Interview 007: Eva Deitch
Well this is a real treat. For the seventh installment of Infrequently Asked Questions, we have Eva Deitch, a New York-based photographer whose work and presence are pure magic. I met Eva about a year and a half ago, back when she lived in Chicago, and was instantly drawn to her contemplative nature. Eva's photography brings to life sacred moments, and her level of self awareness and active desire to engage with the world around her are truly apparent in everything she creates. Check out You. Me. We., a quarterly compilation focused on deep understanding of oneself (swoon!) in addition to her stunning photography.
What character stuff have you had to actively work on over the past several years?
I often feel pulled in two (or many) directions because I can see both sides of a story. It creates a lot of tension internally for me, so I’ve been working at finding my own voice about the world, life and myself. This way I don’t have to choose a side if I don’t see myself fitting into or agreeing with one.
Also, being less defensive, more vulnerable and recognizing doubt and fear.
How are you doing on that stuff now?
2015 was one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. Although I was running a photography business, I considered my real work to be what I was engaging in personally. From the outside, it either wasn’t apparent, or it might have looked like I was unhappy, confused, or lost, which at times I was; but always with an eye on my beacon.
I’ve made huge strides in unearthing purpose, skill, and worldview, as well as breaking down walls that hold me back from people and what I desire. I don’t ever think this work is finished though and so I’m exploring how to connect this inner work with the work I do in the world.
As for doubt and fear. I’ve found that literally labeling them when they arise ( saying to yourself “doubt” / “fear”) has been a great tool in moving past those inhibitors.
How would you describe your purpose?
I feel my purpose is to be curious, discover and then share what I learn. I’m aways keeping myself open to how that might look and change.
Define your career... Then tell us how it's different then you thought it would be.
I’m not really sure what title I would give myself or career at the moment. I’m still a photographer, but now I’m beginning to incorporate writing, research and curation into my work. Photography is becoming more of a tool then the career title. When I was younger, even into my mid 20’s, I thought a career had to be linear; you chose one thing and that’s what you did until you retired. I've always felt uneasy with that notion because the way I saw life was anything but linear. I’ve taken some career laps you can say, returning to work that I had been doing before, but the output never looks the same.
Do you feel like you've made it yet? Have things clicked? Explain.
I’ve decided that you don't ever make it, and if you feel you have, then you’ve stopped growing…I never want to stop growing. I want to learn something new about the world and myself even on my last day here. “Making it” is not a grand ol’ finale, it’s choosing left or right when you reach the fork in the road. I would say things are clicking though. Once I started listening to my inner voice and cutting out the noise around me, the world began to blossom in a way I never would have imagined…sometimes it freaks me out a little how one piece will lead to the next. I used to want to share those moments with everyone around me but I realized that’s life little treat, just for you, when you are aware and open to it!
How do you think others perceive your life path? Do you care?
I find people getting excited and inspired about the ideas I share, which makes me want to dig deeper and work harder. However, I am fully aware that the conclusions I come to and the ideas I write about are anything but original. They have been discussed, explored and felt for as long as there has been human consciousness. I just share it from my own personal experiences and that’s what I feel people enjoy.
I care only when I start to believe there is a “right” or “easy" path to get somewhere. I call that mindset the danger zone, the antithesis of creativity and authenticity.
Speaking of others, how have your relationships shaped you?
They have been my perfectly windex’ed mirrors. I have learned so much about myself because of them.
What's your perspective on life like now as opposed to 5 years ago? 10 years ago?
Wow, this a great question to reflect on.
Not to be a broken record, but I really thought life had to be linear 10 years ago. This is not to say instructions and manuals aren’t necessary or important; I would never suggest someone get creative or free flow while working heavy machinery, but when it comes to problem solving for the current state of our world, creating something new or authentic, and discovering what your contribution can be, a straight path and a manual don’t exist. There is no external object you can find to show you the way, the holy grail is actually…wait for it…you! We are powerful creatures. Unfortunately, we often see our power only though negativity; war, discrimination, depletion of the environment, but I also believe that we hold within us the other end of the spectrum. Hey now!
5 year ago, I turned 25 and began to see life less linear and more connected like stars of a constellation. I still didn’t know I existed though. I didn’t listen to myself or trust myself. I thought other’s knew best for me. My parents, my boyfriends, my government, my industry. I didn’t think little ol’ me had a choice in how things could look and be in this big world, partly because I respected the bigger picture (history, the universe, love, authority), but partly because I didn’t know I could have my own voice and still feel connected. This is something I have begun to shed this past year. It’s been totally frightening yet the most beautiful and liberating expression I’ve ever felt!
What are you most looking forward to?
To all the people I have yet to meet and the new truths I’ll learn. (My heart began to race when I wrote that.)
In your daily life, when are you happiest?
Day Time: Drinking tea while writing. I feel incredible when expressing myself, and it also feels romantic.
Night Time: The moment before I fall asleep, when I spoon Ryan and smell the back of his neck. The end of my days are little victories for me and I love the thought of starting fresh in the morning.
On the other hand, how do you pull yourself out of a funk when you're in one? And how did you most likely wind up in said hypothetical funk in the first place?
I actually don’t try and pull myself out of funks; they are when I discover my most beautiful and authentic self. They are times for reflection and creative expression. They are the moments I learn about myself deeply. The key however is knowing that it will pass. You have to work with it and through and understand that you can not know the light, joyful, grateful parts of life without knowing and accepting these shadowy parts as well.. So I have great respect for them.
I most likely wind up in a funk because I’m being hard on myself or if I feel lost in translation with someone close to me.
Any other questions you wish someone would ask you?
Would you like to go get ramen?
What would you like to see more of in the world?