This is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately. In terms of a career or business, I really have no idea what I’d call myself. I’m a writer one day, an audio producer the next, a photographer the next and then a film maker the day after that. It’s a bit dizzying sometimes if I’m honest. I think if I had to choose at this stage, I’d say I’m a writer and a photographer. The two naturally go hand in hand and being able to write and take photos can translate to most industries, as well as the fact that they are what I enjoy the most.
I’m struggling with this question a lot though. I’ve been hard-focused on my magazine and while writing a little “letter from the editor/about me” for the first page, I came up with this and I think it rings true. Don’t take it the wrong way, it’s not supposed to be grim or an ice cream-melter, it’s just how it feels from my point of view and really what I feel I’m growing into as an adult;
“First let me say thank you to anyone reading this. Whether you bought it, downloaded it, stole it, screen shotted every page to a friend or are just using it as toiler paper, it means the world to me that you even bothered to pick this up at all.
I was never one of the cool kids, I’m still not. People don’t line up around the block to hang out with me and my phone only rings when it’s my mum or girlfriend. No one is excited to fly interstate to come and see me and I rarely get any kind of interactions on any form of social media. I don’t have people who want to collaborate with me or back my ideas, in fact the few ideas that I’ve had that have been successful have been shut down by competitors. Literally, people have taken time and effort to stomp my dreams. I only recently started to understand how different I am from the rest of the world. It never occurred to me how weird it is that I love video games as much as I love decoupage for example. I would always start to integrate into a scene or culture only to get to a point where I would be exposed for the alien that I am. Last year I was right into cars, I still love cars, but I am not overly fond of the car scene and particularly most of the people I met in the car scene bar all but a few. I am not invested in or good enough at any one thing to make me part of that culture, so I’m starting my own culture. A strange culture. And this will be the very first stepping stone.
This humble little magazine that you are holding is very representative of that idealogy and should be taken as such. I didn’t have a pro photographer following me around everywhere, I don’t have a friend of a friend that helped me print stickers, t shirts and the magazine on the cheap and I most certainly didn’t have any sponsors or advertisers. Everything you read in here has been made with my own brain goop, passion and tears. I wanted Strange Collection to be a collection of weird shit for weird people, like me. The underdogs, the losers and the downright lost. Disarray is something I experience almost daily and find that that only thing that makes me focus and feel like I belong is when I am writing about something I’m interested in, skateboarding, driving, taking photos, playing video games or just creating something weird for no reason. This magazine is the embodiment of that weirdness and I hope someone, somewhere in the world enjoys reading this weird collection of mine as much as I enjoyed chucking the words onto the pages. This is for you, kid.”
After I wrote those words I sat back in my chair and breathed a sigh of relief. It was like this incredibe weight lifted from me and I was free. I’m sick of trying to make myself fit into the world like everyone else can. They don’t make a cookie cutter that’s even remotely my size and shape, so there’s no point in trying to cram myself into the mold. I’m totally cool with being the way I am now and Strange Collection is going to be pretty awesome I think, especially now that I’ve realized these things. I’m more excited for myself than anything really. If other people enjoy it too then that’s rad but if no one even notices it then I won’t stop doing it.
In any case to answer the question ‘What Am I?’ … Well, I don’t know for sure. But that’s ok.