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Year-End Tally

damn, its been a good year. :)

I’m a big list-maker, its the virgo in me I guess. Anyway like most virgos I have a running list of resolutions and at the end of each year I like to cross things off and see how I’ve stacked up, only recently (like the last 3 years or so) have I actually been able to cross off 50% of my resolutions which is huge for me, so lets see how I did this year.

  1. Buy that film scanner I need.Purchased in November!  :)
  2. Get a domain & get serious about doing this blog (consistent posting) thankyouverymuch
  3. Donate a couple prints to charity for an auction.
  4. Participate or have my own (that’s pretty ambitious) gallery showing of my work for a Second Saturday event.Participated in the Sac Vox Second Saturday art show in March!
  5. Get my print store up, running, & prints into peoples homes! it was up until goodsie imposed a $15 dollar monthly fee, my only purchase was outside of the website anyway so I decided to close shop until I could afford it…
  6. Work on my portfolio (this is on my list every year it seems)Well its nowhere near done but I did make a few key decisions about my portfolio, at least the academic one, the real work begins when my Portfolio Development class begins in January. 
  7. Make some serious progress on my book project!

Well 5ish out of 7 ain’t so bad!! :) I feel like I’ve accomplished so much more that wasn’t on that list, lets hope the trend continues in 2012!

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I’ve been a bad bad girl

I will see you soon my friend. :)

So I recently cashed in some granted stock from work…and my original plan was to pay off all my debt and chip a big portion of my Visa bill away…and then I realized I keep paying off the same stupid card because I pay it off, then get sad about giving away all of my money and never getting anything of use. Seriously where does the credit go? So this time around I decided to buy a few things I’ve been meaning to get before I give all my money back to my debtors and continue being fiscally responsible Valerie.

FINALLY, I ordered my film scanner, which in the end is going to save me about 3-5 dollars per roll being developed not to mention the 20 dollars it costs to get a professional negative scan when I need to scan something hi-res, granted I may loose some sleep because while the quality reviews are amazing, apparently this process is slow as shit and I am impatient. I foresee many wine and scanning nights. Either way, I finally put my money where my film is and sacked up to buy one.

I’ve been lusting after this TLR like a cougar stalking her prey at a sports bar on college night for far too long and it will finally be mine. I will finally have in my possession a toy camera that I can respect.

And to accompany my new little toy I decided to get some fun film to experiment with since I’m not really known for testing the waters when it comes to switching up my films. I’m a Fuji and Illford girl, what can I say? I also added a couple rolls of Kodak Ektar and Porta films to see how I feel about those, since I’ve heard great things.

Though I may be out a couple hundo, at least my heart will be happy and I can actually USE these things for years to come (well not the film but ok). I’m going to justify my shopping spree as an investment in my artistic self. So, Merry Christmas to me. :)

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I was going to take the leap, but thank you for pushing me off the edge- I needed reason to scream.

bodega <3

“Starting today I promise to never settle for second best, or because it might be the most practical choice for my life. I promise to go after what I want and never give up until I’ve gotten it, whatever “it” is. I promise to live my life to its fullest potential…”

Almost a year ago to date I wrote out a personal manifesto, these are the first two lines. When I wrote these words I thought at the time that I was mostly talking about my love life and choice in friends, with my “career” in there too but only in the most general and far away of terms and “being happy with what I do.” I never in a million years thought that I would go from being pumped about trying to finish college and getting started on my dive into photography professionally that it would lead me to this point in my life. And as I sit and write and actually think about what is going to happen over the next 11 months or so the anxiety and excitement is reaching levels only wine can calm. To explain the severity and depth of the situation I have to give you a couple backstories.

When I took my first photo class in high school our teacher Mr Pic (yes that was his real name, short for Pickering) was constantly talking about art schools and more specifically  Art Center College of Design. Art Center is the most competitive and top rated art schools in the country and consistently ranks on every list as one of the best schools out there for design related careers. I never even fathomed dreaming about going to Art Center, I had my dream sights set on Brooks Institute which was cheaper and easier and which has since lost its prestige as a top art school. But here I am, browsing the Art Center admission requirements…

I’ve never been a dedicated student, my 8th grade algebra teacher could tell you that, he used to call my mom constantly frustrated that I would get A’s and B’s on my tests yet fail the homework. I wouldn’t say I’m brilliant, but I’m pretty fucking intelligent and school is generally a bore for me unless I’m being challenged to do my best and only my best work only. Its exhausting though and I generally don’t have the mental stamina to do well in subjects that bore the crap out of me. Put me in a darkroom and give me a deadline though and I will come out with my best work possible after many long hours with no food, breaks, or sitting. Its my passion. Back to my point. Recently the State of California has imposed a new course repeat rule which means you cannot attempt (and withdrawls are counted, AND its retroactive) a class more than 3 times. Unfortunately for me my procrastination due to brilliance, I now do not qualify to repeat necessary classes that I’ve attempted (which offer no alternative) more than 3 times over the millions of years I’ve been at Sac City College. Basically I’m shit out of luck, and trust me, I’ve pushed it.

To be quite honest though, last year after I had to retest for all of my placement tests (math and english because there is an expiration date and I’m like the oldest community college procrastinator on earth) I had come to terms with the fact that if I placed lower than before that it would basically spell the end for me and upper education. And then I started toying with the idea of going to art school as a “back up.” I figured, hey I know its not History, but I do love photography and at least I’d be doing something I truly love doing, right? When I got back my assessment scores and they were just as good as always, no remedial classes necessary, I was actually disappointed inside. Now I knew I HAD TO finish college like the rest of everyone else. Enter new course repeat rules.

Now, here is something FINALLY forcing me to apply myself to something I love. To follow my dreams. To not settle for second best, even though it might not be the most practical choice. To live my life to the fullest potential and pursue everything I want out of life instead of choosing the desk job, house and kids. The thought of dropping 140k on an art school bachelor degree is TERRIFYING to me, its just so unconventional. But at the same time its exciting. I’m one of those people who sometimes needs to be pushed into something because I’m too scared to fail, but once I try and see myself succeeding its really hard to stop me.

So here I go. I’m enrolling in a portfolio development photo class this coming semester at Sac City (might as well suck that BOG fee waiver dry while I can, right?), to help get my portfolio ready for submission for Spring 2013 with an October 2012 deadline…

This is probably the biggest risk I’ll ever take in my life.
This risk is bigger than allowing myself to fall in love.
This risk is bigger than flying across an ocean by myself.
Bigger than walking down that dark alley by myself the other day when parking was scarce.
More dangerous than driving fast on a wet freeway.
Scarier and more intimidating  than the trip to South East Asia I’m trying to plan.
More anxiety-inducing than the thought of squeezing a child out of my body one day.
THIS RISK is the risk to end all risks in my mind.
If I can do this, FUCK I can do ANYTHING.

This is one of those life changing pivotal moments that when all is said and done… I’m going to look back one day and say to my kids…

“THIS is the moment that changed the entire course of my life.
THIS is when it happened.”

I could really use a shot right now. ;)

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only the beginning

my little stairwell of black and white

Its finally here, the pictures are printed, mounted, matted, framed & hung, business cards are at FedEx waiting for me to pick them up, tags are being put on tomorrow, the goodsie shop is all set to go for this months launch… all I have to do is figure out what I’m going to wear saturday night. :)

I had a chance to preview the photos of the other photographers and wow, its going to be a great show. I feel like such an amateur compared to these guys because they’ve got some really beautiful work hanging, but I do take comfort in the fact that there were only a few of us shooting in film, and only two of us doing true black & white.

I think for the May show I’ll shoot in color and try printing on canvas or something and see how I like it…we shall see. Now I can start working on my next project! I hope to see all 5 of my readers at the show saturday, haha!

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I feel like I’ve been cheating myself since the new year began.  I have so much to do and I ended up spending most of my time with a special someone who came to visit me over holiday (not complaining though), I ended up spending most if not all my money while they were here and now school has begun which brought on its own set of drama like always… I’m not trying to make excuses for not working on my stuff lately but life definitely got in the way this month and I’ve let January kind of slip by me.

Last night I realized that I have essentially a month and 2 weeks to shoot, print 2 fiber 12×14’s, and reprint 2 other shots onto 16×20 canvas for a photography show I’ll be participating in March with VoxSac.  I’ve been kinda hush-hush about it until now because I wasn’t sure if I’d be participating or not but this week I’m making it official.  OH yeah, that’s right!  Guess who conquered one of her resolutions before she even had a chance to tell anyone what her resolutions were???  ME. Even though I’m starting out kind of small its a step in the right direction.  I need the practice of showing my work and seeing what people like (and like to buy).  VoxSac seems like the right fit for me now to gain the experience of showing my artwork in a gallery type setting, as informal as it may be.  They’re a really down to earth artist collective and show all forms of art which is inspiring to me to see other budding artists and their beautiful work.  Eventually I’d like to show a large collection at the Viewpoint Gallery here in Sac but that is going to come at a much later time when my portfolio is a little more consistent.  I really respect what Viewpoint does and who they show so it would be a huge accomplishment for myself to show there since they are a gallery specifically for fine art photography.

But anyway, as soon as I get my school situation sorted out this week (hopefully) I plan to hop right back on track with what I’ve been trying to work on.  I haven’t been able to do much except assemble a panorama of the first location I shot for my book project, and I’ve been kind of toying with the idea of what I want things to look like. These things take time I guess, I’m not normally a patient person so this is a lesson of a lifetime.

Passing through small towns, Amtrak (35mm b&w, used a split filter during printing, spots you see are from the scan not the print)