Art Connects People

Happy New Year. 2023 has arrived. Today I want to give honor to my 2022 journey. Actually, I want to give honor to the past 3 years. I recognize that the pandemic has been processing quietly in my heart. Thankfully, 2022 has been a powerful year of new experiences and self discovery. I traveled with One Bigg Island in Space to Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. I was able to spend a week in London and go on an African safari. I gained deeper understanding of my purpose as a photographer and artist. I connected with my why.

Coffee field with Kathya Irias, Michelle Fish, Me, and Raquel Rosales in Yoro, Honduras

Thinking back to the beginning of the pandemic, I was celebrating amazing opportunities. In 2019 was asked if I would like to travel the world photographing small coffee farms and the communities that they impact. At the same time I was offered the opportunity to fly to New York and photograph fine art portraits of the Forbes Magazine executive team. My 18 year old self was giving my then 44 year old self a high five. The pandemic interrupted a time when I felt like my career was moving forward.

The first year of the pandemic my son and I moved in with a friend that was battling cancer. This was her last year of life. Despite being in a pandemic with cancer, she sure did live. We made every moment count. Our lives were filled with creating. My theme “Art Connects People” shined during this time. Art was our connection to life and to one another. We painted, played music, read books together, planted a garden, watched movies, and dreamed. My son and I will carry this connection the rest of our lives despite the painful ending.

I enjoyed photographing my friend’s garden so she could enjoy her flowers on the days she could not go out.

2020 was my son’s senior year. He finished his senior year online. We found a recording studio that practiced covid protocol and he began recording his first album. I painted and created. He made music. We made the most of our year. It was difficult financially. Photographing weddings, seniors, families, and events was overwhelming and a risk. We just took one day at a time. After he graduated he moved to Chicago to pursue his music.

I was blessed to be home with my son these years and listen to him create.

2021 I was home most of the time with my dog. I experienced great loneliness and restlessness. Creating art and photography NFTs was a lifeline for me. Being present online with artists and collectors, sharing our stories, and moving forward to the next creation. I took an online encaustic course that was normally only offered in Ireland but moved to virtual because of the pandemic. Art was my avenue to connection in this lonely time.

My dog Jack at home with me during the pandemic.

2021 seemed to be a start to life outside of the house. I photographed my first post pandemic concert (Badflower). I returned to the One Bigg Island in Space travels. Our first trip was to Chiapas, Mexico. It was a successful trip despite covid escalating again. Sadly, our trips paused the remainder of the year as the world became hit with another wave of covid.

Family on a coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico.

The beginning of 2022 our world was grieving. Daily news of death, war, and natural disaster seemed to be intensifying. The pressures of life lead me to question, can photography and art continue to be my career?

Shower in Honduras

Fortunately conditions improved. I can’t believe how much I have done in one year. My daughter graduated college and started her career in Architecture. I traveled to Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, and London. I ran a full time photography business in Saugatuck, Michigan. I furthered my learning of video and worked on a movie set for an upcoming documentary movie. I dove deeper into Nfts and Web03. I attended VeeCon in Minneapolis. I photographed weddings, portraits, and families throughout Saugatuck, Michigan.

Vaccinated…for EVERYTHING..lol

Ultimately I gained a deeper understanding of my purpose as a photographer and artist. When I photograph I connect people to each other, to their story, their passions, and the viewer. When I paint I connect people to whatever they need connected to in that moment. I found a deeper purpose within myself.

Women and Child. This was a street portrait in Zambia. I was thankful she allowed me this moment.

Here I am , the beginning of 2023. Honestly, the same question is weighing on me. Can photography and art continue to be my career? A dear friend reminded me today that “Action Creates Clarity.” I want to keep this mantra in front of me for 2023. It is my intention to put into action the ideas, blog posts, and art projects that I have living inside of me. It is my intention to take action and make connections needed to further my success. It is my intention to continue to help others be seen and heard. Cheers to 2023.

A magical moment. This is the children of Living Hope Orphanage in Zambia. They sang us this special song to send us on our journey. They are all in our hearts.

Moments from 2022

Photographing the journey of One Bigg Island in Space has been life growing. Enjoy more of my photographs at www.kimzahnow.com. I met this beautiful women on a walk in Ethiopia. Notice the drawings on the door. It is common to find children’s artwork on doors and many random places. In all the countries I have traveled, children do not have access to art supplies. This finding has inspired a side project that I intend to put into action in 2023. I will share more as this develops.

I had my hair braided in Zambia. We stayed at Living Hope Orphanage. I loved our time with the children.
I created a NFT collection titled Community on Fire.
A very special gift give to me from a young girl in the mountains of Honduras. My heart.
I photographed my first 3 day music festival. Loved every second!
Pouring rain in a photo pit is freaking AWESOME!
Followed through on this creative idea.
London was incredible.
My childhood desire of making pottery came into fruition.
Traveled with special friends that inspire me everyday.
I ate chicken soup on a coffee farm in Honduras. I tasted many new foods in Central America and Africa.
Camel tongue and caterpillar tacos to name a few.
My first prop plane trip in Guatemala. The view was spectacular.
I was featured in a virtual gallery show in Web03
Survived Covid
Traveled the world in the backseat with Bob and Michelle
Developed my video skills working with this incredible team from Havey Pro Cinema
Photographed wildlife in Africa. This guy was 5 ft from me. My heart was racing! Unforgettable.
2022 grew me as a photographer and artist in ways that I did not anticipate. I will continue to seek opportunities to connect people to art and to each other. 2023 I am ready for you.

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