Sharon Covert, Unraveled | An Interview

Sharon Covert resides in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, not far from her hometown along the Jersey Shore. Brought up with a musical background she taught piano lessons for 20 years before studying and practicing photography as an art. She has had a strong focus on conceptual fine art self-portraits for the last several years. Sharon’s work has been featured in Click Magazine, The Sun, Adore Noir, and SHOTS, among others. She has been in numerous juried art shows and exhibitions across the world.

Sharon teaches a lesson in the Academy entitled, “Permission to Create.” She is a true artist and does not fit herself into any box or mold. She creates her own lines and expresses herself freely and deeply. We are always admiring her individuality and for that, we wanted to see her inspire Unraveled students to do the same.

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For more inspiration from Sharon:

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Here is Sharon, Unraveled…

What inspired your art?

Inspiration comes in all shapes and forms for me. As I write this, I can see a family of deer out my window which sparks a chain of inspiring thoughts. I find inspiration in nature, feelings, writing, books, music, dreams I have during the night, stories from my past, and hopes for my future. It really can be found anywhere and in anything if you pause long enough to take life in.

What do you shoot with?

Camera body and favorite lens? I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and Sony a7rIII. My go-to lenses are my Sony Zeiss Planar T 50mm 1.4, 35L, and various Lensbaby lenses and optics. Lensbaby lenses are an amazing and unique way to add mystery to an image.

What other ways do you express your creativity?

Creativity plays an important role in my life. It's my most fluent language! Aside from photography, you can find me playing the piano, writing, dabbling in watercolors, exploring creative movement through Yoga, and creating new and healthy dishes.

How do you de-stress at the end of the day?

Self-care has become vital to me. I begin each day with my yoga practice and usually end the day with a book and a journal.

What kind of music do you listen to while editing?

As of lately, I haven't been listening to music as much and am all about Audible. I devour books while showering, driving, cooking, and editing. I'm all for having a book in my hand, but am very pleased that I gave Audible a chance. If I do listen to music, it's Hozier, The Lumineers, Tori Amos, Of Monsters and Men to name a few artists.

What is your favorite book?

I'm not sure I can answer this! I have so many books that I could probably open up my own library. I'll share my favorite photography book though. Yoga, The Secret of Life by Francesco Mastilia. It's an absolute work of art accompanied by beautiful, awe-inspiring stories of Yogis.

Name one movie that inspires you.

I recently watched the 2002 biography, Frida. I find Frida Kahlo's art and use of symbolism to be incredibly inspiring along with her feminist nature.

How do you handle self-doubt or creative slumps?

I want to be completely honest here. Self-doubt has held me back throughout the years. I allowed self-doubt to run the show far too long and will no longer allow this to happen. I see it in photographers I have worked with and taught and it made my heart ache because all I saw in them were amazing, talented and beautiful souls. It has become my mission to help other photographers see this in themselves and to believe in their art.

One technique I find helpful with a creative slump is to write. I just do a brain dump on paper and let it all out. In doing so, I usually begin to spot little bits of wisdom and ideas brewing and surfacing. Writing this way has become very insightful.

What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey?

The most difficult part of my creative journey has been overcoming fear and self-doubt. Once you get into the mind frame of fear does not exist and is just an illusion you begin to see it for just that, but it takes time and practice. I've really had to push myself and make myself uncomfortable to be able to move forward and progress on this creative journey. I've had to ask myself, "What's the worst thing that could happen if I do _____?" and follow up with, "What will happen if I don't do____?". Asking myself these questions really helps to put things into perspective and give me that push forward.

Who is one of your favorite photographers?

I truly admire Tytia Habing's work. Not only is her art incredible, but she is also a very helpful, honest, genuine, and kind person. She is a role model of sorts. When other photographers reach out to me with questions I strive to be as helpful and kind as Tytia has been to me over the years. I'm very grateful to have formed an online friendship with her and have a lot of respect and admiration for both her and her work. I can't resist adding a second artist here also. Michelle Gardella. Michelle has played a profound role in my process unfolding over the years. She not only provides incredible inspiration, but she also is a supportive friend. I love how authentic and real she is.

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