Cleaning out the closet is one of the most mundane, yet refreshing activities in my opinion. I recently sorted through my closet a few months back in preparation to move into a new place. I tossed more articles of clothing than I even realized I owned in the first place. I make decisions on what I will keep or toss (to hopefully someone who can find better use than I), based on how often I pull them off the dusty wire and plastic hangers and actually wear them on a regular basis. I am really repetitive in my wardrobe choices. I used only about one-fourth of what was in there. I have basics that I can use for one outfit, then I change the game and wear the same articles of clothing, in a different sense, to create an entirely different outfit. I am very minimal. I am happy with that. Speaking of cleaning out closets and starting fresh, a new year is approaching. The year 2017 was beautiful in may ways. I got engaged to my best friend, I started a new job, I left my old job of 8 years and I moved into a new place. While much of this year offered many blessings in my favor, there were parts of this year that were a bit off (for lack of better verbiage). Perhaps I say this because I am a bit disappointed in myself in a sense.
Allow me to explain. . .
When reflecting on my myself as a photographer/artist, I cannot help but feel some form of disappointment. I did not make very much work this year. I lacked interest. In fact, I only showed old work in galleries. Every time I started to pick up a new series, my motivation fled like birds flying south for the winter. They always come back though right? Perhaps I will as well. It is safe to say that I've been bitten and infected with the dreadful "artist block", but admitting is the first step right?
So what is my plan? To retreat into the place at which I started. To huddle up, much like a team will do for motivation and a game plan. I ask myself - What first got you interested in photography? What made you fall in love with this activity so much that it possessed you to grab a camera of your own, and shoot your own photographs? My real answer is, old photographs. I find real enjoyment from looking at old photo albums of family, or sorting through the box of photographs formerly under my parents dresser. I love photographs of my parents when they were young, before my sister and I were born. I love photographs of my grandparents and great grandparents from years past. I like seeing photographs of family members who I have never met because they passed on before I got that chance to meet them. I love the clothing these people wear. I love the expressions on their faces. I can't help but wonder who they were at that time the image was shot. What did they do for fun? What interested them? What scared them? What made them happy or sad? Did they have the same insecurities as me? If so, how did they deal with them? The mystery of it all fed my curiosity. It is what initially sparked my flame and desire for shooting photographs of my own. I am determined to ignite that spirit again. I believe many of us get so convoluted with unnecessary nonsense, that we often lose sight of what we actually care about. Perhaps it is to impress other people. Maybe it is because we are afraid to fail at something we love. I believe that much of it is self-inflicted.
So just like cleaning out my closet and purging what is not necessary anymore, I will start with a clean slate for this new year. Perhaps this is my new years resolution. I will work hard to stay true to my roots and always remember why I made art to begin with. Maybe, just maybe, I will find my way, or (if I am lucky) maybe I will spark inspiration in others.
May this new year be a great one. Happy 2018.