April 3

From Idea to Reality

Finally I pressed the button - ‘submit files for print’ and felt a huge sense of completion. Moss Erotica was finally a thing! After some fourteen years it had come good and was ready to be made real.

For virtually all of my working life I’d successfully finished projects on behalf of magazine and book publishers, delivering sets of images or complete illustrated articles on deadline. I wouldn’t have survived long in the publishing world otherwise! But when I decided to move away from assignments and focus on producing bodies of work for myself, and our community, it wasn’t so easy.

Self imposed deadlines came and went, personal projects got put on the back burner and novel ideas proliferated. As soon as a shiny new project came to mind I tended to ignore the ones that were already underway and move to the new thing. And therein lay my problem.

Outland

Even my huge Outland project only almost reached completion. The thousands of images created on that visual sojourn around the coast of the northwest still sit on my hard drive waiting to be delivered into the world. Showing some of the images in gallery exhibitions was a half way home for the work, but there’s got to be a completion.

I found that when a creative project lingered on it began to lose energy and momentum and that lack of a driving force permeated and infected my general attitude to my work. New ideas were given some attention, plans made, outlines written and perhaps a few shots taken. Sometimes lots of shots. But because I didn’t have a closure plan, an outcome, it kind of simmered like a pan of luke warm water, slowly losing the will to live.

Moss Erotica

Moss Erotica was a case in point. Conceived all that time ago I never made the effort to think it through to a completion date. The project evolved from simple beginnings and became more focused so I knew it needed to become a book.

My film making projects were different though. I announced them and set a date for the premier so they had a hard deadline. That helped me see them though to conclusion. The fact that I had an audience waiting, registering for the event and expecting a film gave me no wiggle room. Missing the deadline was not an option, much as in my life as a professional editorial creator. This gave me an idea.

I had a long and growing list of project ideas all competing for my attention and, with the years ticking by, I decided on a plan. The solution for me proved to be engaging a supervisor to keep me accountable. Having discussed my patterns and habits Jayne and I thrashed out a schedule for one project. Just one. I had to put all of the other dreamy ideas down and live Moss Erotica for a while. Four weeks to be precise.

Self Publishing

It worked a treat and we now have an initial copy of Moss Erotica on our bookcase courtesy of Blurb Book publishing. It’s a thing of beauty. And so many folk have asked me to do a small print run and make copies available. So, I’m celebrating this great personal achievement with an online launch event titled Mossy Meanderings which will include a new film and a short discussion exploring the world of moss. You are invited of course!

It’s not going to be a dry explanation of the natural history of these fascinating simple plants. I’m grounding the evening in my rather animistic approach and encouraging attendees to begin to view the world through ‘moss coloured spectacles’ as Robin Wall Kimmerer suggests in her book Gathering Moss. Paying attention to the small things in our natural world holds huge benefits and helps us stay curious and in awe of what’s around us. A pleasant change from gazing at screens.

The Mossy Meanderings event is set to run at 7pm on Wednesday the 10th of April. There’ll be a short film, pictures galore, chat about moss, the creative process, my photographic approach and the steps I’m taking to successfully self publish the book. Plus there’ll be an extra special offer for anyone who pre-orders the book in the days following.

Dragonflight and more...

Looking forward, fortnightly Zoom sessions keep me on point, with Jayne calling me to task if I succumb to shiny new idea syndrome. I’m already working up three more projects, one by one, and know I’ll see them to completion. Watch this space! I no longer want to be a photographer / writer who keeps my work hidden. Art needs an audience. It has things to say, connections to make and inspiration to share.

Once Moss Erotica is done and dusted and released to a waiting audience I’m creating a Japanese style self published book, and then another lapsed project will be given wings - Dragonflight. I encourage you to see what you can turn your attention to, to examine which of your creative ideas needs to be made real. The sense of fulfilment and the space created by this simple process of completion cannot be underestimated.

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  1. thank you jason for all your personal plans of action are or will be taking place. I wish you every success Jason. Brilliant

  2. Can’t wait, Jason! Thank you for sharing your process, excitement and inspiration. It worked… I’m inspired to complete my creative works and share them. Bless you!

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