge you to do it. It can be done in any area of your life; traveling, job, personal, friends or finances. Especially during a time of thanksgiving and the end of the year approaching, it’s important to look back and realize the beautiful life we have instead of fixating on someday arriving– wherever that is. I think after writing this list, you will find out that you already have arrived somewhere great.

_ABK4279 I’m thankful for this day I took this photo and every day I get to create. I am getting closer to becoming “art-sustained.” I have a long way to go but in just six months, I have come so far. I think I will always feel this way so I’m thankful for exactly where I am today.

15; The Artist “Middle”

Podcast

This episode includes a check-in with Morgan of Morgan Swank Studio and her new blog. Since our episode The Artist Beginning, we have both decided to make a career change, putting our talents at the forefront. Together we discuss what life has been like and the steps of faith we have taken. Morgan’s work on her former blog The Otter Dance is a great example of what it looks like to start a creative outlet in hopes of doing something you love. The important thing as a creative is just to do something, even if you don’t always have a clear vision in mind. You never know what you will discover about yourself or your passion along the way. Who knows, like Morgan and myself, you might even discover yourself making your passion into a career!

Oh and we both got new headshots;

6

Ryan Stadler Photography

Morgan Swank-2

Autumn Kovach Photography

26 Year Old Goals

Lifestyle

Coming up on one year in New York and one more year of life, I have new dreams and visions. I’m so satisfied with my photography business thus far. I’m more confused than ever on what I’m doing and how to do it but looking back on all that has happened, I can’t help but be in awe and thankfulness at the jobs and opportunities I’ve had. That being said, I’m taking a break from it to work hard at my serving jobs for the next three or so months in order to catch up and hopefully get ahead financially. I’m looking forward having a break and seeing what might be around the corner when I have fresh eyes. I’m learning this is all part of the freelance hustle and doing practical things are just as substantial as shooting 24/7 or instagraming everyday. So, here’s to dreaming big in my new year of living life!

26 Year Old Dreaming Big List

  • Create a photography tour perhaps at the end of a sublease
    • Go to 5 locations/states/countries (dream big, right?)
  • Do 10 Weddings (Never thought I would agree to this. Past Autumn is disappointed but I think she would also be proud at my bravery)
  • Do 10 Editorial shoots
  • Work with The Great Discontent
  • Work with Darling Magazine
  • Become a part of a studio…not sure what this looks like but I would love some support from fellow photographers and I know it’s out there.
  • Take a class from International Center of Photography. Currently, I’m accumulating hours to become a teaching assistant. Long story but there’s another door I’m halfway through.
  • Become all-but-college-debt-free. Chiseling away at the college ones and want to knock the other ones out of the park.
  • Read 1 book a month (I totally fell of the reading wagon last year. Moving really throws you for a loop.)
  • Get a tattoo – That’s a new one!
  • Work out three times a week; for reals.
  • Call Grandma more often.
  • Eat less carbs/sugar and drink more water
  • Be a kick-ass barista and server at survivor jobs.

What are some new goals? Do you make birthday resolutions?

Fresh Dreams

Lifestyle

Hello from Double Dutch Coffee shop. Harlem, NY.

If you listened to the latest podcast episode or have been following my instagram (@autumn_kovach), you may notice I have been on-the-go. Traveling in Minneapolis and being footloose and fancy free. I went home to have a rest from the city, find a new vision and discover fresh dreams.

I found that.

Now, I need to actually FIND that in New York. It’s so weird to feel called to dwell in a place or not be in a place, rather but not having anything tangible to rest on. This is where my faith is most alive because I don’t know what the heck is happening. God has kept my emotions at an even keel which I am so thankful for. Sometimes it’s hard not to have a plan. People expect you  to have a plan. It’s your own life, right? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is my future and hope and I’m totally resting in that. I’m not complacent. I’m hustling and trusting in God for the outcome.

Ok, so specifics you may be wondering about. My prayer and dream is to learn more about photography. The plan:

  • Apply at ICP for a teaching assistant where I can work for class credits. Best of both worlds.
  • Find a surviver job where I don’t want to kill myself or people around me. Coffeeshops are my safe, happy places.
  • Find an affordable housing. In New York, that’s a bit of an oxymoron but there are some opportunities where my rent wont take 70% of my income. #overit
  • Be a part of a studio where I can shoot, meet people, and again, learn!
  • Freelance lifestyle photography. Most significantly do lifestyle shoots for magazines, companies, product photography, portraiture. I don’t have cookie cutter jobs in mind but when it comes up, I always know if it’s the right thing.
  • Within the year, I want to have a photography tour where I travel to all the places I want to go and shoot. It’s crazy but I trust, not impossible.

It’s at theses moments that I need to thank my lucky stars that I don’t have a nine-to-five, that I can take that day trip to Brooklyn, merge my photography blog to my website because who knows, that job might be right around the corner. I hope!

CherishSummer2015-32

A favorite photo from Lake Harriet. Mpls, MN

14. Artist Talk; Jordan Gillstrom

Podcast

Jordan GillstromSocial Endeavor has traveled to Minneapolis, MN this week. The host and guest from both US coasts find themselves back in their hometown sharing their journeys. Jordan Gillstrom resides in Southern California and shares his experience of discovering new music genres, collaborations and artist direction. Check out his Hope Rising Project and follow him on Facebook and Twitter to stay tuned for his CD to be released in iTunes Spring 2016.

[audio https://ia601502.us.archive.org/7/items/14.ArtistTalkJordanGillstrom/14.%20Artist%20Talk;%20Jordan%20Gillstrom.mp3]

Ten Things

Lifestyle

One of my favorite bloggers, Bleubird posts ten of her favorite links and things for the week. I loved the idea so here’s mine –

Ten things
1.This Song with Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor
2.Reading about new, inspiring photographers and their stories; Bradley Hanson
3. A history lesson of Coffee
4. Finally adding a Contact Me section to my website
5. Baking this pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Is it that season already??
6. Enjoying the revisit to this, Govorners Island adventure
7. Browsing this list for my haircut. Waited 4 long months to finally get #3. Worth the wait.
8. Inspired by this Fruit Infused Water list for a last Taste of Summer.
9. Recovering from an almost one-year reading hiatus. Getting started with a newly established bookclub and This List
10. Absolutely thrilled to find this bar that inspired How I Met Your Mother