Over the years my creative process has changed. As of late, I’ve been focusing on longer form photo series, as well as life outside of my artistic practice. And as I consider where I want my art to go from here, I’m reminded of pieces I’ve created in the past. Lately I’ve been enamored by my 2017 work.
You have to understand that this is not normal for me. I tend to create, be proud of what I create for a bit, then heavily dislike whatever it is for awhile. Eventually I’ll settle back into a level appreciation, but always feel like I could do better. Overall, I think this is a good creative drive, but it’s also a good feeling to legitimately feel proud of what you’ve made.
From changing my artist name, creating book covers, youtubing, being a part of gallery shows and publications, to the beginning of my vitamin deficiency struggle and pulling away from blog challenges and zine publishing, 2017 was quite the year on all sides of the spectrum.
In any case, here I present my favorite images I created in 2017, in order of creation.
Let me know what you think in a comment below. Maybe I’ll do some other look backs soon. :)
Some toy photographers and collectors are so specific about what scales they’ll purchase, but I can’t settle for the life of me. I choose what I feel illustrates my ideas best and that switches between 2cm tall HO scale, to 1:12 scale dollhouses to 1:18 scale action figures and everything in between.
My boyfriend recently bought me the most stunning 1:18 scale RV and I plan to take so many more photos with it. Inside, the chairs move and cabinets open and it even comes with little detachable bikes.
And while there’s so much more I can talk about in this scale, I’m here to talk about the magic of Lundy. I don’t own any, but I’ve often admired it, and for some reason it just feels so genuine and pure.
Lundy is a Swedish company, so just think Ikea, but tiny. They’ve been in the dollhouse business since 1945 and really know their stuff. In 1967 they won the Best Toy award from the Swedish Toy Merchants Association. They were also the very first dollhouses to have electricity.
While I could talk about how terrible the dolls look, with poorly formed neck attachments and eyes that are too far apart, I really just want to talk about how beautiful the design, furniture and accessories are, and how I often wonder if I could fit a fully armored Acid Rain action figure (like those pictured above) in those little chairs.
My absolute favorite accessory sets, just from online perusing are this armchair, bathroom and aquarium. The fabric selection for that chair is just perfect, and truly no where can you find a modern dollhouse shower. The shower being one of my favorite places in my home, always seems like an important thing to portray in miniature. And well, a miniature aquarium with tiny little fish is good enough on it’s own, but I love how many of the accessory sets come with tiny paintings that are miniaturized versions by Lisa Rinnevuo.
Lundby has remained true to its scale throughout the years, meaning it’s vintage stuff, which is just as cute, can fit in with all the new if you’d like.
I also think, in coming off of my Kid’s Dollhouse Trends post, that lundby houses, while smaller than the traditional 1:12 scale are a good balance of aesthetic. They’re made for children and have a clean modern design, but don’t insist on minimalism and pastel colors. They’re homey without clutter.
Monachopis is the name of this series of images, the name of the place within the images, and the overall feeling of the inhabitants of this place. From the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, monachopis is ‘the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.’
A 65 image series, paired down to 25 here.
View exclusive images (not in the above gallery) from this series in Exclu issue 3.
Learn more about each specific image in blog posts – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & behind the scenes.
The world of Monachopis leads to a strange existance. Out of place, out of mind, we exist day by day, unsure of what is to come. This place we temporarily call home is the basement of a bombed out building.
In a world like this, you find friends anywhere you can.
Monachopis: Over everything we swore to protect her
Our leader. His chair. You take the good that comes.
Always by the wall. Always with that toy.
Chin up kid.
Even leaders have to sleep sometimes. But it’s not a very restful sleep. Not here.
A temporary shelter in the midst of exploration.
We stockpile what we can.
What else is out there?
What’s out here isn’t what we hoped for. The desolation spreads as far as we’ve managed to travel.
He promised we would never starve. He never promised the food would be good.
For today’s My Mini Monday I’d like to share the story of a recent photo excursion I went on with my sister. This is a bit different from the norm shared in this category, but I hope you’ll enjoy nonetheless. This post was originally shared on Toy Photographers.
I’m pretty strictly a studio photographer. I like having full control of the entire set and lighting. But there were a few pictures on my ‘to do ‘ list that just seemed to be begging to be shot outdoors.
My sister came into town to visit and needed some beach shots for her blog. That was the final ingredient I needed for an inevitable outdoor shoot. So, armed with her shoes, and my toys, off to the beach we went.
Honestly, it wasn’t the best beach day. A bit too windy and chilly. But we stayed for just over an hour. I photographed seagulls and I photographed toys and I figured all the photos would be crap, because I was out of my comfort zone.
That night, I popped my SD card into my computer to see just what I had gotten. And to my horror, there were no new images on that SD card. I put the card back into my camera – gone there too. And this isn’t the first time this had happened. I calmed myself down, thinking they probably weren’t good photos anyway. But the next day I bought a new memory card.
Image recovery software came free with my new card. I’d never heard of such a thing but I went ahead and downloaded it. Free’s free. I decided to try it out with my old card, figuring the software would only recover items you had deleted and such. Nope, it showed everything I had ever taken with that card. I mean years worth of images. And, the cherry on top – my beach shots were there too…and I liked them.
If you’re ever in this situation, don’t panic. Image recovery software exists and it’s awesome.
Every now and then, shoot outside your comfort zone. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Have you ever lost your images? How often do you push yourself outside of your comfort zone in your photography? Let me know in a comment below.