We had the good fortune of connecting with Angela Giles Klocke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angela, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Pursuing a creative career has been more of what I’ve always done rather than making a conscious decision. I have been drawn to writing and the camera since I was a little girl. I found early on that these two areas — writing and photography — took me away from the hard parts of my young life, and it just grew from there. As an adult, after a successful start online as a writer, I stepped back and quit, wondering if I really liked writing and being creative, or was it just something I did because I had always done so to save myself from the painful life I was living. Turns out, quitting just showed me that I was made to be creative. While I have left and returned over the years, I have found I can’t stay away. The page calls, the camera beckons. When I give in and fully pursue, I am operating as the best version of myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My creative journey has been like many: three steps forward, two steps back. Fall down, get up. What has been most consistent for me is that I get up again and again. I have let go of my career multiple times as I’ve dealt with lack of confidence and times where no one was hiring me or buying my work, but at the very heart of who I am is a creative person who will never give up on the dream. But it hasn’t been easy. I have had to fight for where I am today against the most formidable critics: the lies from my painful past. As an artist with a trauma background, I approach everything with gentleness and empathy, knowing each person I work with likely has something that is hard for them. I allow myself to be open and vulnerable so that others can feel comfortable. I tune in to what is said and unsaid. That is important as both a writer and a photographer. As much as I am a writer, and writing gives one a chance to think about the best answers to questions asked, I am more connected with each person when we are in conversation. My greatest personal strengths are in the relationship department, and I lean heavily on them to connect individually. That is, each client I work with, each portrait I make, each piece of writing can appear differently until you pull back and realize the consistency lies in the individual work — how we connected, what the story was, and what the message needs to be for the reader. I am not yet the definition of success that the world uses to measure such an animal, and I am not yet where I want to be personally, but I am enjoying the journey. There’s so much to see and learn along the way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a nature girl when I’m not busy being a homebody. So I would take my family and friends to my favorite places around Colorado: almost any backroad in the mountains; hiking all over Colorado Springs, like Red Rock Open Space, Barr Trail, and Paint Mines Park; definitely Rocky Mountain National Park; and wow, that view from Wilkerson Pass. Basically, all of Colorado, if we can make it happen! And we’d just stop at whatever little hometown places we found along the way. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Everyone I’ve ever met has played a role in where I am today. Specifically, my family continues to encourage me, and my friends are my greatest cheerleaders. Early on, my first editor was Skipper Hammond, who taught me how to write fast and trusted me with the newspaper camera (which is when I truly fell in love with photography as another storytelling medium). I have belonged to different groups over the years, and specifically owe so much to MomWriters and Natasha Khullar Relph, and even more specifically to my writing group of Debbie, Kelley, and Shelly, the QMT Writers.