I recently made a community art project. It’s a photobook that sits atop a lookout at Rose Valley Regional Park. It invites readers to browse through the polaroids inside it and, if they feel so inclined, take out a polaroid and bring it home with them.

This art project was inspired by the question: “What does nature mean to me?” These polaroids show places in nature that I hold dear. The images capture nature, but they also represent the feelings and memories I associate with those particular places.

I decided to share these images because I’m curious about what nature means to others. My hope is that as the viewer looks through the polaroids and grabs one to bring home with them, they’ll think about what nature means to them.

As I placed my photo book atop Rose Valley, I realized it was no longer my photo book. It now belongs to everyone that interacts with it. That gave me a feeling of accomplishment that I’ve never felt before. My art might matter to more people than just me —and my mom of course. Never forget how much your art matters to her.

Take a step into potentially new territory and share your art. Who knows what will happen when you do. My photo book might actively be getting thrown off a cliff. Or, people could be taking a moment to stop and flip through some pretty polaroids. It’s out of my control. That’s the beauty of sharing your art. It requires a complete loss of control in a process that you otherwise have full control of. For me, that felt freeing. No matter what art you make, I think you’ll find you gain a lot from sharing it with others.