I read during the summer. It’s the only time I get the chance to pull a book and spend an hour or so with it a day. I don’t feel like I have the time during the rest of the year. There’s something about a hot day and a few free hours that beg for a book. I’ve read some amazing stories this year.
I’m about 1/2 way through Ray Bradbury’s classic, Illustrated Man. It’s a series of short stories organized around a mysterious stranger who’s body is full of tattoos. The tattoos come to life at night, and tell stories to whoever is brave enough to listen. They are full of magic, and darkness; they are tales of an imagined future that speaks of decades past.
I love it.
What does this have to do with my art? I didn’t realize the connection between my recent work and my reading habits until I sat down to introduce this new—artistic direction.
After “Hollywood,” which has started to take a small life of it’s own, I needed to stoke the creative fires. As I mentioned somewhere, I just finished a flash class at the LACP. Speed lights, a model, an environment: that seemed to be the perfect recipe for me to follow. Get back in the groove of shooting. I could write a paper about the post degree slump; I’ll spare you.
The point is: I was tired and depleted and not very interested in shooting much at all. I focused on learning technique and practicing technical skills as a way to get over my creative slump. What followed was a series of shoots using just that: a speed light, a model, and an environment. Simple. Basic. A story in a frame. This is from my first shoot, a few weeks ago.
Each of us, I think, carries around stories on our bodies: they way our eyes respond to light. The look on our face when we star into the lens of a camera. How our body reacts when he hear the shutter.
It occurred to me we’re all, in a certain way, illustrated. We all have stories that come out under certain conditions: either in darkness, or with a glass of wine, or when we think we’re alone.
I’ll be working this vein for a while, I think. I was wondering how to frame this project, conceptually. A way to name it. To work with it. I think I found it.