So. What to do now? What to do next? How to sort this out, to get through it, to find out what was missing? How to I’ve not been certain… I’ve been interested in returning to education: I’ve wanted to find a way to consolidate my diverse academic background with my emerging professional interests, but I’ve had no luck so far. I’ve often thought that to do this might show me, or provide me with, an opportunity to make best use of the totality of these.
In addition, part of me was counting on returning to education to help provide a structure and a routine I could use to get back into the habit of being creative, of producing, of thinking and doing and making and… Well, simply being active – really, truly active, creatively – once again. The way I feel at the moment, I don’t believe I have the capacity to return to this on my own.
With that in mind, I’ve put in a few PhD applications over the last couple of years without success (essentially, I have good ideas, but hardly anyone wants to fund art, design or media-based research degrees, so, unless I can fund it myself, it’s a ‘no’); and had my application to an MRes course I found (that would have been perfect given my increasing interest in, and work with, artisanship and crafts) withdrawn by the institution because of low market interest in the course. I don’t want to give up on the idea of returning to education; however, judging by all this, perhaps now isn’t the best time for it.
This really does leave me with trying to do more with my existing creative projects, I think, but I know that my involvement with these is going to be irregular, unscheduled and perhaps even incoherent at the moment. It’s not the greatest place to start (re)building any kind of portfolio, whether it’s a career one in its own right, or something that you can take out to industry and use to support applications for employment. But… I can’t be the only person in this situation at the moment. I just… Don’t see other people talking about things not working out as expected. I wish more people did.
As for these creative projects, let’s start with my collaborative projects… Well, The Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium is, essentially, on hiatus. I agreed a blog post with my fellow co-founder that discusses the various changes over this coming year relating to events, meet-ups and developmental work on and for our local creative community. It’s very difficult taking a step back from such a project, but it’s necessary at the moment. I do, however, intend to continue writing the PortsConsort Postcards, and I wrote one for May on celebrating the success of others. Hopefully, those will at least keep that project’s heart beating.
We fully intend to return to working on it but, right now, it can’t be a priority. We know that, through being a project that organises and manages a community, we’ve created something on which others might rely… However, we also tried to make it very clear that our work on/with PortsConsort would have to fit around our other personal and professional commitments – and that these came first. I just hope people understand that.
Croshare is doing better, in terms of being able to sustain activity relating to it. I think it helps also that this project – this participatory practice – doesn’t rely on other people, nor does it exist for the benefit of other people; although they are involved in practically every outcome of, and output from, Croshare, when I work on this, even though I am working with a co-founder and fellow artist, it feels as though I’m doing this for me. Should one feel that way about a collaborative project?
At the time of writing, we’re working on Trawl, an artifact to be installed at Aspex as part of this year’s Portsmouth Festivities. That’s going well, and I’m enjoying the work I’m doing on it. I’m also enjoying writing a little each month for the Croshare Catch-up series: May’s post touched on how we measure success and failure.
The above said, there is a part of me looking forward to having a little break from Croshare after Portsmouth Festivities. I can’t jump from project to project to project – especially across two completely different collaborative efforts, as I used to do previously. It’s not that I found that confusing, or difficult to manage these separately and appropriately…. It’s that I need to be so ‘switched on’ in order to accomplish this that it’s often draining, and perhaps I should try for a ‘proper’ break – even a holiday (gasp) before getting back into the swing of anything new. I know I could do with a recharge.
And that leaves me with my personal blog and The Five to Nine. Oh, how I want each of these to be everything of which I dream. The ways in which I think of these, and think about what I’d like to do with them, has changed quite a bit over the last few months, and they’ve each turned into a miscellany. I don’t mind. I think that, if I try to exert less ‘control’ over what I post and when, then each one will develop ‘naturally’.
I find myself writing more and more about personal matters on my personal blog: That shouldn’t seem strange, but I expected to write more opinion-based posts about things that were happening than things that matter(ed) to me. Perhaps someone out there will find something I write useful. I’m still struggling to finish my series for this year’s LGBT History Month, but there’s only one post left. I really want to get this done. After that, who knows?
And last, but by no means least, The Five to Nine. Aside from the metablog posts (which aren’t typically this long – read April’s one and you’ll see what I mean) and reposting the PortsConsort Postcards, I’m not really doing a lot with it – not really doing what I want with it. I think that, out of everything, this is the one for which I hope I can improve the most, for lack of a better turn of phrase. This one’s the basket in which I think I should start placing all my eggs, if I’m going to be in with a chance of making everything happen in the way(s) I’d imagined – the ways I now have to reimagine.
But, I can’t really think about how that could or might happen at the moment. Let me get the rest of this month out of the way, and I’ll see what I can do. Perhaps, once I’m taking a break from all my collaborative ones, something will happen with my personal ones.