“When I Was Told To Give Up On My Dream…”

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 11.28.32 AM

I am having a huge break through with my art career. Ace Hardware in Missoula, MT (the one next to Albertson’s) will be carrying my Greeting Cards. Thank you so much Wendy Moon for helping with this and making it happen. Words cannot express how thankful I am. This is the third store in Missoula carrying my cards. Here is a little bio on my photography past and how my dream was crushed in the beginning but in time was rejuvenated.

When I was a Freshman in High School I enlisted in a photography class and was in love with the dark room and doing a lot of abstract art – experimenting with double exposure and other things. I had a thought that maybe I could do this as a career. Well, at the end of the class my teacher gave me a C and said I had no composition and she didn’t like my abstract photography. She told me I shouldn’t take the next class and that I had no talent to be a photographer and should find something else to do. It really hurt because I did want to continue taking photography but she was the teacher. So, I put down the camera and went into Creative Writing.

I graduated from College with a Directing/Screenwriting degree but I was at a point in my life where I knew I didn’t want to live in Hollywood and so I moved back to Glenwood Springs, Colorado to aspire in writing the next “Chinatown.” I worked at various places after college and I found myself working at a Dog Kennel and volunteering for animal shelters. I became friends with someone that had a passion for photography and shortly after that I bought a film camera and began taking pictures of the dogs at the Dog Kennel for fun. I suddenly realized that my camera was always by my side. I then decided to embark on a road trip across the United States and to go wherever the road took me. I packed my dog and I in the car and started traveling, first stop Rosewell, New Mexico then across Texas into Tennessee, Kentucky and so on and so on. But this trip eventually brought me to Arkansas where I stayed for a long while and had the most amazing time with an Aunt that passed away not too long ago. The experience changed me and my Aunt’s words hit home. I was taking photographs of something and she said, “Why don’t you just do that, Bo? It makes you happy.” A part of me truly wanted to stay in Arkansas forever, mainly because of my Aunt. She was someone that I always felt so comfortable with and I had a huge connection with. However, I decided to embark back to Colorado and I decided I was going to be a Photographer.

Once I arrived home I opened the paper that week and in the ads was a Photographer Wanted position. I created a Portfolio and went to the interview nervously. I was hired because of my eagerness and willingness to learn. I started working with Digital Cameras for the first time in my life. I met Nick and he became a Mentor to me. Nick truly pushed me to improve, and I thank you for that. After a few years suddenly a friend and I had a photography business together. I read every book I could, practiced as much as I could, and basically was just thrown in the trenches to learn Photography. And suddenly I was a full time photographer again. I was offered a position at the Aspen Institute and became aware of the world and it’s non-sense. I didn’t even last a year in this world. I found our political leaders were truly full of crap and hypocritical. I was the Audio/Visual Technician and was doing sound for people like Bill Clinton, Wolf Blitzer, and worked along side Walter Isaacson when he came into town. The Aspen Institute is set up for World Leaders to come and discus policies, meet, and educate others on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. I quickly realized it was a joke and it was entirely based upon how much money they could collect. Last years sponsor for the Ideas Fest was Monsanto to give you an example. I was given the rare opportunity to meet and shadow Mahatma Gandhi a person I truly respect and I suddenly realized I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t meet this guy when I’ve fallen in the “Aspen” World of materialism and lies. I quit. From then on I fell into a downward spiral of attempting to find “something” or “someone” and when I hit, I hit hard. Life happens and somehow in the end it led me to Montana.

So, in these last few years I’ve been striving to get back to being a full time photographer. Never give up on your dreams even if someone tells you they’re wrong or no good. Strive to improve. Strive to endure. And strive to accomplish your goals. I truly believe the moment that destroys us is the moment we give up. Don’t give up on yourself. Have a big heart, a big dream, and a love for others and I believe everything else will fall together perfectly… eventually.   -Mariane Maynard