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  • Writer's picturehopecaitlins

My artistic process

Since my body is a little more fragmented than most, the process of creating has had to be moulded in order to fit me and allow my mind to wander as far as it may, leaving limitations behind. Today I thought I’d share a little bit of my “artistic process” - without sounding too pretentious! As it’s taken a few years to really hone in on what works the best for me and keeps my body from doing too much.

I began really shooting when I was in my final two years of photography GCSE, this meant a lot of researching artists, learning techniques and gathering props, which eventually culminated into a final big shoot, where I would aim to end up with around 3/5 decent images in order to complete the project. This however was far to ambitious for someone as nit picky as me! While the shoots were fun and my family graciously helped me (putting up beds outside among other things!) I found the images I ended up with less than what I had hoped for and was so tired after shooting and setting up that all my efforts felt a little futile. I was still pleased with the images and completed my projects with top marks however, I didn’t feel as much of a connection to my work.

It took years of this for me to finally realise it was a far better use of my time to begin planning singular images, shooting many different angles and with varying techniques but only aiming to have one final piece. So now, this year, I feel I’ve finally started to figure out a way to work that fits me and my body, I plan sometimes for weeks before actually shooting. Creating composite images in photoshop, spending more time stitching little pieces of magic together, rather than insisting I have to have everything done in one day. A good example of this is my “The Princess and Her Pain” image. I gathered inspiration images, sketched (badly!) my general idea and then spent a couple of weeks gathering the necessary props, pieces and images in order to create the final work. And to me, it’s finally starting to come together. All the images I have created recently have been done in much the same way, taking my time to carefully craft something I’m proud of, something that I feel best reflects my efforts. It’s funny, I’m probably more fatigued than I was during the time I used to do many different shoots and yet, I’ve created more work I’m proud of in the last three months than I ever did then.

These are some examples of how my ideas and concepts go from stick men and sketches to actual pieces and how much this has helped hone my craft so much more than I could have anticipated.

I want this to be something of hope to people experiencing similar set backs, there is a way to adapt things to work around your life and still be just as fulfilling and wonderful. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with my work and I want others to know there is a way around a broken body, the pieces just have to find a way to work together differently, to create something whole.

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