Tell a Great Story With Your Life and Your Art


Last week, I read an inspiring article about making a living as a photographer that really applies to any art form. David DuChemin’s blog post A Bigger Story suggests making your life and your art about what you love. Here’s what he said that spoke to me:

What story are you telling? What bigger ideas are you tapping into? If you don’t know, neither does your audience. This should be a freeing notion for us. Terrifying on some level, sure, because to some extent it requires that we nail our colours to the mast. But isn’t that one of the reasons we love our favourite artists? It takes courage. But it’s still freeing. It provides a framework, a constraint we freely choose, to photograph only what we care about and letting the rest go. No obligation to be someone else, photograph everything under the sun. It’s a freedom from the frantic, noisy climate we live in. — David DuChemin

He’s got me thinking about which colors I should nail to my mast. As he predicts, I am terrified, but I like the idea of being free to be myself in my artistic work, whatever form it takes, and to not worry about the rest.

How about you? Do you know what your art is about already, or is this something you need to think about? Do you feel like your life has a story?

2 thoughts on “Tell a Great Story With Your Life and Your Art”

  1. Interesting question. So far my novels seem to involve a lot of searching for lost siblings or children, so I guess they’re about the importance of family. Also about demonstrating that women’s lives don’t end when they get married and/or have children. Why does happily ever after have to be the end of the story and not the beginning?

    1. Your themes sound fascinating to me. I especially like the idea of exploring what comes after happily ever after. I’m thinking mostly about this question with regard to my blog, but whenever I read one of my drafts, I make a list of the stuff that shows up in it and I have found I have things that appear over and over and over again. We all have our core interests, but we don’t always recognized them.

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