First of all, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope you’re having a grand time celebrating the start of 2015 with the people you love.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the past year. I honestly did not know what to expect, but it was definitely a year of challenges. I had some health challenges that I was forced to deal with, and boy am I glad I did. I feel like a new person, and with that newfound clarity came the space to make some decisions that I had been delaying for a number of years. I’m still working through the fallout of the decisions that I made, but I know for certain that I did the right thing.
While I faced a number of challenges, I experienced a lot of growth as a photographer and community advocate. I worked very hard to build a number of important connections in the community, stepped out on faith and got more involved with other artists and artist groups to speak out about racism, injustice and economic inequity, and put a real stake in the ground about whether or not I was going to be seriously in this life for the long haul.
One of the things that I learned is that as an artist, you have to keep your mind and body moving. You have to keep things fresh. A lot of this comes from spending time with other people who have great ideas and a level of enthusiasm and optimism that is infectious. I know from personal experience that it’s easy to isolate yourself, to wall yourself off in the name of your craft, to buckle down and focus, but I also know that too much of this can be unhealthy. There’s nothing wrong with stepping outside to get fresh air and to go for a walk. There’s nothing wrong with sharing laughter and conversation and a bite to eat and drink with friends. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with taking a break completely from the grind to rest and recharge. It takes a tremendous amount of honesty and maturity to decide to have an identity outside of your work as an artist. Me? I love wine, I love music, I love Jamaican food. I love my friends. I love getting my nails done. Does that detract from me identifying as a photographer? Of course not. But now that I’ve realized that I need these other things to help balance out my life, I believe that my photography has gotten much better and more thoughtful. In other words, my images definitely an outward reflection of my inner state.
In 2015, I plan on continuing my climb upward, from where I was as a complete newbie to where I hope to be one day as a mature artist. I will continue to inner light. And I hope that you’ll continue to check in on me from time to time to see how I’m doing. I wish you and yours a safe, prosperous and happy 2015 as well.
Peace and blessings,