And now to the writing…
It’s been a while since my last post after the move but now I’m back and ideas are flowing once more for new work and projects. After removing extraneous items from my apartment and life things feel simpler and less cluttered; therefor I felt it was a good time to try and simplify my artistic endeavors and focus primarily on photography as it was the focus of my degree and one of the things I do halfway decently. Last year one of my instructors asked if I was abandoning a project to which I replied, ‘no’. Giving me pause to wonder whether projects can be truly abandoned.
This has always been my ‘flagship’ photograph. It was one of the first miniature set afterlives I made in undergrad which, eventually, culminated in my BFA exhibition Passages at the Slocumb Galleries, ETSU. It feels weird writing about this photo in the past tense, as if that project is over. The photo was made two years ago and the last set I made was right before I graduated in 2016. Even though undergrad is over I never thought of the project as finished or abandoned but merely on hiatus after churning out miniature sets in my bedroom over the course of a year. I needed a break and that was all. However, breaks can be dangerous and I have had people talk about the difficulty in returning to certain things after taking a break. This was mainly in regards to martial arts and other fitness but it has relevance to art.
Projects and ideas come and go, most of mine stick with me for years and I slowly whittle away at them as my mind jumps from one area of interest to another. I work in weird cycles of art; one week I’m all about photography and the next I’m in love with drawing. This is why I spent most of undergrad trying to meld the two (along with painting) together which culminated in the miniature set photographs.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015) by Elizabeth Gilbert has a section devoted to ideas and creativity and discusses how ideas come to her and other writers/artists/people. For her ideas are almost living organisms that need to be nurtured as they come and if you don’t take any interest in them or don’t have time, eventually, the idea travels on to someone else. I love the personification of ideas as traveling entities finding a home or caretaker and lately I’ve thought of my projects in a similar light. However, I also believe ideas and projects can be taken up again years later. One of my favorite things is looking back at the things I’ve written or drawn in sketchbooks and thinking, “Oh yeah that was a cool idea” or “what on earth was I thinking?”.
How ideas are locked in really is determined more by the person. Don’t worry if you’re put out because an idea has to be set aside for the time being. You can always go back or keep hammering away at a project piece by piece until it’s done. Or it may become like a project car that’s never really done, it’s just something to take your mind off things and the act of creating, fixing, or building something is really all you’re after.
Much like the project car, I’m returning to the sets very soon.
I’ve also been coming up with more ideas for woodworking since I’m back home where there is woodworking equipment. Every time I visit home it’s in the back of my mind but now I’m going to build things again and try and learn more about it.
Some sketches for a mini series of drawings I started last Summer about a garden dragon.
This drawing was a spur of the moment idea after reading a passage in Celtic Myths and Legends (1911) by T.W. Rolleston. The reference is on the art of enameling by the ancient Celts but after reading a quote by Philostratus about “…the barbarians who live in the ocean [Britons]…(10) I couldn’t help but think of Mad Max mermaids.
In keeping with my previous statement on focusing more on photography; here is a behind the scenes of some pictures I’m hoping to have at a coffee shop. Haven’t heard back yet after sending in the application so keep your fingers crossed.
My birthday was last Sunday so here’s the cake Jessica and I made. It is one cake which we made into two since she doesn’t like icing. Raspberries and chocolate cake may be one of my new favorite things now.
This happened as I was writing the beginning of this post. The deer like eating the decorative shrubbery.
And with that bit of derailment from the original focus of this blog I will end here. Always have a project. Always keep creating.
Thank you for reading!
Gilbert, Elizabeth. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. New York: Riverhead Books, 2015.
Mad Max: Fury Road, directed by George Miller. 2015. Burbank, CA: Warner Bros. Pictures, 2016. DVD.
Rolleston, T.W. Celtic Myths and Legends. Introduction by Allison Carroll. Originally published 1911. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc. 2007.