3 Lessons From The Imagination Paradigm

Art & Life: Married in Imagination

Creative photo processing isn’t for sissies. Especially if you share images publicly. There’s always bound to be someone who says something like… “Oh Karen” (fill in your own name for full effect)… “you’re so beautiful, your photos are so beautiful, but you do too much. You should try to be more natural. Also, try cropping to the golden third, it would be better balanced” (fill in many other trivial, uninvited bits of advice here for full effect.) Whatever. You know.

This is alot like walking down the street in a big city, with your tough girl face on (I always think of it as “my neutral face”… but have been informed it’s actually kinda scary. Which is OK with me, when strolling in an unfamiliar big city with expensive camera gear in my hands)… and having some dude slow down and leeringly say “Hey sweetheart, why the big frown? C’mon, lemme see you smile. Hey baby… ” as they sort of lunge toward you.


In my superhero imagination, this doesn’t end well for the poor sod. A few cool, swishy sound effects, punches and grunts, action too quick to catch on-camera and the poor sod is lying there unconscious with little cartoon tweety birds chirping over his head. My inner superhero is striding down the street, dusting off her hands, smiling that she was able to save the day. Yet again.

But I digress.
Or… did I?

Y’see, Imagination is more than entertaining, it’s defining. Sure, it goes to lengths we’d never go to in real life to create a delightfully Marvel Comics ending in annoying situations. But way more than that, when used for good and not evil, our Imaginations bestow a glorious light, an explosion of colors, hues and unlimited tones into our lives. Harnessed properly, it creates what I just decided to call “The Imagination Paradigm” in which the only limitations are one we make up…out of our Imagination. (See how that works?)

Our imagination springs from our most powerful, free and creative self; our very best, most awesome self.  When you realize that we actually become what we think about most; well, Imagination takes on new importance. When our imaginations are invited to come out and play, all kinds of wonderful transforms into true possibility.

Heck, even Pablo Picasso said it:
“Everything you can imagine is real.”

Here are 3 simple, yet pivotal concepts that have awakened, motivated and spurred me into new action, merely through processing photos…

1. don’t “Settle For”

For me, photo processing takes me gently by the hand into the realms of my imagination and muse. It’s not the only thing in my life that does that… but it’s one of the most fun. It allows me to explore and express the notion that we don’t have to settle for anything “less than” in life, unless we choose to. And as my mother always said: “Everything is a choice.”

Dealt a desolate hand? Dislike the landscape of your life? Your heart cries out, yearning for more?
Hey, you were given a mind. A badass imagination. Why would you NOT use it to create your most awesome vision, be it in art… or life?


Enter the superhero of your imagination.  With its help, You NEVER have to settle-for unless you choose to.  You get to create the world, the outcome, the very life of your dreams. One full of the light and hues that make your soul sing. One that, dwelled upon long enough, acted upon boldly enough, springs to life as your new awesome reality selection.

Just another ordinary moment, full of color, life and hope. Extraordinary.

2. You Are the Sky

In Pema Chodron’s words:
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”

In my words: Opinions comes and go. But the breath of the Divine, speaking through your soul, expressed in your deepest creative self lives forever.
Seek to follow that no matter what – and don’t give a rat’s ass about the rest.


Note: these clouds came from the Heavenly Cloud Collection in the Store, which I created for myself, then decided to share with y’all. 😉

 3. Souls Seeks Expression. Relentlessly.

Art lets us dream: it shines a light upon our soul. For me, photo processing is like conscious dreaming, where my soul speaks, my heart sings. I’ve experienced the most amazing thoughts, ideas, emotions, and uplifting awesomeness, whilst deep in processing a photo… and they have all applied easily and directly to my life.

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
Gloria Steinem – 20th Century


Note: Clouds ‘n colors on this one came from my own textures, hues and clouds collections, initially created for my own use.  I had begun to feel the need to infuse my images with new flavors. I wanted something additive… that would ‘thicken’ my images beyond what regular photo processing can do. It became my muse’s obsession, her craving… which demanded satisfaction. Thus “The Inspirarium” was born. This panorama image was processed in Photoshop with a few of those hues…

Warm and cold is cool.Snow and fiery is hot.New perspectives are awesome,Narrow-minded is not.

Life As Art

I believe that when we approach life as our most sacred art form… there is no limit to the beauty we can create. All it takes is a little Imagination and elbow grease. It’s the most natural thing in the world.

I leave you with this thought, from my friend Roberta Solomon, one of the most stunning, world class voice over artists out there.

“I thank You God for this most amazing day & everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes”… Roberta Soloman

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