Leslie L.

Lots of difficult issues this week. I realized I consider myself very skilled at only a few things, which was a major bummer. A couple of the creative skills I'm probably best at (digital video shooting and editing) are actually skills I have zero interest in using any longer and haven't really used them much in the past few years since I stopped working in the industry. What I tend to be good at are things that lack a "touch" element (like digital photography) but what I really enjoy are activities that require the human hand. This explains a lot about my past photographic work. I preferred techniques that had me building cameras or physically applying pigment and emulsion over pristine black and white printing (though that also had physical aspects because I had to handle the chemistry and the prints in the trays). What I never enjoyed was the "prissiness" of keeping negatives clean and handling fine prints with gloves. The mistakes that I neither expected nor could control were what I appreciated more since they felt like little miracles.

I don't know if this means I should be making books and using encaustic along with handling fabrics and embroidering (these scored very high on the wannabe list). I do know that the art that appeals to me always tends to be that which tempts me to touch it. I think that all the wandering I have done from traditional photography is explained by this need/desire I have for a tactile experience of art. 

So, with my skills assessment and my wannabe list, I realize I have soooo much work to do. Plus, I need to revise how I was approaching art making (a change I think I've been gradually making subconsciously). I suppose it's good to know and understand this now, but it's a bit of a shift for me. It does explain why I don't get real satisfaction from digital art - there's nothing for me to handle unless I print the work on fabric or paper and progress from there.

Perhaps this is the big realization I will get out of AST. I think that's a great thing since it feels like I now have a beacon that I'm heading toward, even though it's a long long ways away.