A Creative Jumpstart

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Last week I enrolled in an online class led by Fine Art Photographer, Brooke Shaden. The class is called 15 Day Content Creation Challenge, and the idea of the class is for participants to create something new each day for 15 days straight using story prompts from Brooke Shaden. In the online Facebook group for the class I’ve seen postings of photographs, paintings, videos, writing, and songs. It’s inspiring to see all of the different kinds of art being created.

The Class Is A Creative Jumpstart For Me

I’m glad that a photographer friend of mine and I both enrolled in the class at the same time. It helps to have someone I know traveling the path with me. It helps increase my sense of accountability and dedication to do the work (although I’m not promising to finish all 15 projects, I’m promising myself to give it my best effort).

I’ve given myself permission to fail totally on each photo that I create in this class and so far I’d say my failures are even with images that I like. It’s not surprising to me that I’m learning more from my failures and the things that I dislike about my creations than from my “successes,” which makes me ask myself…

What is success? Is there a better word to use?

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston S. Churchill

Winston Churchill’s words above sound about right to me. If I can continue to work with a sense of play, joy, and a goal of learning, then I will feel successful no matter what I create.

Yesterday’s topic (spellbound) had me stymied. I tried a couple of different approaches but wasn’t happy with the results. After talking with my friend who is also taking the class I realized that I was attempting to make an image which didn’t really express me. When I think of what makes me feel spellbound I imagine myself in a forest of trees up north. I chose to use an image I made while on my Ely adventure of a path through tall pine trees.

Today’s topic was Breaking and I went back even further in my archives to pull out a photo made during a photo session I had with a friend who had had breast cancer and was trying to come to terms with the way she felt about her body. The photo was made in a remnant of the Big Woods because I believe woods and forests are healing places.

When my friend saw the jagged roots of an uprooted tree near the path we were walking she immediately chose it to represent how she felt about her body since the cancer. The image I made today was one of the images from that photo session reworked to make it feel more like how I remember her saying she felt. It was very interesting to go back to a photograph I made years ago and rework it with the skills I have learned since then—quite unexpectedly affirming to see the change in my work and vision.

This class has been more fun than I expected and challenging as well. I’m learning new things each day and I’m amazed at the different kinds of content class participants are creating. It’s truly inspiring to see so many different takes on a single topic and so many different approaches to creating art.

This post contains images created during days 1-5 of the challenge, along with the topic of each image. I’ve reluctantly including some of the images I consider failures as well as the images I like so there are 2 images for some of the topics.

Is it time for your own creative jumpstart?

May you walk in beauty.





Rebirth — not happy with this image




Emotion – not terribly happy with this image





2 Responses

  1. kurberg

    Marilyn, all I can say is WOW. What you are doing is amazing. I can also see how far you have come, and how fast you are progressing.

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