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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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It felt like Spring today in New York City. It was beautiful!  I love Spring and Summer in the city because I get to spend time on the stoop Brooklyn-style with Alex.  He loves being outside and watching city life pass by.  I enjoy watching the kids run up and down the street and catching up with neighbors as they pass by.         

Sweet Alex - King of the Stoop

If you’d walked by today, however, you would not have found us out on the stoop.  I don’t really know what Alex did today…but it probably involved the couch, the window ledge and the bed with closed eyes.  I didn’t get to enjoy much of the great weather today either.  But, I’m not complaining!  I spent the day at the Arch Digest Home Show at Pier 94 in Manhattan.  I was hanging out with D. Bryant Archie of D. BRYANT ARCHIE T E X T I L E S.   Being surrounded by her passion and beautiful designs and the excitement of the show made for a really great day.  I’ll be at the show again tomorrow and will write more about it in an upcoming post.  But, I’ll say that it completely inspired me and I can’t wait to get my collection out!  Maybe next year you’ll see melissaAnne at the show!  Until then, we’ll continue the journey here and I’ll keep sharing my images and updates.    

We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.  ~ Ben Okri

I was in DUMBO a few weekends ago to meet a friend for lunch and talk about a book I’m working on.   Before lunch we took a little walk through the streets in search of a fence my camera and I had discovered a few weeks before.  I wasn’t done with it yet, knew there was more it wanted to give me.             

I started out walking down the street I had been on before, capturing some new perspectives of the colors and textures as I went.  Then, I turned the corner and discovered that this same fence continued on for another block.  Same fence, but a completely new perspective and color palette.  It was full of exciting possibilities.  I spent a lot of time with this new section of the fence.  I let it guide me and speak to me as my friend waiting patiently.  My camera was moving at all different angles and I was in the zone.  It was exhilarating!  My excitement increasing with every capture.  I couldn’t wait to get home, download the images and see what was there.   

Here are 3 of my favorite pictures from the “new” side of the wall.   

   

Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain

   

Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain

   

Urban Colors Collection © Melissa McClain

I love the blue and rust colors in these image.  The swirls give such movement and a sense of grace.  I like how each image is slightly different in direction and color, yet they evoke a similar feeling and energy.  I think I can see textile designs in these images.    

I was sending a sneak peek of these to a friend and put them into a collage for easy viewing.   This would really make a fun wall hanging as separate pieces or three prints in a collage frame.  

melissaAnne Urban Colors Collage In Blue

 

   

Moments of Inspiration  

I have been anticipating the Arch Digest Home Show all week!   There was so much inspiration there!  It was really amazing to see so many designers networking and helping each other make connections.  There were so many young, female designers from Brooklyn who are doing great things.  I’m looking forward to meeting more people tomorrow and sharing some of my experiences with you in a future post.     

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon          

Next post…I have no idea what the topic will be.  I guess I’ll be just as surprised as you!!  Until then…    

I’ll keep moving forward and I hope you will too!

 

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To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. ~Kofi Annan

 

I’m still searching for a production resource for melissaAnne. I never imagined it would be this challenging. I’ve researched online. I’m asking for references.  I’m meeting with different people.  I haven’t found “it” quite yet.  I met one  woman who I bonded with immediately. I left our first meeting completely inspired and feeling like I could sit in a studio with her all day and laugh and talk as we busily worked on creating designs for melissaAnne and collaborated about making a difference in the world. Unfortunately, her sewing experience didn’t quite match what I’m looking for. I’m holding her number though because I have a feeling there is a spot at melissaAnne for her energy, vitality, and warm heart.

I found another sewing contractor on Craigslist a few weeks ago and I was initially intrigued by the company’s story and why they went into business. It sounded like they had a great vision for supporting new designers. I was really inspired and excited to potentially work with a company that had a vision similar to mine.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel a connection during our first meeting. I’ve had some follow up communication with the company and it just doesn’t seem to be working for me. I’m not feeling the connection that is so important to me.

But, I’m torn.

I have high expectations. I know that. This is the beginning of my melissaAnne family. This is a relationship that will allow me to take one more step, a big step, towards fulfilling my dream and realizing my vision.  Shouldn’t it reflect who I am and what I stand for?  Shouldn’t it be part of my story of where I’m going and why I want to go there?

However, I’m really anxious to get my pillows produced so I can begin to share them with you. I’m ready to take the designs I see in my head every night and every morning and put them into your hands. Pillows that will bring color, energy, and inspiration into your home. Conversation pieces that evoke story and creativity in your mind.

I’m torn because I wonder if I should go with a resource I have some questions about just to get a tangible product started. Do I lower my expectations? Do I make some sacrifices in the beginning? 

Or, should I wait?

Wait for the resource that will meet or exceed my expectations. Wait for what feels right to me.  I’m sure it’s out there. Somewhere.

Will it make a difference in the final product? Will the energy and inspiration in your melissaAnne pillow be even stronger if I wait? Will the color be somehow more vibrant when you open your package?

What do you think? How do you want your pillow made?

Choose.  Or choose well.   To be continued…

 

Moments of Inspiration

I’m making this a regular part of my posts to give you some insight into what/who I get inspiration from or things I do to ensure the inspiration for melissaAnne keeps coming.

Women on Fire Retreat

I registered for the Women on Fire Retreat this week and I’m so excited that one of my best friends is coming with me! The Retreat is an “inspiration” present to myself. These amazing ladies from around the country regularly provide me with the energy and inspiration I need to continue my journey. I can’t wait to be in a room with them for 2 days! I’m also excited to hear Stedman Graham speak.

Interested in attending and getting some inspiration for your life and your dreams?  You can sign up here. I can’t wait to see you there!

 

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

In my next post, I’ll let you in on the process of picking my melissaAnne pillow collection images from the Water Colors and Urban Colors Collections and show you some new fabric swatches I’m considering for the first collection. I’ll also have a Moment of Inspiration for you. I’ve been holding onto this one. It’s colorful!!

 

I hope you have a dream and I hope you are following it!

  

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I’ll bring the melissaAnne journey to you!

 

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Welcome to Linger

Last night was the opening reception for my Featured Artist Exhibit at Linger Cafe in Brooklyn.  Six pieces from the melissaAnne Water Colors and Urban Colors Collection hung on the brick and black walls throughout Linger’s modern, soothing space nestled on Brooklyn’s bustling Atlantic Avenue.  Friends and strangers alike made it out in the alternating rain and snow to enjoy the event.   

New Friendships Emerge Under Urban Colors Prints

Pictured above: Louise Holmes of Brooklyn, NY and Nile Nickels of Tampa, FL develop a new friendship and engage in colorful conversation under melissaAnne Urban Colors. 

Here is your sneak peek inside Linger to see melissaAnne Photography on display along with special background information on the images. Don’t forget to stop by to truly experience them and “linger” over a little food and drink!  

  

melissaAnne Photography Water Colors 

Water Colors Golden Dusk

Water Colors Golden Dusk was taken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at a yacht club on Lake Michigan. I visited Milwaukee just a few months ago to see my best friend Nicki who, just a few months earlier, had a double lung transplant in her continued fight against Cystic Fibrosis. It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon and Nicki took me out for a Water Colors shoot. She graciously joined me on my hunt through the boat yard and the most exciting part for me was when Nicki started scouting pictures for me! Nicki really gets what is behind Water Colors and was seeing photo opportunities that most people don’t! Nicki is like a little sister to me so to have her relating so personally with my vision that she can now “see” it too was amazing and touching!  

Water Colors Sea Cave

Water Colors Sea Cave was taken in Lewisville, Texas during my family Christmas visit last year. The name came to me from the beautiful turquoise colors set against the beige. I saw a hidden sandstone cave with crystal blue water flowing through. Other people have seen skylines and statues in the image. What do you see?  

Water Colors Elegance

Water Colors Elegance is one of my favorite prints! When I look at this image I see a red high-heeled shoe gliding (or is it spinning?) across a red dance floor. It feels so alive and powerful, yet feminine…..elegant.  

 

melissaAnne Photography Urban Colors

I live in New York City and while there is a lot of water around us, boat yards are not always easy to find or get to. One day early this year I needed a “Water Colors fix” but didn’t have time to seek out a boatyard. I decided to go to one of my favorite photography neighborhoods in the city: DUMBO. The original desire for Water Colors (the colors, textures, patterns) made me see the elements of urban living in a whole new way. There are colors, textures and patterns all around us in things we normally just pass by or consider ugly. Urban Colors were discovered that day and depict things like graffiti, decay, and weathered structures in urban environments. 

Urban Colors Shine No 2

Urban Colors Shine No 2 is part of a series of images that remind me of stained glass windows and how the colors glow when the sun shines through. The images were taken from a very unique door frame in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You can see more of the Shine set of images at melissaAnne Gallery.  

Urban Colors No 5

Urban Colors No 5 was taken in DUMBO, Brooklyn on that first Urban Colors photography day. I love the vitality it exudes! The abstract shapes look like a scene from a modern dance performance. It makes me want to raise my arms and dance with joy!  

Urban Colors Flame

Urban Colors Flame is so full of color, shapes, and imagination! I named it Flame because it evokes a feeling of warmth and fire. I envision the black at the lower right corner as the tip of a match and the wonderful orange, yellow and blue colors bursting forth as the flame is ignited. This picture can light any room on fire! The image came from an old piece of equipment in a salvage yard.   

 

melissaAnne Designs

If you follow melissaAnne’s blog you know that my photography dream has expanded recently. My vision is to take melissaAnne Photography and expand the abstract images to my own textiles and product line. What better time to say YES to the dream than at my first solo photography exhibit opening reception? 

Surrounded by mA Designs Labor of Love

I spent the last week and a half learning how to sew piping and zippers so I could show my first melissaAnne Designs pillows! They were all made from test swatches so the upcoming designs will be bigger and better!  Jonathan Adler check these out!  Or maybe Kate Spade or Angela Adams

melissaAnne Designs Pillows Add Color and Texture

 

Gratitude and Miracles

I appreciate everyone who came out to Linger last night to help celebrate my birthday and opening reception! I had such fun with great friends!  The support from friends in attendance and those who sent me encouraging and inspiring messages all throughout the day was heart warming. I wouldn’t be here without all of you! Thank you!!! 

My Mary Tyler Moore Moment: "You're Gonna Make It Afterall"

Please stop by Linger Cafe between now and December 14th to see the Water Colors and Urban Colors images. I promise they will spark your imagination, provide a little color therapy, and lead to lots of conversation. I’ll be there next Sunday for Brunch with friends. Let me know if you plan to stop in, which is your favorite  print, and what you see!!  

Don’t give up before the miracle.  Your miracle is out there!
 
 
 

  

  

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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This week was incredibly special!  Not only was I preparing for my first solo art exhibit, but I attended a Woman on Fire tea party, and I was profiled as the “Woman On Fire Of the Week” by Debbie Phillips the Founder of Women on Fire.   Ever wonder how the melissaAnne Photography Water Colors Collection started?  Debbie is a strong mentor in my life so I gave her some insider information to share.  Get the never before revealed story of my Water Colors discovery by visiting Debbie’s blog and see the Water Colors image that started it all.  You won’t get this insider information anywhere else!  While you are there check out Debbie’s book, her mission to support and connect women, and read all about the tea parties she organizes.

Attending a Women on Fire Tea Party is like walking into a room filled with the gifts of compassionate, inspiring women.  For 3 hours they share their lives, their goals, their achievements, their struggles, sometimes tears, laughter, and most importantly their support and encouragement for each other.  It is a magical experience you just have to see for yourself!  You will come away with an indescribable feeling of inspiration.

Visit the Women on Fire website and sign up for the Spark Newsletter and receive a free copy of Debbie’s CD “The 7 Secrets”.  This CD helped me put the journey to my dream in over-drive!  It also gave me my new daily mantra:  “Don’t give up before the miracle.”   I’m not giving up and I’m getting closer every day!

Thank you Debbie for this touching honor!

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