Wednesday, January 2nd 2019
I woke up at 6am, and got out of bed at 8:30am. Boyfriend is still sleeping. I’m drinking a much-needed coffee while watching some video footage from Guy Bourdin. I hadn’t looked at his work for a while. Everything he does is always either beautiful or intriguing or both, and most certainly never fails to inspire me. I’m taking notes as I devour his series of 10 short films — each more surreal that the others. Guy Bourdin never edited his videos and I’m very fond and respectful of that approach.
Currently, my favourite photograph from his archives is :
It’s 10:25am and I spent the last two hours brainstorming on my own series of short films which I want to shoot with my VHS camcorder — if I ever find the charger. I’ve been wanting to experiment with moving images for months, even years, but there was always something else to work on that was more important. By more important I mean something which would either pay my bills or bring me a step closer to getting new clients, and eventually pay my bills. And that’s not necessarily simple.
Clients want to work with creatives who are either internationally-published or who have a large following/engagement, or both. They have a product to sell, and so they care about stats more than anything else. I suppose it’s understandable. But, to get the stats they want is a real pain in the arse. Last year (or even before) I found myself tailoring content to my audience in an effort to generate a decent social media engagement and attract new clients, out of total desperation. And it made me miserable. Moreover, getting commissioned by magazines is not easy and can be extremely time-consuming. Editors expect you to write a full creative brief so that they can get a clear idea of what you’re going to provide them with and therefore be confident in commissioning you. But confident for what? Most often than not, they won’t pay you, not even any expenses. Artists are asked to finance everything AND still have to restrict themselves to the publications’ guidelines. So what risks are magazines taking exactly? Perhaps the risk of publishing an editorial which might not bring in as much traffic (read $$$) as they’d like? I would be sympathetic to that if they had the decency to compensate their contributors financially, but they don’t. And it’s absolutely bullshit. This system sucks and is killing my creativity — and I’m quite certain the one of others too. These so-called rules have greatly affected my methods of work and the spontaneity which usually comes with it. I guess that’s another reason why I haven’t done much in 2018. I turned down every opportunity that was not paid so that I could focus on a new body of work instead of wasting my time, energy and money for inconsiderate clients. It took me the last six months to realise that I’m no longer interested in shooting for others anymore. I will not take any steps towards getting new clients this year or until the system gets better and finally becomes respectful.
Today, and after a long break from creation, I feel the urge to explore new ideas and try different methods. I’ve had enough of doing the same things constantly. As much as I love #ophelieandthegirls, I can’t forever do that and only that. I know that’s what most of my clients and followers expect me to do, but my aspirations as an artist go way beyond this and it’s time I start caring about what I want to do rather than what people want me to do.
Tomorrow, I’ll take the time to talk about my new projects — right now I need to work.
It’s 10:15pm and I’m in bed. I spent the majority of the day doing some research for my new project and came across a lot of interesting articles I hadn’t read before about the subject. I’m learning new things every day. So far it’s been a very enriching experience — and it’s going to be even more enriching once I start creating the works. I’m so fucking excited about this. I’ve been wanting to explore documentary photography ever since I turned 30 (and probably even a little bit before that) and so having found a way to do that whilst keeping my aesthetics is profoundly satisfying and super exciting. Seeing how obvious it now seems, I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before.
It’s 10:21pm and I’m watching Elle with Isabelle Huppert. I very much appreciate her acting style at the moment. I’d love to photograph her someday — in fact, there are a few actresses who I’d like to photograph. Gonna have to spend some time thinking about that at some point. But right now, there’s already enough to do.
It’s 1:35am and I can’t sleep. I feel like I should carry on with my researches and planning instead of wasting time sleeping anyway. I’ve actually had a nap earlier after a long and warm bath. It was supposed to be a 10-mins power nap but ended up lasting two hours. Felt so good yet so guilty when I woke up. And now I’m having difficulties even closing my eyes. Perhaps I’m gonna watch another movie. I want to see at least one film per day every day for the whole year. Yesterday was Christine (the one from 2016) and today was Elle. Or I could read also. I never read. Gonna have a joint and do that. This year I want to do things which I don’t usually do. Change my routine. My habits. I don’t like the way I live my life. Everything needs to change. Change is good. It’s refreshing. And I’m in need of a big wave of refreshment in my personal life. I should go skiing.