“Last year, my daughter moved away for graduate school, and I realized that I had extra time on my hands. I could fill it with art–with a focus on photography. I’d heard great things about a particular university instructor who is also a photojournalist for the local paper. After seeing his nearly endless, breathtaking portfolio, I decided to enroll in his photography class. I had a fantastic time and connected to a lot of photographers, young and old, in the community. Participating in the class, homework assignments, and community building really expanded my life, both creatively and socially. Of course, with so many artists to watch and ask, my understanding of the equipment as well as my photos are constantly improving. Maybe someday I’ll be able to do some event photography for cultural fairs or take portraits of young, rising musicians. Either way, I continue to enjoy what photography is adding to my life.”Lilly Diamond, Student at UNM
Share your journey and why this is important to you
My whole life, I’ve had a creative side. I was never a painter or a sculptor, but give me a few tools and I can create really cool looking stuff. Years ago, I was a stone cutter and made jewelry. Photography was something I have always loved, too and with the digital age, it has become accessible to my wallet. Sometimes life gets so busy that I haven’t always had an opportunity to indulge my artistic side. But whenever I do, I find it fulfills a part of my life that touches people in way that I’m proud of.
How would you like to inspire others?
There are many ways to be a student. I don’t miss the days when I was working full time, raising a child and completing a degree simultaneously. It was exhausting. Of course, not all learning has to be strictly career focused. I’m thankful it’s possible to be a student for pleasure. I would like to inspire others to make space for learning that’s just for them, that creates pleasure, just for their own personal development and enjoyment.
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