Once a month I discuss what art I created during the previous month in my Artists Make Art series. I shared such a post for January, February and March; this post is for April. I wrote the original essay for the series in December when I launched this new space to bring my personal, professional, and creative thoughts, ideas and work together; Gradient Lair (Black women and art, media, social media, sociopolitics and culture; womanism), Drift Sojourn (food, travel, lifestyle and macro photography) and Cinemacked (entertainment, aesthetics and sociopolitics of good film and television).
In April I created:
- Revisions for my subject-specific digital anthologies of Gradient Lair; each will focus on a particular topic that I wrote about while the space was active in 2012-2015. I want the anthologies to eventually be available in Publications here, and on an anthology link on Gradient Lair itself. Admittedly, this particular project is very difficult, emotionally. I am still dealing with consistent plagiarism on old content, some of the content is difficult to revisit, and I do not know if I have the financial resources to make this happen. I got rejected for a grant to help this and the abuse I would face creating a fundraiser is too much. I am wondering if I will proceed with this at all or try to go in a new direction and leave all this particular work behind. Unsure for now. If I do proceed, I would publish 2-3 of them to start and then 1 every 1-2 months, most likely. I have about 20 subjects on my mind, and I wrote about a lot more than that on Gradient Lair anyway.
- New photographs that I shared on my Instagram profile. I also made a couple of photographs inspired by Beyoncé's Lemonade visual album. I did not share any new posts on Drift Sojourn blog, but I am working on some other things within my photography that I will share later in the year. (I do have a rather long essay on my mind, but it is kinda far down on my "to create" list.)
- Some of the creative work for a new photography eBook, my fourth one overall. 2 of my previous three 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. I really want to publish this eBook in May, which is earlier than I originally anticipated. I hope that I am able to then.
- Three new posts on Cinemacked, including 2 that are collections of my writing on film and television; they include: 3 New To Netflix Selections - April 2016, 50 Film Reviews and 20+ Essays and Lists On Good TV Shows. While I have not posted a specific film review of Lemonade to Cinemacked yet, I did discuss the entire project from a different angle, via a Storify post that includes years of my writing on womanism and Beyoncé: Lemonade: A Southern Visual 'Novel' Unapologetically About The Humanity & Complexity of Black Womanhood. I also linked my live tweets from Formation World Tour to the Storify; I was so stoked and loved that concert so much. Any television show that I live tweet (i.e. Lucifer) has a link on the TV Roster page of Cinemacked.
- More brainstorming for 2 surprise publications. In the previous months' posts like this, I mentioned that I will not discuss these publications until they are complete. Some work is better shared when complete. Helps to minimize abuse, copycats and plagiarism, at least in the meanwhile.
- I wrote the following 2 essays, published here on the blog: 5 Inspiring Quotes From Beyoncé On Art, Creative Process and Vision and To Get Through This Thing Called Life on Prince. Music has a profound impact on my life and April was definitely a month about Beyoncé and Prince.
April had so many emotional highs and lows for me. Again, I confronted the thoughts that I alluded to in Social Media: "Fans," Supporters, Hypervisibility and Survival. I am not sure how to continue using social media for my work when I have to deal with hourly abuse and weekly to even daily plagiarism/exploitation. People harm me because I creating anything at all. People refuse to value (or at least leave me alone regarding) what I create as well. It is not just bigotry directed to me as an individual with my particular identity. It is exploitation; demands for free labor; sabotage. It is social and economic violence. It is targeted. I always talk about how art saves me. It does. I just wonder what will happen when it no longer can. Because I think that day is closer than I want to admit to. I am not sure that I can "create" my way out of the inevitable. I know that for now, I at least still try.