Because Sometimes You Just Can’t Flip a Table

So lemmie tell you a thing.

It’s called creative problem solving when your final project is due in less than 24 hours and someone was a little sh– snowflake,and unwittingly sabotaged your project because they were a irresponsible little sh– angel.

That sounds bitter. Let me start again:

My final project was originally going to be a piece exploring the relationship between our persona and our shadow (two of Jung’s dream archetypes.) I used a view camera to capture scenes of an anonymous person (basically myself with my face partly cut out of the frame,) doing things that seem ordinary, like applying makeup or kissing a loved one and even sleeping. I was going to develop these, alter the negative to include the shadow, and tada.

The shadow was to alert the viewer to how we have these “shadow” selves that represent aspects of ourselves we loathe and repress, and how these aspects are hidden beneath the things we do as our persona. So, if someone is applying makeup, it may be the result of a dislike for something ugly or unappealing. Kissing a loved one, showing that you care for them, may be a manifestation of the fear of hurting said loved one, or a hatred for people who do– which is actually a projection of the deep seated, unconscious part of you that wants to hurt loved ones. Pretty messed up, right?

Too bad I didn’t get to execute it.

Well the camera I borrowed this weekend was broken and no one bothered to tell my professor, so I took it home unknowingly and dealt with its broken shutter and hated everything. But I’m not bitter about it, nope. Not one bit.

I developed my film, which didn’t come out because, y’know, broken shutter, and I was in a panic. What was I supposed to do? Well, I threw this together: meet my persona, my anima, my animus, and my shadow.

I returned to my negative-altering ways for my last-minute final. The top photo is my persona, or my public mask; the waking version of myself that I and others perceive me to be. I’m known as the photographer in my circle of friends. I also love rainbows. BAM PERSONA. There were no alterations to this negative, because it is me in reality. All natural, baby.

Next, is my anima. The anima is the feminine aspect of myself. Notice the stereotypical girly clothing (a.k.a. just another piece of my wardrobe, because I identify as a feminine girl.) I altered this negative using heart-shaped glitter nail polish. How cute is that?

Up next is my animus. If you guessed that is was the masculine aspect of myself, congratulations you got it right and you win absolutely nothing. Now, I have a lot of men’s clothing. Typical I had none of it at school with me. So think of my animus as a 2008 throw-back tribute to colored skinny jeans (because let’s be real, I’m still stuck in 2008.) For this negative I put on three of these crystal sticker things. The placement on the negative was purposeful. You gotta watch out for us artist types, because we can make anything phallic.

Last is my shadow. I scratched the negative and inverted it in Photoshop to create an off-putting effect. The shadow, in dreams or nightmares, is manifested in different ways; sometimes it is the thing you are being chased by, or a killer, or basically anything that is out to hurt you. I inverted the image because the shadow can be seen as the “opposite” of the persona, and the opposite of a positive is a negative and– I don’t think I need to spell it out more.

So, yeah. Even though I threw this together last minute, and even though the execution isn’t as nice as I’d like, I made a concept that worked. Thank goodness I’ve been obsessing over Jung’s dream psychology, otherwise I would have been even more bitter stressed out.

Lesson: Always have a Plan B and do your best to work with what resources you have at hand. Oh, and be kind to yourself if whatever you create isn’t perfect. It won’t be the end of the world.

Happy Shooting!


Obtuse Perspectives

This week was the week! My classmates and I put on a little exhibition in the basement of the art building for our Photography Workshop class. This is the class that I am doing my “Fictionisms” series for. Setting up wasn’t bad- I had never set up for an exhibition before! I just now realized that while typing! Wow! But really, it was super easy because I didn’t have a ton of prints, I didn’t use a hammer and nails, and I had almost everything ready to go before I got there.

The title of the show was “Obtuse Perspectives.” I was a little confused about the title, since the word obtuse means “stupid.” So, stupid perspectives. Obtuse is also a type of triangle… But, my classmates chose that as the title, so Obtuse Perspectives it was! The English major side of me still cringes a little, but it’s over now and I’m sure the average person didn’t read into the title too much.

The space wasn’t anything special; it was literally the hallway and this little gallery-type room (which is where I put my work.) So, I mean, it’s no MoMA (hahahaha not even close) but still. I wanted to document everyone hanging up their pieces, so I walked around with my iPhone, snapping away.

I was getting really picky with presenting my work. I love rainbows, so I initially arranged my prints in rainbow color order. But I tried a couple other arrangements, so after about 20 minutes of moving things around I ended back where I started. Then I had to hang them, and I started off as being extremely meticulous, but after a while I think I lost some steam- but my prints looked nice, and they look like they were in a decently straight line.

Friday night was the exhibition. My classmates and I were just kinda there, walking up and down the hallway slowly, not sure what to do (I mean, at least I was…) But, people came to see our work, and we each got to talk about our projects to people who asked. Plus, my mother, boyfriend, and two best friends came to the show, which was really great. We acted a little goofy, too.

My friends even brought me a flower!

All in all, it was a nice night. I’m looking forward to the next exhibition I will have a hand in planning, whenever it may be! Now, my “Fictionisms” series isn’t finished, despite having an exhibition- I have two more weeks to work on it, so keep an eye out for the finished product. (:

Backyard Beauty

Today I did a shoot that took longer to get ready than it did to actually take pictures. My sister, Natalie, was the model for me and she spent about an hour and a half doing her hair and makeup. It took me five minutes to shoot.

“That’s it?”

“Yepp. That’s it. Let’s go inside.”

The best part was it started to rain half-way through her getting ready process. I was not about to cancel the shoot, so I had to go all classy on my camera equipment: plastic trash bags are not just for taking out your nasties. So here we were, in my backyard (which is pretty junky…) in the freezing rain, trash bag over my camera, Natalie in a robe and sitting in a hair-dryer chair I found at a thrift store, with my dog sniffing around.

It was a good time, even though it was about five minutes.