Year in Partial Review

Tony Curtis © Emily Shur 2008

It’s been a little while since I used this blog for professional purposes.  I figure maybe I should get on that since it’s December.  Now is the time when the year winds down, and sometimes work can wind down with it.  I’ve been sending out my obligatory postcards and e-mails, hoping to get some good jobs in before 2009.  I also like to take this time to look back on a year, let’s say 2008, and figure out what went right, what went wrong, and what I should be focusing on now in order to make things better next year.  

This year I tried to make a big push with my personal work, some of which was successful and some was not.  I entered lots of contests and applied for reviews.  I didn’t win anything, nor did I get accepted into any reviews.  Poop.  However, I did receive an honorable mention in the Photography.Book.Now contest which was really great.  I made a badge for the book and embedded it on this blog.  If you move your eyes to the right a little bit you’ll see it.  Ever since the contest I have continued to improve on I Can See For Miles and just ordered my first copy with premium paper and a custom color workflow.  More on that when I receive the finished product.  

I also received two goodies in terms of my celebrity portraiture.  I got an image of Ellen Page into American Photography 24 and one of Amanda Seyfried into the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  That show is currently up until February 15, 2009.  

I plan on entering most of these contests and reviews again next year, the ones from which I received both approval and rejection.  I’m not going to give up on the personal work angle, even though it wasn’t so well received this year.  As I have mentioned before, I feel as though my focus was not where it needed to be in that work.  I also think that winning these contests would be sweet, but a big part of why they are helpful tools is knowing that your work is being looked at by such well respected jurors.  Just entering is a proactive gesture towards getting your work seen.  I’m not gonna lie.  It’s disappointing and frustrating to feel as though people are not interested in what you’re doing.  This is the name of the game though, so I am used to brushing shitty feelings off my shoulder.

This year has been strange (bad) economically, and I’m really looking forward to the dawn of a new day as a professional artist in these strange (bad) times.  Universe, please don’t make me wait too long.

4 comments to Year in Partial Review

  • nina

    Sounds like you won quite a few actually!
    But I hear what you are saying.
    Yesterday the recession was officially declared. However my understanding is that that by the time a recession’s officially pronounced the recession usually has already been around for quite some time. I think that could help explain the financials challenges we all felt in 2008.
    And I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Curtis is going to get hit by a golf ball one of these days while lounging by the pool. Golf injuries happen. I have the scar to prove it. True story.

  • nina

    oh and you remain an inspiration :)

  • benjamin hancock

    the times when the jobs aren’t coming in are the best times to focus on personal work! (at least, thats what I keep telling myself, even though personal work doesn’t pay any bills).

  • Terence Patrick

    I’ve also been struggling with coming up with personal projects that stick. Here’s to clarity in 2009!