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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Color.

Inspiration.

5 days a week.

I wake up everyday thinking about the next day’s melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.  Where will I find the inspiration today?  Will it start with color?  Inspiring words?  I never quite know where the idea will come from.  And, maybe more importantly, when.  Will I get it early or will I be up at midnight still seeking the right inspiration for my readers.  Today, while eating breakfast I decided to catch up on the DVR and indulge in some guilty pleasure “design time” with The Nate Berkus Show.  I had a few episodes available (yes, I’m quite behind…), and chose the Ellen Pompeo “Gray” episode. 

Guilty:  I should be working…

Pleasure:  Forget work…OH!  That room!  Those grays!  That PILLOW!!

WAIT! WHAT?  Did he just say what I think he said? 

Rewind…BONUS:  Guilt gone.  I’m working!  Nate just gave me the inspiration for melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 81.

“Pink and gray, arguably one of the most beautiful design combinations on earth.”   ~Nate Berkus

  

Pink!  ………………….  Gray!  ………………….  Together! 

 

Approved and endorsed by Nate Berkus

Can this day GET any better?  I’m excited about the prevalence of gray in fashion and home this season.  I love gray, always have.  Not sure why really, but I do and I love it even more with pink.  To me the combination of gray and pink says strong and confident, yet soft and sensitive.   So, when I heard these beautiful words by Nate my mind immediately went to Water Colors Diva, part of the melissaAnne Colors Collection.  I knew immediately that it was the “color” for the next melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.

Water Colors Diva ©Melissa McClain

 

Every day, try and discover something that informs you, inspires you or makes your life better. You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.  ~Nate Berkus

Water Colors Diva inspired me to discover something new, and challenge myself to try something different.  When I downloaded and finished editing the original image I was excited by its great texture and colors.  The background was a great textured display of shades of gray.  The whimsical lines in pink gave it a feeling of feminine fun.  I knew the name had to be strong, yet feminine…thus Diva.  My next thought was “…bag.  I want a bag with this print”.  Not just any bag, I had an immediate vision of the bag I would someday carry in Diva.  It looked something like a Louis Vuitton Noé, the iconic  drawstring bag. 

Louis Vuitton Inspiring melissaAnne Colors Diva Handbag

The trim and  strap for my Diva bag would be leather in a complementary gray tone.  The drawstring would be made of  beautiful braided textiles in shades of pink and gray.  The bag would be functional, elegant, and unique. 

Then there was the inside.  If you know me and have ever shopped with me, you’ve heard my famous phrase (probably loudly, in the middle of a store, in an octave higher than my normal voice, that made you want to hide inside one of the racks…) “It has a hidden color palette!”  You know, that special surprise of colors or shapes (or both) on the inside of a bag or a coat.  A little something extra.  A surprise.  An unexpected gift, secretly hiding inside.  The final touch.  Like this amazing coat worn by Hillary Clinton.

Hillary's Hidden Color Palette

 
The inside fabric for my bag would be a beautiful satin in a brilliant pink, gray, and yellow geometric or stripe pattern that makes the inside of the bag as special as the outside (and hopefully creating loud outbursts from customers in retail stores and friends seeking cover). 

The vision led to the question, “Can I do that?”  Fast forward through research on custom textile printing, successful melissaAnne Colors Collection prints on fabric, prototype pillows, and a fabric bag made during  a sewing class last year…Sure, I can do that!  I can do anything I put my mind to. 

Watching Nate this morning, thinking of Diva, and remembering my bag vision brought back the inspiration and passion I get from textiles and designs and finding new and exciting ways to share the melissaAnne Colors Collections images with others. 

I’m putting my mind back to it!  Someday you’ll see me walking down the street with melissaAnne Colors Diva over my shoulder.  Or, maybe I’ll see you…

Thanks for the color…and inspiration, Nate!

Moments of Inspiration

Boats. There is just something about them.  Old ones.  New ones.  In the water.  Out of the water.  They inspire me, all of them.  So, I’m going to a boat show!  What better place to hang out and find inspiration!  If you are going to the Ft Lauderdale Boat show this weekend, stop by Ingham Engineering at booth 406/407 and see Water Colors Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  Leave your card and you could win the framed print!  Follow me at the new melissaAnne Colors on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.  Say hi if you’re at the show!

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The Making of a melissaAnne Water Colors Image

When I tell people that my photos are from the bottoms of boats it often results in funny looks and the following:  “THAT’S a bottom…of a BOAT?  How do you do that?”  If you are  part of my network of amazingly supportive friends, you fully understand the looks and the questions because you’ve shared my work and you’ve experienced the same reactions. Let’s face it, it’s weird.  It’s not quite “normal”.  Most people don’t spend their vacations in amazing places like St Maarten or Martha’s Vineyard climbing through weeds in boat yards taking photos.  They don’t drag their friends out to “bond” amid the dirt and cobwebs of boat “graveyards” and graffiti laden walls.  But, if you are among the few who have joined me in one of these adventures…well, you get it.  Sorta….

For the rest of you,  I’m about to give you some insight into those popular questions, “THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?”  and “How do you do that?” using one of my favorite melissaAnne Colors Water Colors images.

 December 29, 2008

I was in Texas visiting family for the holidays.  December 29th, my mom’s birthday and how did we celebrate it?  Driving aimlessly around Lake Lewisville searching for boat yards of course (yes, my mom is a saint).  I was still new to the melissaAnne Colors Water Colors process, this only the second time I’d gone on a boat yard mission.  We drove around most of the day, with me crawling around “the yards” looking for just the right boat, colors, angles, textures, patterns.  It’s about ALL of that!  We stopped at one marina with power boats and sailboats and I snapped away and wandered around for a while.  In the back, among the tall grass and weeds I discovered this. 

The bottom of a boat.....

This, in my world, is a goldmine!  I know, weird.  Those questions marks are floating over your head.  “This is a goldmine?” you’re saying.   Just wait…..

From this dirty old boat came this colorful but somewhat dull image.

© Melissa McClain

With a little photo software magic I brightened the colors (most Water Colors images are the original colors, simply enhanced) and got this.

©Melissa McClain

But it wasn’t done.  One of the things I love most about the melissaAnne Colors Collection is the versatility.  There was one more thing to do, rotate.  Before I finalize an image, I rotate it left, right, 180 degrees to find a story that speaks to me.  At 180 degrees, this one was done.  

 
 

© Melissa McClain

I immediately saw a shoe.  A red shoe.  A red HIGH HEEL shoe.  It said “woman”, “power”, “celebration”, and “confidence”.  I pictured an elegant evening of dancing in red high heel shoes. 

That’s where I stopped and it became Water Colors Elegance, a popular print among strong women!

Although, I didn’t truly stop there…see what else that boat gave us.

©Melissa McClain

 Water Colors Red No. 10

©Melissa McClain

  Water Colors Hope

 

THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?  Yes. 

 Final Water Colors  images shown above are available for purchase at melissaAnne Colors   

Moments of Inspiration

I attended Apartment Therapy Offline Meetup this week!  The guest speaker was rug and textile designer Madeline Weinrib.  Her designs are unique and beautiful.  I found her story truly inspiring and a reminder that it’s OK to be different, stay true to your vision, and follow your passion and you will realize your dream.  Thank you Madeline and Apartment Therapy!  You can also see Madeline’s designs at one of MY favorite places, ABC Home in NYC.  

 Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon  

 SIGN UP for the weekday melissaAnne Color and Inspiration e-mail.  Daily photos from the melissaAnne Colors Collection and inspiring quotes right in your inbox.  It’s free and it’s fun!

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Play has been man’s most useful preoccupation.  ~Frank Caplan

 

It’s 9:00 on Monday night as I’m starting this post.  I’m wondering:  Where did my day go?  Didn’t I just wake up?  Oh, right that was 5 am.  So, what exactly happened since then?  My day just wasted away…

Oh…wait…where is that message coming from?  Do you know what I did most of the day?  I worked on new Urban Colors images from Boston.  I “goofed off and played” is the message I sent myself most of the day.  Funny how that happens, those messages dominate.        

Newsflash to me…”Working on images is not considered play.”      

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.  ~Abraham Maslow

Thanks, Maslow.  I always did like you.  Must be that colorful pyramid you created.     

So since I spent yesterday at “purposeful play” I should share some of the frivolity with you.  We made it through Monday, after all.  I’m sure we can all use a little frivolity today.      

Come on, let’s COLOR!

These melissaAnne Urban Colors Collection images were captured around Boston a few weekends ago.  I REALLY like Boston and enjoyed walking around Newbury Street and taking in all the colors, architecture, fashion, and people.  I think I’ll visit again soon…   

Urban Colors Hue © Melissa McClain

    Soothe me with some BLUE!   

 
 

 

Urban Colors Opulence © Melissa McClain

 You’ll never guess what this was!  Pretty energetic, huh?  Are you awake now?  Ready to tackle the world?  I thought so!       

 

  

© Melissa McClain

  The sun is shining today…      

  

Urban Colors Meadow © Melissa McClain

 

…on the garden in my mind.  Full of Lavender. 

  

Urban Colors Tapestry No. 4 © Melissa McClain

    Boston’s Edgy Side     

 

Urban Colors Wildflower © Melissa McClain

      Wild Beauty.  I love the BOLD color!  A door, just a random door in Boston.  Beauty is everywhere, you just have to look.  

 

So, I think I’ll “play” some more today.  Maybe I will put a few of these new images up on my website.  Maybe I’ll create a gallery for a new series I’m calling Reflection Colors.  You know, just “goof off”, with purpose of course.

Do you have messages?  Are you listening to them?  Are they holding you back?        

  

Moments of Inspiration

I have a special inspiration update today.  I am launching a daily inspiration newsletter soon with images, quotes, things to think about, and steps to take to reach your dream.  All you need to do is go over to my website, click on the newsletter tab and sign up.  It’s that easy!  Really!!  What are you waiting for?  Go!  Let’s get inspired.  

       

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

        

 Enter your email address above to get my blog delivered straight to  your emails. 

Blog subscribers get the updates first!  Don’t you want to be in the know?

  

      

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I’ve been sitting here for over an hour trying to write “something for the blog”.  Putting pressure on myself to say something really inspiring, or meaningful, or moving.  Attempting to craft a message out of the last 3 weeks of my life.  Three weeks full of big change.  

Slow down.  What you’re chasing may be trying to catch you.  ~Noah benShea

I read old emails and reviewed quotes, trying to recreate the weeks.  It didn’t work.  I had no clue what to write.  I was about to give up and walk away, until one of my “angels” appeared with a message.  A reminder.  It seems simple, the basis of the last 3 weeks, but we all know it is sometimes one of the most complicated things in life.  Belief.   

“You add something to the mix called life that only you can add.  Honor that.  Honor you.”  ~Angela Bear

I believed in myself, in that “something” I can add to life.  I honored my gift and I took a stand for me and my passion.  It started three weeks ago on a Sunday night when I somewhat randomly changed my Facebook profile and became a “photographer” instead of an “emerging photographer”.  It ended on Friday when I left my full-time job to focus on my photography and designs.      

I stepped beyond my comfort zone.     

I don’t mind telling you that part of me is really scared.  But, I don’t regret the decision.  Not for a minute.   

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new…for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. ~Alan Cohen

Before I knew it, a new kind of Monday morning arrived.  What should one do when they make a major life change like this?  Hide under the covers?  Crawl into a corner and cry?  Buy lots of lottery tickets?   

No WAY!   

I accepted support from friends who reached out and who believe in me.
I went to a trade show, met new people, and was completely inspired by artists and designers!
I took trips to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard with friends…and my camera.
I went to two Women On Fire Tea Parties and felt the passion, inspiration, and support of amazing women who validated my dream and my decision.
OK…yes…I bought a few lottery tickets…hey, you never know.
And, maybe a FEW times I hid under the covers. But, I didn’t stay long. It’s too hot to stay covered up and there are too many colors and photo ops in the world to hide away for long.   

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth.  Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again & again.  ~A.Maslow

So, what’s next?  Keep working the plan.  Take every opportunity that comes my way.  Learn to say “yes”.  A lot!  Learn to say “help”.  Surround myself with positive, supportive, inspiring people who believe in me and encourage my dreams.  Give others the same support and inspiration I’m receiving and share in the joys of their passions and dreams.  Keep gratitude in my heart.  Keep believing in myself.  Be kind and take care of me (I think these last two are the most important lessons I can learn now).   

I am living life.  I am maintaining focus on my goal and my dream and I am not going it alone.  I am following the path that makes me happy.  I won the most important lottery, I am living into the life I want and discovering who I am.  

Have you made a big change or are you thinking about one?  Do you need support?  I’m here.  I believe in you.   

I was once afraid of people saying “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.” ~Oprah Winfrey

I am a photographer.  My Facebook profile says so, therefore it must be true.  

Maybe I should share a few photos?  That would make sense right?  I am a photographer.  

Here are a few of my favorites from Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.    

Studio Colors - Boston - Sean Boyce Studio ©Melissa McClain

Menemsha Sunset - Martha's Vineyard ©Melissa McClain

Owen Park Sunrise - Martha's Vineyard ©Melissa McClain

“There are angels all around you, and there is great care and love in this world for you.” ~Anonymous

I want to send out special thanks to my “angels”.  All of you have had an impact in validating and supporting my dreams and my passion.  Thank you for believing in me!  I am forever grateful and I hope that I can pay forward the love and care that I have received from you.   

Moments of Inspiration

Color…Color…Color!  I love color!  I was so inspired by my recent trips to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.  The colors in the city and the colors on the Vineyard energized me.  Special thanks to Sean Boyce for letting me “run free” in his studio and capture the amazing colors and textures of his passion, painting.  I was so excited to visit Alison Shaw’s gallery while on Martha’s Vineyard.  She is an amazing photographer who captures colors and shapes in magical ways.   

I received an amazing gift of inspirational t-shirts from Devotion Clothing Co. I’ve worn them all weekend and can feel the words and inspiration. Check them out and put your inspiration on!   

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Oh…I almost forgot…In the middle of all THAT, I ordered and received my first melissaAnne silk pillow samples!  That is a WHOLE other post for ANOTHER day.  Hey, I gotta create a little drama here…afterall, there’s not much going on in my life these days…   

Come Color With Me!

 

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I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I gave the blog some love!  Where has the time gone?  I’m sure everyone has been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see what’s coming next.   You are on the edge of your seat, right?  

A few weeks ago I travelled to Chicago to attend the Women On Fire Retreat at the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Lakefront.  I was so excited to attend the event and to sponsor a gift to all the attendees!  This is by far the best group I have ever belonged to (OK…I don’t belong to a lot of groups, but there’s NO WAY any could be better)!    

Hotel Floors - ©Melissa McClain

My 3-day weekend in Chicago was amazing.  I had a room full of amazing ladies (4 of us sharing a room, just like the old college Spring Break days) and we stayed up late into the night enjoying girl talk, eating deep dish pizza, and bonding like only women can.  

Chicago Deep Dish Delight

 

“When you really have the fire you don’t have to tell anybody”  ~Stedman Graham

During the Retreat I was surrounded by more than 60 inspiring , passionate, and compassionate “Women On Fire”.  Women of all ages who were there to join each other in living full lives, supporting dreams, inspiring each other, and creating bonds.  It was incredible!  The Retreat kicked off with a keynote address from Stedman Graham who will no longer be “Oprah’s man” in my mind.  I now know him as a quiet, yet powerful and energizing force whose words inspire and captivate a room and who wears his heart proudly on his sleeve.  Oh, and I also know him as “The Sted-man”, my new little nickname for him.  I hope he doesn’t mind…  

Surrounded by Debbie Phillips, Founder of Women on Fire and Stedman Graham

 

“I rely on my support system.  If I didn’t have this web of wonderment around me, if I didn’t have support and utilize support, I’d be nowhere.” ~Holly Getty – Style Consultant

 There were so many other guest speakers during the event who touched me and changed the way I think about life, dreams, and passion.  I learned about discovering and following your passion from the beautiful Laurie Forster.  Laurie is The Wine Coach and we were treated to a fabulous wine tasting during the Retreat!  I was touched and inspired by Kacy Cook’s passion for writing and her children’s book Nuts.  I got to know one of my weekend “roomies”, Jamie Eslinger, better and hear her amazing story of strength and survival.   I laughed and cried as Janette Barber closed the event on Saturday with the powerful story of her life and her determination.  Janette is the funniest person I know and her humor this weekend was full of beauty, inspirations, and lessons that I didn’t even realize I needed to learn.  She touched me deeply and I am so grateful for her.  Please visit her Max Mouth website and watch the videos.  You will laugh a little, cry a little, and be touched deeply by her passion to help some amazing kids.   

We were a gathering of softness and strength, all standing together and ready to bloom brightly in this world! Photo ©Melissa McClain

Special thanks to Debbie Phillips, the founder of Women On Fire, for creating such an amazing organization of women with like minds and, more importantly, like hearts.  In the words of Debbie, “I’ve found my peeps.”  Thank you fellow “women on fire” for a wonderful, connecting weekend and the amazing friendships that have begun or grown.  You INSPIRE me!    

Chicago Urban Color ©Melissa McClain

I am energized and my passion is re-ignited.  I am inspired even more to keep moving towards my dream!  Since returning, I’ve been hard at work.  I designed a new product line based on feedback from the melissaAnne Inspire Cards I created as a gift for Retreat attendees and I expect to get samples in a few weeks.   

This week I found a manufacturer to print and sew my first line of pillows!  I think it’s finally happening.  I am beyond excited and can’t wait to see the first melissaAnne Home Collection pillows with images from my Water Colors and Urban Colors photography printed on silk and linen!  I promise to update you in early June after I have pictures taken in a very special place.  Get ready for some COLOR!  

   

Moments of Inspiration 

Yes, there is still MORE inspiration to share. 

 I have a really fun morning routine that makes my morning subway commute a little more inspiring.  Included in that routine is a daily email from Inspire Me Today.  It always gets my day started in a positive and reflective way and it’s amazing how often the message feels like it was meant for me!  Check out the website and if you need a little daily inspiration, sign up for the emails.  

 

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Special thanks to Richie Frieman and welcome to visitors who found my blog from my artist feature in Pens Eye View on Friday and Saturday.  Richie has big dreams and is determined to make them happen for himself and others!  Thanks Richie for supporting and inspiring so many!  

Thank you for being a part of my journey.  Together we can reach our dreams and make the world a better place.       

I believe in us.  I hope you do, too!      

 

Enjoy some COLOR!   

   

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I’ll bring the melissaAnne journey to you!      

 

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We’re still covered in snow here in NYC and we’re all trying to navigate the ice, snow, and slush obstacle course at every step.  Hurry Spring!!!     

Since I’m dreaming of “warmer times”, I thought I’d share some more pictures from my trip to Florida earlier this month.  Oh how I long for my flip-flops!  If you’re in this snowy, cold weather with me I hope you enjoy the reminder of warmer days to come.  If you’re not…well, can you invite me to come visit!?!?     

Fan Abstract © Melissa McClain

Giraffe Tree © Melissa McClain

Trunk Texture © Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

I think I see a future pillow from the image above.  What do you think?     

If you’ve read my blog before or you are familiar with my Water Colors and Urban Colors photography collections, you know I like color, abstract images, shapes, and texture.  These next photos give all that, but are completely different.  I took them at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.  Can you guess what they are?     

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

The amazing red and pink colors are a variety of lichen.  The railings and trees were full of it!  I had fun trying to figure out how to capture it.  I think I’ll try it again….next time.      

The boardwalk through Corkscrew has lots more to offer.  The angles, shadows and towering trees begged me for black and white treatment.  I gave in.  Glad I did!     

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

 

© Melissa McClain

I loved being at the beach and experiencing the beautiful sunsets.  Here’s a few shots from Barefoot Beach my last night in town.      

© Melissa McClain

Together But Apart © Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

      

© Melissa McClain
I could not believe how pink the sunset was and how beautifully the color reflected in the water.  I was really excited about this last photo.  After seeing it, one of my friends asked me if I was related to Monet.  Pretty sure I’m not, but maybe I’ll name it Barefoot Monet.  It reminds me of a rich, silk fabric.  Soft, silky, and luxurious.
 
 
 My distinguished friend Tom and I hope you enjoyed my warm memories.  If you get a chance to visit Barefoot Beach keep your eye out for him and don’t forget to check under your car!

"Tom" © Melissa McClain

 

      

 

    

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I spent last weekend in Naples, Florida. I packed my swimsuit, short sleeves, and flip-flops and headed south. The weather was balmy, a big change from the Winter weather back home in NYC.    

© Melissa McClain - A restful day at Barefoot Beach....barefoot and feeling free and inspired!

© Melissa McClain - Barefoot Beach Friend

© Melissa McClain - Ding Darling Delights

 It was a vacation from the cold, and a whole lot more. It was my second Group Vision Day with executive coaches Debbie Phillips and Rob Berkley. I met Debbie almost a year ago when I attended my first Women on Fire Tea Party in NYC. Within minutes I was struck by how genuine and warm she was and over the last year my respect and admiration for her has grown as I’ve seen the work she does to support women and their dreams. I met her business partner and husband Rob Berkley in September when I attended my first Group Vision Day Martha’s Vineyard. (Check out my posts about my first vision day and Martha’s Vineyard!  I LOVE me some MV!!)  I was just as impressed with the kindness and compassion Rob gives to all around him.  Together these two are on a mission and are doing an amazing job to make their difference in the world.  The last 5 months of my life are proof of that.  I couldn’t be more thankful for their guidance and support in the pursuit of my dream!      

© Melissa McClain - Rob took us all on a sunset photo shoot after Group Vision Day. This is one of my favorite shots. I felt as golden as the surf.

© Melissa McClain - Delnor Wiggins State Park

© Melissa McClain - Delnor Wiggins State Park

I went into my first Group Vision Day in September feeling lost and uncertain about where my life was going.  I was struggling against a transition I wanted in my heart but was resisting in my head.  I felt like I had lost direction and my self-confidence was completely shot!  Fast forward to the end of that first Group Vision Day and I was connected to my soul and purpose like I had never felt before!  By the end of December I had accomplished one of my 3 major goals (a solo art show) and was well on my way to another (launching melissaAnne textile products). I was motivated. I was energized. I had the support and inspiration left by Debbie, Rob and the other Group Vision Day participants as well as my support network to carry me through.   

I decided to attend a second Group Vision Day this month.  That vision I crafted in Martha’s Vineyard, the certainty and desire that still burns inside, wanted more.  I was ready for new goals and bold new steps.  But could this Vision Day deliver in the same way?   

© Melissa McClain - The Sky's the Limit: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

You bet!! It was another amazing experience, yet different from the first one because I was different. I’d spent 5 months working on my vision and taking action almost every day towards my dream.  I had grown as a person and had a new outlook and new priorities.  I believed this was a chance to take my vision to a new level.  And, it delivered!  On the second day, the vision moved beyond me and I shared my complete vision for melissaAnne for the first time.   I was ready.  It was exhilarating!  It feels even more real now that the amazing group of people in that room allowed me to fully share my dream.    They became part of this journey and I couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring and compassionate group to be a part of.  Each of them had a big impact on my Vision weekend and on me.

So what is the vision?  I’m so glad you asked!   

My vision centers around melissaAnne , a home decor line from my abstract photography.  A line that will begin with custom textiles made into colorful pillows.  melissaAnne will share the energy of color and the inspiration of creativity with others.  But there’s more.  Much more.  There is an important purpose behind melissaAnne, one that goes beyond my creations.  One that inspires and empowers.  I was really inspired in December by an article on Kate Spade’s relationship with the organization Women for Women International.  I hope to some day work with organizations like this to help make a difference in the lives of women, families, and communities through production of the melissaAnne line.  I want the people who help to create and share my dream of melissaAnne to be supported and encouraged to grow and expand, empowered to take care of their families and give back to their communities, and encouraged to create their own dreams and follow them.     

    

A post-vision day melissaAnne Photography Urban Colors Collection photo day in DUMBO Brooklyn for new pillow design inspiration   

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

  

It’s a perfect vision, for me.  I get to do what I love; take pictures and share them with the world.  Build new relationships.  Empower and inspire.  Make a difference in the world.   

It’s a big vision.  It’s a big dream.  I plan to have a big life.  And, I won’t give up.  I can’t give up.  You see it’s not just about me any more.  It’s about the people I’ve met along the way and those still to come.  It’s about the difference I want to make in the lives of others.  It’s about a purpose.   

   

    

If I give up I’ll never know whose life I might change.  Or whose life might change mine.    

I’m grateful for this opportunity.  But before I get too far beyond my Group Vision Day weekend, I’m taking another big step.  A process in this journey to my vision and to the life I have planned.  Something I need to do to be the best me I can be and live the biggest life I can lead; a life with no fear and no regrets.  I’m giving thanks to someone I haven’t shown gratitude to in a long time.  Deep appreciation for the gifts I’ve been given:  A passion for photography.  A passion for a simple boat.  For the language that is created when my camera and a boat intersect.  The flutter it leaves in my heart and an opportunity to carry that passion forward and do something good in this world.    

    

melissaAnne Photography Water Colors Collection Boat Photography   

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

    

A passion I recently discovered came from my father.  Thank you for giving me a gift that connects me to the world, allows me to build special relationships and touch others, and ultimately makes me who I am.   

    

Who I Am (Photo by Rob Berkley)

 

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