I’m about six months into Expressing Your Vision now. And I am so glad I decided to study distance learning with the flexibility that entails. What a nightmare the last part of 2017 was; mum’s mental illness, as usual, just seems to take up all my mental energy, and now her physical health is rapidly deteriorating too. I don’t understand why she has the effect she does, but I’ve had periods where I’ve found it impossible to really get anything done at all. Even cooking an evening meal has felt like a major hurdle. Her presence just looms over every single part of my life, undermining it and making me feel uncomfortable if I do anything that isn’t, in some aspect, involved with her needs. If she asks for something and I can’t get it to her straight away then I get phone messages telling me that I’m a bitch and the worst daughter in the world. But I am not allowed to complain, because she’s mad so I have to just take it. Then, on top of all that, just before Christmas I had a letter from my doctor telling me I might have cancer (thank goodness I don’t). So really, I was glad when January came and for some reason I felt I could draw a line underneath all this ‘stuff’ going on and actually concentrate on photography a bit more. But that’s why there’s loads of entries for January, and a big gap at the end of 2017. I was taking images, but I just couldn’t put what I needed to into EYV at that point.
I’ve now completed three assignments. I was hoping to be further along, but I’ve just had to accept that I can’t do everything at once and I need a bit of time. Time to recover and get back up to speed. Plus, as the course has gone on, I’ve found myself really wanting to have time to explore the various artists that are coming up, ideas, concepts that are unfamiliar to me. I don’t want to rush through it all. I want time to digest and reflect on what I’m learning, because a lot of these ideas are totally alien to me. I almost wish I’d started on the foundation course instead, because reading the experience of other students, I think I’d have got a lot out of it. I suppose it was down to money really. It would have cost extra; education is really expensive.
In the past few months I’ve learnt to experiment a lot more with my camera. I’ve learnt to share and be more open – I feel like I’m baring my soul because I’m really very private and I don’t usually let anyone know how I feel. I’m even embarrassed to cry at funerals. So when my tutor said he didn’t think I should add password protection to my assignment work I was mortified. But I’ve taken it off and been brave. And fine, several hundred people in a world of seven billion have seen this stuff and I’ve had nothing but nice comments and warmth from anyone who cared enough to comment either publicly or privately.
I am learning a lot about the way I work, especially when under pressure. It’s funny that I work totally differently from the way I did when I was studying science. It’s like two different people. Honestly, I am still behind with the exercises that appear in the text. My last feedback from my tutor mentioned that I needed to spend more time on them. But in my rush to get the assignment finished by the agreed deadline, I’ve put everything else to one side and just pushed on to complete that as it seems most important.
From here I think I need to
- catch up
- be more organised about recording information, especially when I get snatches of ideas or phrases that make an impact but that I end up not feeling able to use because I haven’t recorded where I heard / saw it and I don’t want to steal someone else’s idea
- update the exercises I have completed and add them to the blog
- think about the way I work so I’m not rushing to complete assignments because it’s exhausting
- learn how to use Lightroom more effectively