It's been nearly a year since I last posted to this blog. As someone who's been a blogger for over ten years, who made money at one time from this very blog, who would often post every day, sometimes several times a day.... a year is a fucking long time. but i needed that year to pool together some thoughts that weren't meant for the internet.
I've changed and evolved in this last year and what happens going forward will reflect that. Here's what's going on:
1. I am no longer a professional photographer. I quit. In the end, I hated it. Not photography---I still love that (although I am admittedly burned out and haven't made a real photograph in MONTHS)... but weddings, and portraits, and shooting people for money. I recently went through some old portfolios and I can gladly admit that I grew so much as a photographer, I photographed some amazing people and events, and I generally had a fantastic time. But like most things, my career as a wedding/portrait photographer came to an end and the day after I photographed my last wedding, I felt absolutely no regret.
Wedding and portrait photography changed so much in the last several years. When I first started, about nine years ago, digital photography was taking off and wedding/portrait photography was new and fun and fresh again. It was exciting and photographers helped each other and clients were so open to CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY it was absolutely invigorating! But then more and more people joined facebook and which at first was awesome but quickly turned into a curse because clients no longer wanted something unique and artistic. They wanted what they saw on someone else's page. Then Pinterest took over and creativity went out the door. Clients forgot all about "new" and "fresh" and instead they went full throttle with "regurgitated". Some photographers thrive in that environment. I didn't. I found it utterly soul-sucking. And depressing. I got depressed. So I got out.
2. I am and always have been an Artist. For many years, photography was my medium of choice. But before that, I was a painter. And since my near-decade long career as a wedding & portrait photographer has burned me out of shooting for the near future, I've started to paint again. And it's been AMAZING.
Which brings us back to why I haven't blogged in so long. For my birthday in 2014, I bought myself a shit ton of art supplies --- brushes, paints, canvases, sketchbooks, markers, pastels, pens, etc. And I dove head first in to ART MAKING. Years and years of searching for my 'voice', searching for my 'vision', developing skills, building a craft, exploring ideas, experimenting with new techniques and creating new concepts have all brought me right back to where I started when I was 13 years old: Painting. And I honestly could not be happier.
I FEEL better. I definitely have days when I feel like I'm wasting my time and that I'm always be a terrible artist. And trust, those days a fucking AWFUL. And sometimes frequent. But I feel more FREE. More like myself than I ever have and it's allowing me to create much more honest work. Work, that instead would be appealing to a paying client, is appealing to my own soul and need for expression.
For the last year I've just been painting when inspiration hit, when I had some free time....some weeks I'd make a lot. Some weeks I'd make nothing. It's been a very exploratory time....trying new techniques and styles. It's been a blast.
But now I'm ready for the next chapter. I feel like I need to take things more seriously. Take myself more seriously. As a painter, as an artist. I need to focus more on producing a body of work. Not for anyone or thing in particular, but for myself. I want to organize the works I've made. I want to share some of it with anyone who's interested in looking. I want to write more about process, because for me, writing about what I'm doing has always been a huge source of inspiration and self-revelation.
So that's what this blog is going to be going forward.... more of me talking about the art-making process. Sharing some works in progress and hopefully sharing finished pieces that I'm proud of. And then we'll see where this path takes and we'll revisit again when we're ready for the following chapter. Because this journey never ends.