Time is a funny thing.
It can provide us with so little or even better, so much. It offers literal space between life events or a meditative space for reflection and mental clarity. Almost two years to the day, I was in the final months of completing my undergraduate thesis. For the greater part of the year, I had been exploring a variety of different trajectories — there were moments when I had no idea what direction my work was going to take me or if I was even going to have a completed body of work to show in the museum at the end of the year.
Anyone who is a creative type comes face-to-face with this roadblock at some point in their daily practice. It goes without saying, on multiple occasions all I wanted to do was give up and throw in the towel. You know what I mean?
Because that would have been SAFE, EASY, and COMFORTABLE.
Long story short, after two months of spending every waking minute in my studio, combining elements from so many different projects I brought forward a body of work that gave me joy. One that I was PROUD to share with the world. Each photograph, a precious gem — I protected them as if they were fragile vases unearthed from an archeological dig in Greece.
This past weekend, I decided to break open the box they had been stored in since the show ended. To my surprise, a lot of them had continued to evolve and change (A little back story — all of these prints were treated with various chemicals in post production to create these effects, so I had no idea what would happen to them or how long the prints would hold their original form). In that moment, I felt this surge of energy rush through my body — almost as if the spirit of the work was moving on, and to do so it had to pass through me.
BAM (just like hitting a brick wall going 100 mph) I had this realization – nothing we do, nothing we make lasts forever. Ideas, moments, people – they come and go like the tide. When we make the conscious decision to hold onto these sorts of energies, that is when it becomes difficult to learn from them.
If you allow a past experience to set itself free,
in that moment of uncertainty is when clarity is revealed.
I came across this quote from Eight Girls Taking Pictures:
“If the photographer isn’t going to pay attention to the picture he is making, that if he thinks the camera is just a machine and not an avenue of expression, then he has no business asking anyone for anything, let alone their time and interest. Don’t show the world, he said, invent the world.”
So I leave you with this – go out and invent the world you wish to share.
Be bold, take risks and most of all,
be sure whatever you do brings you immense JOY.
A couple of links for you:
“Be a soft person. Be a cushion in a world full of rocks and hard places. Be a gentle soul where everyone else is jaded. Be that person. Because people like that are rarer and more precious than the rarest of jewels in the world.”
A little Monday morning groove to get you in the mood for whatever suits your fancy: