After five months of planning the day of my very first solo exhibit finally arrived. It feels like I've been on this tremendous journey with raging rivers and mountains high yet with skies blue and the sun shinning. That's the thing about being a creator the road is never straight. There are times of great happiness and moments of darkness it is always an adventure.
I spent the last eight months creating concepts in my little attic, selling prints on my online shop to fund the gallery show, printing my own prints and proofing them. It's been hectic at times but it's always exciting.
When I finally came out of my six month long creative block and Secret Garden began to flourish and bloom again one of the very first goals on my list was to hold a gallery show. Looking at this little paper that stuck onto my desk every day with my top 5 goals on it and that one just kept popping out at me. I remember thinking that exhibiting my photographs would be so much work. It would be expensive and I wouldn't be able to find a space or fund it on my own.
That's the thing about our own minds they get in our way a lot! They tell us we can't do something when in reality if we just put our arms out and go towards our goals they might just be closer then we think. So here I was believing that I couldn't exhibit my work to actually booking a space to exhibit my photography (with the help of a close friend). The space was perfect and a great price something reasonable that I could afford.
So now I had to find a way to fund and coordinate this entire show on my own. I decided that selling prints on my online print shop could help cover the costs of printing and framing and I was blown away by the amount of support I received. After my first print sale I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that people wanted to put my photographs on their walls. It was extremely humbling.
Another goal I wanted to achieve was using my garden series as a way to raise money for those in need. I chose the charity 'Because I am a girl'. I was contacted by them after the series went viral in February and was sent a shipment of goodies to give away at the show. It was like two of my goals were finally being achieved and it was a great feeling.
Adam and I headed over to the space a few hours early to set up. I was in charge of placing the images on the wall and choosing how I wanted to exhibit the work. I also brought along a bust form with the dress used in "Wisteria Princess" and the Alexander McQueen inspired torso armor from "Madame Papillon". I wanted viewers to get an idea of the art that is behind the costuming rather then just seeing the prints. It's something I find a lot of photographers do these days when showing off their final images. There is so much work going on behind the scenes these days. Photographers are sewing, creating, and making props. Their work isn't just about working with a team it's about creating everything from scratch and I love that so many photographers are embracing this.
The night was amazing and it was wonderful to see people's reactions to the work. I heard many people mention how they had seen the work before. Many people were in amazement after I explained the process of each shoot and how it was all created in my small attic. I had my giant mac monitor playing each behind the scenes videos one after the other so that viewers could get a glimpse at the behind the scenes magic.
Many friends and family members arrived to support me and I couldn't have been more grateful for the outpouring of love and support they all had for me. At one point the gallery space got so crowded I had to pinch myself to know if it was real. They were all there to look at my work and to be there for me and my project. Many commented on how beautiful the prints looked and that they felt as if they were almost watching a movie screen.
Two of my lovely models came out to support and see themselves in glorious 20x30. Amanda (Bee Keeper) and Brianna (Wisteria Princess) and I absolutely loved having them there joining me. They worked just as hard embodying the character as anyone else did for the series.
I am so happy to announce that we raised $100.00 at the gallery show for the foundation and though it may not seem like a lot I am over the moon. The show was only open from 7-10:30pm and I feel like we raised so much for that small window of time. I will be making the official donation to the charity in July and I will be documenting it.
Really when I think about it I can't believe that I have achieved 2 out of 3 of the goals I set out for myself. The third one is to complete a series and well I am still working on Secret Garden. Truly, I didn't know I had it in me. To be completely honest. I get down on myself a lot I think it's a struggle every photographer and artist goes through. I get discouraged, I make mistakes, I get let down time and time again but it's the only way I can grow.
"It's not how many times you fall, it's how many times you get back up"
So thank you to my husband for the love and support, my family and my sister and her sweet family for bringing snacks and punch to the event. A big thank you to my friend Brian who was our amazing Dj of the night. To my models & make-up teams and for everyone who came out to support me. I even had many e-mails and msg's from those who wish they could have been there wishing me the best of luck. I am so humbled by you all xx
So, now to finish off this massive post I just wanted to mention why I have been a bit m.i.a. Firstly, I will be continuing working on Secret garden this Autumn and can't wait to pick up where it left off. The garden is about to become much more wilder and colorful. I am also working on an amazing side project with a few fellow photographers our goal is to bring some attention to some of the most amazing photographers out there right now and I am vigorously working on a website to do this. More on this soon.
July is going to be crazy for me, I have weddings and lots of client work. I have also been working on my websites for my brand 'Majical' as well as a whole new look for my main website. Lot's of features are about to come out as I have been spending so much time replying to interviews for magazines and sites. I will also be doing some fashion work this summer which is something that I haven't had too much time for in a while. After shooting in Europe my fashion passion ignited again and I was ready to dive back in. So more editorials from me will be out soon.
Lastly, I will be announcing my plans for a future "Fairytale Fashion Workshop". That's all I can say for now :) xx