August 11, 2011
“Sometimes We Give Back: Growth and Gratitude”
This post will cover two genres of art: photography and poetry.Why? Because I am also a poet and I teach both crafts.
My personality was developed with a strong sense of community, where the term “each one, teach one…” is alive within me. I had strong community leaders and teachers that always allowed me to explore my creative energies and be more productive with my time.
I came to discover both genres at almost the same time and dabbled in both until I was challenged to “do more” or was told that I could “do better.”
Some artist back down from or avoid challenges altogether. Many have gone as far to speak against the learning or structured process of art. At first, I was an “anarchist” – I tried to avoid learning the benefits of how or why to “color and stay within the lines.” There is a reason for those seemingly insignificant rules. Rules are sometimes limiting as well as liberating.
How would we know if we are “doing something wrong…” if everyone around us is constantly giving us praise for EVERYTHING we do?
That’s why I am grateful to the following:
The man working the photo-kiosk cart in the Gallery Mall (1985) who gave me a “half baked” answer to a sincere question with regard to a process. To Corvelle: an elder photographer of Jamaican ancestry, who pointed out to me what was “right and wrong” with my early (print) photographs.
To Craig Davis and Bill Brown – then of Power 99 – for recognizing my drive and dedication to photography and holding doors open for me to graciously pass through and beyond.
To Big Bob Crippen who for no selfish reason, asked me to take photos of Eugene Wilde and The Dazz Band at the Robin Hood Dell East and Warren Haskins who allowed me to work with him and hundreds of artist and photographers.
To every newlywed, group, individual, organization, corporation, event coordinator, host and artist who called on me for my professional services…
I thank you all. For it is because of you all, that I am.
And the same applies to the poets, spoken word artists, educators, writers and audience members who motivated me in many ways as well.
Each of you are the reason why I teach both poetry and photography and played a significant role in my growth and gratitude.
photographer and poet