I’ve been off the map a little bit since school got out. It’s been a really weird to weeks, and it made think a lot about the year as a whole. With that in mind, I decided I’d do a little recap of 2011, spare the details.
2011: a year of trying really, really hard and failing most of the time. a year of re-examining and re-evaluating basically every pattern and habit I’ve adhered to for so long. a year of learning so much. a year of constant, crazy falling in love with something everyday. a year of being a little too hard on myself. a year that I did a lot.
What have I been doing?
Painting - Why is this always on the backburner? I have no idea, it’s probably the area I excel in most. I think I’ve got a pretty unique thing going, and people respond really well to my work. For some reason, it always ends up pushed aside during school. I love it though. It’s such an amazing time to be alone with your thoughts. I miss my time when I had the studio so much. I think it total, I’ve only done about 7-8 paintings this year, but they’ve been some of my favorite. I’m getting comfortable to enough to try a lot of new things that I wouldn’t have done a year ago. So that’s good, right?
Photography - WHAT? I picked up a completely new thing. Why am I so hard on myself about this? It’s hard more me to remember that I’d never even opened photoshop until May. The newness of photography has allowed to take precedence over my other two areas this year, but I think it’s also a nice balance between film and painting. I love that it can be intensely personal and independent but there’s also so much teamwork, coordination, and planning that goes into as well. It’s a very therapeutic medium. I can’t imagine myself ever taking a self-portrait last year, but it’s something I’ve made myself do this year. It’s been a good experience, even though I still feel really self-conscious every time I see a photo of myself. I didn’t even do this until about May of this year.
Film - this was always the big one that I was moving full steam ahead towards. It’s taken a back seat this year as I’ve taken more time to grow as a photographer, but I’ve still squeezed in a lot. Last March, I had a a chance to DP a music video for an incredible the incredible rapper, Invincible. At the time it was about 200% more complicated that anything I’d ever done. Work in a real set, buying and installing the practicals myself, greenscreens, and so many others things were really daunting at the time. It was four of the longest shooting days I’ve ever had, but I think we got some pretty good stuff. Of course, there were several road-bumps (reshoots in January), but I’m looking forward to seeing it finished. Lots of stuff in between, the footsoldiers project, After the Storm, a new reel, a title sequence for a TV show, and lots of other little things. I’ll post links to things eventually; most of them aren’t completely ready yet. I directed a TV pilot. WHAT? that’s kind of cool, right? Who knows how good it’ll be, but I did it. That’s not something a lot of people can say. I learned so much about directing (mostly through failures and things I wish I did differently), but the failures are energizing. That’s exciting, once your failures mean defeat, you’re screwed. It’s funny that I said that film was in the backseat, but I still produced more in one year than I ever. Well, that sort of ties in to the next thing.
One really strange side effect of all of this production is that’s it’s established a really bad pattern of dissatisfaction with just about everything I’m doing. I’ve been really down on myself creatively lately. So much so, that I often don’t want to share my work because I know it doesn’t measure up. I see so much amazing stuff every day - photos, films, paintings, people - and I fall in love with it all. It’s become very hard to come back down to earth when it comes to evaluating my own work. I’m really hard on myself about it. The truth is I’ve done WAY more work (and high quality work) than I’ve ever done at any period in my life. However, there’s inevitably a point of diminishing returns. I don’t know that I’m there yet, but I’m pretty dang close.
More appreciation and a pat on the back for myself and definitely for others is huge goal for next.
Balance. Holy Cow, I’ve got to find some balance in my life. Creatively and personally. This seems like it’s one of the main struggles for any creative person, but it’s really been killing me this year. Sometimes I feel prisoner to these creative whirlwinds I get on. I stay up all night, I won’t eat - I just get so riled up by whatever is happening at that second that I’m completely neglecting the chance for balance. It’s fun sometimes, and I get a lot done, but the truth is I’m exhausted. It’s not sustainable, and honestly, it probably hurts my work more that it helps. The trick is that once I find the balance, I’ll be relaxed enough that creation won’t be such an exhausting experiencing. Hopefully, it’ll be that natural outpouring that I’ve been struggling to get back to.
I’m not going to worry about editing this or organizing it more effectively. I just wrote it.
Later on, I’ll post a bunch of photos from the break and some highlights from 2011.
Happy New Year!