Black Friday + Making Art For Yourself.

So, there's a project I participate in every year. It's called Picture Black Friday, and it's pretty self explanatory: You take photographs on Black Friday, and you submit them to this open call. This was a real life-saver in graduate school, because this project introduced me to artists like Brian Ulrich (who later went on to form the "Piece of Cake" project where a former Florida State professor of mine also was a member... small world) - Amy Stein, Shawn Rocco and various emerging photographers.

A criticism of my work (specifically, the shopping series) during graduate school, was that it was an "everyday scene", and professors were unsure if the work would successfully age. Three years have passed, and I think it's doing alright! I often joke with my husband about the information overload on news-screens. In addition to scrolling headlines, there's hash-tags everywhere and a timeline of what's coming up. This is an "everyday scene" for us. Could you imagine someone from ten, even six years ago trying to decipher the twitter bird, hash-tags and social media logos posted everywhere?

I saw a selfie-stick for the first time in November. There was a woman exiting a cosmetic counter, proudly posing and positioning her cell phone (on her selfie-stick) perfectly, then taking a moment for some (probably) really good selfies. I don't know what I would have made of that five years ago, but now they're everywhere! This has now become an everyday scene for us, (especially because I reside New York now), but six, ten years from now - what would we make of this? It's important to grow from praise and criticism, but it's wonderful to find your niche and understand why you're creating - and how to defend it. Creativity breeds success, if you allow it to. 

Below are my other submissions sent into the project in November of 2014. (click to enlarge).

"Your Dream Holiday", (taken outside of a Kohl's Department Store in Tallahassee, FL) won best in show.