If I were to write my resume today, a traditional employer would undoubtedly furrow his/her brow at me. I’ve jumped (gallivanted?) from job to job, holding titles of Art Director and Stylist and Event Planner and Creative Writer and Market Editor and Whatever I Feel Like Doing Doer. And the traditional part of me – the part of me that is easily influenced by mainstream values – sometimes feels like I’m coming up short. Like I’m too frenzied or too passionate or too “all over the place” or too… much. And then I look back and realize that every position and job title and interest will eventually lead somewhere, and that my dream job is little more than the sum of these parts. In the words of Bryony Shearmur, this is my creative ecosystem.
Bryony’s resume would read much like mine (although decidedly more glamorous-sounding). Born in London, she re-located to Los Angeles after years of touring with her band. She then launched a label of wearable art before settling in to pursue portrait photography and later publishing a book (I know, I’m exhausted). And then, she created Silk.
More accurately, though, Silk created her. “I feel as if the story of Silk has been in the making my whole life,” she writes. “Each of the chapters and all the experiences I have had are finally tied up in one project and I am creating my perfect creative ecosystem.”
After shooting a series of jellyfish, she became intrigued with the idea of printing it onto fabric to hang on a wall – a way to re-create the movement each jellyfish exhibits. And with the recent technological advances in digital printing, the newest line of photographic scarves was born. “Silk is a culmination of a decade of exploration,” she writes. “I have been navigating to this point ever since I arrived in Los Angeles.”
It’s a beautiful realization to find the sum of your parts. To crack open the archives of your life and flip through various phases and jobs and passions – suddenly discovering that who you are today is a byproduct of every snapshot. But I can’t help but think that when we’re in the middle of a snapshot – when the painting is incomplete and the dinner is burning and our image is flawed – it’s hard to see the album. It’s hard to look beyond the photographic evidence of today to see the potential for tomorrow.
Like Bryony, I want to weave scarves of experience and experiments and exploration. I want to press on, capturing snapshots of imperfection and documenting each photo for posterity in hopes that – someday – my album might make sense.
And to do that, I have to continue. I have to intentionally explore and fail and try, but I also have to wait for my decade. Because like every good ecosystem, creativity’s bloom is brightest when given room to breathe.
Image Credits: Bryony Shearmur and Kristy Mann
p.s. Just for fun: For more beautiful scarves, scroll through a few of my favorites here.