Muse: Juliette Mansour
Gift Giveaway: 5×7 photo, matted for framing
Muse-Creations for Our Forgive it Forward Giveaway – Because forgiveness and creativity go hand-in-hand for us, Ray and I thought it would be fun to spice up our 35-day Forgive It Forward project launch with a focus on the arts. So, we sent a call out to the muses among us for a little assist and some inspiration.
Between June 14th and July 19th, we introduced artists, sculptors, potters, musicians – and more – who forgave it forward with us by donating a gift for a random drawing giveaway. Each muse answered two questions and shared a little bit about their creative process and passion. We hope they inspire you.
Juliette Mansour: Photographer & Web Wizard
Were it not for this muse’s abilities and patient persistence, you would not be reading this blog. You also would not have a Forgive it Forward video to watch or a Facebook page to visit. And there definitely wouldn’t be any tweets, chirps or twitters coming from this part of the world.
Why? Simply put: I’m a “procrastinate until it is obsolete” technophobe when it comes to computers and the internet, Ray is a “just put a pastel or paintbrush in my hand” artist and Juliette is a saint. (Okay, maybe not a saint but certainly an angel for sharing her wings.)
I’ll never forget her first remarks when I asked her what she thought about Enlightened Ink’s new website back in 2006. After she said it was “nice” – yeah, THAT got my curiosity too – I asked her to be honest. (I mean, nice? Just NICE?) Juliette likened my attempt at a website to “putting a poodle sweater on a Great Dane puppy.” (Cute at first but no potential for growth.) When I asked her to go on, I had an eerie sense that I was opening a Pandora’s box. The next thing I knew, my online presence was under construction!
This muse single-handedly poked, prodded, cajoled, coaxed and oftentimes tricked me into embracing the internet as a creative medium the same way I would a blank canvas and box of paints. She instinctively knew all the buttons to push and the frequency with which to push them. On her resume, Juliette says, “my day job can be captured in one headline: “Bilingual chick with a knack for creative stuff and with years of experience in web stuff helps overwhelmed, small biz clients find their voice.” I say that’s an understatement if ever I heard one. Just browse this site and watch the videos and you will see how well this muse collaborates to support all my creative whims, which is why I am excited to be able to share HER in our Forgive it Forward Giveaway!
I love symbolism, I love stories and I have a love-hate relationship with ambiguity. Not being comfortable with the unknown, I’ll often want to expose what’s there even further and study it. In 2003, an artist friend told me I had a knack for taking pictures and that comment was like lighting a match near gasoline. It uncovered a lost memory of me as a 10 year-old, obsessing for hours with an old Polaroid camera. Photography then became a new way to blend gadget love with story love. I immediately upgraded my Sony digital 2.0 and my creative mindset all at once.
For me, taking pictures feeds the connection with all that IS life. I feel compelled to capture that connection and share it online and offline. What I love about this form of art is that I can offer a view to others without the burden of judgment. Photos have an innate power to merge someone with an experience in a unique, personal way. I simply pass on the experience – combined with a personal narrative – in whatever way you want to interpret them. And the web work I do helps support that.
So, tell us Juliette …
R&B: What does forgive it forward mean to you?
JM: I don’t remember who said, “Love is what we’re born with. Fear is what we learn here. Forgiveness is our most important contribution.” That contribution translates into a genuine healing on our part and is simply bound to have some sort of positive effect on the world.
Photo: Carmel By The Sea
Forgiving it forward for me means …
• Being willing to welcome change in ourselves and others.
• Making a global commitment to question our perceptions.
• Saying “yes” to letting go at the expense of what our minds may tell us.
• Saying “no” to the anger and defense within us and around us – across cultures, generations and decades.
• Believing that the anger and defense are merely shadows of learned fear and righteousness.
• Knowing that those shadows are not who we are.
• Waking up to the idea that globally, we are feeling the effects.
Photo: Before You Call Me Homeless
• Embracing the knowledge just as we created the effects, we can create healing.
• Getting in touch with our unhealed perception of ourselves and others.
• Rejecting our own resistance to healing.
• Allowing our healing to be born without the constraint of past or future.
• Feeling empowered by the experience of a genuine shift in our thinking.
• Welcoming the new global paradigm of healing.
• Delighting in the idea that others can join us here.
• Asking the world to join us.
• Leading by example for a world that needs us.
R&B: How do you feel your creativity enriches your life and helps to heal our world?
JM: My creativity allows me to tap into that deep space within that is already healed, already forgiven. I am in the flow with no past, no future – just in the now. Combining a love for writing and photography, I look for hidden stories and contrasting perspectives. Just like the light and shadow sides of us that battle it out, healing occurs when I allow myself to be the observer of what is. I leave the interpretation open. Nothing is labeled and the story exists as it is. Being that removed from beauty and, at the same time, at one with it is incredibly enriching.
Photo: Vibrant Street Art In San Fran
Juliette has been online since 1996 and originally began as Pubu Web Team, derived from nicknames and inspired by Juliette’s love for her dogs. If you would like to see more of Juliette’s work, treat yourself to her photo blog, The Additional f-Stop via her website at Casa Dresden.
You can also follow her as Casadresden on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo: Serendipity Train
If you missed our previous Muse, Ray Smith: Click here to see his work.
Did you miss the Forgive it Forward video that Juliette collaborated to create? Click here for the 3-minute video that started it all!
Did you miss the book trailer that Juliette created? Click here for the 2-minute video that inspired Forgive it Forward!
©2010 Enlightened Ink – If you are inspired to share or quote from this article please share the Messy Room with it. Together we grow.Pin It