Tourmaline .

Miniature Diorama Photographer

2018, A Reflection

What a year 2018 has been. I thought about not posting a reflection this year, for the first time ever, but I think it’s been a good practice to truly focus on how I’ve grown in my art, online presence, etc.

This year I’ve learned to take my creative process in stride. I can be very hard on myself for not creating. But life gets in the way. Weather you’re busy, or just physically or mentally unable, take care of yourself first and the art will come when it needs to.

I’ve switched my focuses between making photos, creating videos, writing blog posts and just relaxing. And while I probably haven’t made as many photos this year, or written as many blog posts, as I did last year, I’m happier with what I have made.

I’ve focused on making art this year rather than showing it. While I do intend to get my pieces published or in gallery shows, I want to make sure the work is full and complete first. That said, my in progress series – Monochrome, was featured on Exclu Collective’s site back in September. A still from my series Headlights will be shown in Rome this coming January thanks to LoosenArt. And the whole of my 5 part series, Survival was on view in Yonkers, NY, and now for sale online through D. Thomas Fine Miniatures.

As for books, I created the design and layout for, and had a featured spread within the Toy Photographers 2017 book which was released this past January! The 2018 book should be released soon. I pulled back from their blog throughout this past year to focus on my own work, but did publish a post on Aphantasia and believe I will have a blurb in the upcoming book. Speaking of, I also learned I have Aphantasia this year. If you’re interested in learning more, click the link to read about it. I have another, possibly more detailed, post coming up, but I’m waiting on a bit of info for it.

Jacob Makaya also released his book 100 Dreams and their Biblical Interpretations in both English and Swahili versions this past year, with my image and design work on the covers!

It’s been just over a year now since I began posting on YouTube semi-regularly. My style of videos has changed a bit over the year as I find a balance between what I enjoy creating and what people like to watch.

And last, but certainly not least, I was featured on an episode of the Toy Photographer’s podcast!

In 2019 I hope to complete my Monochrome/Polychrome series and publish it in a process driven hard cover book. I also want to push myself to spread my art farther online – although I’m still brain storming exactly how I’m going to go about this. I also have plans for images involving a new 1:12 scale figure, as well as some wisps of ideas for other images. The best place to see those right as they’re produced is on instagram, but I’ll post them here as I have multiple images to share together. And my list of video ideas keeps growing as well, but those are slower moving. I may be traveling a lot for work, so I also hope to figure out how to incorporate new locations/travel into my photo process. As for the rest of 2019 we’ll just have to see what it brings.

What have your 2018 accomplishments been? Large or small, it doesn’t matter, share them in a comment below. And what do you hope 2019 will bring?

17 Responses to “2018, A Reflection”

  1. Mz&Cho

    Fascinated by and enjoyed all your photos and looking forward to more :) ! 2018 wasn’t so exciting – my job (project management) and visiting my aunt back in Burma with other short trips here and there. Looking forward to more travels in 2019 but of course with visits to Burma to check on my aunt whom I so so love. Take care. MZ

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  2. teachezwell

    What a fascinating year you’ve had! And I am sorry to hear you have aphantasia. Given your artistic gifts, that must be rather odd. I am hoping you’ll be able to share more. You are sooooo talented!

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      • teachezwell

        I have been thinking a lot about what art must be like for you. I wouldn’t have guessed it’d be a great choice, but it obviously is!

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        • Tourmaline .

          Thank you. I haven’t totally analyzed it yet, but I supposed it could be me making what I can’t see in my head. I think my type of photography works well for it as well. I can draw and paint well with references, but can’t create what’s in my head from scratch that way whatsoever. Building the images with preexisting items solves that issue.

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          • teachezwell

            Amazing. I recently met a teacher who has that disorder and it was the first time I’d heard of it. I’m so used to functioning with visuals in my mind that it’s hard for me to comprehend. Did you have any difficulty learning to read? (If you feel like telling me….)

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            • Tourmaline .

              I don’t mind at all. I was actually always very ahead of my grade in reading comprehension. While it’s odd for both sides of the spectrum to understand, it seems as though our brains are just wired to send and receive info differently. While I may not be able to see images in my mind, my memory is perfectly fine. My brain just recalls info without full, clear pictures. Of course everyone with aphantasia and without has different experiences with it as well. I always thought I saw or didn’t see things in my mind just like everyone else.

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              • teachezwell

                Thanks for sharing about that. I’ve used some specialized instruction in both reading and math to help some students form visual images to improve their understanding and/or recall. I do wonder if a couple of them may have had aphantasia because they really couldn’t create any mental images. I ended up trying another approach. Thank you so much for giving me a better understanding of this. I do think my nephew might have this way of processing information. He certainly has a great memory but can’t “see” how a story is depicted. Until I heard about this, I never imagined that might be describing him. And perhaps creating diagrams and using 3-D figures might help. I’m thinking aloud here! Thanks again!

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                • Tourmaline .

                  Of course. I was born in Indiana, and there we were taught to read with phonics. For me that worked really well but I don’t know if it will for everyone. I’m willing to answer any questions you have though and I’ll certainly try to help. I do think diagrams are amazingly helpful.

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                  • teachezwell

                    Thanks for your willingness to help me sift through this! Phonics does not require visualization, although I often add that to my instruction. Phonics IS like a diagram for how to decode words. What about math? Did you have any issues there? Helping kids to visualize a number line is one way to support their understanding of values.

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                    • Tourmaline .

                      I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this. I’ve never been great with geometry, but no issue with algebra at all. Multiplication tables and such were just a process of repetitive memorization.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • teachezwell

                      Thanks for being patient with my questions. I’m pleased that your brain easily managed without visualizing. Now I’m wondering to what extent visualization is necessary. After all, you create your own amazing visuals. And I’m assuming you used external visuals while you were in school. Thank you again for sharing.

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                    • Tourmaline .

                      Of course. Always feel free to ask away. I truly didn’t know my brain was any different. I have often wished I could draw and paint from my imagination. That’s the main area I think aphantasia has effected me personally in. But all in all I think I’ve simply found ways to create around it.

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