Up until this week there has been one little thing standing between me and fully concentrating on the trail: college. But now, that's done. After a long 5 years, I have a Bachelors of the Arts with a Concentration in Photography from the Art and Design School of Kennesaw State University.
It sounds far more prestigious when I say it like that. And sadly, I feel that of all my graduating peers, I will be making the most use of my degree by walking up and down mountains for months on end. All that is say is... it's a bleak world for recent art grads. Art jobs nearly don't exist outside of simply deciding you're going to "be an artist" and making it work.
I truely do believe that my peers will keep shooting and keep creating art and I hope some are even lucky enough to go on to find freelance gigs, or do wedding or event photography. As for me, I have resigned to not pursuing such a route, simply out of personal taste, and am walking the trail as an artistic journey just as much as a spiritual and physical journey.
Not only have I vowed to still create art on the trail, with multiple "projects" already lined up in my mind, but I also want to use it as a time to ruminate on what I just spent half a decade focusing on. There are a million things I could do with what I just learned, including dropping it forever.
Unfortunately, I don't feel that being an artist is so much of a choice, but more of a natural way of being that you either act upon or don't. It is a means and way of perceiving your world. I sometimes feel frustrated by my lack of say in being an artist and that tells me I could ever drop it.
But with that being said, there is an obvious change that will come in my life when eating, sleeping and setting up/breaking down shelter become the most important things in my life. Art will either become wholly superfluous or the single most interesting thing I do.* How will this affect my work? Will I be too tired to make it or it be all I want to do? (Obligatory rhetorical question, my signature move)
In the end, I would love to have a large collection of fairly related cross sections of work I created while on the trail. It is a major season of someone's life if they choose to do this, and an interesting one at that, so I hope to make the best of it artistically.
*I believe that statement is an exaggeration of two possible sides and feel that most likely neither will fully happen. It just gets the point across!