I had a really nice back and forth e-mail chain with a friend at work yesterday - talking about art and the difficulty in sharing what you do. About having confidence in your work and that kind of thing. It is difficult, and the best answer is still the conclusion I came to the other day - just do the work. Not everyone is going to like it, and that’s totally fine.
With that in mind, I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time - so I’m putting it out into the world now even though this image itself is very much a work in progress. It’s a simple idea - an observation on ‘serving size’ - whatever that means these days. I’m not positive anyone actually reads any of the nutritional information on a package. I’ve never seen anyone actually do it in a grocery store - and I always feel like people are staring at me when I do.
My trouble with this project has been finding the best way to display this information. Like I mentioned the other day, I’m very interested in pattern and shape - and so I like this image in that regard. I’m not positive I love the fact that it’s on a really plain background - though that was a conscious decision. In some ways, I’d like it to be almost as boring as a nutritional label, and a flat and dull background certainly accomplishes that. It might be too dull though - I intend to try a few different presentations until I figure out what works best overall.
pop culture (hi res)
Break the rules.
That’s what started a brief conversation with a dear friend yesterday.
She is struggling with something I think every artist, and perhaps even more every photographer, struggles with. What is the point? Why do we do what we do as photographers? We live in a time where every single day, the amount of photographs created and posted online reach those absurd quantities that most people can’t even imagine or comprehend. Why then, do my silly photographs of leaves and lego minifigures even matter?
I responded with the following:
I’ve spent quite a bit more time thinking over this since we had that conversation - mostly wondering what triggered that change in me. Why did I go from creating photos to just being a tripod for the camera in a sense? Honestly, most of the reasons for me are excuses. Same stuff as you always hear; “I have a very stressful job”, “I don’t have enough time.” In reality, they’re all the same excuses that haven’t stopped a ton of other people from doing what they love - but they’ve stopped me. Why? Because any creative pursuit is hard. No matter how talented you are or how much you love to do it - it’s hard. It takes time and skill. We’re hard on ourselves. The work is difficult and often highly technical. It may not always be received well or understood. There are countless reasons and countless excuses - but here’s the real trick:
Do the work. Put in the time and the sweat and the effort - and all that other stuff takes care of itself. It’s scary and difficult and it’s never, never, ever immediate - but when you put in that effort, the work you create does have value; it does matter - because that work is a part of you.
Visit my friend here: Sandra Parlow