I have been experimenting with other media, making things not for public consumption (except for what I share here, I guess) but mainly just for myself. I started sketching again earlier in the year, with the thought that perhaps I could include architectural sketches in my novel. Growing up, I loved to draw and was actually pretty good at it for a pre-teen, but I gave it up at the point when school forced us to choose — art or music.
One of the things I loved about Julián Delgado Lopera’s workshop at Tin House was the emphasis not on writing but on, more expansively, art making and creativity. Julián had us keep daily journals of things we saw, heard, and did, and these could be in any form but the examples they showed were drawn, and so many of us drew.
That same week I used the time between lectures to finally figure out what it would take to use this old camera.
Turns out, it didn’t take much, aside from buying some 120 film and watching a YouTube video about how to load it.
It’s a Spartus Full-Vue, an imitation TLR that came out in the 1940s and was made in Chicago. One of the characters in my novel takes photographs, and so I like the idea of inhabiting her by trying to take my own.
I got my first two rolls of film developed last week. Many of the photos are blurry, so now I know the camera can’t really handle movement, even a little bit. But a few turned out. Here are my favorites.
The photos have been a nice creative outlet during a season of my life that doesn’t always leave space for the typing-out-words part of writing.
On a related note, I am a huge fan of Meghan Phillips, and lately she has been making collages and sharing them on her Instagram stories. They are weird and surprising and on point, just like her writing, and if you like that kind of thing, then you should check out both.