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photography is [possessed]

fine art composite darkroom

fine art photography

[Kristianne Koch. Untitled. 1988. Photograph printed in the darkroom from a negative with litho film overlay]

Sometimes I feel like I’m possessed. I can’t help but want to create new work. I am obssessed about looking at art and photography and design but I’m also stuck and lost about my own current work. I just keep working and working on new images and new ideas constantly putting aside other necessary chores because I can’t help myself. However, I feel like I am going in circles. I judge my work harshly and approve of it then hate it then love it again. One day I think my photographs are perfect and exciting and new and then I think they are a horrible empty, contrived, superficial mess.

Sometimes I believe if I didn’t have the kids I would stop eating and never go out. Thank God for the kids. They keep me sane and engaged in society. I really think I am one of those people who could hide away on an island and just do my art and be content. My reliance on electronics has always been a bit of a hindrance for an independent artist life, however. Back in 1991 when I traveled all over Europe by myself to do photography, my Nikon shorted out after staying too long in a Butterfly House in Austria. I was so angry that my creativity relied on electronics. I wished I could just do charcoal or write to be creatively fulfilled.

I see so much amazing work out there and wonder why I can’t create work like that. I love what work I have created but I just think it should be more sophisticated by now. I’ve been working on my art for so long and so consistently. I just don’t know why it’s not more profound and original. I love to play and experiment and definitely have the technical skills. I do know that a lack of focus is my greatest obstacle. So, I am currently trying to get focus on a personal, from the heart vision. I have always known that photography is my medium. Always. But it’s the story and message I have not been confident with. I have not had a tragic or difficult life. It seems so many artists are able to express deep work when they’ve been through some life changing tragedy.

I’ve had challenges for sure but it’s definitely not what I want in life and I would never trade my joy-filled and easygoing life just so I could produce more enlightened work. So, I am currently trying to figure out how I am going to get all that stuff out that I feel I could be creating. Somehow, I want to–need to–dig deeper to find my story; my message-the one I feel strong enough to tell the world. Many times I kill my ideas and impede their maturity because they seem so unnatural and cliche: “Someone else is doing that” and “I already tried that but it didn’t say enough” tend to fill my head. But, I am going to let that go.

I’ve done the retreats, read the books, written the morning pages and taken the long walks in the past and it all helps-a little. I know that not having [or taking] the time to “be” with myself on a regular basis contributes a lot to my stuck-ness. But there is something more I could be doing to help the process along. I just need to find it and let it find me. So, I am currently looking for resources, suggestions and contacts to help push myself to reach a deeper level of work. I have considered reading more, hiring a fine art mentor, workshops and portfolio reviews but still have not found a perfect fit for my life and schedule. I am also having a difficult time trusting online resources due to hyped up workshops that ended up in disappointment. The abundance of resources online is so difficult to wade through so I am hoping something catches my attention and my heart soon.