Tag Archives: i wish

Applied Science

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for a while now but nothing comes out. Guess I don’t have a whole lot to say these days. I’ve seen a couple of movies, listened to a bit of live music, went to a museum and that’s about it. I meet up with friends in Utrecht every so often and try to house sit for friends as often as I can. What I do do with my time? Good question. Work, putting myself out there, trying to build contacts, relationships and get work. And run. I should say “jog” though as I have the speed of a turtle. I ran 7.2 kms the other day though:)  
OK so… on the downside I learned that I won’t be taken part in FotoFestivalNaarden and that the editors at Hollands Diep (magazine) really like my photography but that Cape Town is too far removed from their reader’s perception that they said “no” to my work regardless of liking it. I have come up with half-baked ideas about working in Dubai as I thought it would a great place to make some money fast. Friends of friends that live in Dubai have been very kind and helpful in providing me with information and sharing their experiences, but I guess I should have thought about it more before I opened my mouth.
Oh and I really hate the foam that floats on top of Senseo coffee. Come to think of it, I hate Senseo coffee.
On the upside, however, I have sold a few landscape images to a new design & art shop. They will be using these images as wallpaper on their site linking back to my own website. Kind of like they do on the WeTransfer website, I suppose. Right now the guys are focussing on getting the online store running but they aim to have a proper art gallery someday in the near future. I finally finished a 50 year wedding anniversary shoot about a week ago, and the guys at a copy writing agency have linked me successfully to a new client and I will be shooting 6 portraits for them. The idea was that if I do the first shoot well, I get the next 5 as well. It’s for a bi-monthly in-house magazine and I am quite stoked to be doing this. And I have already been booked for 3 shoots next month. Nice:) They are all very different ranging from a corporate shoot to casting photos to a private couple shoot.
I met up with Ingrid from www.gosouthafrica.nl in Amsterdam last week and she was very helpful in providing me with contacts in SA and I *finally* forwarded some images from the Verity shoot to Hip Hop clothing. They were so kind in lending us clothes for the shoot and I thought they’d might like to see what we did. I also learned that Strato Wear and Verity Price will be using my photos for their newly designed websites and yay, miss S.A. Partridge will use one of my portraits as the back cover shot for her new book. All to be revealed later this year. Woop:)  Speaking of projects that will be revealed later on; an interesting proposal just popped in to my mailbox two days ago about showcasing my work in Cape Town and am very pleased to say that I am now officially a StoryTraveler. Very cool and I can’t wait to do a first project with them. It will have to wait till I find myself on the southern hemisphere again but still, very excited. You should check them out when you have the time. 
In the mean time I am applying for a position at Noorderlicht, a very cool international photo festival on documentary photography and I am still trying to come to an agreement regarding the two broken frames from my Swimming Upstream exhibition. I have sent countless emails and even called them last week. “We will get back to you and let you know as soon as possible”. Yup. Sure. Since December 2010. Nice.
So what’s with the list of what you have done, of yes’ and no’s? Who cares? I dunno. I guess I am trying to see if all those teachers and professors in my life were right. All of them always said I could go far if I applied myself and would just stop staring out that window. That magical window; where things happen, where I feel alive and where I am happy. I am hoping that while I am applying myself and logging those mythological 10,000 hours that are said to be needed to hone your skill, I am also secretly sculpting that one brick that will smash that window.. forever.
For once in my life I hope my teachers were right:)
I really like the new Alamo Race Track album, ‘Unicorn Loves Deer’. I tried to find a clip for the Black Cat John Brown song but couldn’t find one that I liked. Different one instead, The Killing

Down by the Riverside – 41/820

I, apparently, should work harder. I spent most of last week doing admin and logging all the hours I spent on my business last year and I could account for 820 hours.
Those hours include doing shoots (obviously), editing photos, writing and editing interviews, writing press releases and invitations, blogging, networking via email and social networks, business meetings, admin hours, updating and maintaining my websites and doing research on copyright laws in the NL and SA. And that’s it, I think.
Those hours don’t include time spent traveling (50 hours on planes alone) to and from jobs, going to gallery openings, phone calls and browsing the net or books for inspiration. I split the time when business meetings moved into social meetings. So without any creative book-keeping I got to 820 hours. The thing is that if one spends 1,255 hours on one’s own business you can get great tax breaks and refunds but, and here’s the real catch, those tax breaks only apply to the profit you made but hey I made non so it actually doesn’t even matter…
I worked for 41 weeks out of 52. I had visitors over for 5 weeks during which I did work a little but then again I logged 4 sick days so they level each other out, was out of it for 2 weeks due to an operation, spent 4 weeks abroad in Namibia and the Netherlands.
When I worked at the design office we worked 8 hour days but only had to properly book 5 hours a day on projects. Out of those 8 hours about 1.5 were spent on lunch and coffee, it was fine to book an hour a day browsing the net or looking at magazines and books for inspiration without being able to book it on a project which comes down to about 5.5 hours a day. So I pretty much worked about the same  and traded an income, social security, an apartment and “stuff” for what? For experience. And even if I feel like I have to justify what I did in the past year, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In fact, I’m going back for seconds:-)
820 hours…. 41 weeks of work. I have to do more. I will do more. And it will be awesome. Can’t wait:-)
Listening to  ‘L’Oncle Soul’ by French musician Ben. He covers ‘Seven Nation Army’ by the White Stripes… sacrilege? Oh well…  I still love this song by Danish singer Agnes Obel…

Sugar Mountain – I wish to be

Seeing my friends and family again is truly wonderul and I realize I missed them more than I thought. As for the rest? I really am trying to see the positive side about being back in the NL. I am trying to see it all as part of the big project. That having to go back home broke is also part of Swimming Upstream, just like trying to get a refund for your seriously broken and ruined frames, or trying to get published, paid or an agent.  I try to ignore the depressing darkness and do useful things with my time while I figure out where to go next.
So in week one, I applied for an editor’s position (even if I don’t get it, updating my CV and thinking about hourly rates etc must be useful), have updated my own website with tons of new work, set up meetings, wrote emails in advance that I can send out as soon as Cape Town gets back to work after the 16th and have been doing loads and loads of admin for the past 3 days. I’ve sent stuff to my accountant, medical insurance and travel insurance. All very .. uhm.. useful stuff. And useful is good, right? Useful is what you should do, what is necessary or expected. But ai, what if useful is not contributing anything to your soul’s well being? 
For you see, with my mild ‘Himmelhoch jauchzend, zum Toden betrübt’ and according to some mild ADHD ( cough Joy cough) disposition, doing just what is ever so useful or expected just makes me wake up early, feel worried and I am easily moved to tears without ever really crying. Maybe I should. I hold on to the idea that there must be some good in spending time here like sorting out admin, spending time with my family and friends, networking on this side and that maybe, hopefully, there will be an idea or job in there somewhere. And I also know that it is good to sort stuff out properly, be responsible and adult about things and that not earning any money for more than one year is *not* the way to go so yes, something must change. I know what I want and as usual I am pretty inflexible about changing that which I personally think is a good thing:-)
Besides how hard can it be right? If you can visualize or verbalize it you are able to get there or some other appropriate dogma.
So there we go once more. I want to go back to SA for approx 6 months and finish my project properly by throwing those events with Instant Grass/Overtone and others, by taking Duncan up on his offer to teach me all about video making and *make* those music videos, and by getting in with some of the agencies and get paid jobs for cool (music or travel) magazines, get my project published and get more paid jobs. Then with the money I earned, I want to go travel across southern Africa: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana and hell why not add Malawi to the mix while I’m at it?
Really, how hard can it be?
the photo is of Lauren Fowler. I took it a while back in Kalk Bay. As for the video, it’s an oldie by Neil Young. I love Neil Young. Seriously. And there’s something sweet and naive about this song that i have always loved. I also want to live on Sugar Mountain, with the barkers and colored balloons:-)
Happy new year everyone! x