Updates in the New Year / by Hannah Harley

Happy New Year, Happy Monday! 

I'm going to be frank, which something I always love to do on this blog. Plus it's a new year, which always feels like you get a free pass. So let's do it. Folks, it seems that blogging isn't the most professional use of your time as an artist. What famous artist or photographer do you know that blogs? 

None? One? 

But I've always enjoyed dissecting this process with you all. Sharing what happens in the experimentations, what these steps are along the way, what research is going on behind the scenes, and most importantly - the failures. I'm sure there are plenty of articles out there that outline how important it is to only put your very best work online. To leave your failed experiments in a box under your bed and never speak of their existence. 

But I put a lot of time into those failures. I spend weeks and months carefully crafting failure after failure. The success rate is low, the output is high, and it's a constant reminder that life, much like softball, is a game of failure. 

For those who don't know, I played softball for 17 years. It was awesome. And it taught me how to fail. It didn't teach me the difference between grain and noise on a photograph or how to assess the value of a print - but it did teach me how to take risks and fail often. And sometimes that's more important than this traditional classroom education. We need all the help we can get in life. 

So I'm going to keep posting here with my progress, my failures, and all these little ideas that have no real shape or direction. Plus, this blog has been tracking my life for over 5 years now? It's tough to wind that down whenever this has been there through so many adventures. 

While attending grad school at Parsons, we get weekly critiques about our work. It's an exhilarating process, but it means I don't put much work up online now. I'm constantly perfecting the project, finding a better solution, getting feedback, but I keep it away from being finished. It's going to be critiqued next week, so should it really go on the internet before it's ready?  

To combat this unfinished feeling, I do a fair bit of experimentation in little notebooks. They're not conceptual or crazy exciting, but they're a way for me to always be accessing a new way to mix media and play with photography. I'll be sharing excerpts from those in the coming months as I move towards a thesis exhibition. 

It's a pleasure to share this progress and to have so many people involved along the way. Thank you again for making this a part of your online experience and for your support. 

Cheers to the new year!