Tackling the six-headed beast

When Shelly first spoke to me about the concept of the Six Image Narrative during one of our regular video hangouts, I thought, “Cool! I can do that!” Little did I know, that just like being asked “Why”, this would prove to be a bigger challenge than I could’ve predicted.

Maybe I put added pressure on myself, but I wanted six images to tell a story.

“Duh! That’s the whole idea Brett!”

I know! But I wanted them to tell a story without any words.

I’d wrestled with this concept before when I embarked on my first joint exhibition with my friend Christoffer (@east_mountain) last year. Could my photos hung on the gallery walls tell a story without accompanying words? Would they need to be explained? Would I need to be Mr Teacher, or would the visitors to the gallery like the colour red?

As if that wasn’t enough, I also wanted to revisit some old shots. The subject of those shots was IG-88, or Iggy. So as well as attempting to tell a tale in six images, without words, I also wanted to rework old photos, AND I chose a subject with inert legs! “Good one Brett!”

So, that being said, how did I tackle Scylla, this six-headed beast? How did I take on the six image narrative challenge?

Revisit 

Shelly’s suggestion to look back through my work for unconscious threads led to finding a series of photos taken back in 2014 revolving around a LEGO IG-88. This series of melancholy and downheartedness was something I’d also liked, but it was also something I’d always wanted to revisit.

And now I had the “boot up the backside” to do it.

Plan

I’m not one to painstakingly plan my photos.

Sure, I have a general idea of what I want to achieve before I venture out, but that’s about it. I have a rough idea of what the photo should be and what story I want it to portray.

Having to plan six photos that told a story, six photos that created a harmonious narrative was far more work than I’d ever put in before. But to craft a narrative that worked it was crucial. I even sketched out my ideas beforehand to see if the six shaped a coherent story; something I seldom do.

Recreate 

Jennifer’s recent post about recreating old images, together with this month’s G+ challenge (with prizes!) inspired by her reworked images, made me want to take this on after finding my inspiration in my old photos.

Revisiting and recreating past photos not only gave me the chance to fix anything irksome that had bugged me all those years, but also the opportunity to strive for what I couldn’t quite reach with my iPhone back then.

Execute

I wish it were as simple as a step-by-step process.

I was more of a circular process. Revisit. Plan. Recreate. Repeat. And not always in that order either. Sometimes the planning led to revisiting, sometimes the recreation lead back to revisiting, which again led me to planning again. Shots were scrapped, leading to holes in the narrative and demanding the plan to be adapted.

The whole process was adaptive and fluid; it had to be. Weather conspired against me. A long weekend was forgotten about and hordes of visitors crowded “my” beach. Imagined shots didn’t pan out and the story had to bend.

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Six Image Narrative

Conclusion

Did I enjoy the challenge of telling a tale in six images? Yes. Is this something that I’ll explore in the future? Yes. Did I learn from the experience? YES!

– Brett

Have you battled with Scylla, the six-headed beast? When you have, be sure to enter your six image narrative into our G+ challenge for your chance to be in the running to win the LEGO Batman Battle Pod polybag. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

If you enjoy posts like this, we invite you to join our G+ community.
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That Pebble In My Shoe

New Year’s resolutions? Shelly has chosen five words to define her new year. Kristina is planning a “52 project” for this year.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. As someone who struggles to keep track of his age, what day of the week it is, even what year it is at times, I find it odd that people need a certain date to set their personal agendas and goals? Sure, I’m all for setting goals, but I don’t think I need a particular date in a calendar to do so? Continue reading That Pebble In My Shoe

Do art and do it for the rest of your life

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. – Kurt Vonnegut

This is an except from a letter written by Kurt Vonnegut to the students of Xavier High School in New York in 2006, the year before he died. I stumbled across this the other day as it was making the rounds on G+ and I thought I would share it here with you.

Why?

Continue reading Do art and do it for the rest of your life

#jANTMANuary

Instagram is no stranger to challenges.  Some are organized events that take place once a week/month while others come on like a covert operation with secret instant-messages, planning and coordinated drop times that end up becoming an inside joke to a select few.  These challenges are a key cog in the comradery that makes Instagram a special place for artists. Continue reading #jANTMANuary

the creative process is never linear

The creative process is never linear. Since it’s the end of the year and a convenient time for self reflection, I’ve recently realized something about myself:  I like to shoot my photos within the loose framework of a series. I may shoot under the larger umbrella of toys (or LEGO) but within my photographs you will see consistent themes running through my frequent social media posts. Continue reading the creative process is never linear

Sunday Painters (another perspective)

I can relate to +Me2  and his Sunday Painter plight. I am not sure any of us has the stamina or the time to create meaningful art on a daily basis. It is so much easier to do the laundry, cook a meal, play video games or any of the thousands of distractions we encounter daily. 

Before anyone gives up on this so called battle lets talk about what creating art on a full time basis looks like. Because sometimes I think people have a grander notion of what being an artist is. What it’s not: painting every day in your studio, listening to classical music while your faithful cat keeps you company (or insert personal fantasy of your choice here). What it can look like is thinking about what you want to make, planning out your image, gathering supplies and props and sketching some ideas in a work book. Often it means simply staying caught up on what’s going on in your field, understanding the changing marketplace and researching the past. Day to day tasks often involve organizing work, matting final images, networking, bookkeeping, meetings, phone calls and e-mails like any other grunt worker. 
Finding success in the market place is a mixed blessing. The process of creating and selling the same old same old that pays the bills can be a soul deadening experience. For most artists creating new, exciting and challenging work on a regular basis is the exception. In a way relegating them back into the category of the “Sunday Painter”.
For the working artist (or the Sunday Painter) the greatest luxury is creating art that inspires you. 
~ xxsjc  
What does your perfect artist life loo like? 

I chose this image by +Gordon Webb to illustrate another time suck that is a big part of our weird Stuckinplastic world,,,forever sorting.