July was an interesting month for me in terms of the art that I created because I did some stuff that I did not originally plan yet other things that have been on my calendar for a while were somewhat pushed to the back burner. I had intended to finish a couple of publications by July, but then I decided that I do not have to rush to complete those things (other than for needed income, of course; I mean emotionally/creatively). I once made an eBook in 2 days. Literally. At the same time, there are some eBooks and other publications that I work on just a little each month and I will not publish them until later in 2016 or 2017. I want to pause sometimes and at least enjoy my work itself since I do not have the luxury of enjoying the context (primarily because of how a lot of social media is awful) in which I share this work, as an aspect of income/survival. Let me at least enjoy the process if I do not enjoy the post-publication circumstances, right?
In July I created:
- More photographs to be the artwork within my upcoming subject-specific digital anthologies of Gradient Lair. Each anthology will focus on a particular topic that I wrote about while the space was active from 2012 to 2015. I designed the base cover this year; the photographs that I select for each subject-specific anthology will change depending on the subject, while the cover remains the same. Sometime in the future, the anthologies will be available in Publications here, and on an anthology link on Gradient Lair itself. This project is taking longer than I anticipated, but I am not rushing it at all, even mentally anymore. It is emotionally difficult to revisit some of these topics in of themselves and because some of this older content is still being plagiarized or exploited regularly. (i.e. I recently politely confronted someone about this and they actually modified all of their work to reflect my work as its source and what my work has meant to some particular womanist/Black feminist development in the age of social media. I was...surprised. It is pretty rare that someone responds to me ethically about their actions that start unethically in origin. Go figure. Usually it is mocking, abuse and more plagiarism as the response, as people claw and climb for "status," but on the backs of unaffiliated Black women who are creators.)
- New photographs that I shared on my Instagram profile for Drift Sojourn. On Drift Sojourn blog I posted quite a bit in July: Brown Butter Pecan Waffles, Aged Vermont Cheddar Cheeseburger, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Small Batch, Chicken Wings With Homemade BBQ Sauce, Steamed Kale and Ginger & Saffron Tea, Vanilla Sugar Waffles, Some College Days Eating Habits Die Hard, Four of My Favorite Things To Eat, Homemade Blueberry Waffles, Macro and Mood, Primary Blend, Breakfast Is Served!, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Small Batch (Revisited), and Critical Oxtail Theory. I also started doing something kind of fun. I follow a Twitter account @manygradients, which posts various colour gradients that make me think of certain moods and motifs. Thus, I reply to some of them with one sentence stories that a gradient they posted made me think of. I post them here in this TweetDeck Collection: Colour Stories.
- Some of the writing for my new photography eBook, which will be my fourth one. 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 in Publications and on an eBook link on Drift Sojourn itself. In June I mentioned that I should be done with this eBook by July, but see what had happened was...nope. I actually want to add another chapter to it and expand on some things in the intro, so it will be a little while longer before I publish this eBook. But soon come; I promise.
- One new post and 2 film reviews on Cinemacked: 3 New To Netflix Selections - July 2016, Film Review - Spotlight, and Film Review - Naz & Maalik. I did not live tweet films in July, mainly because I have been enjoying these outside of my creative work about film; in other words, I was just being at typical film viewer. I have been live tweeting Suits; season 6 premiered in July. All of the shows that I watch and links to tweets about them are on the TV Roster on Cinemacked. (I will share my favorite summer TV binges in a post in the future on Cinemacked.) I had 2 fun film chats on @Cinemacked in July; one was on ranking Christopher Nolan's films. The other was on film idea vs. film reality, or in other words, when a film seems great on paper, and has all of the elements a fan desires, but the output disappointed the fan.
- 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 in order to minimize abuse, copycats, plagiarism and the stress associated with these aforementioned exploitative types of actions. I am enjoying the work on these because they are somewhat different from the majority of what I have published in the past and will in the future.
- I wrote the following essay, published here on the blog: What People Think About Indie Art and Artists: A Survey.
I created this space last December 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). At the end of each month I share an Artists Make Art post to discuss what I created that month. In January, February, March, April, and May, I shared posts similar to this one. In June, I mentioned accountability for my work since there is no one to tell me what to do as an indie creator; I simply have to get it done. At the same time, I have to balance my own self-care and creative process over time. It is never "I must do this" or "I 'never' feel like doing that" but balancing life somewhere in between these opposing poles.