Tuesday, September 4, 2012

a new project for 2013

For those who have been following my blog regularly, you probably know that I have been working on project life (created by Becky Higgins) during the year of 2012. With this project, I have documented every single day so far of 2012 starting on New Year's Day. 2012 was a perfect year to a tackle project of this kind as I wanted to record the second half of senior year, my grad school application and decision process, life back at home and the beginning of a new academic journey. Most importantly, I had the time to work on it since I wasn't taking classes second semester and wasn't planning to be employed during the summer. Project Life had its ups and downs but because of the (difficult) goals I had set before starting the project, the entire process got to be a little stressful. I wanted to document every single day and make inserts scrapbook-y and creative. I learned the hard way that that was nearly impossible for me. My Project Life spreads slowly turned more photo heavy with typewritten journaling which then slowly evolved to 100% photo based. I think forcing myself to keep strict parameters on the project took away from the concept of Project Life since its designed to keep things flexible and stress free. 






But, with that being said, I'm so glad that I did/am still doing Project Life. There are pages I wish I could redo and make better, and there were times when I wanted to stop and start something new, but I'm realizing the project isn't about individual pages or photos. It's about the whole album that I've created that documented all 12 months, 52 weeks and 366 days (because of leap year!). I have no idea how many hours I put into this project but I know that looking back on this album later will be so awesome. I know exactly what I did on March 5th. I know exactly what dates Peter came to visit me and what days I went to Puerto Rico and LA. Which might not be that important now but it might be kind of cool to look back on later.

PL was great for documenting events. I'm so glad I have a book that documents trips and visits and graduation and holidays. But other than those pages, my favorite spreads are those that recorded the regular ordinary things. I didn't think Project Life would be all that exciting once I got back home from school but the weeks where there was nothing eventful are usually the ones that come out the most surprising.


So that's where next year's project comes in. I don't think I'll have the time or dedication to devote to another daily year long project. And I think I enjoy making little books more because with PL, I won't have a finished project until the very last day of 2012. It will take a full year to have something complete. That's why little books are great for me because I'm more intentional about taking photos, collecting scraps, being excited to start something brand new and having a finished book in a couple of days. However, I think having something collective like a year long project is so valuable. And that's why I plan to attempt Project Life again in the future when I'm ready to commit to it again because the concept is incredible. So, for the next academic year, I will be doing Week in the Life, a concept created by Ali Edwards. Week in the Life is another method of documentation that records all the things that happen in just one week but in a lot of detail. And I think details are what matter. My PL album started skipping out on the details towards the end so I think Week in the Life for next year will be a perfect way to document the details of the ordinary. I think most people who do Week in the Life do it once a year-that's how Ali did it. She chose a week in April and documented the hell out of it. Which is so awesome. She's been doing it for several years. 

But, I'll be doing Week in the Life every month for the 2012-2013 academic year (along with finishing PL). Although I don't plan to put as much as detail since I'll be doing it monthly instead of yearly, I still think it would be a great way to capture details and ordinary living whereas (my) Project Life focuses on events, people and special days. And I think doing it monthly would be a cool approach to looking at things that stay the same and things that change throughout the year. And the best part is that I get to be excited to work on the project because I only get to do it once a month. Which also gives me time to put a lot of effort into it.

I have a lot more thoughts on Week in the Life but I'll save that for my first official update on the project. But here are the goals that I have in mind. Goals that enhance my overall documentation experience, not limit it.

1. better quality photography (more intentionality and no phone cameras!)
2. better post production editing
3. aesthetic consistancy (in journaling, photography, themes and details)
4. capture action and movement (let photos tell the story)
5. love each page.  

Basically, if you didn't read this very long post, I will be doing a new project for the 2012-2013 school year. Pretty much if Project Life and Week in the Life had a baby, it would be Jenn's new project for the next year.

September 3-9 is the Week in the Life week for this month. I'm super excited.

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