We had the good fortune of connecting with Sharon Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sharon, do you have a budget?
I think of myself as a minimalist. Applying minimalist concepts to financial planning has always been of interest to me. I believe that some of the necessary steps to financial freedom are downsizing, becoming organized, and living below my means. I do not follow a budget since budgeting seems to come naturally for me. As an artist, I have chosen to keep my personal art separate from my commercial work. Using my “artistic eye” I have engaged in freelance work as a photo retoucher and in the process of buying and renovating houses. Money earned has certainly put me on a good financial path, but at some point, baring any unforeseen circumstances, I felt that my money needed to start working for me. I have been accomplishing this through various investments and financial planning. Reaping the benefits of my financial plan, and the freedom that it has brought, has enabled me to live the artistic life that I have envisioned for myself without worry.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a pinhole photographer who is in search of capturing the imagination. I like to think that my photographs create a cinematic or “happened upon the scene” feel. A world that is a bit eccentric and odd attracts me. I concentrate on the relationship between humans and inanimate objects, weaving their connection into a surreal environment. Pinhole Photography is my world within my world. One of the most important lessons I have learned from this art form is not to assume. I may assume that a shoot was not successful only to discover that there were indeed numerous keepers. Assuming an image will look a certain way and discovering that it looks nothing like what I had anticipated can be eye opening. I try to bring this awareness into my everyday life as I catch myself “assuming”. First and foremost, making art is my way of relating to the world. At some point though, and especially after I’ve lived with a piece for a while, I do feel the need to communicate my ideas and to share my art. Sharing my work is not always comfortable, but for me, it is necessary. I am grateful to live during a time when there are so many ways this can be accomplished . Entering exhibits, keeping a blog, website, and social media platforms all help to make my work accessible for viewing and purchase. Upon invitation to lecture I need to remind myself that the participants want to hear what I have to say. I try to over ride my public speaking anxiety knowing that I will be very disappointed in myself if I let this fear rule me. Speaking about this art form is such a joy. Although the practice of Pinhole Photography can be long and labor intense the gift of a great pinhole photograph is certainly worth it. This medium is where my imagination has met it’s match.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have found that living in New Jersey can offer interesting week long jaunts in pretty much any direction. I have chosen to head north to the Catskill region of New York state. A stop in New York City for a bite to eat and a bike ride along the Hudson would be in order. My friend and I would then continue to the Catskills to explore the beautiful mountain ranges of New Paltz and the quaint towns of Rosendale and High Falls. Bike riding along the rail trail and across the recently restored trestle in Rosendale is always a favorite activity of mine. We will plan to visit animal sanctuaries, to go antiquing, and a visit to Mohonk Mountain House. Opus 40, a large environmental sculpture located in the town of Saugerties is a definite highlight. The town of Woodstock with it’s peace sign/ tie-dyed culture is truly a gem. Lovely evenings will be spent sitting around a fire while listening for owls and coyotes. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Bill Harris, for the many times he has chauffeured me around scouting out locations, finding locations, finding models, and offering his honest opinion as to whether or not the image in question is my best work. I am grateful to my children Crystal, Kara, and Nate for their good sport modeling and prop making. My friend Jim for introducing me to pinhole photography. My beautiful friends Cathy, Hope, and Jamie for remaining my constant throughout my “pinhole peak” and “pinhole pit” days. Pinhole photographers Dan McCormack and Walter Crump because their wisdom and insight have helped to propel my work forward. For the book ” The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for being my bible on creativity.
Other: Tumblr sharon-harris.tumblr.com