There ain’t nuthin going on but the rent!

Happy New Year to all of you out there reading this!

Now keeping a firm focus on photography is certainly very hard to do in January, I’ve found.  The financial burden of Christmas excess has taken it’s toll and scrimping till pay day has overshadowed all of my creative thoughts.

I’m now working three jobs these days (in addition to my own photography work), in an effort to realign my bleak finances and this is taking the strain on my time as can be imagined.  So with this in mind I thought this blog should be dedicated to that slippery ladder of success I hope most other emerging photographers are clinging to.  The crude oil grease upon each rung of course…. is money…………

I’ve had a splendid time in my adult life so far.  I left home as planned at 18 to go to university.  Having struggled to make anything out of two years studying A-Levels I was never very good at, I jumped onto the ‘clearing’ bandwagon and jumped into a degree I didn’t really care about.  Three years of student life for me were more about the excitement of living away from home, and running my own life as I wanted to.  Academic realisation of my bad decision in degree course only really hit me when I wrote a dissertation that pretty much declared I was unprepared to explore a career in the field I had studied because it just wasn’t a very nice thing to do with my life.  So I decided to run away from it.  This was a great time,  I travelled the world on a graduate loan and had a blast.  I grounded in Australia with a slight vibe of unease about where my finances were, and when I took the time out from the party to find out I realised I was in a bad way.  To rectify this I decided to live in Australia, and enjoy the lifestyle.  It beat the hell out of the one waiting for me back home in the UK, so that’s what I did.  I made some wonderful friends in this time and despite not giving much of a monkey’s about the job I had, it was over-paid which made my new Aussie life pretty cushie.  This came to an abrupt end when my visa was no longer valid, after I was unwittingly double crossed by a troll-like character…… but that’s another story.
So without a proverbial pot to squat at, I landed back in Heathrow, sobbed on the plane when it landed and had to face the monetary music.  I ended up living in Norfolk for a while, which again involved many blessings in the shape of some wonderful friends and even the chance discovery of my now boyfriend Thom.  Blessings aside this was a tough time money-wise, I sold my soul to a financial giant and slowly worked my way out of debt.  Again an over-paid job meant this involved a little disposable income with which to indulge in mind expanding activities; festivals, yoga, even a life-drawing night class at one point, and of course very regular social bookings in the shape of many a party.
The travel bug then reared his antennae when I decided to follow Thom on his travels around the world.  I felt I hadn’t completed my journey from last time, and the whole idea was just so wonderfully romantic that I got a second job to save up (did it the right way this time) and went for it.
It was on this expedition that I found photography, through assisting Thom on many a sunrise or sunset shoot.  Once I’d learned the principles, I decided I’d give it a go and see if I had anything to say photographically.  Thom agreed to continue to teach me but only if I packed up my digital compact in exchange for something ‘real’.  I bought my first 35mm camera in windy Wellington in New Zealand, and fell in love with the passion oozing out of the very awesome dudes in that shop who hung around and chatted with us about photography for at least two hours.
So whilst exploring what photography could be to me in some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, I became more and more sure that this may just be my passion in life.  I applied to study full time back home in the wee hours of the night, writing my UCAS application out in an internet cafe in Christchurch. 
With a rough folio and my attempt at what I thought a sketchbook was, I was offered a place.  And with this I re-entered in the financial status of  “Skint -Student”.
Having come out the other side fulfilled and happy with life, I’m once again searching for that pot.  And so I’m back to busting my ass off in 4 jobs to make some more adventures possible.  This time around it is all so much more worth it though I have to say.

So in times of recession, what is a girl to do to get herself some good enough equipment to start working more regularly as a photographer?  My first answer has been to ask someone more wealthy -very nicely- for help.  And so, I have commenced an application to the UK Arts Council.  It is a very rigorous matter, you have to submit so many detailed appendices to your application and so on and so forth and then wait with baited breath……….
I’ve also been on the hunt for some advice and guidance and have booked myself onto a few lectures on self-financing in order to learn more about how this monkey swings out in the jungle that is industry.

While my chips are down, and I save to develop some films of recent times (to show you my latest work)  I have included a few inspirations that have kept my tired face a-smiling………

PLARN

Plarn is a yarn made out of plastic bags.  You chop up your old carrier bags in such a way to make a continuous string of plastic, and then the idea is you work it into something much more worthwhile than trash.  

Leftover Cookery
Certainly the best thing to come in January.  I have litres of frozen meat liquors that I’m working my way through to make hearty soups, broths and casseroles.

The Shutter Sisters Cup Project

I am a fervent fan of yogi tea and it’s lovely messages.  Lately though I have busted into even spicier tea given to me as a present.  Certainly a warming cup in the winter.. here was my entry 

Cleaning
Now I love a good clean at the best of times, but for some reason this month I have been a little bit addicted to cleanliness.  I have cleaned out the studio I work in, I gutted out several storage cupboards in my cinema job, and spent a joyous few hours last weekend cleaning my car and oven with white vinegar and toothpaste solutions (which I have to say worked a treat!).

Keith Richards

His auto-biography is proving to be a real good read.  I haven’t got to his ‘big-time’ accounts yet I’ve just enjoyed learning how dedicated he always was at being so anti-establishment, and so obsessive in his craft.  Goes to show how unmerciful you need to be to become a real great in your field.

The AOP Foilos (Issue 4)
I picked up a few postcards of Lottie Davis’ work and have them dotted about in my home.  I still think her idea’s are witty and fresh, especially when she involves children.

LOTTIE DAVIS

Joe Lasky’s travelling photography is warming my cockles in this frosty time of year.  Could those antennae be back on my horizon?

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