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Stories and opinions that spark creative thinking

Be an antenna

What you're doing right now doesn't need to be quicksand.

What I mean by that is, whatever your work involves at this stage in your career doesn't need to dictate what you'll do from now on or what you may be doing in the future, especially if what you're doing doesn't make you happy. And there's no point in not letting your freak flag fly if you decide you want to make a change—it's usually the interests and personality traits that make us weird, and make us who we really are, that lead us to what we should do next.

Our little quirks are what give us personality and set us from apart from others, so why not let them propel us towards a new adventure, or new and exciting work? I started approaching my work in this way years ago, and it's stuck with me.

Back then I read an interview with the lead singer of one of my favorite bands in which he compared himself to an antenna—always on, always picking up signals that lead him to new creativity in his work. Weird and quirky, huh? But I figured he was on to something. So I decided to become an antenna, too. Instead of viewing creativity as something that is accessible, I began to view it as something that I was just always open to.

That was when I started to see things I hadn't really been noticing before. It was also when I started taking photos while out and about in the city. I'd found a new way to share with others the things I was seeing in exactly the way I was personally seeing them.

Then in May of 2010 I started a food blog to explore a secondary passion, and quickly, it became obvious that increasing the quality of the photography featured was necessary. The intention was never to become a Photographer—just to learn how to create halfway decent photos of the recipes I was posting. But something interesting began to happen...

Four years later I have a fancy camera and fancy equipment and I'm being paid to take photos. More than that, I'm incredibly happy when I'm styling and shooting food. I'm learning that what I decided to pursue 16 years ago when picking my major in art school doesn't define me any more than the color of my hair or my shoe size. And that even my résumé doesn't matter too much if I'm willing to put in the time and effort necessary to follow my heart. In exploring a secondary passion—one of my little quirks that gives me personality and distinguishes me from others—I've discovered an interesting additional direction.

Alyssa YeagerComment