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Aftermath of the MFA

 

diBenedetto_MFA_2015_42Not to sure how or where to start…. I finished my MFA in August and a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Literally and figuratively. All I wanted was a break from school and I felt the day would never come. But now it has… and now I am like “well what do I do now.” I think the hardest part of graduating with a terminal degree is that school is officially over. Done. Fin!…..Right… I could start my PhD in Visual Art, but is that what I really want right now. Not a 100% sure. The thought has crossed my mind over and over again, but for now, I think it’s best to just continue to the practice. Which right now, for me is the hardest part… finding the time to create again. At least when I was in graduate school, I was pushed to make art all the time, be in the studio all the time and create create create.

Now that I have completed my program, I find it more difficult to make time… mainly because there simply are not enough hours in the day. Now with new job opportunities flourishing and doors are opening, (WHICH IS GREAT!!!!- WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN THEIR WOULD BE 4 JOBS OPEN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!!)

BUT applying to exhibitions and applying for grants…. is like…. applying grad school every week… like every week… LITERALLY! I FEEL LIKE I AM APPLYING TO SCHOOL AGAIN ALL THE TIME. But just like one of my favorite art videos on Ted talk… Just do it. So how does one find time to create, research and write and then create more. Well here goes…..

I am learning that the push comes from within. It is now more than ever, more important to push myself. Nobody is here to check in on me. I am also learning maintaining the relationships I made in school are more important, more than ever right now at this moment. I valued my cohorts voices and opinions when it came to my work. So keeping that connection is very important right now. I also find it’s important to continuing reading and keeping up to date with whats going on in the contemporary art world. Joining mail list, artist talks, and even seeing more and more exhibitions has become so much more important than when I was in graduate school. More important… taking the time to rest. There is no need for those sleepless nights and endless writing and reading sessions. Of course I try not to procrastinate, but I work two adjunct positions full time and have my daughter, I can’t help but wait to the last minute at times. I have realized that I just need to be okay with that. And I am okay. I also realize, that it’s not worth the last minute push if I can’t sleep and get my mind right. I also find it very important to keep believing that my work is amazing because I am amazing. Confidence. That confidence I built in critiques and during my thesis…. that confidence that my daughter looks up too. Confidence. I didn’t just get a degree, I got a terminal degree. So I am going to keep moving forward… like always.

 

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Proof…… The Photographers on Photography

Recently, one of my mentors from the United States Navy posted this on her Facebook. Chief Jennifer Villalovos was one of the first female photographers I met at U.S. Navy Fleet Combat Camera Pacific (FLTCOMCAMPAC). I was in the reserve unit training with active duty, so that I could learn more about being a combat photojournalist. I learned more in those three years from handful of mentors than I did in my years of college.

This video speaks about the labor of love in the field of photography. The video interviews 44 photographers coming through the headquarters of National Geographic.  They talk about how they found photography and never left it. Much like me, I picked up my first camera at the age of 16, but didn’t take my first real class until my first year of college. From then on, I never let go of my camera.  I knew I wanted to do something with photography, but didn’t know what. It wasn’t until I joined the Navy, that I realized, I was born to document, capture and show the emotion of people’s lives through the click of my shutter.

The words of these 44 photographers makes  you feel like you are traveling to endless worlds without ever-moving an inch. ” From my interviewer’s chair, it felt like traveling to endless worlds without ever-moving an inch. These were not your typical interviews; they were shop talk conversations that didn’t seem to start or end in that room. We recently premiered this first installment, comprised of excerpts, at the international photography festival Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan, France. Consider this a sneak peek of each resulting individual video portrait that is to come.” – Pamela Chen

Watch the Video. Its amazing.

24-up-medium

http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/15/the-photographers-on-photography/

Watch the video first. Then play the video without looking and LISTEN.. this is what I heard.

POWER… PERSPECTIVE…. INTENSE…. CAN’T EXIST ALONE…. STOP TIME FOR A MOMENT… GREAT PHOTOS TAKE TIME, PATIENCE, AND SUPPORT…. ONE RIGHT WAY OF LIVINGCOMPLEXITY AND BEAUTY... OVERWHELMING URGENCY TO SHARE… UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE… WHAT YOU DO WITH IT… ENGAGE… HAVE TO CARE.. HAVE TO CARE… HAVE TO CARE… ONE MORE.. JUST ONE MORE… ONE MORE AND THEN ILL BE DONE.. BUT YOURE NOT…  YOU CAN SEND US ANY PLACE ON EARTH, WELL GET THE JOB DONE…. STILL FRAME… PROOF… PULL IN THE READER… PASSPORT TO PEOPLES LIVES… TO PHOTOGRAPHY… WE WILL GO TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD AND THEN UNDERWATER.. ADDICTION… ITS AN ADDICTION… ADDICTION …REALLY MORE … OPEN YOUR MIND… CHANGER YOUR LIFE… CONNECT TO THE WORLD… PEOPLE CARE…. UNDERSTAND… ONE MORE… JUST ONE MORE…. YOU PHOTOGRAPH TO UNDERSTAND… TO LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD… TO LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF...

ENJOY AND PASS ALONG.