I have a 2View origin story to get off my chest.
A few times in the past I've picked up blogging and it usually fades off. My first attempt was a deep, introspective style of blog in my teens. I don't even know how to log into that account anymore. I'm not sure what I wrote, but it's probably for the better nobody ever finds it.
If anyone was around for my "Willfully Crafted" project you'll know I started a blog for some of my projects, maybe a little introspective (I can't stop myself). I had started an Etsy (regrets) and tried getting into the craft show market. I had been advised by a friend to not make a separate side project and to do everything under my 2View name. I had valid reasons for what I was doing, but realized it wasn't the right thing for me to have 2 businesses. I didn't really announce that I was melding it back in to my original business, 2View.
I started blogging on my 2View website. COVID hit and, as a lot of artists, I questioned for months if this is what I want to do or would be able to do anymore. To be honest, I've struggled with that question almost every year. It is not easy to be an artist. Especially if you don't have the strongest support system.
When I was in high school and they "prepare" you for the "real world" we were told we needed to be professional ALWAYS in the workplace. As if we're robots? I guess. For some reason professional always equalled fake or putting on a show. That never sat right with me. How can I be an authentic artist if I tell everyone that my life is built on sunshine and roses? I can't. Like most millennials, I've been trying to heal my mind from trauma. The trauma that I believe has caused my physical health issues. The physical health issues that effected my mental health and severe mistrust with most healthcare professionals. I've been silently processing and healing for years. Why is that unprofessional to have these experiences shared by so many people?
I've never resonated with phony people. I'm not on this planet to be anything but authentic. I was always a quiet, shy kid. People at art school told me I needed to be more confident after critiquing my work. I've always been self conscious. In many ways art school made that worse. All of our classes were 11 weeks. I took a lot of art classes in high school, only one photography/film class and one Photoshop class. I majored in digital photography in college. Let me tell you, I started 10 steps behind every student in "intro to photography". It felt like everyone knew everything we were learning. I went into college with almost zero knowledge, expecting college would provide me the info. If you've never been on a quarter class schedule 11 weeks is not a lot of time to grasp completely knew information, utilize it, photograph and print your next best project or 3. If you've never wasted an entire box of $40+ paper for one print due in 2 hours (that you'll hopefully get a C on) then you probably don't get it. All this to say, it took me YEARS after college for the skills and knowledge I learned to click. Was it worth the copious amounts of student loans? Probably not, but that's for another day.
I thought art school would verify that I was an artist. From childhood thru high school graduation I was told I wasn't or couldn't be one. College told me I could and couldn't be at the same time. I've gone through most of my 20s now questioning frequently. Every single time I've tried to walk away from art because it's not the "sensible" thing to do it slaps me in the face and I'm redirected towards art. I never would announce myself as a photographer/artist because I usually either have to explain myself (which can be exhausting) or listen to someone else tell me about how their family member is. "Oh you have a degree in this? Check out so and so's work and tell me what you think!!!" No artist wants to do that. I love to lift up other artists. There is room for all of us, but it's not my job to like everyone else's art. Every time someone has ever said something like that to me it usually belittles my work as an artist and they "want" my thoughts. Trust me you don't want an artist, who's been through college level critiques and portfolio reviews, to tell you what they think of your relative's hobby artwork. You are not ready. You don't actually want my thoughts. All you want is for me to go "omg I love that". It's a long-winded show that isn't pleasant for me. Maybe I'm alone in that, but I'll die on that hill.
This year I finally realized I've been waiting for everyone else's permission to be an artist. Trauma response I think is how TikTok and my therapist described it. I don't need anyone's permission. It was starting to suffocate me that I wasn't following what's been calling to me all my life. I basically hit f*ck it. I told my husband I could no longer work outside of our house, heal, and continue growing my business in the way that I want. He's not an artist and didn't get it, but was ultimately supportive. Nervous but supportive. We're both nervous. If we weren't I think that'd be alarming.
We're not rolling in the dough or anything but no regrets. It's been the best decision I could've made so far to quit the part time job. I've been able to listen to my mind and body and be better overall. I know a lot of us are in that boat where it feels impossible to prioritize our health. I'm fully aware of my privilege here. We hold our breath most months when we look at bills, but oh my Thor...I'd rather have my health right now over money. I've watched a lot of my family work themselves to the bone and still struggle with money (before a pandemic). My mind and body have already made it clear that I cannot do that anymore.
2View Photography was what I created in the business of photography class, knowing it would be real after I graduated. I think I was the only one in class to make a business plan for my final project. I don't remember the other final project option was anymore. I spent days, maybe weeks, brainstorming what I wanted my business name to be. I didn't want my actual name. I was talking out loud with a friend what I wanted my business to be about. I want(ed) every session to be personalized to each client I had. They bring their ideas. I bring mine. Boom. 2View. Also, 2 has always been my favorite number so it all seemed to click. I knew early on that as an artist I wouldn't have a business without clients. My style doesn't change from client to client but what I photograph does, duh. It's always been important to me for each client to love their photos and display them in their homes.
Opening up the shop and leaning into the design aspect of the business has allowed me to create more freely. It's been so exciting and fulfilling and also a lot of work. It's a weird leap of faith. I know not everyone will love everything I do, but that's somehow freeing. It's hard to describe without over sharing more than I already have. It's wild to me when people support what I do. Even the OGs. Absolutely wild. I cherish every one who has ever supported me in this endeavor and believe my art is worth it.
My goal is to keep this blog up regularly. I'm wanting to keep everyone in the loop with current projects, photo sessions, and maybe just my random thoughts. I can't promise I'll be the cookie cutter professional, but I can promise that I will remain authentic. I don't always have a lot to say, but I want to keep everyone in the loop.
I hope you're all staying safe and I'll give you an update soon!