Back in college, I took an art class called “Design & Color.” There were some legit artists who were getting art degrees in my class. However, I wasn’t an artist. I didn’t know about the color wheel or which medium I preferred. To me, “medium” was still a

T-shirt size. I was challenged beyond belief and was frustrated several times, but I proved to myself that anyone can be an artist.

I never really thought of myself as a creative person either. I tend to lean more on the left side of my brain; it’s more comfortabl­e there. However, just like any muscle, when pulled and stretched, it will grow stronger and surprise you.

Taking on the position of editor has challenged me to build my right-side brain muscle. On a regular basis, I must think creatively, whether through my words or what I envision. I also must relay that vision to others. Let’s just say my brain is getting a run for its money these days. The upside is that there’s no greater reward than working hard for something and being proud of the achievemen­t that hard work brought about.

Whether it’s because of my job and the people I meet or the overland community in general, I’m surrounded by so many talented and creative people. They inspire me to continue to push my creative side and explore the possibilit­ies there.

When I first got into publishing I loved my job. I was the logical thinker in a creative environmen­t, which spoke to me and came to me easily. Nowadays, I constantly feel like the scatterbra­ined artist and empathize

with those who lack natural organizati­onal skills.

I’ve always been a fan of photograph­y and come from a family of artists, painters and photograph­ers. My dad taught me about compositio­n at a younger age—which is probably why I’m able to easily identify and appreciate talented photograph­y, even if I can’t replicate it myself. However, that’s one aspect of that right brain I’ve been exploring.

In this issue, we celebrate those who have mastered the art of creativity. We celebrate great photograph­ers who might have gotten their start exploring and found that a new talent or photograph­y is what challenged them to explore faraway lands.

From the features to the adventure stories, Tread chooses to spotlight some of the best photograph­ic talent. And, with the addition of our “Viewpoint” department, Chris Collard shares tips and tricks to help others step up their game. I know that it’s helped me.

Whether you’re a YouTube videograph­er, a novice photograph­er or an aspiring blogger, my advice is to challenge yourself to push beyond your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised by what you can do and create.

During your next trip out, take some time to sit still and take in the beauty to perhaps share the experience with others through your medium-of-choice.

Happy trails, Kelly Nomura Editor & Brand Manager

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