Though I have been an artist for over a decade, and most of my current projects are several years old, this particular blog, thetrudz.com (based on my Twitter user name that I created in 2009 and now use across several platforms) is a newer space that I created to bring my current interests together, and as somewhere to write in the aftermath of closing the live blog aspect of Gradient Lair in October of 2015. These current interests include: 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).
This space will turn a year old in December. Last December I started this Artists Make Art series to discuss what I create and work on each month, at least some of that which is in the public eye/social media.
In October I created/worked on:
- Editing and brainstorming (which I do throughout the creation process) in the process of creating the anthologies for Gradient Lair. Last month I mentioned someone really amazing is writing a foreword for one of the key anthologies for Gradient Lair; they sent me that foreword! I am so excited! Anyway, each anthology will focus on a topic that I wrote about and developed while the space was active from 2012 to 2015. Sometime in 2016 (tentative), the anthologies will begin to be available in Publications here, and on an anthology link on Gradient Lair itself.
- New photographs that I shared on my Instagram profile for Drift Sojourn. On Drift Sojourn blog I posted: Homemade Pasta Is Amazing, Lemon Tea Cookies and Homemade Soft Tacos With Spinach. I follow @manygradients, which posts various colour gradients that make me think of certain visual concepts; I reply to some of the gradient tweets with one sentence stories that they made me think of. I post them in a TweetDeck Collection: Colour Stories. This exercise helps me with anxiety and I like to do it as a visual artist. In the last few months I have been using Snapchat (user name: thetrudz) a lot to share what I am working on, including my writing, to post my cooking process and experiments with food as a newbie cook, to discuss my work as a professional photographer, and just for fun personal use. Jerk chicken, vegetable fritters and cake flour waffles are among the foods that I made on Snapchat in October.
- Content 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 for purchase in Publications and on an eBook link on Drift Sojourn itself. Additionally, I created a free publication called 300 Photography Resources with links that include photography education, photography business information, filmmaking, iPhone photography and more. You can download a FREE copy in Publications in November. While this is completely free, if you like it and want to support this creation, you can visit my Donate page.
- One new post, one new film review and one new TV review on Cinemacked: 3 New To Netflix Selections - October 2016, Film Review - 13TH and Chance On Hulu Is Darkness…In Broad Daylight. I tweeted about the films Deadpool and Zootopia in October. I live tweeted Longmire in October and will finish the fifth season in November. Additionally, updated my TV Roster on Cinemacked to reflect the new and continuing shows that I view, appreciate, tweet about, write about and critique, including shows such as Queen Sugar, Atlanta, How To Get Away With Murder and Lucifer. I also created my first Twitter Moments titled Black People Can Choose What Art To Consume and a lengthy Storify titled Media Consumption Itself ≠ Automatic Unity, Identity, Feminism, Activism that includes years of my work examining consumption and engagement in the context of capitalism and social media.
- Writing and additional organizational tools for the 2 surprise publications that I have been working on this year. I will not discuss these publications in too much detail until they are complete though. I am projecting to finish at least one of these before 2016 ends, but I am not rushing.
- The following essay, published here on the blog: I Am Tired Of Being Expected To Work For Free. This essay has been a long time coming; years even. It is a snapshot of the free labor demands and exploitation that I deal with as an independent creator.
Recognizing my need to rest is as important to me as recognizing my desire to create. When I looked over my Artists Make Art series, one thing that I realized is that I am not making logical deadlines where the time allotted matches the time needed to complete something. I am working alone. I do my own accounting/taxes and other administrative work. I create the stock photographs that I use in my essays; conversely, I write the essays that accompany my actual photography posts. I write, design, create photographs for, edit, publish, sell and maintain the publications that I have created. There is no team. There is no assistant. Thus, I am interested in making more logical choices and decisions about the actual time it takes for me to complete projects and not feel guilty about that longer time span since again, I am doing a lot and doing it alone. I look forward to really re-evaluating my deadline setting and making sure it is in a productive way that always centers my time, my physical/mental health and my need for relaxation and rest as well.