Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Steady Progress - Lessons Learned - Upcoming Exhibition

Work on the website & print book continue at a steady snail's pace. It's taken a solid month now of going through stacks of storage drives to search for fresh work to show... a serious review of the hits, near-misses, even the epic fails. Images have now been selected and work on the website is now roughly two-thirds complete. A few more images to edit, put together in some way that makes visual and/or thematic sense or resize for consistency, a new bio to invent and then we can move on the the print book... another monumental task of printing and assemblage. 

At this rate, the book ought to be ready by this time next year. Ha!

It's been years since I've gone thru the amassed work with such a critical eye and overall, the exercise has been instructional, educational and at times grueling. Two lessons have come from the experience so far:

One: For many years I was, let's just say, less than comfortable with photographing people. I don't know the reason for this other than sometimes felt as though I was imposing upon their person or taking something from them. There were even times when I felt as though I was simply using them as a means to tell my own story or to illustrate an idea that really had little to do with them at all. As I have dug through the work, I was quite happy to find portraits & lifestyle images of which I am very proud. In most cases (there are a few occasions where the subject might have felt otherwise), I believe I portrayed them all in a flattering light, sometimes hitting heroic notes and once in a while even revealing a little something about their personality through the photographs.

Two: Here comes the "critical eye" part... a signature style seems to elude me still. I'm the poster boy for ADHD... Attention Deficit Syndrome. Once I've done something one way, I am eager to move on & try doing it some other way, whether it's a style of lighting, a method of composition... I bore easily and wish to challenge myself constantly with attempts at something maybe I haven't tried before. I see so much workout there from colleagues I admire and both consciously and unconsciously attempt to emulate. If I were working in some major center or metropolitan area like LA or New York, I would imagine this might be the kiss of death to one's career. Fortunately, here in Hawaii, if one is working the the commercial & editorial realm, being a generalist and proficient at several methods of working and subject matter seems to work. Obviously, the best earning types of work here center around the resort & travel markets, high end architecture & interior design and the watersports industry. One day, it's hotel rooms & lobbies, the next day - food & beverage work with an occasional celebrity, rock star or other person of note's portraiture thrown into the mix from time to time... these are commercial assignments in most cases and for many years they have sustained me. Editorial work in this state pays very little (with a couple of notable exceptions) with fewer & fewer print publications of quality out there to display work, let alone attempt to derive any sort of meaningful income from. Fortunately, an interest in all that Hawaii has to offer remains in publications around the world. Most of these pubs offer fair compensation & usage terms, so my marketing efforts are more targeted there as far as editorial work is concerned.

There's the opportunity to also produce and sometimes exhibit personal work here in the state. I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to exhibit in a couple of galleries over the years and have just been offered the opportunity the hang work in a new gallery opening on the South Shore in the next week or two... check here for updates on this soon. The other artists showing work here do really great work but I can't reveal the details just yet. Stay tuned...

And, the island's most prestigious juried exhibition is just around the corner. ART MAUI 2012 will be receiving works for jurying next Thursday, March 15, and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Schaefer International Gallery between the hours of 9:00-5:00. Artists are able to submit up to two works of art created during the past two years. Entry fees are $20 per submission. This years jurist is the distinguished Tom Klobe, professor & founding director of the University of Hawaii Art Gallery. There are a few changes to this year's entry rules so be sure to read the Prospectus.

I have been fortunate enough to have had work selected for the past two years and have two submissions ready for entry to this year's show. Both images were culled from my trip to Java, Indonesia back in December. In fact, my framer just called to inform me that the prints were ready for me to sign the mats and pick up... a week before the deadline. I will take this as an auspicious sign for my chances at being accepted this year.

See you on receiving day and, hopefully, at the artist's reception prior to the show's opening. Good luck to all entrants!

Now, back to the website... 

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