This is the first in a series introducing people with a daily creativity practice. These articles will explore how and why people began dedicating time to a creativity practice, what they get from the experience, and what they love about the medium/s they have chosen.
Today’s interview is with Beth Pastore from Sydney, Australia who speaks about her mindful photography practice, and the emotional and spiritual benefits she has found from this daily creativity. She shares some of her beautiful images with us as well. All images in this article are taken by Beth.
I began creating images a little over 3 years ago as a way to connect with the world around me.
I had started trying to meditate but found that being still and focusing on my breathing actually made me feel anxious. So I started to use my walk from where I parked my car each day for work to practice breathing while observing the beauty around me with my camera. I took the words of John O’Donohue to heart and started to “Take time to see the quiet miracles that seek no attention” on my walk each day.
The more aware I became of my surroundings, the more beauty I would find. I started to see that I was deeply drawn to flowers, treescapes and the night sky. I would often walk different different paths and walk to music that I found inspiring which helped increase my sense of wonder in my everyday surroundings. I most often share these on my Facebook page and on Instagram and sometimes on my Blog.
Keen to be better able to express what I could see and feel when creating an image, I began to take some online photography classes with Susannah Conway, Vivienne McMaster, Catherine Just and Henry Lohmeyer.
Creating images makes me feel free to explore and open to possibility, which translates to other areas of my life experience.
I photograph the often hidden beauty in my day or in accordance with different themes that I am exploring in my life to extend my visual and emotional vocabulary. Sometimes I take a take an online class (often with Catherine Just) as I find that I love the experience of creating alongside people and sharing in their explorations and how they are interpret the world.
I often take myself out on what Julia Cameron refers to as an Artist Date. I often visit places like a local park, the beach, or a flower garden to be in the presence of beauty as a starting point. It is then in this space that my senses are soothed, my mind becomes quiet and my creativity and imagination stirs. In this space I wander with my camera collaborating with the beauty around me to create images from my experience of being in that moment.
Photography for me is a visual journal. I can look at images I have created at a much later time and re-experience that moment because I had been deeply engaged in the moment of creation. This also means I can ‘gather’ beauty for when it might be needed.
Consciously looking for and finding beauty each day has helped me create a mosaic of the little things that make my life feel so enriched. Creativity is and continues to be such a gift to my soul.
More information about Beth:
Dreamer, Seeker of Beauty
Lover of Visual imagery, poetry and glitter pens.
Devourer of podcasts and audiobooks.