My friend Avanaut has frequently mentioned mentioned his personal guiding light: Stuart. One simple comment left on a Flickr post that reads: You have inspired me. I hope to do something like this with my legos. He is the personification of Ves’as audience in one child, one comment.
As an artist it is always good to know who your audience is. For Vesa it is a 10 year old boy, for me, my audience is decidedly different. In many ways my audience is just one person: me.
Now I know that sounds self centered, but hear me out. I am a very driven and intense person who works way too much. I worry about everything, even things I know I can’t change. The state of our world makes me wonder why I even had kids. Sound familiar? Even if it doesn’t, for me, photographing toys is a very necessary escape and a way to reconnect with my inner child.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old: we grow old because we stop playing.George Bernard Shaw
When I started on this Instagram journey three years ago it was to see if I could rediscover my love of photography (something I had lost seven years earlier), and nothing more. Along the way I have connected with an amazing community of like minded toy photographers that span the globe and have learned to take myself a whole lot less seriously. I have even begun to discover a sense of humor I didn’t even know I had.
In January of 2014 I posted an image to IG with the tag line: “My New Years’s Resolution is to take myself less seriously.” Honestly, I think I should have made the same resolution this year and every year going forward.
I will not deny that this month has been a roller coaster ride that at times has overwhelmed me. Some part of me wants to run away and hide in a hole and wait for this to blow over. But yesterday I received this comment on photo I had posted on one of the many social media platforms I play on: “Your photos always delight. Never doubt that.” It made me realize there are other “me’s” out there who need to be reminded that play is good, that the world isn’t ending anytime soon and that it is important to reconnect with our inner child.
In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.Friedrich Nietzsche
So no matter what happens in the coming months, I will continue to move forward creating the imagery that I love and hope that I can bring joy and a shared love of the little plastic people to adults like me. Adults who are often stressed out and overwhelmed by this age that we live in and need to be reminded to slow down and reconnect with their inner child.