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Lay It on the Line

I know I am not alone when I say that 2020 has not exactly gone according to plan.

If things had followed my original plans from only six months ago, I would have just published the fourth issue in my bi-monthly magazine series, my YouTube channel would have dozens of videos by now, this website would be filled with new content, and I would still be posting new photos on Patreon.  Instead, more than halfway through the year, my magazine is on hold indefinitely, I still only have one video on YouTube, I just unpublished all the existing content on OkamiArts.com, and at the end of this month I’ll be deleting my page on Patreon.

And yet, despite all of this, I am not only grateful for what has happened so far this year, but more excited than ever for what lies ahead!

At the beginning of this year, my goal was to start travelling around the country, spending a few weeks or even months at a time in different cities to photograph local models there.  I’ve always loved to travel and the idea of spending a year on the road seemed perfect to me.  I came to Houston, Texas first, started working with some fantastic models shortly after arriving, and everything seemed to be falling into place.  Then the pandemic arrived.  And everything came to a grinding halt.

Of course, I tried to continue working as much as I could.  I even made a trip back to Colorado in the spring to collaborate with some lovely models I had connected with last year to shoot new content.  But after I came back to Houston again, I soon realized that my goals were going to have to change.  So, I ended up taking the last couple of months off from social media and publishing my photography online to take a hard look at what I really want to accomplish with Ōkami Arts.

During this time of introspection, I have learned a number of things.  The most obvious lesson has been to reaffirm that the entire purpose of Ōkami Arts is to enable me to create and share my art.  The most difficult lesson has been to acknowledge that there is only so much I can do as one person working on my own.  And the most intimidating lesson has been that I need to start opening myself up more as an artist.

But the most important lesson of all has been that I simply have to keep creating.  No matter what.  Sure, there have been obstacles and setbacks this year that crushed my spirit, but there have also been people and opportunities that set my creativity soaring.  And in the end I find that I am actually in a better position now than I would have been if all of my original plans had worked out.  Everything does happen for a reason.

So, a lot will be happening over the next few weeks.  I’m going to be making changes to how I publish my photography on OkamiArts.com.  Instead of publishing a monthly magazine, I will be starting a new digital ebook series.  (More on that soon.)  Patreon will be going away this month, to be replaced with other ways for fans to support my art.  I will also be expanding the types of content I share online, starting with this blog.  Way of the Camera will be the place where I give updates on my ongoing projects and talk more about my approach to photography.  I’d like to share more details about how I shoot and edit my photos, what goes on behind the scenes at a photo shoot, and what inspires me as an artist.

I’ll also be posting a lot of new content on social media, so be sure to follow me on Twitter: @okami_arts_, on Instagram: @okami_arts_, and on YouTube.

And check back here on OkamiArts.com often because I’ve got a ton of amazing content to share with you!