There are as many different forms of self-expression as there are people. Some dance, sing, write, run, act. Self-expression and creativity go hand in hand so I guess it makes sense that I have always loved to write and make art. The art I create is wildly unlike the kind of photography I have done so far*, and from each I get something different. Whilst there is really no such thing as learning everything about a particular subject – there is still much for me to learn about making art and writing – photography is something I feel I have to learn more actively if I want to understand how to make the images I want to make. Over the past few years photography has slowly but surely become a constant in my life, but it was not until fairly recently that I realised why: because it is important to me, because it is another way for me to express myself – and because it is fun! This realisation made me want to apply myself more seriously to understanding the craft. Learning how to use my camera and working out the relationship between its functions and the final image takes a fair degree of conscious effort and, of course, plenty of practice and exploration. The process of learning how to do more with photography is complex but rewarding and it opens up more possibilities for new experience. Although I have a long way to go I now can’t imagine not using photography as a way to document what I see.
But drawing and writing have been fundamental to my life for as long as I can remember. When I draw or paint there is no barrier between me and the page and so I am set free. When I write, things seem to work better if I just let it ‘flow’ and don’t actively (desperately) try to write something that stands up; it feels more personal. The doodles (as I call them) I do are untidy but creating them is fun and relaxing, however messy or nonsensical they turn out to be! I feel that they are an expression of my imagination in a raw, more unpolished form, and that expressing myself in this way forms just one of my numerous creative identities.
The doodle above marks the beginning of a new sketchbook, which I aim to continue throughout the year…just as I aimed to keep a sketchbook (but didn’t) last year, and the year before. Here’s hoping I can keep it up this time!
* I distinguish between ‘art’ and ‘photography’ only for the sake of convenience and for lack of a better word for the other work I do; I class photography as art.