In my years as a photographer I can remember a handful of times when I told myself I was going to be more proactive in building sets, costumes and props. And in all of those instances the enthusiasm went down the drain and I never really tried much of anything. I have never been naturally good at building things with my hands. My sister was always the one doing that – sculptures and pottery and painting and drawing. I was always the one making up stories and trying to direct films. In other words, I’m the bossy one and she is the artistic one. Usually.
But now, in hindsight, I realize the reason why I was never able to build something that I loved, or stick with it, was not because I didn’t have the talent or the skill set. It was because I didn’t have the wherewithal. I didn’t have the right motivation. And it wasn’t the right time in my life yet. Last summer I decided something had to change in the way I create. It wasn’t until I had a portfolio review that I was tipped over the edge and I came up with an idea for a new series. And it wasn’t until right after that, when I heard Jennifer Thoreson speak at my Promoting Passion Convention, that I decided I needed to just start. Because sometimes beginning a project is the very key you need to figure it out.
So I started building. I came up with a plan, a sketch, an idea and then five. I went to Home Depot more times than I can remember so that I could ask the people there how to build something very basic, yet challenging to me – a room, with no windows or doors, and a moveable wall. At first no one took me seriously. They laughed at me and asked how I’d be able to even pick up the piece of wood I was purchasing. And it was mean, and it was probably sexist, and probably justified in a way, too (I’m a very tiny person). But I won them all over, and we ended up laughing together, and each time I’d go in they would ask how the progress was going and I’d give them an update.
…and remember, if you are thinking about starting a new project, sometimes you just have to BEGIN.
Have you accomplished something this year that you didn’t think would actually happen?
Or do you have plans to make something happen that has been nagging at you lately?
Final images to be released in an exhibition opening January 2017 in NYC.