So this winter has turned out to be anything but ideal. To be honest I have been home for a month and it feels like centuries. But in the grand scheme of things that is okay and let me tell you why. For starts, I told myself when I made the decision to stay on the East Coast this winter that I am here to concentrate on bettering me, my company and making life all around more enjoyable. I thought that would have at least included a bit more snowboarding (mother nature is not complying) and a few more employers who were consistent. Yet, the reality is the weather has been beyond East Coast conditions terrible and my employers have been having it rough cause well, money is tight when you depend on mother nature for a pay check. And I get it; we can't always have exactly what we want especially when certain elements like snow conditions are out of are control.
On the bright side I have been taking this opportunity and instead of bumming out and whining about winter, I am embracing improving other aspects of my career and personal life. For instance, I have been skateboarding almost everyday rebuilding muscle memory and relearning tricks in anticipation for warmer, dryer days and a future skate trip in March. Also, I have stepped back a bit from go, go, go lifestyle of shooting and travel to enjoying some personal time doing activities that I can't do when I am away and wicked busy, such as playing guitar, sculpting and doodling.
With this downtime and lack of mother nature's cooperation you are probably asking yourself how I am maintaining an income. Well, let's just say I am getting creative. Photography is not just all about photographing cool stuff. Yes, that is my favorite part and the most fun part, but being a professional photographer is also a business. This involves marketing, finances, networking and countless other tasks that get put on the back burner sometimes in exchange for shooting. However, these key elements also help in the progression of a business and rounding out my career as a whole. So how to make the not so fun parts fun? It's not easy but I have slowly been working out better plans to make my non shooting workflow easier, more efficient and not so painful. By having set goals now for my future endeavors these downtimes are helping me to stay focused and organized so I can enjoy the photography shooting parts more, especially in the coming months. Thus, networking with fellow bloggers, photographers, graphic artists and web designers at this time have helped in my progress and given me some extra cashflow to fund what I call "me projects" or fine art motivation.
In addition, to all this adulting, on the flip side I have been spending this time promoting some already finished projects such as my book "Ashe in Wanderland" (which you can check out on my website www.jeaninenewell.com) as well as other side projects and learning what is needed and useful so I can do more collaborations and projects in the future.
All in all what seemed like a rocky and stressful start to an off winter is turning into blessing not a curse. I am having a great time learning new things about social media marketing, business savvy ideas, brainstorming with fellow artists/photographers and getting "me time" to build and grow personally as well. My advice, if life is seeming to get you down and you feel like nothing makes sense, hanging in there just a little bit longer. As that old saying goes "when life gives you lemons... go skateboarding!" (okay so maybe that's my take on it). Let the adventure continue.