As I mentioned in Artists Make Art: Personal Stories - January 2016, I am working on a few long-term projects with projected publication in spring and summer, as well as doing my continual writing and photography that I share within my various online spaces.
In February I created:
- Some of the interior of the first 2 Gradient Lair anthologies that will be published this spring and available in Publications here and on an anthology link on Gradient Lair itself. While I closed Gradient Lair last October, it is still accessed and/or referenced daily all over the world. I am creating subject-specific digital anthologies of Gradient Lair; each will focus on a particular topic that I wrote about in great detail while the space was active. (Click here if you want to support this long-term project coming to fruition.)
- New photographs that I shared on my Instagram profile. I did not share anything new on Drift Sojourn blog in February; the last thing that I shared there was my end of the year post of my favorite photographs of 2015. There are a few things that I want to discuss within the photography industry, so I may blog in March or April on Drift Sojourn blog. (As far as photographs go, my most current work is posted on Instagram more frequently than the blog.)
- Research to support the preliminary outline (that I created in January) for a new photography eBook, my fourth one overall. Two of my previous photography eBooks—Photography Projects For Practice and Portfolios and Free or Frugal: Learning and Creating Photography On A Budget—are available right now in Publications and on an eBook link on Drift Sojourn itself.
- A new post, a new essay and 2 film reviews on Cinemacked: 3 New To Netflix Selections - February 2016; A Master Class On Film With Director Julie Dash; Film Review - Tangerine; Film Review - A Ballerina’s Tale. I also did a thorough live tweet of the film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution, and live tweets of the films Atonement and Lila & Eve. Though I wrote 2 film reviews in February, I did not write any TV reviews (but I will write quite a few of them in March). However, I did live tweet a few shows, and all of the shows that I live tweet have links on my TV Roster page on Cinemacked. I also participated in a film chat with @BitchFlicks on Black women and film/TV.
- The preliminary work for a second surprise publication. I mentioned in January that I am working on a surprise publication that I have not discussed anywhere online and will not discuss it until I complete it. Well...now that is two surprise publications. I get great ideas whenever I am near water (i.e. while doing dishes, taking a shower, visiting the beach) and one came to me that I have started preliminary brainstorming on.
- I wrote the following essays, published here on the blog: Why People On Twitter Avoid Your Essays, Mixtapes and Other Art and Nostalgia and Living Fully.
Just as I alluded to in January, sharing art is often more terrifying to me than creating it. This fear is not about people rejecting the art itself. If it was only that, I could deal. I love the creative process, from an idea's conception to the birth of a new work of art. This is true for me whether it is a single photograph or a single essay; this is true for me whether it is an entire project or an entire new blog and creative space. What I do not like is the abuse that I have to endure for daring to create art as a Black woman that is hypervisible online. This is something that I discussed before in Dealing With Disrespect For My Time and Creative Process As An Artist and especially in I Do Not Like The Ways That Most People Use Twitter. It is really difficult to mitigate. I still love creating art, but I do recognize the toll that online abuse takes, especially when it is something that I endure every single day for several long years now.
But alas, artists make art. It is what I do, what I know, what I feel, and what partially defines me. I define myself and that definition is not only in reference to production. But at the same time, creating art saves me, adds meaning to my life, and allows me to interpret life with my own meaning. Whether it was drawing something as a child, just to make myself happy, or the first time that I had a painting in a child art exhibit that my late mom was proud of, I knew that making art was something that I love to do. My love for photography began as an adolescent and still fulfills me as a mid thirty-something adult. Now, did I expect writing to become one of these crafts that I am passionate about? Well...no. The serendipity of becoming a writer. If you would have asked me about this a decade ago, I might have laughed at you. Yet here I am. In Why I Write, I mentioned my path to becoming a writer. It most certainly was not planned. It most certainly is interesting though. What I enjoy most is combining several of my skills and interests together. Photography. Writing. Design. Research. Project management. Analysis. And what might be the job of several people—writing, editing, designing, publishing, marketing, sales—for an eBook, for example, is all my one job. So it takes a while. But this is why I think discussing my creative process each month is not just me sharing on my blog as any other writer would do, but also looking at my full process with perspective and feeling proud of the process, flaws and all.
Related Post: Artists Make Art