I hope we are all safe and well. Here in Southern England, we are in this midst of some fairly wild storms. So far I have some damage but not too much. Fingers crossed it stays that way. Never having been a winter person, this year the miserable weather seems to have been with us for ever. Spring can't come soon enough!
This month's post will not be a particularly long one but, for me, it is a significant milestone in my journey. After a little prompting, I have decided to self-publish a book charting my photographic journey over the last 2 years. The decision to embark on this venture was not taken lightly and when I finally decided that the time was right and that I had something to say the reality of the task started to reveal itself.
Where to start? How to start? What to include? What to say? What not to say? Why? Why not? So many questions...
Ever practical, I started with the 'how'. Never having tackled anything like this before I had no idea how to actually get going. What did a publisher actually need? What software should I use? After asking around it seemed that InDesign was the industry standard graphic design program for this sort of thing so that gave me a place to start.
Learning new software is never easy but where would we be without YouTube! After a good few hours (days!) working alongside InDesign tutorials I finally felt I had enough of the basics to start thinking about content. (As an aside, I loved this part far more than I thought I would - it's a great bit of software.)
This March marks the two-year point since I left my crazy career behind me and started to live a different life. For all of us, these two years haven't gone as planned. There have been good times mixed in with dark times, opportunities taken and missed, tangents jumped on for good or bad, wormholes which swallowed me up and spat me out. Charting my 24-month roller coaster through a photographic lens felt like the right thing to do.
Going through the work I have produced over this period and pairing it with life (and world) events has been fascinating and enlightening. I was aware that my thoughts and feelings were manifesting themselves in my imagery but I hadn't realised how transparent I had been. My photography has been cathartic and gave me purpose when nothing made sense. Where would I be now without it!
Working in projects has given me lines in the sand that I can reference. Windows From Walls was my first proper abstract panel so it made sense to start there. I work through Forest Of Iron Lines, The Splintered, The Shadow Glows, Unlock My Mind, Echo Chamber, Healing Reservoir, Effervescence and finally, Believe. I have had a lovely time writing about each of the projects as well as how my life was changing over this period. It's been cathartic and enlightening in equal measure.
When I finally had something I thought could work, the reality of what I was doing hit me hard. I had pulled together the design for my first book using tools new to me, images that meant so much both now and at the time of their making, and words... so many new words bringing everything together, revealing so much and making sense of it all.
I can't tell you how hard it has been for me to take the next step, to go ahead and have it printed. The title of my book is 'Believe' and I did have to dig deep within myself and just go for it. Leap and the net will find you. I guess we will see. Making it this far without backing down is so exhilarating! I am waiting for printing dates but I am hoping for some time late March / early April. If nothing else that's more than a few Christmas and Birthday presents sorted...
As ever, please let me know what you think. I love to hear from you all and will always reply.
Please stay safe in this crazy world.