Found myself with a bit of time on my hands last week. After pondering the meaning of life for a bit, I drew up a list of ‘STUFF I COULD BE DOING’.
It looked a bit like this;
- Plan the week’s meals.
- Write shopping list.
- Put washed clothes away.
- Treat myself to a cup of tea and some telly for being such a good Domestic Goddess.
Here’s what actually happened;
- Treated myself to several hours of drinking tea and watching telly, in anticipation of being a good Domestic Goddess.
- Had an existential crisis, (which I then pencilled in for the following day as, by this point, I’d already wasted the morning).
- Ripped up our bedroom carpet, because it’s horrid to vacuum and I don’t want to do it anymore. And for any furniture too heavy to move, I took a pair of scissors and just cut around the edges. Yes, I really did.
- Stood out in the rain for half an hour, picking all the rust-infected leaves off our pear tree.
- OPENED AN ONLINE SHOP TO SELL MY PHOTOGRAPHY!
I’m not a professional photographer. I doubt I’d even be considered an amateur photographer, (I believe here is where a confident person would say ‘because there is nothing amateur about my art and creativity, Darling’). It is an artform that speaks to my soul, and has done since my Darkroom Days. That particular post gives a decent background to my photography journey and why I love the subject so much. Although I studied and took exams, and did very well if I say so myself, I’m not well-studied in the subject, nor am I technically minded, (not helped by the fact I really struggle to retain and remember information). But this is where I will jump to my own defence and the defence of any artist, regardless of their field; creativity is SO subjective, as is the path. For every successful artist who has immersed themselves in studies, courses, has networked and linked, there must be as many equally successful who have just gone at it with an untrained freedom of expression, with no constraints of shoulds or shouldn’ts. Is either route less valid? Doesn’t mean there’s not hard work involved, it’s just a different way of working. Regardless of subjective taste, there has to be work, or at least evidence of it. Whether naturally gifted or learned, you can’t blag the effort. It brings to mind a post I wrote, a couple of years ago (a couple of years ago?!), entitled ‘PUNK’. Punk isn’t just about the safety pins, it’s an attitude, a go-getting attitude. Regardless of background, it’s about finding your passion. I found my creative passions decades ago. I just never had the needed wherewithal to cast them out to the world.
It’s a conversation I’ve had with other creatives here, struggling with our own worthiness but ultimately learning to be confident with our voices, styles and approaches. I think I lean on the freedom side of the two above extremes. I have enough knowledge and training to create what I hope to, but without bogging myself down with dos and don’ts. I also don’t mind if no-one likes what I create. I’m not here to have my ego stroked. The enjoyment factor is, first and foremost, for me. If it has a positive effect on someone else, then I’m bloody thrilled. Giddy with delight! I would be throwing this all at the back of the wardrobe if I didn’t want to share my work for others to read or see. And it’s not like I’m asking anyone to buy it. (Good grief, woman. Keep up. The whole point of this post is to tell people about your shop. And you know why shops exist? For people to buy stuff. YOU ARE ASKING PEOPLE TO BUY IT).
My personal nemesis has been not doing something because it’s been done already or others are doing it. In relation to photography, I’ve had my thunder stolen by people who have had the courage to go forth, whilst my confidence has faltered. Or who have just shouted louder, drowning out the sound of my self-esteem, leaving me crushed.
So, back to MY SHOP! Of all the options I’ve been mulling over, especially since starting The Lockwood Echo, Red Bubble seemed to be the logical place. It was a site I knew as a consumer, and as a seller, it really does offer a very simple solution. Of course, in my untrained way, I’ve tackled the whole process with the grace, aplomb and expertise of a squashed tomato, but I have a shop, I have products for sale and it’s OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
I have a fondness and spiritual connection to the number Seven. So, without any plan or strategy, I’ve initially uploaded seven of my favourite black and whites to get me up and running. By the time you read this, I may have expanded that collection. It’s at least a starting point. If I spent too long on the launchpad, there was always the risk I’d defeat myself and abandon such nonsense. My mantra remains ‘It doesn’t matter, none of it matters, what ever you’re worried about, what anyone thinks, it doesn’t really in the big fat scheme of things MATTER!’
Some of the images were taken at low resolutions, so am restricted in their offerings, but I wanted to include those which best represented my style. And I didn’t think anyone would want a picture of my partner (upside-down on a swing) emblazoned on a tote bag, (although he himself did). So my introductory product selections are straightforward prints, in a variety of formats.
I can’t finish this without saying a huge thankyou to a couple of very talented and supportive peeps who have engaged, helped and been a creative inspiration;
One of my very first follow/followers here was Peter Edwards, best known for Little Fears. Peter’s comics and books are just puntastic and will introduce you to odd worlds, inhabited by quirky sketched characters, all drawn and delivered in a unique way. Always generous with reader collaborations and advice, a visit to his blog or Twitter account will definitely put a smile on your face. Unless you land on one of his horror tales.
My second thankyou goes to Bryntin/Bear. I first stumbled across and promptly followed Cornish Bear for his dramatic and moody black and white photos. It wasn’t long before I discovered his alter ego Bryntin. Keen observations, delivered with a no-holds dry wit, was all I needed to hit the follow button there too. A visit to Bear’s own Red Bubble Shop will open you to a world of beautiful impressionist style photography, along with those drama-infused black and whites.
The Lockwood Echo’s Gallery has its own home here, more photos from which will become available in MY SHOP!
So, long story short, got bored, opened a shop, something for all budgets. I’m not here to plug for sales but I would love you to take a peek at my Bravado Dot Com. Sounds like I’m advertising a completely different kind of website there, so let’s wrap this up shall we?
Once last time for that link;
Lockwood Echo Shop