For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an artist. Except, I'm not BEING one. I think about it a lot, I talk about it, I plan things. But I haven't been MAKING things. I've been drifting, trying to figure out who I am, what I want to make, what will get me into a show, blah, blah, blah. I've been paralyzed by fear of making something WRONG. Of messing up. Of... I don't even know what, but everything.
I've been watching friends be successful and while I'm happy for them, I've become more and more miserable. Why not me? Well, dumbass, you haven't been making anything. If you haven't made anything, you don't have anything to submit. You can't keep submitting the same sad images, hoping someone will finally take it. It doesn't work that way, and you know it.
So this morning, I walked past some flowers my husband bought me a while back. They were dying, but there's something about them I find beautiful. Then I remembered I wanted to try lumen printing. , I dug out some old paper I had laying around from my art school days, found a piece of cardboard and a large piece of plexiglass I didn't even remember having and hied off to my upstairs closet to mash the flowers onto some paper. It's sitting outside right now, soaking up the sun. We'll see how it looks when I put it in the fix.
Making a simple print felt good. For me, the thing about photography, and why I'm so interested in alt process is the MAKING. My hands are on it. My hands made it. It's deliberate. It's a THING.
Before anyone gets on me for slamming digital, I'm not. I like digital. It has its place. It's definitely the better system for a lot of situations. But there's something about getting your hands on something and having ONE chance. I can't shoot a bajillion frames and get one that comes out, nor can I composite these. I've got ONE shot and if I don't like it or it blows away or gets rained on or a squirrel eats it, well, hell, I need to start over.
But I have a whole box of old paper, a yard full of weird plants and a lot of time on my hands. I think I can do this.