I'm sure this sounds completely insane, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding new artists to draw inspiration from. I'm sitting here at the gallery alone, with my notebook full of at least 10 names of photographers I have written down throughout my time in London, and each name I google is feeling less and less inspirational. Perhaps I'm just in a sour mood... and honestly I wish I were back at clark where Frank or Stephen could name off 30 artists (each) who's work would give me hundreds of fresh ideas. It is so hard to keep moving forward and pushing myself without any one to guide me or give advice, but I suppose that is one of the main lessons I have learned here. I have learned to photograph for myself, rather than for a weekly critique; and I have developed a sense of motivation which in the past was completely based on weekly deadlines. I want my photographs to be great (and I want them to improve) not for a grade or to attempt to prove to myself that my work is at least not the worst hanging on the wall. I want my photographs to be great for me, so I can be proud of my work despite the fact that no one may ever critique it or talk about it. I think that's an important lesson that I've learned while I've been away, because I think it will help me feel more comfortable shooting whatever makes me happy... and not just what will impress my professors and fellow students.
Being here has given me a sense of what life will be like after college, when my photographic endeavors will be completely in my hands. It's a terrifying thought that once I graduate from Clark I may never 'make ART' again, and without this experience I hate to admit that it quite possibly could have happened. Not now though, now I know that my cameras (all 6 of 'em) are permanent fixtures in my life. Even if I don't pursue a career in the field and I do become a high school math teacher... I know that when I go traveling I will still feel compelled to have both a film AND digital camera (and maybe my Polaroid as well.. just in case) in tow, just so I'm prepared for whatever may come up. I know now that photography is not just a phase.. its a part of my life and no matter what I will keep taking pictures and they WILL keep getting better.