So here we are.
The world looks different than the last time I wrote. In fact, I wanted to say that it *is* different. But it isn't. I just thought we were better. My mistake. Our mistake.
I have a lot of work updates to share with you, but first - here is an open letter to anyone made even more vulnerable by our soon to be President. I make art for a lot of reasons, and one of them is to amplify voices. So my promise to you is that my work will continue to amplify you and my own voice. Because you are valid. Your presence is welcome. And we need you, just as you are.
I intend to be as much as a thorn in his side as possible. Not that I wield a lot of power, but whatever little I have, has a purpose for the next 4 years. I hope you join me. More on that later.
On to the work updates, which is a mix of "good news" and "good news wrapped in a bad news" package, I'll start with unpacking that last one.
When I started "Interrupted" I knew I would need to outsource some financing for this monumental project. The first thing I did was apply to various grants and awards. As of right now, all of those grants have gotten back to me and have decided not to award the project as it is, at this time. Which, damn -- that sucks. However, with one of them, I got some fabulous feedback that I want to share.
I'll paraphrase, but basically, the jury felt the project was rushed, and that something like this needed more time to breath and be refined. (If you have read my previous posts, you'll know that I agree. Indeed, the project had already been adjusted and refined in the months after sending in my initial proposals.) So the advice was roughly to, "Sit on it. Wait out the idea. Take it apart and reconstruct it. If you can't bear that right now, don't sit still, work on something else while waiting for this idea to mature. Update us and apply again next year." (Again, that's me paraphrasing. You get the idea.)
That is excellent advice, and I'd be wise to take to heart. So while that advice comes with the inherent sting of rejection, I'm excited to see what stepping back will reveal. And isn't is appropriate that a project titled "Interrupted" would be interrupted for a bit? Life is fun like that.
The good news is in my gut, I've wanted to step back from "Interrupted" for a while now. I have a project that I started as rough sketches in 2014, that has been tugging at my mind lately. And it's making my brain zing with fresh ideas now that I feel free to give it my full attention.
I've also been asked to make more figurative collage work, which I love making and it's easy to fit into my schedule. Which brings me to even more good news.
This last October, I was awarded an honorable mention by the International Photography Awards in Fine Art Collage for Warmth! Out of 17,040 submissions from around the world, my work stood out. That feels pretty good.
Needless to say, I'm eager to see what the upcoming year has in store.
P.S. I also started a magazine. Oy.
July 2018 Update: "Interrupted" was a project I was working on that hit multiple dead ends, and one significant reason for that was because the work was extremely personal. So personal, that for my mental health, I decided to let the project go.
However, I did pull from and further examine these ideas, evolving them into (what I believe) a better form, and often include them in my current work.
While I will likely never finish this version of the "Interrupted" series that I set out to make, I did end up making the foundation of the work you see from me today. -mj