[ Journal 2017 – February and March ]
(TL;DR – Press card, last protest, slow months, finishing the zine, finishing other projects, self-publishing, the age of 42 and some daffodils.)
Meanwhile, in London …
There’s still a chill in the air, so I’ll keep the windows closed. Winter isn’t being too bad, I have to say. I’m trying to get myself a press card from The National Union of Journalists. I have become a member and will apply next month. It requires that I send some recent work. I have limited content to send, but will try regardless. I’m pretty certain they’ll turn the application down. I’m hoping that becoming a member will lead me to finding out how to go about becoming a photojournalist. It’s something I’ve always wanted but it’s difficult, especially when I have no idea where to start or how to go about it. The last five years trying have pretty much been going to places, emailing people and trying to get into events. However, once I have the content, I have absolutely nowhere and no-one to send them to. I don’t know how others have managed it – to at least get on an agencies books. Still, I’ll just go with it and see how I get on. I’ve also begun my application to do a Master’s in Documentary and Photojournalism. Just need to get that statement finished. I feel the need to get my Master’s done ever since not being able to take the place offered to me in 2005. It’s been an itch and a want ever since, but life just got in the way. I’ve decided to finally get on and finish some things and get on with others.
No To Trump Demo
Still going to a few protests and demonstrations although I think this is to be the last. The project has been ongoing for six years and I think I am about done with it. I made up a mock-zine to see how things looks and how the print quality was. Everything was in order apart from some additions and edits. For years I have wanted to make something a little bit different but with costs, I decided to stay with a simple zine. I’d always envisioned it in the way I have created it – to use the colours and text of flags and banners that I had seen – to use marker pen throughout – I even thought about having little separate smaller ‘flap’ papers inside of the leaflets I collected, but that idea was a little hard to create so have simply stayed with scanning them and putting them in as spreads. I’m okay with that. The demo itself was good. The turnout was tremendous and the people there willing to let me take my shots. Struggled with the litle Fuji flash for the X100s – it looks great, but to be honest, with the little batteries it takes, it’s just not performing how I want it to. So I’ve gone with an old 6-volt converter and will use the Speedlight I had on the Mamiya 7. Fuck it.
February and March have been pretty slow going in terms of actually getting out there and photographing things. I’m not sure why that happens – I can be on an up and go at things full on with such determination and then the following month find myself in that slump where I’m doing nothing photographically. For much of Feb’ I was simply finishing up on the zine and actually making last-minute edits; the mock-ups were en-route. And the same can be said of March. I was still getting some materials, spray paint, stencils, marker pens and other little bits, that it took up most of my creative time, and that took me away from getting out to make more. And in a way I’m okay with it. The want to always be making photographs is constantly there, but there are times when I just need to refresh myself and purge myself of all things; to slow down a little.
After six years on the protests, I simply needed to get the zine finished, complete and finally at that point where I can say that I have truly finished something. Throughout all my years, I have struggled to gets things finished – I’ve started so many things, in writing, in animation and then in photography, but nothing was ever really finished – nothing was ever really polished and neat and at an end. It means something to me to finally get this done and has spurred me on to finishing up the other projects that have lingered. I feel like I have lived with some of these projects for far too long. Other ideas have come up, but some projects have been on-going for so long that they have in some regards, pulled me away from moving on. So I am moving on from them.
MILK is almost done and I have a dummy-book on the way. I was looking at getting a bible to use the photographs in, but that’s already been done, so then I thought to get a blank bible to use as a template or print it myself on 40gsm paper, but they seem to be non-existent, so I have simply opted to make up a Trade book, the smallest and will craft it all together myself once it arrives. The pages edge will be in gold, reminiscent of many bibles and I’ll add a golden ribbon bookmark to it. I’m basically trying to make it look as bible-like as I possibly can. Would have been great to have had it with a fake leather cover. However, I will simply be fine to have it done and as before, to have it all finished so I can move on.
I LOVE LONDON is something that I will take a look at next year with regard to making it into print form. I have so many ideas for it, but the basic general design I have come up with will not change.
I don’t really look at or start each project with the intention of self-publishing them, but for the one’s that I have spent a considerable amount of time on, it’s nice for me to have that closure in print form. I never create, or set out to self-publish with the idea that they’re actually going to sell – I’m not a popular or known photographer, or even a very good one at that – I have very little social presence or that large circle of friends to turn to in order to guarantee sales – just simply having an end product, where I can say, ‘…this was my time over those years documenting this – you’re welcome to it should you want to.’, is enough for me. I’m really enjoying it all though, and that too, is more than enough.
In 12 days, I will be 42 years of age. I’m not sure how I feel about that, edging further away from the 30s. I’m not going to think about the 50s. Fuck that.
More and more the days are aglow in that pastel yellow light of springtime; I saw the first gathering of daffodils today in the local lone flower-box near where I live that oftentimes gets used by people to dump all kinds of weird and wonderful discarded bits-and-bobs. The warmth of the sun feels nice as I sit here in my tiny box of a home in South London – the window is open, the crisp fresh air of new and the sound of London life beyond filling my day, my mind, my soul.
Grab the mju-ii, some film, I’m outta here!