For many of us, 2020 was a year of re-evaluation. With months in isolation locked up in our homes, and a killer virus on the loose, it made many of us think long and hard about whether or not we are living the life we truly want. As a consequence, rural house prices rocketed as thousands decided to finally realize their dream of living in the countryside, while solicitors were kept busy as the divorce rate soared. It’s been a year of great change. Which is scary, but necessary.
Personally, I reached a creative crossroads. I still want to be part of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain and belong to my Camera Club, but at the same time I felt the need to branch out into the wider art world. So with much prompting and encouragement from my lovely friends, I finally made the decision to join the Saatchi Art Gallery and sell a small selection of my fine art pictures as Limited Edition prints. It was both nerve wracking (will anyone like my art enough to buy it?!) and hugely exciting 😃.
The advent of Zoom opened up the never-before-considered possibility to speak at photography events not only all over the UK but around the world. I ummd and ahhhhd for months over whether this is something I really wanted to do, because it takes a huge toll on my precarious health, but I’d had such a positive reaction to my speaking engagements in Cumbria and Southern Scotland that I decided to go for it, and was immediately booked by organisations in Devon, Blackpool, Liverpool and Bristol 😮.
Now here we are on the first day of 2021 and I have Big Plans for the coming year. I’ve been busy over the past few months creating my first ever photographic series, which is a set of 5 creative fine art images with a common theme. I can’t show it yet because it’s been produced for a competition and the pictures have to be unpublished in order to enter, but suffice to say I’m really chuffed with it and whether it does well in the competition or not it’s something I am immensely proud of. As my confidence has grown I feel more able to produce pictures with themes which are close to my heart, and while this is also more painful if they aren’t well received they are authentically me and being authentically you and speaking from the heart is all we can ask of ourselves.
I’m also about to start a new image for entry into this year’s PAGB Masters of Print. I’ve been extremely lucky to have been accepted into the Masters of Print Exhibition for the past two years (no pressure then!) and every year I enter I think there’s no way on earth my image will be good enough to be selected. All I can do, therefore, is what I love and if it’s successful great and if it’s not I’ve still enjoyed the process. For this particular picture, I’m roping in 4 of my neighbours who have all graciously agreed to lend me the back of their heads 😆.
As if all that weren’t enough, I’ve decided to set up a little shop here on my website, to sell greetings cards and wildlife prints 😀. It may take a while, as my health dictates the speed at which anything in my life gets done (or indeed whether it gets done at all), but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now so watch this space!
So, it looks like I’m in for a full and exciting year. Of course, quite how much of my Big Plan ever comes to fruition is in the lap of the Gods. Life is, after all, what happens while we’re busy making other plans and none of us could ever have predicted the pandemic and its effects. But I’m starting out with good intentions and will just have to see where the winds of change take me. Happy New Year!