There’s a thriving music and poetry scene in my former city of Calgary. So I was excited back in 2010 when my friend Laurie Fuhr asked me to photograph Poetry Island, part of the multifarious Sled Island Music & Arts Festival.
When Christine Owman took the stage, I was entranced. After the show, I got up the nerve to ask her if she’d be interested in a photo shoot. She graciously said yes. The following day, we met on 17th Ave and she was so collaborative and easy going, two hours passed by effortlessly. It was an invigorating experience and I felt a twinge of sadness when we parted ways. I happily shared the experience on Texture magazine.
We kept in touch via email and I was thrilled when she sent me a copy of her CD. As she was preparing to do a show at the Living Room in New York City, she remembered I spent some time on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn and asked if I knew anyone she should meet. I immediately thought of Melanie Jones, a creative force I’ve been smitten with from the first time I interviewed her for FFWD weekly.
Turns out, Christine and Melanie hit it off over beers. Of course they did. It wasn’t long before they started working together. Melanie’s one woman show Endure was in need of music and Christine’s exquisite cello was the perfect fit. Over the course of the next few months, things fell into place and Melanie traveled to Sweden where they created a memorable soundtrack.
I love telling this story. Not only did an introduction lead to artmaking, but it brought two women together and helped each of them further their craft. It’s a stellar example of what can happen when possibility is the focus, rather than fear of failure or pesky geography.
It’s something I’m striving to unleash with this blog. It’s easy for me to think there’s already so many compelling stories online and sink into paralyzing futility. I’ll admit whenever I click on the Reader page, I get a bad case of comparative spiralling. Really, I just need to get to work instead of focusing on what I haven’t done (yet). Right now, the way I’m sparking my creativity is through telling the stories of people that have empowered and motivated me. Christine, Laurie, and Melanie have each nourished me in surprising ways and I’m better for having met them.
This is also my way of attempting to manifest some more connections through this blog. I’m keen to speak with other creatives that are looking to bolster and inspire each other. To collide creatively, so to speak. So if you’re out there and looking for creative sparks, please drop me a line.