Inspiration in All Places

Girls’ day out at the Frist


Irving Penn Exhibit Images Provided by The Frist Center for the Visual Arts | Photography by Life on Forty West

I absolutely love being a creative, but I get burned out a lot.  I have a tendency to be interested in a ton of things which keeps me all over the place a lot. When it comes to blogging and writing I know that’s where my heart is, but I tend to fall into writer’s block often.

If you’ve read my post I’m a Blogger But… then you know I struggle a lot with feeling the need to keep up and trying to create content similar to the people who I view as “making it”. Often it is hard for me to write because of the pressure I feel to look and write a certain way in order to be really taken seriously as a blogger and content creator. A lot of times I second-guess my ability. I also get in these ruts where I feel like I’m writing just to fill up space or meet a deadline, and that seriously takes the fun out of it for me.

For a while, I was out of energy and uninspired. I couldn’t think of blog posts, I didn’t feel like anything was important enough for me to share, and mentally I was burned out.

My inspiration has returned to me, however, after attending a Girls’ Day Out event hosted by Urbaanite.  This event was so many things for me because the more I get engaged with Nashville the more I realize the magnitude of its blogging community.   I’ve been really deliberate in my attempts to meet and mingle with as many bloggers as possibly and having this intimate experience with some of Nashville’s best African-American bloggers was a pinnacle of that.

Our event was hosted at the Frist Center for Visual Arts where we viewed the Irving Penn exhibit. This was my first time at the Frist and can I just say that it is beautiful. The architecture on the outside, as well as the inside, was marvelous. It really set the tone for the artwork.

Irving Penn is an American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still lifes. Penn’s career included work at Vogue magazine and independent advertising work for clients including Issey Miyake and Clinique.

The exhibit started out with these gorgeous photos from the magazines and each portion got a little deeper. Walking through I felt myself come alive. Being around other creatives and hearing about their projects is one thing, but being surrounded by these breathtaking pieces of art truly brought me back to life. Each portion of the exhibit spoke to me in its own individual way. Transitioning from rooms and seeing the photos go from avant-garde magazine images to random stills to stunning portraits really showed true creativity. His talent was way deeper than I imagined and he was more brilliant than I assumed.

Walking through this exhibit showed me that you can find inspiration all around you.  There were some beautiful photos of things like cigarette butts and cracked eggs that I just couldn’t take my eyes off. I would, if I could afford it, love to have these images hanging in my house. I kept looking at them and trying to figure out how he knew these seemingly unimportant things would create such a beautiful image. It inspired me to think about writing a little bit different and try to think outside of the content box I’d been stuck in. As a creative, I think sometimes we look at other people’s work and think that is the standard. Looking back I’ve realized that because of this it has taken me a long time to come out of that shell of expectations and truly create work that I love.  Irving Penn, I feel really grasped what it meant to have your own vision and saw the world in his own way.


Leaving the museum after the great conversation and reviewing the material really put me in a state of reevaluation. I’ve noticed that I spend so much time searching for inspiration and motivation that I forget to look in the places that are right in front of me. Sometimes I’m moving so fast that I only see things at the surface. I don’t allow myself to look at things from a different angle and find their beauty. But, in order for me to truly unleash my talent and make the art I want to be remembered for. I have to be free and aware.

A lot of people are turning to art this year to escape some of the awful things that are going on in the world right now, and if you’re one of them I think this is the perfect place. If you’re in Nashville I highly recommend that you check out the Irving Penn exhibit and honestly the Frist in general. The quality of the museum is amazing and they have a variety of exhibits that will bring you inspiration and knowledge.  Click the banner image below to unlock a special perk just for Tiff + Coco readers. blog art 6

Lifestyle blog- Nashville TN- TiffandCoco


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