Image – Wall Street, Paul Strand (1912)
Soundtrack – I Gave You Power, Nas
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do… It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Deborah Williamson
As we say farewell to Autumn, we mark the six months of Emerging Journal. The novelty of being new blood (recent graduate / a new path) has worn off, anything achieved form this point forward is purely a result of your ability to market your best creation to date. The responsible have sought after employment, the reckless has remained steadfast and self-dedicated. However, there are moments, that signify that despite how narcissistic the pursuit of emerging is, many await your end anxious to label you as successful or failure, either way, you are an example.
As I commute from Camberwell to Regent Street via the No.12 bus accompanied by Nas, I cross the numerous lines of division that plague us with the occasional intoxicated citizen nursing their rejection. It occurs to me, the city of London is the scorned ex-partner we live trying to forget, easy to like, hard to love but always seductive, as it flashes its alluring narrow alleyways offering satisfaction to your most sacred and profane desires.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” — Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities
This is a city simply divided into binaries, ‘For or With’. Pick the wrong path and back-pedal and you will be punished harsher than failing. I’m embarrassed to admit in a recent rendezvous that the impressive list of activities and achievements were marred with a financial black hole turned red, but the compliments keep coming. A phone call from a school friend acts as formation, not every soldier is capable of being on the front line, endurance will sort the committed from the part-timers.
Emerging Journal started as behind the scenes view of the harsh realities that justify the victim facial expressions of creatives. More objectively this was an attempt to explore the path leading to a universal definition of what “Emerging” means…
‘Successfully emerging can be defined as recognition in a creatives specific field, followed by exhibiting alongside the contemporaries or within the same institutions as a marker of acceptance and respect, then conclusively being commissioned by that sector or generating an income from those works or engagements.’
Six months later the battlefield has changed and so must your strategy. The targets are higher profile and zeal is no longer endearing. So, the tactician is born, your presence should become imperative, therefore your contribution to your field must be unrelenting. Every religion had its apostles to spread its gospel, and the creative practitioner is no different. Establish yourself as a leader (Thought / Aesthetic), metaphorically you are the first to walk through the door and therefore the first to get bloody. Persist. Identify your relevant contemporaries, highlight the institutions that they have worked with, proposition the publications globally that support your prospective peers and topic of interest, offer them exclusivity, complete disclosure. Remember anything out of their vicinity becomes exotic and consequently special.
Welcome to international recognition.
At this juncture, to emerge is to stay alive, not relevant. Ironically that comes by actively writing the obituary of your practice/initiative. (Do it for real.)
Afterall you can only pursue what you can perceive.
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