Photography is a funny thing. We start doing it, fall in love with it, and never want to stop. I’ve been a photographer since high school, have traveled around the world with my camera, and I’m always plotting the next “big thing”.
One of my other hobbies is pottery. I’m quite serious about it, and recently converted our one-car detached garage into a small ceramics studio, including my own kiln. I’ve been stocking up on some supplies, and just today had to go get a few things I was missing. While at Georgie’s (the local ceramics store) I started chatting with the guy behind the counter, a rad-looking dude with crazy long dreads named “Soul”. He was really awesome, and I brought up that I was a “serious enthusiast”.
At one point in the conversation he asked me “Think you’ll ever go pro?”. I knew what he was asking. Would I ever quit my job and be a full-time potter? My response went something along the lines of “I’m a photographer, I’m self-employed, and I’m already living my dream job!”. And it’s true! I love what I do, and I love that I can make money from something I enjoy so much.
I give a lot of thought to ceramics and how it fits into my life. Aside than a few years of taking classes now and then, I have barely just begun my journey. I am in no way an expert, not close to being a pro. I get asked a lot if I will sell my pieces, and the answer is usually “yes, eventually”. While many of my items will be used in my own food photography, I will always do more than just plates and bowls. And, I guess I have to do something with all the extra stuff I’ll be making, after all.
But when I am sitting along in my studio, with my mellow “Mazzy Star” Pandora station playing in the background, I know that this is just for me. I create things at my own slow pace, and sometimes I just go in there and sit. I look around at all of the things in my studio. I read through my sketchbook. I plot. I plan. I daydream. My studio was not made to make money; I’m well “in the hole” on the costs for it. But my success in current career has allowed me this as an outlet, as my “something else”. This, for me, is life.
“I create because I love the act of creating.”
I don’t do pottery to make money. I do it for the pure enjoyment of doing it. I create because I love the act of creating. This is the same with my photography. Not everything has to be about money and success, and even if you are a photographer full-time (or want to be), it’s important to find room in your schedule to create something just for you. You deserve it, and you need it. Do what you love purely for the enjoyment of doing it, and your art will be better because of it.