The Story Inside

It started off as two friends meeting for coffee to chat about life and about photography. My friend Charis and I began to share our desire to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones, and go to a deeper level with our passion for photography and writing. We were intrigued by our common desire, and decided to take the creative journey together, and see where we ended up. With no real expectations, we began to meet weekly to read the books, Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work.




We couldn’t believe what we unearthed in these tiny gems. Austin Kleon unlocks a treasure within his simple words setting artists of all types free from unrealistic expectations. So many of us who desire to create something beautiful are paralyzed, because we look around and believe we’re not good enough at creating, and there are, like, a million other people already doing it and doing a better job. We believe the lie there are already too many kids on the playground and we have nothing new to offer, so we sit on the sidelines watching the more deserving kids play.


Journey-4796{Remaining photos by Charis Rowland Photography}


From his pages, Austin shouts, “Nothing is original!”, “Fake it until you make it”, and “Start copying.” (Not to be confused with plagiarism.)


Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.

Copy your heroes — the people you love, the people you’re inspired by, the people you want to be. And you don’t just steal from one of your heroes, you steal from all of them.

Gary Panter said, “If you rip off a hundred people, everyone will say you’re an original.”

A wonderful flaw about human beings is that we’re incapable of making perfect copies. Our failure to copy our heroes is where we discover where our own thing lives. That is how we evolve.

Does that not set you free? We were made to create, but we weren’t made to re-invent the wheel. We take the beauty created by those we love and admire, we add ourselves in and what comes out is original, simply because we added a piece of ourselves.




As Charis and I began to explore this new license to create, we began to talk about the story each person has inside, and we believe every story is worth sharing. When each of us create something, it’s more than just the photography, writing, art, song or decorated room, it’s a piece of us. It’s a small piece of our story, but that story can be missed if it isn’t shared.

That’s when we begin a new leg of our creative journey — sharing the story inside each of us. There’s more to our copied art, there’s a piece of us that is woven into what we created, and it’s a piece of us that’s worth sharing, we’re sharing #thestoryinside.



Take some time to read Charis’s take on #thestoryinside. We wrote about the same exact thing, but from our own perspective, reenforcing the idea when you add yourself to the experience, you make it original.

So, will you join us on this journey? Will you explore the story inside of you?

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This post is part of the #write31days challenge, 31 Days Falling in Love with the Journey. I’d love to stay connected with you through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Come by and say hi!

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6 thoughts on “The Story Inside

  1. Life Breath Present says:

    This. Is. Inspiring! My doula and now friend are working on creating something together. But bigger than that is me learning to create for me, for my enjoyment, whether for family or self. I’ve been re-discovering my joy and passion to create. I don’t know all that I’ll create our where any of it may take me, but slowly and surely I’m doing just that. 🙂

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