Jai Johnson | Photographic Artist | Spend More Time With Your Passions

Spend More Time With Your Passions

November 21, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

"Blue is Beautiful"


Recently, I had someone tell me they didn't like birds {I know, can you imagine?} and they thought I should photograph more things.  Knowing this person, I'm assuming they meant "things", like people {babies, kids, families}.  But that's not where my passion lies.  And here's the way I see it -- when you spend time with what you're passionate about, you: smile more, laugh more, are kinder to those around you, and have a zest for life that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning jumping for joy.  When you spend the bulk of your time with something you're not passionate about, you:  dread getting up every day, snap at others, are tense a good bit of the time, and can't remember the last time you smiled.


Almost 2 years ago, I quit a part-time job I had which I was clearly not passionate about.  Leaving that job and its negative environment - I have to say - was the best decision I ever made.  I devoted myself to my own work full-time, and was thrilled at first.  As things progressed, I found myself sliding into the "doing what others say I should be doing" trap from time to time.  And I noticed something profound...when I spent time on those things which I was clearly not passionate about, I had those same feelings, attitude, and general demeanor I had just as if I were still working at that job I'd quit.  It wasn't until this year I realized just how important it is to focus on the things I'm passionate about within my field of work as well.


Photographing people is one of those things I'm just not passionate about.  I could do it -- I just don't want to.  Even if it means I could earn a better living by photographing people.  It's not what I want to do, and it leaves me with an "I don't like my job" feeling.  It didn't take me long to figure that out, and now I have no problem saying if it doesn't have fur or feathers, I'm not interested, but thanks.  I will happily refer them to someone I know who does "do people".  And I'll stick with my birds and animals, because they are something I'm truly passionate about.  :)


Another trap I fell into was thinking I had to spend my time doing many other things I'm not passionate about in relation to my work.  Having my work on a variety of websites is a good thing, but often you'll hear in order to be successful on those websites, you need to spend oodles of time working the systems of the various websites {specifically the liking/commenting/networking aspects} in order for your work to become popular enough to sell, and sell well.   I've spent 11 months now doing this on one specific website.  Not only am I not that passionate about it, but I find the reciprocation which is supposed to happen, doesn't happen much of the time.  


Somewhere along the line, there was a huge shift in the amount of time I spent on this compared to the amount of time I spent on producing new work.   I believe it was the fact I was spending 75% of my time doing these networking tasks, and only 25% of my time creating new work, that made me stop smiling.  Or maybe it was the fact 1/2 or more of the others participating didn't do their part which made me frown?  Let me tell you though, the real reason it's made me extra unhappy is the lack of increase in sales {in fact, on this website, sales have significantly decreased}.  The more I've done to network and share and like and comment {hoping to get the same in return, which I did sometimes, but nowhere near the amount I've put in}, the less my sales are from this particular website.  Therefore, I've made an executive decision {I'm the boss...I can do that!} to reverse my ratio of time.  I do not have to spend 75% of my time behind a desk doing what I consider administrative tasks.  What I do best is CREATE.  It's what I'm most passionate about.  Therefore, creating should take up 75% of my time.  Not the other way around.


I realize with every business, there are things one must do they don't really enjoy doing.  But those things don't have to take over, and they shouldn't be so overbearing that they take away from the joy of why you do what you do in the first place.  When they take over, the suck the passion out of the soul, and it's just not supposed to be that way.  


Speaking of something else I'm totally passionate about, I have something special to announce!  I'm spending more time painting my chalk textures, which up to this point, I've used exclusively in my own work.  I'd had so many requests from other artists and photographers for these textures, I've decided to offer them for sale to the public.  But that's not all...I've also decided to paint one new texture each and every day!  So I've started a new blog focused only on this project, and if you like these textures, you might be interested in visiting The Daily Texture.


I hope you, too, will spend more time with your passions in life and will find yourself smiling more each and every day!






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I am a photographic artist living in Tennessee, and I love to spend my days in nature capturing life's most serene and peaceful moments, whether it be in landscapes, watching birds and wildlife, or simply enjoying the beauty of a simple flower. I hope you enjoy my work, and that it will bring a moment of serenity into your day. --Jai Johnson 


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