It’s currently 3:24AM where I am. Of course, because my sleep pattern has been thrown off as of late, I’m falling asleep at decent times yet waking up in them middle of the night unable to go back to sleep.
Well, tonight I found myself thinking about a number of things. I thought mostly about what I’m going to do to keep myself entertained (you know, something to fill up my time with meaning.) I woke up yesterday and I felt like nothing important really happened. I just kind of drifted through the day, like a ghost.
After it reached 1AM and I found myself unable to sleep, the house quieted, and my night-light on so as not to consume vast amounts of electricity and wake anyone else in the house, I started letting my mind wander.
I thought about what it means for me to be queer. I started reminiscing about my queer life thus far, as I was absent-mindedly watching YouTube videos on coming out stories and gay culture. I kept thinking about one of my past projects where I examined my own persona and body.
Then, somehow, I was thinking about my most recent project. It was my thesis work and I’m really happy with it. I made a book, about me… (vain as that sounds.) I was highly intrigued with the idea of pictures and written stories coming together to create a bigger, more compelling narrative. And that’s been on my mind ever since.
I picked up my laptop, and I started scrolling through different blog posts and articles on the “photo-story/photo-essay.” I realized that my thesis project was pretty much a photo-story, and that I liked working in this way. I really do.
Perhaps my love for this method goes back to my influences from childhood. I remember holding interest in photojournalism. In fact, before deciding to be an artist, that was the goal. Before photojournalism, there was a love for creative writing; I loved poetry more than anything. Then, from poetry came fictional stories. And somewhere in there, I picked up a camera and couldn’t put it back down.
Well, I’m not a photojournalist, nor do I anticipate becoming one (although, one never knows.) But this past goal of photojournalism might be exactly what led me to always be in search of the photo-story/essay. And it must be meaningful to me in some capacity for me to make a project out of the medium, right?
Back to the laptop…
In my reading through different articles, and watching a random assortment of videos, I found myself thinking about my next project. Now that I’m out of school, without any real boundaries, I’m lost. It’s the perfect chance to just try anything really!
I think I’m going to stay on the photo-story train for a little while though. Something tells me I’m not done yet. The problem is, I don’t know what my next story is going to be. I have no ideas or any sort of brainstorming what-so-ever. Is that a good thing? I don’t know. All I do know is that I’m listening out for a reason to go make more pictures again.
You know, something that got me thinking though was how simple photo-stories/essays can really be. Sometimes, I look at other peoples’ photo-stories, and I think to myself, “Who’d wanna read that?” Of course, that’s a question I’m always asking myself consequently. Who’d wanna read my photo-story?
I always read advice on this kind of thing and it always come back to such simple truths: make what you like, be passionate about it, be diligent in the project, and the rest will fall into place. I’d like to believe that those things are all I need to believe; on some days, I do. But that doubting, loudly obnoxious voice in the back of my mind seems so distracting on most days.
I’ve even had this question before, and I can never find an answer but I want one that is unwavering, so badly. I always wonder who would listen to what I have to say, and if no one listens then does my story even matter? To add, should it matter it’s really personal to me?
But I look around and others are just doing their thing and without waver. They don’t care; they just want to do what they do. Why can’t I feel that way? Why don’t I feel that way? Why am I so scared? I don’t know really…
I think maybe I’m scared of failure. I’m scared that I’ll put my heart on my sleeve and its rhythmic beats will fall on deaf ears. I’m scared my visual images will shine in blind eyes. I’m scared. *sigh* But it seems like it’s more than that really.
Somewhere, deep down inside of me, there’s a story I want to tell, and I want to tell it so badly. But what that next story is… I can’t say. What I do seem to be unwavering about, is that I still want to write a story. I want to keep making pictures. I want to pair pictures and words and stories. I want to play more with books. I want to just grab that childish fearlessness I used to have and run with it forever. Alas, that’s not my reality today.
Who knows? Who knows where this road I am walking leads? I sure don’t! Heh. But, I can only keep moving forward. I just wish I could get to work on the next thing already. I kinda wish I didn’t have to handle these adult responsibilities handed to me. I wish…
Bah! No wishing! More doing! OK…
Well, on a brighter note, I feel better. I think that I’ll do something soon. Perhaps God has something in the works for me. Whatever the case, it seems like my artistic journey is just getting started somehow. Now that I’m out of school with the knowledge I need to take me where I want to go, I just have to get there. Ah… this is going to be a long trip isn’t it…?
I feel a little giddy inside. Just a little. But… maybe you guys won’t mind joining me for the trip? I do hate traveling alone. I always like a companion or two…or ten… 😉
So, on this adventure I will walk the path before me. I’m scared. I’m spontaneous. I’m a dreamer. I’m an artist…