Officially, Saccades Project’s first birthday was October 21, a couple weeks ago. And I thought about it, certainly, but I didn’t want to make a fuss, because it just seemed kinda . . . kinda self-serving, you know? But, on second thought, I should’ve made a fuss, and a big one, at that. So, better late than never, it’s time for me to thank every artist who has allowed me to share their pictures on Facebook, as well as the hundreds of artists who regularly contribute to the project’s Flickr group.
What brought this to mind, really, is today’s featured artist, Tara Holder, who has been sharing her photography with our Flickr pool for months now. She’s been patient, she’s been consistent, and most importantly, she just kept working. And I’ve been watching her photography, waiting, anticipating the day I’d write her to ask permission to share one of her images here. Well, a couple days ago, Tara posted a video in our pool. Aside from the fact that it’s a first for the project, that hers is the first video anyone has shared, it took my breath away. The video’s personal, poignant, and in its tenderness, it’s downright ballsy, that’s what. I was so blown away that she’d make this and share it with us, and then, when the video ended, my jaw dropped, thinking, Wait. It’s over? No, it can’t be over! What happens to the girl? In other words, it’s the perfect first video for this project, this novel in progress.
It takes real courage to search for your own voice, your own vision, to make your own work, to put it out there, to keep working and working, whether anyone notices or not. I know it does. And for me, that’s the greatest risk worth taking, the best good fight going. These artists have trusted me to do right by them, and just so, if I may make one simple request of you, kind soul, taking the time to read these words? Support these artists. Please, it only takes a click of a button, and it’s the very least that they all deserve. And to those of you who do comment regularly, I am very grateful.
From my earliest collaborators, the first few to sign on, to take a chance and jump with me, teen phenoms Mike Bailey-Gates, Laurence Martel-Olivier and Tara Violet Niami, to well-established artists like photographer Chris Friel and illustrator JP Thurlow, to the youngest contributor, Sita Marie, who joined our Flickr pool last year at the ripe old age of eleven (Honestly, seeing her stunning photograph, the brilliantly titled, “Human Skin Can Be So Hard to Live In,” I was sure I must have misread her age, until Sita told me she better go ask her mom permission for us to collaborate), they’re ridiculously talented, extremely hard-working and incredibly brave, one and all. They don’t ask for anything, in return, but I will: please, speak up by clicking the button when you see work you like.
Now. At the risk of making a fuss, I just want to say that nothing means more to me than getting behind someone I truly believe in, supporting another’s art, and I get to do that, here, every day. It’s a honor. Really, Saccades Project has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ll say it, straight out, I well with pride, every morning when I post a new Picture of the Day — or video(!), as I’m about to do, here, momentarily. So, to each and every artist who is part of this project, who make this collaboration possible, please know that when I say I believe in you, and that you inspire me, I mean it. Word.