Scratching the itch: How creativity is keeping me sane during my job search

1401616_48842415The search for a new full-time job continues.  While that pursuit is always priority number one, I’ve found myself setting another priority — keeping busy with creative endeavors.  For someone like myself, it’s proven a sure-fire way to keep my head above water in an otherwise turbulent and stressful time in my life.

I’m one who has always loved dipping my toes in a lot of different creative waters.  I’ve been a writer, from poetry, to advertising materials, to a feature-length screenplay.  I’ve created videos.  I’ve done graphic art.  I’ve even made music, though I’ve been kind enough to spare the world from that ill-advised flight of fancy.  I’m even exploring getting into oil painting.  You may already be branding me a restless creative, and you’d probably be right.

But one of my strongest passions lately has been photography.  I’m a strong visual thinker, and love using my camera lens to capture my views of natural beauty in the world.  I then parlay this into my inate love for technology, using Adobe Lightroom to embellish my shots and turn it into a canvas of unlimited freedom.  I’ve even been lucky enough to sell a few of my works, hold a solo art show, and have some of my art published in various forms.

While my photography is a year-round creative outlet, I’ve taken some of my time lately to put a long-gestating project back on the front burner.  It’s one that combines two of my creative predilections — photography and web design.  It’s a project called Wisconsin Photo Guide.  It’s a website I started working out back in the summer of 2012, shortly after seriously planting my flag as a — burgeoning — fine art photographer.

The premise of the website was simple — keeping a diary of great spots to take a picture, and creating a resource for other hobbyist photographers like me to find Wisconsin’s most picturesque places.  I’ve been tinkering with it here and there since then, trying to build out functionality for the community of photographers to “crowd-source” spots.  Hey, I want to find new beautiful places just like anyone.  This site is squarely aimed at folks like me — who love getting out and taking pictures for the fun of it.  They’ll be able to share their insights and experiences on the places featured on the site, with the ultimate goal of making photography a fun and rewarding hobby for anyone.

In creating the site, I was trying to fill a void I had noticed for this kind of compendium.  I was also seeing it as a way to give back to the community of photographers and artists in this state that have been so supportive to me along my journey.  It seems I can’t go on a photo excursion these days without running into the most interesting people — both everyday folk and photographers alike.  I love the conversations I find myself having while maintaining a creative endeavor.  I figured that I was serving both a need for myself, and helping others have these enjoyable experiences.  That’s a great win-win.

So I keep plugging away, building out the site in the few spare hours I find in my day between interviews and job hunting.  I’m hoping to soft-launch the site in the near future, and I hope people will find it useful and will want to contribute to it.  But in the end, it’s serving to scratch that undeniable itch I have to be creative and productive with every fiber of my being.  That’s something I hope to soon press into service for a great local company in a full-time role.

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