The Value of Creative Solo Projects

by | Nov 25, 2020 | Featured

Producing a solo work of art that beautifies your home can leave you with a wonderful daily reminder of your abilities. I learned this after arranging photos I’d taken over my couch to create an esthetically pleasing corner of my humble abode. 

A few years ago, I began working on this project, taking a more patient and contemplative approach than I had on similar projects in the past. I wanted to think more purposefully about the number and type of photos to display, and about how to frame them and lay them out. So, I resigned myself to the fact that, given my busy life, this project would probably take a few months to complete, but the wait would be worth it. 

First, I selected the best images to reflect the range of subjects I enjoy photographing, including architectural structures, nature, and art. I opted for a mix of vertical, horizontal, and squarish shots. 

My arrangement features (clockwise from center) the soaring skyscraper of 30 Rockefeller Center, the iconic arches of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Roman goddess Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, all in New York City; as well as my award-winning shot of a canal viewed through a railing in Long Beach, Long Island; a duck crossing Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, and a surfer also in Long Beach. 

I thought of complementary ways to print and/or frame each image. I employed everything from customized black and silver frames with mats (from Michael’s), to canvas prints (from Staples), to frameless acrylic (from a Long Island print company).

Once my six images were ready for hanging, I created a simple layout. I aligned the photos so that their outer edges formed a perfect rectangle and their inner edges formed a maze-like asymmetry. I was pleased with my first contemplative crack at interior design.

Sometimes, I stop to observe and delight in my creation. First, it’s gratifying to know I acted on a photography instructor’s advice. She emphasized not to simply post your photos on a website, Instagram, and the like, but to take the time and effort to print, frame, and hang your most prized images in your home. 

I also recall the thought and effort it took to create each photo. Whether it was waking up to run from my motel room to a dock to capture the sunrise on Lake Winnipesaukee, maneuvering through packed Christmas crowds at Rockefeller Center to frame 30 Rock next to holiday lights, or waiting patiently for a surfer to emerge from the ocean and stand under a crescent moon. 

When your creation is at home to contemplate, you’re always reminded of the skill it took to develop it. I recall how I developed my photographer’s eye and aesthetic sensibilities, and how I brought these together to create this project.

I encourage you—whether your abilities lie in photography, crafts, woodcarving, drawing, metalwork, or what have you—to consider how integrating your various talents can produce something that will continue bringing you pride and joy. 

On Solid Ground is a community blog where we publish articles by guest contributors as well as by the staff and officers of OSI. The ideas offered by guest contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the ideas of the staff or officers of OSI. Likewise, the ideas offered by people employed by OSI are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of others in the organization.

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