Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Stacks

I received a shipment of books today for a column that I am writing for a Photographer's magazine. I am a little concerned about where I am going to store all of the books that will be coming should the column be successful. (This first one is a trial run.) Some of them are lovely. I'm excited about the opportunity and the books themselves, just worried about the space constraints of our already full condo. Hmmmm. What is a girl to do?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Looking Up

It has not been an easy few months. When I decided to return to photography after six years in a relatively lucrative corporate position I knew it wouldn't be. Everything that is worth doing is worth struggling for, worth whatever heartache, obstacles, and pressures come your way.

Getting this MFA was worth doing. Despite the long and hard academic road, the trials and tribulations of living 200 miles from my husband, the financial hole I dug for us - despite all of that, this road was worth taking. I will never look back at my choices and think "what if." Never. I pursued my dream and it has gotten me here.

And here seems to be acknowledging my struggles. I have now had three articles published, two about well-respected photographers and one about me. Three more are in the queue with various publications to be published soon. I was just recently asked to join Photographer's Forum magazine as their book reviewer and will be starting a position teaching photography at Grossmont Community College next week, and am working on a book with three photographic veterans due out later this year.

During this whole experience I have often returned to The Artist's Way to try and find a path, find some self-motivation, even find courage. One of Cameron's repeated mantras is to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for your desired artistic endeavor and then let The Universe Know. "I'm ready, Universe. I am ready for the door to open. I will walk through."

The nice thing about Cameron's universe is that it can serve whatever function makes sense to you. It can be Serendipity, God, The Great Creative Flow, Genius, or anything else that allows you to realize that you don't have to go it alone. Something out there wants you to be creative. Some power in our existence wants positive energy to flow from everyone, and when you open yourself up to it, amazing things begin to happen.

I think my first Serendipity (as I prefer to refer to this force) came in the form of my beautiful and talented sister, Jenn. After all, she's the one who gave me a personal copy of The Artist's Way. Everything else fell into place after that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

MFA Complete

I know I haven't written for a while. That would mostly be because I was concentrating on the show, the defense, and the culminating document. All of that is completed, now. I finished the remaining requirements and as of December 6th I am officially a Brooks MFA graduate.

The ceremony itself was held on December 21st and my immediate family and some professors were there to celebrate. There was a small snafu with the actual hooding process as Dr. Anderson had trouble getting my hood to open and accusingly uttered "Did you sew it shut?" as he frantically tried to pull the edges apart, but aside from that the ceremony went off without a hitch.

Now the real work begins. I have been applying to jobs and seeking out opportunities since April of last year, but in many senses I have given myself leeway for not having found work because I was still "in school" despite the fact that classes themselves stopped meeting in August. Now, though, I have to find a job to stay alive, to keep our house, to pay my debt. And I'm not sure where art fits into that picture. I'm worried at this point that it can't but at the same time trying to continue supporting myself and building my resume with jobs that have enough flexibility that the art can still exist - writing, freelancing, shooting weddings - even though the impetus for the art seems distant somehow. I am trying to determine how to make all of this work without losing the thing I have sacrificed for these past four years. I'll keep you posted.