The Series! Argh! I've been working hard on the idea for so long...brainstorming, imagining, thinking, gathering props, building props, finding models, and a lot of reflecting. With so much preparation, you might think I should be flying through these shoots. Instead, I've only just finished shooting the fourth image!
Even though I know the meaning behind the series, the overarching metaphors and general look, the details of each image require a lot of working out. I know it's being shot entirely in my bedroom. I know I'm using navy blue paint in many images. I know each image must represent the frustration, depression or insanity artists often feel trying to express something, and harder, to express it with originality.
I like to have a pretty clear idea of what the final image will look like before the day of the shoot. Once I can envision it, I feel I know who to get to model. I can begin to picture wardrobe and props, what time of day and where in my room. For this image, I initially thought I would choose a female model. Then I began to try and place myself in the image. I thought it would be good to have myself in at least one image, but no matter how much time I spent meditating and staring at the walls of my bedroom, I couldn't imagine the final image with me in it. This went on for weeks! At last, I had a totally random idea for a model... a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. One I began to see him in the image, it all started to click. I wasn't 100% certain how it would be to shoot with him, but I had a hunch he would give it his all.
I'm asking a lot of my models for this project: I dripped paint on a friend, wrote all over one and buried her in wads of paper, wrapped my husband entirely in yarn and attached him to a piano, and, most recently, asked another friend to let matches burn down all the way to his fingers. I'm so thankful and humbled by their willingness to give themselves entirely to my vision, and that in itself is motivating.
I need the motivation now more than ever because I am getting distracted by a busy family schedule, current client work, and drumming up more client work for the long, hot summer months.
Thankfully, my next shoot is already on the calendar.