Recently, I was listening to a podcast a friend sent me about relationships after we'd had one too many talks about the pitfalls of dating in our twenties. In episodes of her Truth for Your Twenties, sorority-girl coach (hey, don't knock sorority women) Katie Bulmer imparts applicable knowledge about how to walk through life as a Christ-follower in young adulthood.
One particular line she had resonated with me, and the more I reflect on it, the more I find it profound:
"When needs go unmet, they become demands."
Everyone has needs: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical (in platonic ways, too). Having needs is not a problem. I believe people who recognize and can articulate and manage their needs--and even try to self-service themselves--are better positioned for success in interpersonal relationships. But, as Katie points out, when needs go unmet, they become demands. Demands aren't always problematic (offhand, as I finish a spoonful of peanut butter: demanding that you cannot have peanuts when you have a peanut allergy is perfectly reasonable), but they can cause problems for those around us. Demands highlight failure on likely someone else's part to take care of your needs.
Demands turn what could otherwise be a rational and healthy situation into an issue, an inconvenience, and can create an imbalance.
So, as an artist, I began to consider this concept in terms of my creative needs. As someone who hasn't spent more than 4 months in one place (and known each lodging situation would be so temporary and not my own) I have neglected my creative development.
In February 2021 I took on a 28-days-of-art challenge in which I forced myself to paint one thing every day. This was a challenge in discipline and technical skills. I definitely walked out of that month exhausted and uninterested in creating new content but noticed I had more of an itch to consistently be working with artistic media.
This brings me to today: working on this project, and wishing I was painting. As I'm about to post my still life wine paintings for sale (PS--auctioning off my artwork on my Instagram this week, profits to benefit National Kidney Foundation for National Kidney Month!) I realized I love painting wine, and it seems to garner a lot of love with my cusper friends (who tend to be my main audience at the moment).
Wanting to push myself beyond the technical lack-of-creativity I endured through February's 28 days, I thought it would be best to put my new camera to use and create my own inspiration photos for future paintings.
Of course, I had limited resources--about 3 oz of Two Buck Chuck and some napkins. And I don't live in a picturesque winery, despite how pretty and cozy my sister's house is. So, I just got creative and tried to produce something. While I usually love my house plant problem being in photos, I don't know if I love it in all of these.
Anyways, rabbit hole to say: one of my goals for this whole project is to create something and share something meaningful once a month. Photography is an easy way for me to get to create something. It's a low time-commitment, and low-effort for me. It is a high-value creative effort in that I get to immediately see the product come together. But that being said, as a non-photographer, photography does not always fulfill my creative needs. Do I think photography can help ease the creative needs? Maybe. Can it help prevent my creative needs from becoming creative demands? Absolutely.
I'm currently working on managing my creative needs and demands. I can't wait to share what I learn along the way with you all. For now, just enjoy some wine photos.
An abundance of house plants--and yes, my m. deliciosa is just about as tall as I am.
I love long shadows.
Overexposed? Underexposed? Yellow saturation off?
As you can tell, I have incredibly expensive taste in my wines.
That green long shadow just really sings with the scarlet wine.
Did I mention I love a long shadow? Peep the pilea in the background.