Living As Different Artists For A Year
Instead of a year in review blog post, a tradition I’ve kept going since 2010 (if you can believe), I’ve decided this year to share with you one of my new year’s resolutions - and a new monthly segment on this little blog here.
I moved to London this year primarily to be closer to art. I am a self confessed art nerd, but often keep this side of my life rather private and offline. After all, a great painting, sculpture or photograph deserves to be appreciated in person, not through a tiny screen in the palm of your hand.
While I have reaped the benefits of being able to walk into the National Gallery and stare at Turner for an hour at my peril this year, I have also been lacking artistic discipline with my own work. I have created more this year than I ever have before both commercially and artistically. I produced a body of work discussing my sexuality through the guise of Aphrodite and drawing inspiration from sculptures I studied at The Met, I appropriated a series by Stephen Shore in MoMa, and worked on a documentary piece shot on 35mm at fashion week back in April.
As always however, I feel as though I could have done more. Look at little over-achiever me!
As I try to work towards being 100% remote in my work, and expand my portfolio and move into a more photojournalism sphere, I feel that it more important now than ever to study the greats, plus a few personal contemporary faves, and learn from their techniques, their hobbies, philosophies and of course, their work.
The idea is simple. Each month I have a different photographer (or visual artist who employed photography as part of their work, a la Warhol) and study them. Sometimes this might mean that I revisit old work to re-edit in their style to broaden my skill set, or it might see me create new works around similar themes. It’s more of a long term art project rather than anything else, and an exercise in pure hedonism as I get so much pleasure out of stalking the lives of artists.
Every month, I aim to collate my thoughts about my artist of focus and reveal some of my work here on the blog and also use my material as content for my Instagram. I want to try and talk more about the process as an artist behind the projects I work on, and how those practices relay themselves into my commercial work. So if you’re reading this and you’re just starting to get into photography, I hope that this little experiment will inspire you.
I picked 12 photographers whose work I find inspiring, challenging technique wise, or who focus on areas I would like to work more in. January’s artist is Ansel Adams. American landscape photographer who shot to fame with his dodging and burning technique in the darkroom. I am excited to delve into my archives and revisit old work to analyse and edit in his style (I have no landscape photography expeditions on the horizon for January, sadly) and share with you how I tackled the challenge at the end of the month.
And, as always, here’s to a happy and productive 2019. Thanks for sticking around.