What am I trying to say as an artist? Where is it that I want to go? Those questions are swirling around in my head after taking a one-day class called Preparing and Presenting your Photographic Portfolio from a wonderful instructor, Chris Eagon, at the Oregon College of Art and Craft yesterday.
The question “where do I want to go” is an important one for us as artists. Having goals and direction are what keep us moving forward, learning and growing. It’s through the continued journey that we figure out how to make our unique mark in the world.
I’ve known since living in Italy that the next step for me, upon moving back to the US, would be to bring my photographs into the real world. I needed the foundation I gained while in Italy: Confidence in the creation of my images, sharing them with others online, and identification of my unique vision. I’m building from there now, learning how to print and exhibit my work. Even harder, learning how to talk about my work and myself as an artist, with people face-to-face. I did not expect it to be such a challenge, with all of that confidence and knowledge I had gained. But it’s a new realm, and the challenges are different. The fears are different. It’s the next step I need to take in my creative journey, regardless of the resistance that comes along.
I am starting to understand that there is the journey that is “Kat the blogger and teacher” and the journey that is “Kat the artist.” The are separate yet inextricable. If I did not continue on my own artistic journey, separate from blogging and teaching, I would have nothing to share here. I have to admit, the journey of the artist feels a bit more scary and lonely. It’s the one I have to do on my own, in order to be true to myself.
So I’m letting my thoughts swirl around the questions: What am I trying to say as an artist? Where is it that I want to go? Only by answering these for myself will I figure out how to make my mark as an artist. I thought I knew the answers, but they have changed. It’s time to answer them again.
How about you, do you know the answers to these questions for yourself? Do you know where you are headed next?