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I was always one to speak my mind, whatever the cost. Throughout my years in art school, I focused on the events and experiences in my life for a lot of my projects. My thesis and first show was called the Mind Evolution, held in April of 2006. It referenced my life in a sequence of digitally enhanced photos I took of myself along with text I wrote. Using the 7 Deadly Sins as my guide, I featured pieces that represented my thoughts and feelings during these times in my life.

The show was very personal, raw and honest and even though I was very excited to unveil my work to the public, I was secretly nervous to let it all go. I was so happy it was a hit and everyone thought it was a success. I had put so much work into finalizing this show, you can’t imagine the process I went through. From researching the mind and evolution to analyzing my life and past experiences. And choosing to open myself up to the world was brave to say the least.

I wanted to share these pieces on Inspiration Photo Friday because I feel they not only inspire people to be strong and truthful, but courageous as well. Sometimes you just have to replenish yourself and rid your soul of the monsters that live inside you. Even though they were negative experiences in your life, they will help someone else overcome a tough spot in theirs or may even help them avoid trauma.

We are all connected in this world so by opening yourself up to other beings, you spread truth and bring honor to the human condition. It is each other whom we learn from and gain knowledge, whether it be something you want to forget or something you are grateful for. Enjoy.

{I have created a book on this particular show that includes special notes on each piece as well as comments that were shared by viewers. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please contact me}

WRATH: Years of solitude inside my head. You never led me towards the light you proclaim to have. Leaving me broken…I leave you behind.
Inspirational Photo Friday: Mind Evolution - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena

SLOTH: Wasting time. Standing still. Life is passing me by. I will find my self and explore once again.
Inspirational Photo Friday: Mind Evolution - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena

LUST: I feel their eyes on me. Hands bound to me. My soul…exhausted.
Inspirational Photo Friday: Mind Evolution - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena

Gluttony: Tasting myself once again. I erase you with every scar. I am this without you. I can never get enough.
Inspirational Photo Friday: Mind Evolution - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena

GREED: Here in my box of knowledge, I taste the world, touch what I see and make it mine. I take it all in. I grow…I share.
Inspirational Photo Friday: Mind Evolution - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena

ENVY: I look at her, satisfied. Envy undertones. The future me. Beautiful.
Inspirational Photo Friday: Mind Evolution - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena

PRIDE: Others start to fade as I gain success. Shadows walk beside me, for I am truth. May my strengths captivate. My talents impress. My pride overcome.
Inspirational Photo Friday: Mind Evolution - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena