Friday, November 16, 2012

Creative Spaces and Far Away Places


There is something wonderful about having a creative place of your own. A place to daydream, a place to get your hands dirty, to think, a place to pursue the most  strange and bizarre ideas and a place to fall into the depths of your own thoughts and feelings, a place to allow your creative spirit to run free.

For me I’ve always needed such a place. A creative place to surround myself with things I love and give me inspiration to allow my dark side run uninhibited. I’ve always had a fascination with things of horror and macabre. This past year I began adding to my collection new items like a hypnosis machine, gas mask, vintage embalming bottles, Ouija Boards and a framed movie poster of the 1928 silent film “The Haunted House”.

Strangely enough these items have given me much needed distraction from such a very troubled year. This year has been a roller-coaster of emotions and experiences. As I look back I’ve noticed I’ve shot very little in the way of photography but I have remained busy exploring other projects and talents.

As this year winds down I’m making new plans for 2013 and I’m excited for what the future holds. Conventions, travel and new explorations of haunted places are just some of the items on the calendar.

This weekend I traveled to my hometown in Illinois for a funeral of a family member. Despite the bad circumstance for me leaving my home I was glad to venture past the borders of Wisconsin for the first time this year to see family and have dinner with a good friend. As I was driving I realized how much I’ve missed traveling and experiencing new things. Plus eating at places that are not available at home. I also remembered some of the “rules” I set for myself when I travel. They are not much but they add to the excitement and experience of what Traveling is all about.

(1) If I see something interesting along the side of the road, I take the time to stop and check it out. I’ve met and seen some of the most interesting things and people doing this.

(2) I NEVER eat at a restaurant that’s available in the town you live in. Part of traveling is the new experience. Eat somewhere that is normally not available to you. It keeps the trip fresh and exciting.

(3) I NEVER watch TV or the news during traveling (except for weather reports). The idea is to unplug a bit from the negativity and reality of life. I do plenty of TV watching at home I don’t need to spend allot of money on hotels, gas, airplane tickets and meals to go far away from home just to sit in a hotel to watch TV. To kill down time I like to sit in cafes, visit local book and antique stores, blog, read, write in my travel journal or just walk around the town or city taking pictures.

(4) I Travel light. I Don’t bog myself down with a ton of bags. When I travel I carry two bags my camera bag and travel bag. ALL the clothes I carry for a week is in one carry-on bag. If at all possible I never check a bag because I believe a checked bag is a lost bag. Traveling is stressful enough and I don’t need the added burden of locating a missing bag and being SOL with no clothes or personal items. I walked up the side of a mountain in Germany to my hotel carrying a backpack full of camera equipment and a travel bag around my shoulder. By the time I reached the top I was exhausted but if I was carrying anything more I don’t think I would have made it.

I try to keep my mind active and open minded constantly with inspiration and new experiences. Traveling and finding things that inspire me is truly rewarding. There is nothing more satisfying then finding an item or photographing something to add to my ever growing collection. In the end all my collections of items, photographs and written experiences are part of me and who I am.