Share your world – 23th May, 2017

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? Apart from travel to various places (Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam, Jordan, Istanbul………more, more, more), I don’t think there is anything I have left undone. I am the Just Do It girl, remember? If I want to do something I do it, I wanted to exhibit in galleries, done it (about to have my third this year), I wanted to be published in magazines, done it, now been in lots. Flew in a helicopter. I guess the only thing I have not been able to do is lose weight and get fitter.

How often do you get a haircut? Whenever it is annoying me, I have gone years without getting it cut, then get sick of it and cut it short, then get sick of cutting it and ignore for a year or two……..it’s a constant cycle.

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search or numeric puzzles? Not a big puzzle person to be honest. I don’t mind a word search, but I get awfully frustrated with jigsaw puzzles and crosswords (unless they are ridiculously easy), occasionally I might play sudoku on an easy level. I like things to be straightforward and uncomplicated.

How many cities have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities. I’m a Melbourne girl, sure I have travelled a lot, but Melbourne has always been my home, and probably always will. I have not even really moved around much, since I left home, I have lived in 6 different houses, this current one for 16 years.

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Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Update from last week on Hayley, she is home and doing really well. I am sure she will be back modelling for me soon. Thank you for all your wishes.

I had a super fun weekend, went to the movies twice with my Hubby, caught up with a friend for coffee. We visited Tieve Tara Gardens and Hanging Rock up at Mount Macedon. I launched three Still Life Workshops and all are fully booked, with request for more. I have another two new models coming in for a shoot soon.

I have another new gallery exhibit starting next week, I have two fun photo shoots on Saturday, one with Jess and Mel (always so many laughs). I run my first Still Life workshop for the season on Sunday……..so a big weekend!

I hope you all have a terrific weekend, and I hope everyone stays safe and well, with horrible events happening in the world of late. I will spare a thought of goodwill to those involved, but I will not dwell on them, that is what THEY want. PEACE PEOPLE

~ Julz, xo

P.S. for more info, visit Cee’s page

Meet Grant Alexander McDougall

I normally don’t do street photography, I rarely strike up conversations with complete strangers on the street either, but a recent trip into Fitzroy had me cross paths with Grant, a very cool dude with whom I chatted with for a while, introduced myself, asked if I could take his photo, I gave him my business card and asked him to contact me. I probably should have gotten his details as well. I hope he does contact me…..I’d love to give him a copy of these images. As part of my year of Brave-R, I am pushing myself to expand and try things I normally would not do, challenge myself to overcome silly fears. I mean it is drummed into us as kids DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS……strangers, in some cases are just friends, you have not met yet. Others have random meaning, I may not ever meet this gentleman again, but he will have left a mark on me. I wonder if I left a mark on him?

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Isn’t it funny what Karma will throw at you if you open you heart and mind to possibilities? Have a fantastic week my friends…

~ Julz

Five Minutes @ Doughnut Time, Regular Random

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This week’s regular random is quite special, well for me anyway. First I rarely do street photography, as most of you know, but this day it seemed fitting. Second, and most importantly I shot it with Desley. We had met up for lunch in Fitzroy and had just enjoyed a lovely lunch and wander through the Rose Street Artists Market, we started to wander the streets looking for graffiti and thought it might be fun to both shoot our regular random on the same subject; at the same time.

Desley used the Art setting on her camera and got some very cool effects…….don’t forget to check out her pics from her post. I felt that due to the area, the hipster vibe, the street art and the cliche doughnut shop, I really wanted to process as least some of them in over contrast B&W. I normally feel so self conscious shoot street photography, but with both of us together, it felt safe and comfortable.

It’s actually a cool spot for five minutes of random…….and as Desley just reminded me, NO doughnuts were consumed by us during the shoot! OMG what is wrong with us? lol

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Well at least someone enjoyed them with a coffee. For more info on Regular Random, visit Desley’s Page; just shoot one object for five minutes and move only yourself and not the object.

~ Julz

 

Kaizen Project – Project 7

The Kaizen Project worked on some very intense personal works last month, we each picked a cause or charity to work for, we each created a one or more pieces of art which we were going to donate to our chose charity for use as a fundraiser or images for website or brochures etc. Through Big Magic or Karma, Hayley entered my world and I was suddenly made aware of Domestic Violence……I knew it existed of course, but I was never faced with it, not did I know anyone who was a survivor….or so I thought. Though while I was correct in believing I knew nothing about it, I did actually find out many woman I knew through my art, came to art as a means of healing themselves after suffering domestic violence.

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Silence from Within

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Seeking Answers

Julie Powell_Quieting the storms from within

Quieting the storms from within

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Wishes

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Duplicity amongst Us

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Searching for other worlds

Even though these images were originally sparked from for artwork by the likes of Brooke Shaden and various others, they took on a new life and meaning of their own after talking with Hayley. I wanted to bring her stories to life, her hopes and dreams, feelings of renewal, frustrations and learning to be herself again. These were not long, deep and meaningful conversations……I am sure these will come in time, but snippets of her life. So here is Hayley’s story and it sparked an idea for a new and exciting adventure, time for me to give back, but more on this later.

Each month the Kaizen Project, made up of 500 dedicated artist worldwide, work collectively and individually on a set project, often this is for a good cause and our time and art are offered for free. Want to learn more about becoming a digital artist, learn amazing techniques, be part of a group of like minded people who support and inspire you every step of the way, and be inspired by a world class Mentor? Check out Photoshop Artistry, hands down the best online Photoshop Course out there…….oh and if you think you KNOW Photoshop? LOL I thought I did too, seriously this course has taught me so much, from there I then enrolled in AWAKE and I have never looked back, I have learnt from the course and from people I have met everything from image creation to photography, to staging, lighting and conceptual art.

~ Julz

Fabulous Fridays…

Ahhh, Fridays……so much to offer, a wonderful weekend ahead and the signal of another working week over (well for me anyway). I had two more images published yesterday in the Living the Photo Artistic Life magazine

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So that is always exciting, honestly every month it just gets more and more amazing, grab a cuppa and skim the pages, I promise you it is worth it.

Also announcing here that I hope to start up a new project very soon working with survivors of Domestic Violence, which after a prompt from my Kaizen Project group, we are to each pick a charity to work with; mine is called Safe Steps…….but more on that later. The next two images are very special and were created with the a wonderful young woman, her self a survivor.

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Seeking Answers

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Silence from Within

Both of the images, along with others I hope convey hope that these women and children (and yes men as well) can now see after the horrible, ugly and anxious periods of their life. I hope to bring a little bit of hope, fun and beauty to their world again, or perhaps for the first time…..sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

I hope you all have an amazing weekend, I know I have so much planned, but more on that Monday…….

~ Julz

 

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

big-magic-coverI’ve been reading a book, shocking really. For some reason I really do not read that often, well these days, anyway. I’d rather be creative with my own imagination rather than someone else’s, it seems. Also, I usually only read Fiction, mostly magic, fantasy or sci-fi, this for want of a better word is a self help book.

I am not going to insult you by saying this is the greatest book ever written (although I thought it was quite well written), I also won’t insult you by saying it changed my life…….but it did transform some of my thinking – to a degree.It most definitely made me smile, laugh and feel good.

So how is it I ended up reading it? Well I have had a few crappy weeks lately, things not going my way artistically. No one particularly to blame, it was just my shit sandwich (seriously read the book) for the month. Karma crossed my path with some videos from Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love fame), you know when you are watching something on YouTube and it links to something else, so you watch that and then it takes you somewhere else again? I ended up watching a reading by Ms Gilbert for Big Magic. Sure I have heard of her before, heard some quotes thrown around before before Kim Klassen, Sebastian Michaels and other wondrous teachers, but had never read her books. (I saw the movie Eat, Pray, Love many years ago, and I honestly can’t remember much apart from Julia Roberts was in it). Elizabeth is brutal in her honesty, slap you across the face and accept that to live a truly artistic and creative life……..you have to put up with a lot of crap, mostly from yourself!

In saying that, you do not need to spend your life beating yourself up, turning in a coke snorting, alcoholic, manic depressive who thinks the world owes him/her a better deal. In short, to lead a creative and artistic life, you need to love what you do and enjoy it. Do it because you WANT and NEED to; not because it might make you rich and famous.

I knew all that…honestly I did, but sometimes you push it down thinking that a few small victories here and there should have you rich and famous by now. I didn’t start photography to become a famous photographer, I didn’t become a graphic artist to sell thousands of paintings, and I didn’t start this blog to have millions of followers. I started all of it, because I wanted to; it caught my soul on fire.

I have a passion for photography, I enjoy portraits and newborns, I enjoy landscapes and the travel, I really enjoy the zen like meditation from my Still Life and I adore my conceptual portraits……..do I care if no-one understands them? Not really, hey don’t get me wrong it’s great when other people enjoy them; but the earth does not fall off it’s axis, babies don’t die and I am still breathing if someone doesn’t ‘get it’. In the end I created it for me and my Muse. My digital art, I throw myself on the mercy of my Muse and let her take me wherever she wishes to go, sometimes I have to work without her, but that is OK too. But if I keep working, a little bit every day; my Muse will show up……..it’s when I ignore her she goes off to sulk.

My passion and dedication doesn’t mean my art is the worlds greatest, but I should not live in fear of showing my art (I was at the start, but not now), I learned these lessons all by myself, and if I could pass this onto someone else, then I have done a good, no…..a great deed. Don’t hide yourself and your art away, if you are passionate and work at it, with persistence,  it will show. It may not make you rich and famous, but be honest; that’s not why we do it…is it? It does not matter whether you are a painter, a sculpture, a writer, a poet, photographer, a gardener, a whittler, a potter, a silver or blacksmith……….we do it because we love it….and THAT my friend is what is important.Besides no one really cares what you do (harsh but true) they are too busy with their own lives, occasionally someone will sit up, take notice and say hey that’s great, or hey that’s complete crap and then guess what? They go back to their own life.

Reading this book made me feel good about myself and my art, I can be happy in knowing that I enjoy doing it. I may never be rich or famous, I have my day job, so it doesn’t really matter. My passion costs little (well apart from the travel, but that’s my call, not my passion), I have friends and models who are happy to work with me for free (that still blows my mind, when people ask to model for me and not charge me!).If I am a good person, and my art hurts no-one then what does it matter? Maybe I am the only one who likes it? That is OK, it doesn’t matter if no-one else likes it, so it doesn’t matter if I put it out there and nothing happens; I won’t drop dead. No-one gets out of this life alive……so enjoy your time here, for however long or short it is; life is ultimately too short to be boring and unhappy. Being miserable and suffering for your ‘art’ won’t necessarily make you a better artist, but being happy and content in your work may – think about that.

Seriously if you do anything creative, or have ever wanted to, but were too scared, self conscious, too – whatever; pick up a copy of this book and read it, it will make your heart lighter and put a smile on your face, of that I am sure.

~ Julz

 

Finding my Tribe…

I feel that lately I have been playing the victim, I have made several rants recently and have been a little self-absorbed and I have no idea why. My life is not awful, in fact far from it. I cannot explain it and I guess I do not need to. I just need to stop it, get over myself and move on.I have felt uplifted by the support and comments from so many friends online, quite honestly it is overwhelming reading all the messages.

I was reading a blog post by Brooke Shaden about 30 things she learnt in her twenties……..man oh man, some people are smart when they are young……it seemed to take me an extra 20 years to learn some of this stuff. Some of it really hit accord within me;

  • If someone doesn’t like what you create, create more of it and know your tribe is out there

I have been blessed with a new tribe in the last 2 years, a creative, encouraging and supportive tribe; the photo below is just a tiny snippet of that tribe. There are people I have never met face to face and due to time and distance, I may never meet them face to face, but I adore them anyway. Some I have met through this blog or FB Groups or through random life choices…but they are all my TRIBE. Some I have met face to face and enjoy their company in person and online and would never trade them for the world.

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Sue, Beck, Desley and Me (left to right)

  • Seek to set yourself outside of the center of your universe.
  • The more you go your own way, the more you’ll inspire others to do the same
  • Create as honestly, unapologetically, and powerfully as you can.
  • Find humility in your mistakes and pride in your successes
  • See small wins as massive successes.
  • Just because you aren’t good at some things doesn’t mean you’ll never be good at anything.

So many of these points are true and I am normally an upbeat person, but a few tiny setbacks this week have cut so very deep, I have no idea why. On the upside I have created a flurry of work, some of it dark and bitter, true………but lets face it most of my digital art is dark, twisted and creepy anyways 🙂

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Who is the Puppet Master?

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The Rain Maker

So again, for the second week in such a short time I pick myself up and continue on;

“Follow your bliss” – Joseph Campbell

I have always loved this quote, and it should be everyone’s motto……..I think I just had an epiphany! My Motto this year is to be BRAVE-R……and I have been, but perhaps that is what has made me raw and emotional? Bearing my heart and soul for the world to see, makes you brave, sure………but it does not guard you against the pitfalls. Just because I am putting myself out there and working really hard, this does not guarantee me success, there are no 100% guarantees in this life. I need to celebrate every small win and victory for what it is; a victory and treat every mistake, heartache and failure as a lesson to learn from. I need to shake loose the victimisation, however small and trivial it is (let’s face it, I am not abused, hunted, stalked or physically threatened……..for this I am grateful), I had my feelings hurt, I didn’t get a prize I wanted, I didn’t get published, I didn’t sell anything, nor get a gallery offer this week………..boohoo me! Shut up and move on. I really need to shake off this feeling, so tomorrow Hubby and I are off to do something fun……….just for the hell of it 🙂

Again thank you all for your support, especially a select few, your thoughts and emails really meant alot and NO you are never overstepping your boundaries, unless I tell you to your (avatar?) face, to back off. I need to stop being a petulant child, deal with things or move on, bitching about them might make me feel better short term, but lets face it, doesn’t accomplish anything long term.

Onto bigger, better, brighter………for tomorrow is a new day (and a Saturday! YAY)

~ Julz

The Wedding Stalker…

What is it about me and weddings? Am I all alone in this? Is it the woman in me, the hopeless romantic (I’m not really), or the photographer? Maybe I’m actually a voyeur? I can’t seem to help it, I am frequently found stalking a wedding party at various places of interest where we have been……..Craig’s Hut on top of Mount Stirling, in the city, various gardens and now the latest at Montsalvat. I also have a Wedding in Bali later this year………and yes there will be pics of that as well 🙂

So welcome to Olivia and Mitchel’s wedding  (well that was what was on the sign)

There were so many people buzzing around with cameras, including the THREE wedding photographers, I didn’t even hide, nor feel self conscious lol …such a lovely afternoon. I never got any of the ceremony, I thought that might be a bit too much!

~ Julz

 

Share Your World – 23rd Jan 2017

Technically it is Jan 24th here, but I am sure that is neither here nor there for Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

Do you prefer juice or fruit? I’m not really a huge juice fan, sometimes a lovely chilled orange or pineapple juice is wonderful, but other than that I prefer to eat the fruit, I usually eat at least a banana everyday, as I need the potassium. I also like a nice cold smoothie with milk, yogurt and fruit; banana, berries, passion fruit – yummo

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it? I grew up in suburbia, back then it was considered outer suburbs, now that I am really living in outer suburbs what was out is now inner suburbs…ahh the urban sprawl! But I enjoyed it, it had everything we needed as kids to play, there were places to ride out bikes, hunt for tadpoles and get up to no good, in a good clean fun way! We were close to things so entertainment wasn’t an issue as we got older, and we had patches of bushland to explore. These days there really aren’t too many areas like that, especially where I grew up, it’s now all houses.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use? Mostly happy colours I guess, with some melancholic blues thrown in for good measure. I won’t say it was a perfect childhood (whose is) but it was not horrible either, there are a lot of happy memories in there, mostly due to the amount of travel we did.

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Ways to Relax List: Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm. Music……that usually is the way I relax, music while I create art, shoot in the studio, setup for a shoot in the studio, in the car on the away to a shoot……I always have music. Even on the way to and from work….yes it is music. But then there are times I crave quiet, I rarely get quiet, so sometimes, when I am alone, I just sit in the quiet and meditate. And then there is the beach……..I love the sound, the smell, the salt spray on my skin….

  • Music 
  • Photography
  • Still Life
  • The Beach
  • Digital Art
  • Walking the Dog
  • Reading a book or watching a movie

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week………last week was a blur so I guess I am grateful for getting through it, I was really grateful on the weekend I just got time to ‘play’ with some still life stuff, not not stuff that had to be done, just stuff I wanted to do…….fun stuff.

This week……I am grateful for a lovely long weekend, I have the opening for my first exhibit on Friday night, if any of you are in Melbourne, and would like to visit, please stop in and say Hi……I’d love to see you.

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I guess that’s about it for now, I have rambled on enough.

~ Julz

 

A Portrait Session for new Head Shots

This time the session was for Me! Part of my be Braver for this year……I hate having my photo taken, and I know a lot of other people do too. It is stupid really, I can’t change the way I look (without a bucket load of money, pain and cosmetic surgery), the people in my life love me for WHO I AM, not what I look like, just as I don’t judge me family and friends…..I love them just the way they are. So if everyone else sees me this way, why can’t I just get over myself?

So a friend of mine, who sat for me, agreed to take some portraits of me, I wanted a new updated picture for my social media profile, the other is nearly 10 years old. I love Suzanne’s photos they are a little grungy, a little street, a little raw and REAL, and I figure that is me, so that’s what I want……I think; no make up, no hair – Just me as I am every day. My family and friends say they love the images where I am laughing, because that’s what I do………laugh, loud and often (as we all should). I personally like the more thoughtful, pensive ones. She even captured me and Moth at a photo shoot (hence the big baggy hat!) A very big shout out to Suzanne Balding and a BIG thank you……………yes I have gotten over the shock of looking like my Grandmother! *Hugs* hun!

~Julz