I am trying to gather all of my emotions and thoughts when writting this. I feel it has been quite sometime since I was in my attic inhaling the fumes of spray paint or burning my fingers on hot glue. I took sometime away from my attic garden series to focus my energy in a few different photographic areas. I was also travelling a ton so being in and out of the country made it harder for me to really dig my nails into creating the sets and wardrobe for the garden.
But it's time now. It's time to pick up where I left off and complete the series once and for all. I feel like I need to write this post to refresh. Refresh my own mind as well. Thing's became a bit hectic. I was trying to pump out concept after concept with the series right after it started to gain viral attention in 2015. So it felt good to just step back and hone in my photography skills so I could become better. So I could be better for the rest of the series. I didn't want to be rushing through things anymore. The scale of the series and the garden set is about to become gradually bigger and bigger and that is going to take me some time to plan out how it's all going to work.
Working in a small attic space doesn't allow for the freedom that I am used to. I am used to working outdoors. I forests and gardens. I am used to working with natural light and the environment. I have space to move. If something isn't working I can change it with a few steps. Working in the attic however comes with it's set of challenges. Space, for one is so limited. The set is hard to build on without having a well thought out plan. If I move one small thing it could change the entire look. Or if I want something in the scene it might not make sense with the perspective. I said I wanted to challenge myself when I first began the series. However, I didn't realize it would be this challenges.
As I have mentioned time and time again the series is really and truly about showing other artists that they don't need a big space, grand location or a ton of money to create their visions. Being able to reuse so many of my old props is coming in handy big time for the series. I want to continue to make sure artists know that all they need is their idea and the willingness to execute that idea. But at the same time, I know as an artist that the series needs a bit more. It needs to expand and the only way I can do that is by putting more thought into the series and budgeting a bit higher. I will always however make almost 99% of the series by hand. That is the most important part for me. The late night glueing, the cold attic days alone, the drawing of ideas all of the those things are what make the series special for me.
Something I don't talk about much is that I have some very bad anxiety that I have been struggling with for a really long time. It's so intrusive in my life that is has actually changed the way that I do things and live. So being able to have those creative moments is very helpful with dealing with that anxiety. As well as photography in general. It forces me to deal with that aspect of myself because if I don't then I will never create. I will be talking a bit about anxiety and photography in a video at some point. When I feel like opening up a bit more about it in the future.
I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get back into the swing of things with the series. Surprisingly it came together a lot quicker then I thought it would. The interest and support for the series has been imense and that really makes me feel much more confident in myself and my abilities.
I look back on the first part with such fond memories. I look back at it like "whoa, I did that". Somehow I brough to life something I had locked in my mind. These concepts became real life right infront of my eyes and it was all in my attic. I didn't even have to step outside to find a fairy tale. It sounds cheesy but I guess it was in me all along.
So first I have to say if you are planning on starting a series of some sort do it. Do it with passion and don't be afraid. I was so afraid that Secret Garden was going to fail horribly even though I knew in my heart I had something special. Fairytales in photography has become such a genre. The inspirations are endless and the courage and bravery for these artists to step up to the plate and create these worlds has been so inspiring to me.
I am now able to look at the series much more consturctively since stepping away from it. I am able to see what aspects I think were strong and what aspects need to become stronger. I have also learned to become braver and to care less about what others say and more about what I feel is organic for me to do.
A wave of things are going to pick up with the series soon. It has now been featured on Bored Panda for the second time. A few magazine's have picked up the series as well and I will have some more special news on it's way. I feel like the world sort of comes together like that. Just when you need the boost it arrives.
I am ready now for part two. I am ready for where this journey will take me. I am ready for the challenges. If you missed it I released a 45 minute behind the scenes video with footage that shows almost every concept from the series so far. I talk about the journey and show how everything has come together.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt6J1BWZHDw