This update has been on the back burner for some time, but I need to get a few quick notes out into the interweb particles.
2017 has been a year of artistic reflection for me.
First, and most noticeably I imagine, I changed the name of which I go by artistically. Originally, since I started posting my art online around 2012 or so, I went by my full first, middle and last name. This was done in that my name is severely common. Google ‘Jennifer Wells’ and you’ll find painters, authors, professors, actors, etc. etc. The only thing I felt that set my name apart was the ‘h’ in my middle name ‘Nichole.’ So the full 3 names became my artist name. And, while I’m just fine with my name in my day to day life, I didn’t feel like it suited my art or my artistic vision. I started considering ‘Tourmaline’ as a replacement a couple of years ago. ‘Semi precious, in a wide variety of colors.’ I liked the sound. It was a gem in a huge range of colors, yet only semi precious, not elitist maybe? That, and honestly it sounds like it could be a name, even with nickname possibilities.
While I’ve focused heavily on fog the last year or 2, my work as of late has been more bright and in your face. A trend I see myself continuing to explore. This again seemed to support the colorful aspect of the new name. Then, no matter how artistically gibberish this sounds I added the space and the period at the end of ‘Tourmaline’ i.e. ‘Tourmaline .’ This is a further distinction from the gem, and other companies and profiles with this name. It’s also a pause on the finality. I am Tourmaline . for now, ever evolving.
It was just last year that I discovered a huge community of toy photographers on instagram. Through that I was able to become a part of Exclu Collective and Toy Photographers – 2 publications that I’ve very much enjoyed working with. I also began participating in the daily hashtag competitions hosted by various instagram accounts in the community. It opened my eyes and showed me that in my art I could be a part of something. But, at the same time, as far as instagram is concerned, it made me feel more secluded than ever. Sure I’m creating 2D photographs out of 3D miniature scenes, but I’m not really part of a fandom. My images may occasionally represent nostalgia, but not for shows or movies from my childhood, more the feeling as a whole. Those in the toy photography community on instagram are creating beautiful things, but I sometimes have trouble calling myself a toy photographer, because I don’t quite relate to their ideas for why they make what they do.
With that, and various life events, I’ve pulled back from social media a bit. I’m sure those of you here have noticed with how active I’ve been with the blog challenges and such. For the most part I schedule daily posts, but I’ll be completely honest, that they don’t hold as much of me within them as the blog has for quite some time.
I suppose you could call it burn out, what with posting to instagram, google +, and wordpress daily, posting to Toy Photographers weekly, and still trying to maintain the creation of loads of new photos (that I’m happy with), my day job, etc.
I’ve had my qualms with the elite mentality of much of the fine art side of the world too, and have been submitting to less and less open calls. And am instead considering how to make my mark independently or upon careful selection of publications and galleries. I haven’t come to a conclusion on any of that yet.
All that to say, I’ve shifted my focus a bit. I’ve always been a very hands on creator, and my focus and passion remains in miniature diorama photography. I can’t say that my overall social media presence will increase anytime soon, but instead I have recently begun posting to youtube. I’m not used to filming the process of creating, but I’m learning and am pretty happy with what I’ve posted so far. The videos are allowing me an opportunity to try out and comment on cute, fun DIYs that I’ve been lusting after for quite some time. Hands on, messy and in the moment, I hope these videos will get your creative juices flowing and allow you to get to know me more personally over time. At the end of each video is a few miniature photos I made from the contents of the video. In that way I can still show off my main passion, and encourage myself to get creative in mini set ups.
Follow along if you’d like and comment what you’d like to see. It’s really just getting started, so go easy on me :P If videos aren’t your thing, no worries. I’m still here with WW, OWPC, CYW and daily photos. Or, check me out on instagram.
Thanks for your continued support in my artistic ventures, no matter how crappy of a blog follower I’ve been in return.
<3 Tourmaline .