Happy New Year! 2018 already, how'd that happen?
With the start of the new year, I figured it was time to get back to blogging and documenting where I'm at with my practice. In all honesty, I've not really picked up a camera with any clear intention since the end of the degree last year. I've snapped the odd roll of film here and there, mostly personal shots, but I haven't expanded or created any new projects. The reason for this is because I can only handle so many spinning plates at once and I wanted to wait for the start of the Masters before dipping my toe into any new pools.
So then I started back at college and the water got very, very murky.
What makes the Creative Practice course so great is also what makes it so frustratingly difficult. Freedom. Without the constraints of set topics or the parameters of a prescribed project it was vastly overwhelming to attempt to narrow down my focus and choose what exactly I was going to spend the duration of my Masters doing. Whilst I knew that I wanted to learn new darkroom techniques and produce work that I want to exhibit, I was lost. There were just too many options. I would start the day with one idea, contemplate it, worry if it was enough to base a Masters on, then think of ways to expand it, which inevitably always lead me down another metaphoric path where I would find myself right back at the start; clueless and overwhelmed.
Having spent the last few months putting my proposal together and researching what I thought I wanted to do, I presented it all to my colleagues and supervisors in December. I still wasn't 100% sure of my idea but it gave me a jumping off point, or so I thought, until one of my supervisors made me thoroughly question a large part of my proposal.
With my head in turmoil , Christmas on the doorstep and two young kids at home, I decided to ostrich the hell out of my dilemma, after all, I had enough to think about over the festive period.
Only now the festivities are over. So I took the plunge yesterday and dug deep, and figure out what the hell I'm going to do over the next (almost) 2 years.
I decided to forget about trying to please an audience or my supervisors, lose the pressure of finding 'the perfect project' and concentrate on what my inspirational tutor, Ed, told us in our final degree year. The exact words I can't remember but the message I doubt I'll ever forget; If it makes you excited, it will excite others. And this is true. Excitement, buzz, enthusiasm is contagious, but only when you're wholly invested in what you're doing. I have to believe in it 100% before anyone else can. I have to understand it, inside and out, before I can hope to explain it to others, so I'm going to do what makes me happy and get's me excited.
With that in mind, I'm going to try and accept that this is a process, and that there are going to be times that I'm going to fail, that the water will muddy up again, and I'll probably lose my way. But that's okay because this isn't about doing what I can already do, it's about growing, embracing the change and seeing where I end up at the end of it.
So, this is me, leaping into the unknown!