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?


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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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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