Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Open Minds Will Open Doors

First and foremost, can I share how crazy it has made me that I have been so caught up in work, traveling for work and being in a place that has had very spotty Wifi service leaving me unable to blog for you? Okay... well... I just shared, so I hope it was okay. Now, I will also share that I have had this blog post trapped in my head for nearly a week and THAT has made me even more crazy because I normally dump this stuff out so I don't forget my thoughts.  However when I saw that I was challenged with getting it written and posted, I faced that challenge head on, jotted some notes down, and in the past several days as life has happened, I have been able to take in some additions to what I will be sharing with you today.... see? everything DOES happen for a reason!

Okay... rewind to last Friday (Sept 30th) I had an experience that I would like to share that proves a few things that I always say. 1: Everything happens on purpose 2: One thing leads to another and 3: Open minds will open doors... almost always. So here's the story... a few weeks back, a photographer friend of mine called me up and asked if I was available on the evening of the 30th (7-9) to do Zombie makeup for a small video commercial production for a local brewery. It happened to be the same brewery that I had worked on another project for with him several months before which although unpaid was a lot of fun and my work ended up on one of their beer labels... (which I thought was pretty cool and no, I don't drink beer.) I asked some more details like how many Zombies... etc. and then he shared that the budget for the project was $100. I figured... $100 bucks for two hours... something fun and different with a client that already had seen and liked my work... and decided sure, I will nurture this relationship, so I accepted the offer.

I showed up on set and met a lot of really cool people, I was able to actually meet the brewery owners for the first time in person, chat with the "zombies" and in two and a half hours I created 7 walking dead looks, complete with blood, scars, open wounds and the look of death... (it totally grossed me out, HA!) Just before I began to pack up, the owner walked over and told me how happy she was, how much she appreciated the extra time I took to really deliver and well... that in itself made it worth my time. I continued to pack up and as she slipped the check into my purse she said that she "added a little extra". I said thank you... expressing my appreciation for her appreciation and continued cleaning my brushes and packing.  A few moments went by and one of the "zombies" that I did not create (there were a few who were asked to do their own makeup) walked in to give me kudos on a job well done and asks me if I teach. I smiled and said actually, yes, I do why? He proceeds to say that he works for the Art Institute of Tampa and would love for me to come and teach some workshops for them on theatrical/ zombie makeup. I was thrilled and had to smile knowing that this was simply another facet to the amazing journey that I have been on since I truly opened my mind to what I can do for others to help THEM get what they want. (side note... I had never really done Zombie makeup before that night.) We exchanged cards and I am looking forward to this awesome opportunity and as with anything, I will give it MORE than I have and then some.

When I left, I left with an amazing feeling and the "zombies" actually clapped for me on the way out. (Which was SO creepy weird) but it felt really good to be appreciated. As I shuffled for my keys the check the owner wrote fell out of my purse and when I looked down I realized the "little extra" she gave me was double the rate she had quoted. Once again, I had made a wise choice to go outside the "norm" and take the job that most people would have turned down, which is exactly how I have built my career.

My reason for sharing this story is because so many freelance artists/photographers get so hung up on "what they are worth" and refuse to ever work for any less that they miss amazing opportunities. ( I was one of them once upon a time) I have found in my own career that when I keep an open mind bigger doors always seem to open, so I encourage you to stop closing doors that could lead you right to the very door that will help you reach your dreams. I remember years ago attending a motivational conference hearing the phrase... "When you help others achieve THEIR dreams your dreams will also come true." That resonated so strongly with me and it truly changed my path. We must simply "get over ourselves" long enough to see the beauty in helping others and truly caring about doing something that may help them feel important or help them live out THEIR purpose before we can truly live ours. It's a valuable lesson that I leaned that day and when I did, it was not only career changing, it was LIFE changing.

Each year when I work with the world's top photography instructors at Photoshop World, as I sat in the keynote sessions at The Makeup Show last week in Orlando, and as I sit this week in the classrooms here at The Artist Summit  in Provincetown, Massachusetts listening to my amazing peers, the one thing they all have in common is this trait and I feel so fortunate to finally get what they mean and be able to connect with them when those words leave their lips. "It's NOT about you... it is about what you can do to change the lives of others in a positive way that will truly make the difference. That my friends... is the most amazing feeling in the world.

 Enjoy your week... I will be back to write on Friday! :)

XOXO
~Shells~

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