I have mentioned before that I produced a short body of work with Paul Hill and Maria Falkener last year “Been There, Done That”. This work was concerned with tourism and souvenirs. I printed 20 copies using Mixam and was curious to see if I could actually sell any. I set up an online shop here https://robin-stewart.sumupstore.com/ and also sent a copy to Euan Ross who hosts the podcast Biblioscapes: https://biblioscapes.com/library/been-there-done-that
The spring 2023 issue of Source (the only magazine I subscribe to now) featured an article titled “Wish You Were Here”, on tourism photography. There is also a self-published books review section at the end of the magazine. I wondered if they might find any merit or interest in my work and have sent an unsolicited copy to them.
That was about three weeks ago and I have not heard anything from them. Actually I am not really expecting to, I have my own doubts concerning the quality of the work and will not be disappointed if the book becomes a dead-end. It is all part of the process of experimentation and continual improvement. I also think it important to not vest too much personal energy into a project when it is complete, but allow it to ‘sink or swim’.
Of course it would be a huge achievement and honour to be featured in Source but the process of exploring avenues that could raise awareness of the work is, to a degree, reward in itself. The process of using Mixam as printer was also valuable experience and will help enormously with my next project.
It has also helped me to be more objective with my current work and admit to myself sooner rather than later if something is not good enough. Rather than making me feel despondent (which it would have done a few years ago), I’m finding the process quite refreshing, it encourages me to push and try harder. I may still not achieve my vision but the process is enriching in itself.