Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Photo Copyright Amanda R. Dollak 2013

Photo Copyright Amanda R. Dollak 2013


Art is all around us!  Do you enjoy capturing autumn’s majestic colors with your camera?


Grass Closeup

I know I’m a little strange, but back before I switched to digital photography, I always looked forward to the little unexpected surprises when my photos came back.  The accidental snapshots, the strange orbs or streaks that sometimes appear, and the imperfections caused by an imperfect photographer.  They made taking photos fun and exciting.  You never knew exactly what you were going to get back.

Of course, this uncertainty was usually a bad thing.  There was always the chance you might blow capturing that priceless memory.  Or your thumb might get in the way.  Or you might accidentally cut someone’s head off in the shot.  There wasn’t much trial and error with basic film.

Still, I miss the mystery and the suspense of seeing what would develop from my laid-back photo shoots.  In a way, it felt like painting in the dark, and then waiting for the lights to come on to see the final product.  Even with the imperfections, it’s still a work of art.

That is why I get all excited when I’m cruising through my digital photos and stumble upon accidental photos–you know, the ones that are clearly on your memory card, but you have no clue how they got there.  They are visual proof of what goes on when you might be distracted or someone else is fiddling with your camera.

Today, I thought I’d share with you this accidental closeup of grass.  I’m guessing my daughter took it, but I can’t be certain since she has absolutely no recollection and we all were using my camera that day.  When I came across it tonight I couldn’t help but imagine that this is what our view would be if we were little pixies.  From that tiny perspective, even a nicely trimmed lawn would look like jungle.  Look out; it’s a jungle out there, my friends!

Tree Shadow

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a strange sense of humor and a wild imagination.  As a child, I didn’t like creative projects because I often came up with weird ideas that would make my classmates laugh.  I desperately wanted to be one of the cool kids that never failed to impress and awe the whole class.  I wanted to feel normal and ordinary.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I wasn’t an outcast.  I was the underdog’s best friend, and I was smart enough that even the cool kids were jealous.  My jokes also were pretty popular among my classmates—even though they didn’t always get my sarcasm or the stranger side of my humor.  Yet, I sometimes felt like I didn’t quite fit anywhere.

It wasn’t until high school that I began to realize that none of us actually fits in any particular group.  We are all unique.  We come from different backgrounds, have varying interests, and have our own distinct life experiences.  We may share some similar likes, dislikes, ideas, or life journeys.  But we are unique individuals.

Once I stopped worrying about whether or not I fit in and why, I started to really appreciate my individuality and my personal perspective.  Now that I am an adult, I absolutely love my unique point of view.  It comes in handy especially as a writer.  It is hard to be boring and unoriginal to your audience when you keep them guessing and offer them a different perspective on things.  If I tried to be more ‘normal’ and average, why would my stories and other works be worth reading?  No one wants to read the same old garbage or the same worn-out stories.  They want something fresh and unique to entertain them or to make them think of everyday things in brand new ways.

These days, I think we spend far too much time trying to fit in and to go with the flow.  Our desire to be ‘normal’ and an exact replica of what society expects is robbing us of our individuality and putting a damper on our creativity and potential.  History doesn’t remember the average Joes.  It celebrates the people who were unique, radical, and even a little eccentric.  That’s because new ideas, inventions, progress, and innovations rarely come from the status quo crowd.  Rather, they are the product of different, revolutionary, and yes, strange ideas and perspectives.

Will you dare to be different and embrace your weirdness?  Or will you continue to hide behind what is considered ‘normal’ and acceptable by society?  Do you want to change this world, or will you allow this world to change you?  It is solely up to you.

Purple Feathers

When I am in deep thought I tend to draw zigzags and other doodles on my paper.  When I was still in school my teachers assumed that when I was doodling I wasn’t paying attention in class.  In reality, I can concentrate and retain information a lot easier if my restless hands have something to keep them busy.  Moreover, the graceful, flowing motion of doodling draws out my thoughts and ideas.  It is as though with each stroke, zigzag, or swirl my imagination unfolds and the words are pulled from my mind.

This is perfect for writing.  If I am hounded by writer’s block, I’ll break out pen and paper or open a computer drawing program.  I’ll then allow my hand to go wherever it wants while I focus on the movement.  Many times just a 30-minute doodling session will start the creative juices flowing again.  No, it may not completely rid my brain of writer’s block, but it’s a wonderful start.  I can then build on this rudimentary inspirational foundation using one or more of the other inspirational ideas that I’ve shared with you this month.

We have now reached the letter Z, so this concludes the A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme of different sources of inspiration for my writing.  Here is a list to review all of the things that help inspire me and break writer’s block:

  • Animals and adorable antics
  • Butterflies
  • Clouds
  • Dawns and sunsets
  • Earth
  • Fire
  • Ghost stories
  • Hatred and harm disguised as humor
  • Icicles and snowy days
  • Jumping jacks
  • Keys
  • Lights
  • Music
  • Naps
  • Order
  • Photography
  • Quibble
  • Rain
  • Start
  • Tacos and other tantalizing foods
  • Unicorns
  • Vacations
  • Water
  • X-Men and other superheroes
  • Yellow
  • Zigzag

Did you find any of my inspiration ideas useful?  Do you have a favorite that isn’t on my list?  I’d love to hear about some of your own sources of inspiration.