The launch of this magazine has been a wonderful way to wind down 2011, and the great contributing artists made it possible. Currently, since the launch on the 15th, we’re pushing 6,500 page views from over 1,000 unique IPs from all over the world. I’d say that’s an excellent start for the first week and a half, and makes me excited for the possibilities in 2012.
HJ is going to take a little holiday break. We’re leaving for Texas on Christmas morning to recharge in the desert, and ring in the new year with the coyotes and burrows. I’ll be traveling with Carmen and Andy of Folias Music, and if you want to catch up with us, come out and tango on January 2 at the Austonian in Austin, TX.
As you’d expect, my internet access will be sporadic, but we’ll resume posting more great stories and images after the 5th. I have some artists lined up that I’m so excited to show… we’re going to take 2012 by storm! So everyone please have a safe holiday, make beautiful photos, and ring in the new year in style. Peace to everyone for the coming new year, and let’s do our best to make the world a kind place through photography.
What do you do? The economy is still struggling to recover, and may not fully come around before people revolt. You’re in a medium sized city with a great artistic community, but there’s not much buzz and bustle of creative jobs turning over, so even though you’re not completely artistically fulfilled, you have to proceed cautiously, and be thankful you’re head is above water.
But it’s still not enough. I guess in my case, all the inspirational quotes from Steve Jobs got to me. This one rang true:
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something…”
Yes… you know you need to change something. You need to contribute differently. You figure out that you need to dig deep. Then you learn that lesson that no one can teach you. That is that opportunity never comes your way. Well maybe it does sometimes, but most of the time you have to go out and find it… create it for yourself, try, fail, try again… whatever it takes until you find what works for you.
In my case it’s simple. This job isn’t going to find me, so I’m creating it. I told myself that there was no reason I couldn’t be the editor / curator of a great photography magazine. Realistically, it would be kind of a hard to sell myself to most existing magazines. Then it strikes me… I’m connected to such a big pool of talent that there’s no reason I can’t start rolling this out… naively ask giants in the business if they want to participate… and seek undiscovered talent that deserves recognition… aim high with respect to traditional shooters, while still trying to find non-photographers who stumble on great things… the kid playing with a camera for the first time… the next Sally Mann… the next Pieter Hugo.
The world’s on fire and if you’re comfortable, be cautious, because you might not be for very long. That fundamentally means that it’s a really great time to be a documentarian because there will be no shortage of content. Truth is at a premium, and if that truth contains beauty, then that’s a bonus. The truth will get ugly too, but that’s good medicine.
We’re going to have humble beginnings with goals of achieving great things. There will be books. There will be funding for photographers. There will be features you won’t see anywhere else. For now, it’s just one step at a time.
Honestly, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the group that’s on board getting this started, as well as the lineup that we’ll be rolling out on a fairly steady pace. Special thanks to the original Road Trippers and Burnians Tom Hyde, Kyunghee Lee, Aga Luczakowska, the prolific Bob Black, and my Wonder Twin, Hillary Atiyeh. Brian Widdis is a long-time friend of mine who astounds me with subtlety, and I really believe in what he and Romain Blanquart are doing in Detroit. I’ve never met Christopher Wray-McCann, but man, if I could model a career, that stuff looks like so much fun. I love what Bryan Harvey does, but I can’t thank him without thanking Michelle Smith, just for being great people and awesome friends.
And of course, a special thanks to David Harvey, and the energy he brings to everyone working around him. Without his influence, the National Geographic connection, and all the Virginia photo parties, I’m not sure when I would have picked up a camera again.
Okay, enough gushing. Let’s go live. Who’s with me?