Time to Think

Just heard that my work has been selected by ShutterHub for the Festival Pil’Ours in France. This is fabulous news. That means so far this year, it looks like I will have/had work in seven shows so far.

They are:

ShutterHub OPEN - Amsterdam

Everything I Ever Learnt - Art at the Arb, Cambridge

Deep Water - London

Pallazzo Velli - Italy

Harena Now - Devonport

ReflectBude - Bude (installation piece)

Time to Think - Festival Pil’Ours, France

And there is one more that is confirmed but I’m not allowed to say anything as yet.

These are truly wonderful opportunities. In addition, I have one of my first sessions, via Cohort in St Ives, for 30+ students in July.

My quandary is this. How do you go from an artist who has to still work full-time - I’m lucky to love my ‘day job’ in river conservation comms and marketing - to either part-time of a fully fledged artist making a living from the income generated by your art?

If I’m honest, I probably would like a three-day week ‘day job’ that pays the same as full-time - but I guess most people would. What this balancing act between worlds does give me is incredibly honed organisational skills.

Creative types are often perceived as messy and unorganised, but I think that may be a misconception nowadays. As a photographer, I feel there has always been an element of mixing business know-how with artistic creation - having to compete in a saturated market place quickly helps you develop other techniques for promoting your work.

And being accepted for the exhibition called Time to Think, made me do just that. I not only gave consideration to the content of my work for entry but also to how I can keep working towards that moment when I can tip the balance in favour of more time to dedicate to my practice.

It seems that achieving my ideal day job/art practice balance is as obtainable as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But it does not matter, for even if, to keep the roof over our heads and food in our bellies, I never attain that dream, dreams wouldn’t be dreams if they always came true.

My motto for my practice, and my life, is a simple one: Be here now.

In my head...

there are so many thoughts I want to share but sitting down and writing anything is a tad difficult at the moment.

Having to work full-time to ensure I can keep a roof over my head, means my time to create new work is limited. And as the creation of new work needs to take precedent during the time available, my plans to blog in-depth and informative content have taken a back seat.

But one of the things I did discover lately while scrolling through some Twitter chats about photography, was how many other creatives are holding down other jobs and how there is sometimes a sense you are a ‘failure’ for not making a full-time living from your art.

Reading the thread, it dawned on me that I had often felt that way, yet at the same timeI realised I did not care anymore if others perceived this as not being successful.

I adore spending time on my practice, developing ideas and trying to achieve them. But what I also adore is the freedom I now feel in recognising that it does not matter if I’m the person who sets up a project to bring more photographic art to Cornwall (one of my on-going plans), or if I enter every suitable open call or competition I see. Freedom in being kinder to myself when juggling everyday life with the desire to make work is where I am at now - and somehow by caring less, I seem to be creating new work.

Quick blogs maybe where it’s at for me for the time being too - perhaps a means to document some thought processes - but definitely the simplest solution to a complex, creative juggling act.