When you have chosen to live a creative life, you might often find yourself asking, "why?" Why do I paint, write, dance, draw etc. What is the purpose? In fact I was asked this question while I was creating this series, "What is it for?" My answer was, "Well, nothing and everything." When I say "nothing" I mean that it's not for money, fame or promotion of brand. I think much of "work" is focused on those things. As a personal rule, if art becomes work, I stop doing it. When I say "everything," I mean that it's my joy, my heart and it brings me closer to the feeling that I am living a life that is authentically me. It's my purpose.
Not long ago I read this quote by Silas Farley. He is a dancer at the New York City ballet and he also happens to be on faculty here in Charlotte at the Charlotte Ballet Academy...
“I was first exposed to ballet at the age of seven when a traveling company came to my church in North Carolina. By the time I was eleven I was practicing six days a week. It became my all-consuming monastic devotion. I eventually made it to the New York City Ballet. I’ve always seen ballet as my way of serving God. I think it’s what God has called me to do. You can call it frivolous, or superficial. But you can stretch that argument to infinity. Why do we have painting? Why do we have architecture? I think it’s all a form of worship. In a secular age the theater becomes the cathedral. There can be such a lack of empathy and collaboration in this world. But in the theater we see beauty and order and harmony modeled for us-- two hours at a time. And it took a lot of sacrifice to make that possible."
When I read that I became instantly inspired. I feel that way when I am creating anything with my photography. Whether I'm creating a fine art ballet series or if I'm capturing the beauty of everyday family life, I believe that is why we are here, to create.
Creativity is part of what makes us human and differentiates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. If you look around, beauty is everywhere in God's creation. It is through each one of us that we can bring that beauty into the lives of one another with our own creativity. So as I set out to make this ballet series, inspired by Silas' words and my own "all-consuming monastic devotion" this is my way of serving God. And I won't shy away from saying so. Because in a world that is filled with so much fear, we need art now more than ever. It gives us hope...
Thank you for looking. <3