My Hands Doing Things Follow-Up

My friend Kizz Robinson finished her yearlong photography project My Hands Doing Things on April 30, 2012...

What are the biggest lessons/skills you learned from doing your project?
The biggest technical skill I learned was to use my camera with manual settings. When I started part of my mission was to know my camera better. Taking the leap and putting the camera on manual and playing wasn't something I wound up doing in order to take a hand photo but I think that simply handling the instrument every day made me more aware of all that it could do and more daring in terms of caring whether or not I got a few crappy shots as long as I was trying something new. It's hard for me to try new things. One night, though, I was at a friend's gig a little early and when I sat down at the table I thought, "What would happen if I put this on manual and took my pictures tonight this way?" Spent a few minutes testing out settings and I don't think I've turned back since.

In what ways did the project change your life?
I'm more aware of my creative process. I think, due to shortcomings in organizational skills (notice that I still haven't properly been able to identify and label all my photos from the year), that a year long project is too long for me unless I make some serious changes to how I document and label things. The practice of doing something every day for a month or two or perhaps for a season, though, is really good for me in terms of pushing me to try new things and just screw around enough that new skills emerge. When I'm doing a little something every day the success or failure of each day has less impact on my motivation and ego. It's easier to learn from my mistakes. Going back over the photos to choose some to include here I also learned that I've been a mess all year. Funerals, illnesses, funks I think it's a good thing I had a project to keep me moving forward!

Now what? After reading that Stephen King pointed out, "If you write a page a day in a year you'll have a novel." I'm writing a page a day toward a memoir-style book of pet stories. I've got a few ideas for "X a Day" projects and I'm not sure which of those I'll do first. Probably the most ambitious one is that I'd like to get back to painting again and I think painting a small canvas once a week for 3 or 4 months could be a real help. Saving my pennies for new acrylics even now.

See all of Kizz's hands HERE.

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