Today I shared the entire last year of self-portraits from March 2014 to 2015 that I captured weekly for my 52 Weeks of Self-Portraits project. I thought I’d also write down some of my thoughts about the project/challenge and why you may want to start one of your own or not. Also quick side note, apologizes if this post might not be as polished as I usually strive for. I’m still recovering and bed ridden from a concussion I received last week coincidently from my last self-portrait shoot so I’m off my game.
Normally I focus on photography, so today is going to be something a little different and you may notice devoid of any photos. As you may or may not know I am working on a few projects this year and today I though it’s be nice to go through how the process of putting ideas/projects together. It’s not a how to, or guide it’s just mostly my thoughts and ramblings about projects I am working on.
At the start of the year I was really jazzed about making a zine every 2 months and really putting energy into getting my photography made into zines that I could distribute online and hopefully locally at craft fairs, book fairs and other places about Montreal. What really got me excited is I noticed within existing zines the type of photography and layout I’d really enjoyed just wasn’t out there. The ideas started coming to me so quickly, it seemed like something so simple to put together. While I am still jazzed, and have an abundance of ideas I haven’t had much time to devote to this project. I’m terrible at devoting time to certain things over others. I’m very emotional that way and go with my internal flow always, meaning I don’t actively force myself or sit down and say ‘hey, time for this project for the next hour – go’. So this project is just ideas and no motions. I feel like I know what it would take to make a zine, and choosing the photos around a central idea seems relatively easy as well. What’s hold me back? I’d guess the idea of failure. Like anything you make with the intention of selling it, the hope is that you sell it. I just don’t think I know what people would buy and that stops me from picking one idea over the other and making a zine. If my first zine I make doesn’t sell a copy, do I just sink money with another one? I don’t think losing money is really the problem though, it’s more why keep making more. It’s not like jewellery or other things where I can just keep it or give to friends; a zine is not that useful to me if nobody buys it. Yet I really want to put one out, so maybe instead of trying to go big I can focus on doing 2 this year instead of 6. I’ve been thinking about doing a #mtlcrane one with last year’s pictures in time for this year’s round to start so that I will start on April and hopefully release at the start of the month and then a double exposure one for the Fall time.
Installation for Spring
While I’m not necessary keeping this project a secret I would like to not going into detail about what it’s about online at the moment. It’s a passion project and something I’ve thought about for several years so I’m at the stage where I need to focus on making it a reality and don’t need outside opinions. In fact I just recently sat down with an artist friend and spewed in details my intentions of the project, the logistics, possible objections others might have about it, and just really let her know everything and she was really positive. Having that person to bounce the idea off of once a project is out of the incubation is fantastic. Just having someone who you trust to tell you if your idea isn’t clear or you may step on toes is wonderful. Right now I’ve cemented what I need to do and how I am going to get there – mostly. For starters if you follow me on Instagram you may notice me doing weekly updates on Monday about how many cranes I’ve made the week before. This outdoor installation I’ve decided to make a total of 3,000 origami cranes. I started with 1,000 that turned into 2,000 and in the middle of February I changed it to the final number of 3,000. The main reason is because I want this project to have a certain amount of visual impact and although 1,000 cranes does sound like a lot as someone who’s made over that before it doesn’t actually visually look like that many. As of right now I’m sitting at about 900 cranes made after only 3 weeks of casually making them, and while I don’t have an official date for the project to launch I need to get the cranes made as soon as possible. The research phase was mostly done at the end of January and beginning of February. As of right now I’m still in the research phase but I moved into the creation aspect without completing it because of the huge demand of making that amount of cranes. The research part is very mentally draining as well and I usually only do it late at night because as someone who suffers from depression it’s very hard for me to bounce back from doing it and be my normal self. The idea of getting closer to the end point is also right now terrifying to me because it’s going to require me turning my whole house in a virtual origami crane exhibit. There is also time consideration which you may have noticed sometimes I don’t post on Thursday anymore and not next week but the week after I’m actually taking the week off to work on this project. This is a project I am so passionate about I just want to work on it day and night when I get home and even while I am at work. It’s all I want to do. That has really helped me getting through the work, my passion for the end result. I can close my eyes and visualize what it will look like and I can only hope that I can create what I’ve envisioned.
Setbacks so far:
People around me, mostly co-workers have noticed how much time I am spending on this project and naturally have asked me what it’s about. I’ve been honest although vague about it and the reactions I’ve gotten from people are…silence? Nobody says anything bad but they immediately become less interested in hearing more after my first response. It is not a nice, polite topic as British people would say but it’s been disheartening and actually propelled me even more. I know people in general like positive things and they don’t want to hear about negative and uncomfortable topics which is their choice but I wish people would be as interested as I am about hearing about the subject matter as its important. I’ve had a few people who get it, so all I can do it realize not everyone will be interested. If you like light and fluffy projects btw then follow mtlcrane which is all about sharing positive moments with strangers around Montreal and engaging people in a fun way but this project just happens to use origami cranes to convey a serious message because I think they are suitable symbols.
For Christmas I really wanted to make Victor a resin painting where I paint one layer with acrylic paint, resin it and then apply another layer, so forth and so forth. Visually paintings made with resin layers are beyond trippy and the 3D effect is mind blowing. I’d love to make my own. I am, how do I put it nicely….complete shit at painting? Okay that’s harsh, I’m mediocre at painting but I’d love to create one, maybe even more. When I have an idea I need to run with it and see it through, instead of just cherry picking things that come ‘easy’ to me. I think that’s very important to remember, all those amazing painters at some point weren’t that great, they worked hard to get where they are. Me, being afraid of failure perpetually (nasty side effect of being emotionally abused as a kid – constantly negative) I need to remember that I can’t do what’s easy to me. If there is no fight or struggle there is no growth, less satisfaction and no chances for more. I bought all the materials at Christmas time too so I have nothing to lose and no excuses to not make one resin painting. So this project is one of those where I need to get over myself, stop discouraging myself and creating a false start. Those types of projects where the biggest obstacle is you are the hardest.
If you read this far into my rambling, congratz. I really wanted to let you know what I do when I’m not working on the blog beside my full-time job and share with you a bit of my process.