Magic Wand, Anyone?

Fairy in Light II

Fairy in Pink Light © 2011 Bo Mackison

Being in a place of uncertainty and edginess can be transformative. Stay with those feelings, even for a moment, it is actually a genuine act of kindness to ourselves. Though being compassionate enough to accomodate our own fears takes courage and feels counter-intuitive.  ~ Pema Chodron, from The Places that Scare You

The week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day has become less of a resting space (as I had envisioned in my fantasies) and more of a deep-breathing-keep-calm-and-keep-moving-forward space. As the above quote states so very clearly, “being in a place of uncertainty and edginess can be transformative.”

Transformation sounds good. I decided to work on some organization during this less hectic time and made progress. I worked on the new timeline on Facebook, and surprisingly, I like the new feature. I’m not an advocate of most of Facebook’s improvements, but this seems to make things more orderly instead of more confusing. I spruced up my Seeded Earth business account on Facebook while I was there. Good.

Then I cleaned up my Twitter account. Removed dead accounts, added some exciting new ones to match some of my developing interests. Changed the background while I was changing everything else. Good.

Anticipating the change from 2011 to 2012, I made new photo sets in Flickr for the 2012 calendar year, moved older sets to a less visible place. Cleaned up some misfiled photographs and added tags to a few forgotten photos. Flickr is one of my most viable vehicles for new business, and so I keep my finished photos up to date. Each photograph is in an easy-to-find organized set. Good.

Late yesterday I opened my folder for art festival applications and took a deep breath. New rules. New definitions of digital vs. photographic art. Changed and now conflicting show dates. Show information that requires corrections and back and forth, back and forth emails. I started in on the paperwork.

Almost immediately I hit a brick wall. I must pick 3 to 5 photographs of my art to submit with the written applications. The photos are the primary source for the jury to judge the hundreds or even thousands of applications.  Those few photographs need to capture the essence of my art, and are ultimately the deciding factor whether I get an invitation to the shows this summer or I am told “sorry, please apply again next year”.

Of course, my inner critic needed to speak up. “What if the only jury liked last year’s photography?” “What if they don’t like the newer photos?” “What if there is too much digital manipulation?” “What if the jurors collectively despise the color red and two of the chosen photos feature red?”

Hmm. It’s like a game. I have to choose the application photos, and then be done with it. Once the apps are out the door, the decisions are out of my hands. Good.

But I’d thought the pressure and the to-do list was going to lighten this week, and that didn’t happen.

I console myself with the fact that I am doing what I love — taking photographs, creating art, showing it at festivals, talking to art enthusiasts about my techniques, adding new collectors. All jobs, including the work of artists, have the fun parts and the not so fun parts. So it’s time to pick out those photographs and get those applications off my to-do list. Summer will be here before I know it!

p.s. In the post I linked to my Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts. If you want to connect via Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr, feel free to follow any (or all) of the links. Thanks.


Bo Mackison is a photographer, owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is in super-organizer mode during this short work week, and nothing — not even dreaded paperwork — will slow her down!

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I find the photo to be a bit mystical and etherial.

  2. Joanna Paterson says:

    Sometimes I find the creative life unutterably exhausting. Thankfully, there are faeries around, bearing magic wands. I love this one 🙂

  3. I would love to have a fairy around 🙂 Beautiful image.

  4. Your week is sounding much like mine. With great intention – I’ve spent much of it re-grouping..looking back and looking forwards…and cleansing and clearing and re-organizing. Good luck with the juried applications. I’m sure you’ll do well!!! And – best wishes for a happy and creative new year!

  5. Oh – did I mention that I just love the magical image?? I do!

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