New year, fine art

I’ve been sat over my coffee for 30 minutes now (its cold but I’m drinking it anyway because Starbucks prices are enough to bankrupt me) and I can’t for the life in me think of how to start this without it being cliche, so here goes.

Its 2020, meaning New Years resolutions- I haven’t made one as such, more just decided to take control of my mental health and live with a “what happens, happens”mindset, which I fear could be dangerous, but I’ll see how long it lasts. The ending of 2019 was a difficult one for me. Everything I thought could go wrong in the last few months did. The one that was the last straw was my surgery being cancelled with no warning and me only finding out when I’d travelled 2 hours to get there with a bag full of post-surgery necessities. I say necessities, it was mostly candy and Doritos but after my last hospital stay, the food just doesn’t cut it, I’m a growing boy. So after a December of mental breakdowns, rash decisions and screaming into the void, I have decided that the rational thinking I did post-breakdown, is something I am going to lead with this new year. I can’t be dramatic this year- it solves absolutely nothing and just exhausts me.

With that in mind, I did something that at the beginning of 2019, despite being medicated for anxiety, would have seemed impossible. I went to a public place and took photos using balloons. What- the? I hear you asking. You read right though. Now, throughout my entire time doing photography, I have never taken photos in a public space whilst drawing attention to myself. Sure, I’ve taken photos of nature, but that’s different, everyone does that. The closest I got to drawing attention to myself was using my homemade camera because no one had any idea what I was holding and why I wasn’t using digital, which is fair enough I suppose, we live in a digital era, why on earth would you go old school.

Anyway, back to my anxiety-inducing photoshoot with balloons. I went to a public space, granted not suuuuper busy, but baby steps right we’re only a week into the new year, and took photos of a balloon in different locations with the aim to create triptychs of a somewhat spooky balloon (thank you IT) in various locations. Now, where it starts getting tricky is the weather- its winter, dark and windy- not overly helpful when trying to capture balloons. Its even more tricky when you go with three already full of helium and within the first couple of photos one of them pops. Then the ultimate challenge comes when you haven’t got 3 shots of one colour and it’s almost completely out of helium and will no longer float. However, unlike my previous 2019 mindset of basically throw a tantrum and completely quit trying, I persevered and managed to get 2 whole triptychs out of a 4 hour shoot. Not bad going. Usually this would distress me because how on EARTH do I only get that many, how is it not more? Am I not good enough? But that is old me speaking, it doesn’t matter the quantity, the outcome was perfect, even better than I had planned and I am damn well good enough, the elements were just trying their best to kick my ass.

Live and learn right? Next time I will hope for better weather (difficult in England) and I have now made this project one of my ongoing ones for 2020, you never know, maybe I’ll incorporate people at some point- although I do like the sinister vibe (thanks again IT) of a single lone balloon. I do wonder if there would be a way to have a singular balloon and it not look like a screen grab from a horror movie? Maybe I’ll know the answer but the end of the year.

final red

The above triptych is the spookiest (AGAIN, THANKS IT) and one I am proud of on so many levels. First is my perseverance of getting a rapidly deflating balloon look neat, but the second is one I feel I’m not “meant” to talk about, but I am all about transparency, is my use of photoshop. Anyone who knows me, knows that for the last 3 years at least, photoshop has been on my “do not use” list, other than adding watermarks, I don’t edit anything using it. However, whilst my balloons were failing, I knew I wanted each triptych to have a water feature in the middle panel and this was becoming more and more difficult and this series were the second I shot and water just wasn’t possible by the time I got to it, so I used a photo of a yellow ballon that I had shot earlier and completely changed the colour to red (cheating I know), but I mean thats what photo editing is for, right? I must admit, it felt amazing being able to completely change something too, this series is fine art, not documentary, so why shouldn’t I try new things and everyone else does it!

So, so far this year, I have battled anxiety to create one of possibly my favourite photo series and learnt new photoshop skills and we’re only 6 days in. Starting the year with a lot of positive thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

Alex

Life update

Its been a little while since I last updated everyone who bothers to read this, so I figured better late than never, right?

I’ve been trying to write this for roughly 2 weeks and it will more than likely take me hours, if not a couple of days to write the update and I’ll explain why in a moment, but first, as some of you may know, I had surgery last December and I had my last post-op check up on the 2nd of October. I’m recovering well and have finally been discharged. The week after (8th) I had a pre-op appointment to get a hysterectomy and I will be going into surgery again this December. I must really have a thing for timing surgeries for around Christmas. So that is one of my biggest pieces of news.  Now, back why it will definitely take me way too long to write this- I’ve finally come off my anti-depressants. For anyone who might not know, I was on Sertraline for a year due to many different factors in my life and whilst it helped me massively over a little bump, I felt it was time to stop depending on them (although theres nothing wrong with that!). So, starting in August, I began weaning myself off (I got my gps permission- anyone considering coming off meds, ALWAYS get a professionals permission). 6 days ago, I finally ran out of tablets (yay!), but now I am having very bad withdrawal symptoms, which are leaving me exhausted and struggling, hence why it might take me absolutely ages to write a quick update.

Anyways, that’s pretty much everything thats been going on with my lately, other than my ongoing visa quest which is at a standstill and is beginning to infuriate me, but theres not an awful lot I can do other than joke about it- if I don’t laugh I will cry.

Near future quests include going to London to see my friend, visit the British library, Tate gallery (last time I visited the Tate I was exhausted and hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, so honestly I don’t even remember what I saw), hopefully get in a few photoshoots- if I don’t manage to get portraits, I am definitely going to be visiting Canary Wharf at night and photograph the hell out of it; and go to yet another protest.

Another future quest is my ongoing struggle to get a job that I don’t completely hate. PLEASE someone remind me when I do finally move, that I never want another job in hospitality, its slowly draining the ever loving life out of me.

Honestly not a lot more is going on, I’m living a very slow, boring, yet oddly exhausting (yay depression!!) life.

As predicted, this took me 3 days to write.

Feel free to subscribe to my site if you want reminders for my mundane updates to make yourself feel better about what you’ve accomplished! (We all love reading about someone else self loathing, right??)

I PROMISE there will be a new post next week about my trip to London because honestly a trip to London is the most exciting thing to a Northern boy.

  • Alex

Summer’s coming to an end

ITS SEPTEMBER!!

That means, spooky season is upon us. In fact I went into a store today and their halloween aisle was already set up and I had to refrain from buying all of the candy, gravestones and skeletons (I daren’t get any until October 1st otherwise I’ll end up with WAY too much stuff, actually, can you ever have too much spooky time stuff?) Anyway, tangent! that’s not what this post is about- again, October 1st I’ll talk about this a lot more, but I am afraid y’all will be sick of me if I get too excited now.

So, back onto topic, I swear there is a point to this post. Technically its not the end of summer yet, even though in the UK it definitely feels like it is- I’m already back in sweaters and complaining its cold- the weather just can’t win, damn climate change. I have been noticing though that my back garden, which is a blooming masterpiece (mind the pun) in the summer, has started to die back. This means autumn is quick approaching and also means that I can get some wonderful photos of decaying nature, which is exactly what I’ve done.

Of course, it wouldn’t be my photography, without the signature lgbt+ vibes/ film vibes. So I hope you enjoy the collection of super spur of the moment photos that I took. Read to the end for techniques and a quick summary of my favourite trip this Summer (or just appreciate the photos- its completely up to you!)

IMG_8850 copyIMG_8849IMG_8841IMG_8840IMG_8839IMG_8833

Before I move onto my favourite trip, the technique I used for the photos involving rainbows, was the trusty CD and torch method. This is actually the first time i’ve managed to perfect it and I’m sure I can do even better if I had a second person to make the rainbows- its surprisingly hard to hold 3 things and take a photo when you only have 2 hands. If anyone tried this, please tag me in the photos and show me!

Now, onto mu favourite trip this summer. It was definitely the single camping trip I took. I completely forgot how much I enjoy camping until this. I visited the Lake District, Grasmere and Ambleside to be specific and gosh the scenery is so inspiring- I felt like I could write a whole novel, write amazing poetry and take the most amazing photos (the inspiration faded soon after I left, definitely need to spend more than a weekend there). I’ve attached the few photos I took, I am the WORST and didn’t take my camera, oops, it’s a good job my phone is great at capturing moments!

20190817_15064020190818_15522820190818_155608IMG_20190818_103703_442

 

Top 10 creators

This is going to be a very quick post, but I’ve realised I don’t seem to really post on my site which creators I love and who inspires me, so here goes, a list of my top 10! (with links cos what’s the point if I don’t give you access to their content)

  1. Anastasia Tasou She creates the most wonderful line art work. She’s really taught me how to not give a damn what others think of your work and to create things that you want to create. She also creates the cutest self help zines & will do custom tattoo designs.
  2. Travis Alabanza They’re a wonderful poet- their words are in my experimental video! They’re also currently touring with a theatre show called “burgerz” that (without giving too much away) is about the transphobia that they face.
  3. Neil Hilborn He’s another poet! He writes about mental health and every poem of his brings out she kind of intense emotion. You’ve probably already seen his work before, but he definitely deserves a place on this list!
  4. Fox Fisher Fox is a non binary creator, who creates videos with “my genderation” as well as their own solo political art. They are one of my main inspirations for any of my political projects- they’re truly a great person.
  5. Rinko Kawauchi Inspired 90% of my photographic aesthetic, from cool tones to very light and airy lighting and square format. I’m very thankful that I found her work, it truly resonates with me.
  6. Amber Ive followed Amber on instagram for a long time and for real whenever I see her work my jaw drops. Her witch vibe rooms and nature drawings are stunning and I definitely wish I could live inside her art!
  7. Ksenia Zim Is another creator who’s work makes my jaw DROP. I could only imagine in my wildest dreams being as good at embroidery as they are. Their Aurora Borealis embroidery is just amazing.
  8. Percy Moon Percy’s one of my closest friends and his art is stunning! Honestly if I had the funds I would definitely buy everything that he’s created!
  9. The obscure Collective This is the collective I was a part of for my end of year exhibition and everyone in this collective inspires me in a different way. We all achieved so much and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of classmates.
  10. Craftywhitemice My last person who inspires me is my mum! I love being around her when she’s creating things and she definitely reminds me where I get my creativity from!

 

The list could go on for ever, but I’ll stop here! Be sure to check out the people listed, they deserve so much appreciation

2 weeks over

If you read my last post then you’ll know I visited my parter in New York for the past 2 weeks. You may also know that I have been endlessly applying for jobs there, so far unsuccessfully, but hopefully luck will strike and I’ll be in the state where my heart seems to belong.

Over the next few days, I will be suffering from jet lag but I will hopefully pick up motivation to post the photos I took- I kinda regret taking them on film now!

However, here’s a quick selection of the photos I took on my phone

38258633-9222-4F3E-A911-557804FBAE34
The flight
IMG_5688-113042700-1559743972631.jpg
NJ Renaissance faire
IMG_5697.jpg
NJ Renaissance faire
7CF94A60-64E0-4A2A-9D31-7A808FC3E2D9.jpg
View from the top of the intrepid
90380B39-BF63-4A04-B451-9D357AE92178.jpg
Alices tea shop chapter 2
73A192A7-A021-4226-88D4-BA27D8A27E8B.jpg
The highline
98FCCFAE-4D1E-4460-A48F-FBDB22BA0A33
Hudson yards, NYC
124A9700-05FF-409A-98DA-C204B7117109
The highline
CD1DECC7-FCCB-4B1D-A400-A5CDA52EDCB2.jpg
Hudson yards, NYC
IMG_5834
The color factory
217EAFD0-61D4-495A-8BB1-FB0860894DED
NYC public library
832E7B40-AA0B-4D69-9D8B-3870147B00AE.jpg
NYC public library
B6D1B825-19A6-4735-A2E2-8398CC918C9F
NYC public library

I hope you enjoyed this quick selection of photos (I know they’re far from professional, phone cameras SUCK!)

I can’t wait to post my actual photos.

A new update will be coming very soon, lots of exciting things are happening right now.

Thankyou for reading this jet-lagged, exhausted post- I hope you enjoyed it.

 

  • Alex

The future

“What will the future hold?”,

Something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

My degree is coming to a quick end, my job search has began, but the spiralling of my student life ending is sending me into an abyss of panic.

Now, I know we don’t know what the future holds for us,

Hindsight is a wonderful thing,

But in this case, the torment of not know what comes next is ripping me apart; slowly.

“Everything will work out”,

Something I constantly keep being told, by people who have all the best intentions.

I know they’re trying to ease my nerves and I can’t thank them enough for that,

But, the feeling of hopelessness and job rejection is ripping me apart; slowly.

Perhaps, my ambitious dream will become a reality- who really knows,

What I do know though is I am struggling with the thought of being stuck in limbo after university.

So, what is this dream?

You may or may not be asking- probably the latter.

I’m wanting to move to NYC, to rocket my creative career, be closer to my partner and to have a new start.

Over the last year, I’ve been coming to the realisation that honestly there isn’t much for me in the UK other than trauma and bad memories.

I don’t want to live with that kind of negative energy- I need a fresh start, where hopefully I make less mistakes.

I can hear peoples thoughts, telling me I’m not going to make it, I am not good enough or worthy enough,

I’m trying not to listen, I’ve blocked out everyone.

Perhaps I’m not going to make it, but I’d rather try and fail than not try at all.

My dreams are ambitious but no one knows if I’ll fail,

Not even me.

We don’t know what the future holds for us,

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

-Alex

I thought I’d try something a lil different to output some of the major anxieties I’m having lately and the fear that leaving university brings me. Hopefully everything will work out. I hope it works out for you too! Anxiety sucks, but with the right support, you can make it through most things.