Through the Glass Darkly

I am finally getting a chance to focus on my imagery.   It feels like focus has always been an issue with me.   Those that know me will say I am prone to distraction.   I have so much diversity in my life and have become a master of multitasking.   I have so many passions and directions I am drawn and dabble in a lot of different things.  I am good at whatever it is I take on, but have a hard time making a commitment to just one thing.   I love landscaping and being outside and working in the earth, I actually make money at this, but it’s only seasonal.   I love to cook and create amazing foods, I always wanted to go to cooking school, but could never afford it.  Unfortunately I do not make money at this.  I am passionate about live theater and the process of collaborative creation.  I did make money at this and found it was the prefect balance of my right brain/left brain activity.   This was one thing I was very good at but didn’t like constantly being on the road and scrambling for work. Recently I did a make-over of my studio; well actually a takeover, a complete reinvention of the space.  I designed it, build it, even did the wiring.   I didn’t realize what a creative process building actually was.   I also work for UPS part-time in the evenings and surprisingly love this as well.   I am what’s called the system’s operations manager; bringing the drivers in from the end of their days, linking their data, solving issues that may have come up, and closing out their payroll.    It’s a constant challenge and is ever changing as I am allowed to come up with innovative ways to look at problems and streamlined my process. It’s surprisingly more creative then you would imagine.   I defiantly make money at this. You could say I live and survive on a life of being creative. To do it in Montana is truly a feat in and of itself.  To epitomize the core of myself: to be curious and always explore, to grow and learn, and to constantly challenge myself.

Photography is one of my greatest challenges.  I feel a passion deep within me to express and explore my identity with it.   But it brings a lot of self-doubt.   As I am constantly questioning  if I have what it takes to make a go of it.  It seems the world is changing and everyone has become a photographer or knows a photographer. Sustainable work in this field seems to become more and more scarce because people can do it themselves and don’t need to hire someone anymore.  The new technology makes everyone capable of taking a decent image.  Now there is so much competition.   I have tried every way possible to get myself out there.  Thrown lots of money at advertising but only gained a marginal return.  Some times I make money at it, sometimes I don’t, more often don’t, hence the need for all the other distractions which I actually do need to sustain me.  As I get older, it seems to get more complicated and more difficult.  Landscaping takes a greater toll on my body.  I think for most people life gets easier as they get older, for creative people life does not, it’s a constant struggle.   Living in and being from Montana seems to be equally challenging.  No one here knows my work and what I do.  I have suppressed what I am really passionate about, photographing nude men.   I have been creating many of the images that are about to emerge from this project for years in total solitude. Something here; something there; always deconstructing my own life and examining it for truths about my own existence and meaning.  I have lived the life I have always wanted, done the things I have desired, visited the places that captivated me, been fearless.   Well there it is, I am finally getting to the core of what I want and need.

So here it is, facing my greatest fear and putting aside all the anxiety, exposing myself for the entire world to see and judge.  Several years back I was diagnosed with Lymphoma and spent a summer under going chemotherapy; it scared the bee-jesus out of me and somehow put my life into hyper-drive, to overachieve, to find meaning.   Suddenly, last fall I began realized I needed to stop and and find a focus.  I now know photography needs to be that focus because it has the greatest meaning to me.  I also know this is going to be a painful process for me.  I am going to have to sacrifice to see this though.  The concept of this project is going to be my greatest challenge yet.  This is what I have always wanted, time will only tell if I am actually any good at it or not, but it’s time to go for the brass ring.   It’s time to reach for what has always seemed unobtainable and hopefully get recognized and actually make a living doing this type of work.   I am facing my fears of rejection and self-denial to put it all on the line. I give myself one year to make it all happen.