Growing up, I always had a strong affinity to write stories, draw pictures, and even dabble in photography. This all started when I was old enough to hold a crayon and all I ever wanted to do was create art. Any kind of art, really.

I was fortunate enough to have strong support at home to dabble in the arts. I think it was because my Dad is a creative too. In 7th grade, I painted an autumn leaf background and that painting was selected for an award and it was showcased at a nearby mall. Our family drove all the way just to see the painting and to bask in it’s primitive glow. I don’t know any other father who would do that for his daughter.

My Dad was a photographer (still is but that’s retirement for you) and pursued that passion whenever he had the chance. I was never as great as him but I also enjoyed taking pictures artistically whenever I had the chance.

My Dad has an exhaustive collection of Nikon, and Canon cameras. Many of them have captured precious family moments but I don’t think many captured the man behind the camera.

He had several photographer friends too and I remember he would bring home pictures of famous celebrities like Princess Diana, Former President Bill Clinton, and other notables who attended big media events. I always wanted to attend functions like that and to be the person behind the scenes to cover them. At family events, he is always the man behind the camera. Capturing moments around him, in real time.

I never completely understood why he took on this role until I grew up. Sometimes creating a work of art requires you to stay away from the subject to further capture the beauty that one one else truly sees. For example, whenever I cover parties and events, I am usually the one interviewing guests and I stay in the background to see how everything around me unfolds. I then write what I see in a creative non-fiction way so the reader (who was unable to attend the party) can also be invited.

My dad is self taught in the arts. He believes if you don’t know something, you can teach yourself. I followed his example in pursuing my creative writing ventures. I taught myself how to write in different forms and took a chance by creating websites that helped promote companies, people, and entities.

As a kid, he used to buy me expensive oil pastels, brushes, and canvases and told me to just figure everything out. I don’t need an instructor but confidence in myself to make great art. He also bought me my first camera and even made sure my name was spelled out in hot pink, blue, and green letters so no one would mistaken it for anyone else.

In high school and even college, I pursued several art and writing related clubs. Every newspaper article I wrote, he would read constantly and had this deep sense of pride in my work. Although I was a fledgling writer, his encouragement to take risks and to keep writing instilled confidence in my abilities at a young age. To grow up with strong support is a powerful gift, more powerful than money or even nice words.

I have no idea how old I was in this picture. I think this was a nearby neighbors dog. My dad always took pictures from afar, he loved capturing family moments.

Covid Quarantine has taught me that daily gratitude, immediate family, and real friendships is the most important thing. You can be holed up at home for more than a year but that doesn’t stop a creative from creating. Photographers can wear a mask (vaccinate even) and take breathtaking city pictures. Writers, actors, artists, and producers, can write or create art about the times.

During this past year, I taught myself how to edit video, and created a massive amount of nature poetry. I even experimented in nature photography too. I will create a future post about my Covid Quarantine Nature posts, I will admit that some of the posts would be enjoyed by anyone who has a dark sense of humor. I never paid for an instructor to teach me to edit video or to take nature pictures on my I-phone. I simply googled how to write poetry and how to take artistic I-phone photography and just went for it.

I am confident within myself that I can teach myself a new skill. I can be self taught and be expressive. I thank my Dad for the greatest gift he can give his daughter. Confidence in her own abilities to be a great creative.

What inspires you to be creative? Was it a passion you had from childhood, a supportive parent or teacher? How do you express your creativity on the daily? Feel free to comment below!

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