Monday, October 13, 2008

In August of 2007 I enrolled into Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville, TN. In March of 2008 I started having doubts as to if the school was challenging me any longer. I traveled to New York City twice. The first time was, I believe, in March. I met two people who changed the course of my life. I met Richard Renaldi and Ben Lepley. Richard has become a close friend and mentor. Ben has become a best friend who, quite possibly, will end up in Chicago with me. I once again went to New York City in May with even more interest in moving there and going for it at Parsons or SVA.

I wasn't ready yet. I had a relationship back home that was not tying me down in the least yet it was completely keeping me from going. I was emotionally tied to a couple things that I needed to let life work out. I was also not ready to make such a huge financial leap. I decided to stay in Nashville but just attend local community college classes and work till the Fall of 2009 to attend Parsons and/or SVA.

So I came back from New York City in May and heard word that my brother had surgery on his wrists. This baffled me because I've had horrible wrists from goalkeeper and skateboarding since my freshman year. Way worse than Nick's. So I went to the doctor to get x-ray's and they came back and told me that both of my wrists were broken and had been for nearly four years. This changed the course of my entire plan. I came to the conclusion it would be smarter for me to stay in Huntsville, AL (home) to have my surgery done since it could quite possibly be the last thing I do on my mom's insurance.

We are now in June. My relationship is going through horrible times. I am confused as to what my photography is becoming. I had my surgery on my right wrist. I am 19 years old. Bottom line.

Things are changing in incomprehensible ways.

I make a decision to study at home. This way I can save money and at that point I was convinced I could produce work at home and do whatever I needed to. I decided that education was the way I wanted to go. It was the easy way out. I would produce my safe photography (despicable) while keeping completely unchallenged and comfortable in Huntsville, Alabama (terrifying).

My high school teacher, Eric Mittman, had been a huge part of my photography career and inspired me to teach. I spoke to him and he agreed that it would be great if I taught at Sparkman High School with him as a student assistant. As far as education I was going to attend Uni. Of Alabama Huntsville and study education to teach high school photography. It was going to be free and I could make all the work of the southern landscape I wanted. Great.
We skip forward to August. My relationship of a year and eight months ended and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

I attended UAH for five hours. I realized how huge of a mistake I had made. I withdrew from classes and quickly entered some basic courses at community college to pass the semester by and still have twelve hours to maintain my health insurance with my mother.

At this point I was not sure of anything. I had a job at Barnes and Noble, I drove my new 1996 Jetta I purchased from my sister, a long relationship had ended, my photography was heading nowhere, and I was in what seemed to be 13th grade at Calhoun Community College. Everything was 'falling apart'. I tried to comprehend my surroundings in an attempt to understand what the hell was going on in my life. I was shooting 4x5 of the southern landscape I had grown to be apart of. I grew close to people working from home i.e. Sally Mann, Mike Smith, and William Christenberry. All of my work sucked. But it was good because that didn't matter. I was waking up at 5am to shoot blue hour in the morning. It was amazing. I was keeping receipts to write my donut and hot cocoa purchases off. Some things were good. I had some stuff to figure out.

My sister, Shannon, told me that when you are going through a big change in life you often revisit old music, people, and memories etc. In this case I visited an old friend, Amanda. We were very close friends in high school. She still lives here in Huntsville in the Five Points area. But things had changed. I realized I was holding onto this crumbling earth and roots. Home was not where I needed to be.

I was driving with only my window down. My left arm was out the window and I enjoy treating my hand like an airplane wing moving it up and down. I was staring at the light transcending against the line of trees to my left. The only explanation for the feeling I was about to experience was some sort of extreme epiphany. It was not a light bulb feeling. Some other insane source of light. Some Friday Night Light's scene where they show a view of the stadium lights blowing on. Then the team has their helmets under their arms. *explosions in the sky climax here*

"Why the hell am I here?"

So in between then and there I have starting shooting again. Finished a 60 page book with Tyler encompassing four bodies of work. I have been to Chicago and met with five of my favorite photographers (Ulrich, Lazarus, Stimac, Clarke-Davis, and Shea). I have since then (Sept 26-29th) decided that I should move to Chicago ASAP. Which I hope to be in January.

The only problem I have been presented with is that I wrecked my car Saturday.

I have a $1000 deductible and the car is worth $2400. Chances are I will get little to no money back and I owe $1800 on the car still. I don't mind. It's something I will take care of. However, realistically, it's a mountain to climb over to get to Chicago so quickly in January.

There are a lot of questions I have and I lot I am learning.

One thing, I told the state trooper exactly what I did to veer off into a ditch. I told the truth. I am so damn naive it's stupid. So now the fact that I was looking at my ipod to see if me tossing my camera in the passanger seat had scratched it is costing me a lot of money. Such a weird world. Bastards. So don't tell the truth when dealing with politics or insurance companies.

1 comment:

Summer said...

I really admire you and your writing, Pete.