The course that took me here
Sometimes it is through serendipitous encounters and at other times through deliberate brainstorming that an idea lifts the veil on an otherwise languid landscape. However, both require a constantly vigilant mind particularly receptive to fits of insanity. Brainstorming Sessions as they are so fondly called have seldom introduced ingenuous solutions to my palette though much applied in the course of two years spent in Business school and as such hold little intellectual appeal. When structured systems fail mere survival necessitates organic intervention and evolution. And it is to that natural fountain of wisdom that I owe the success of my first self initiated and administered project on the web.
When I set out to create Lucky Compiler, I hardly had the vision, background or experience to build what it has now grown to become. I can go as far as to say it would have been an ignoble feat of arrogance to pronounce that Lucky Compiler would one day in not too distant a future house interviews with and articles by some of the finest artists and photographers inhabiting the world today. And yet, a year hence I can safely say I had the privilege of chronicling first–hand, the treasured experiences & insights of some of the most gifted individuals from various strata of creative fields spanning continents.
The very first contact I made was with Sofia based Master’s degree student of creative coding, generative design and audio visualisation, Ekaterina Danilova. She enthusiastically participated in a project which had not even seen the light of day. Within the next few weeks a digital artist from Poland, an expedition photographer from New Zealand, a trompe–l’œil painter from France, an origami sensei from US, an Art Director adept in 3D and Video-mapping techniques based in Germany, an interdisciplinary artist from Canada, a sculptress from US among others had participated as interviewees. And though the infrequent and pitiable connection (on my end) dictated all communications be conducted by means of electronic mail only, reduced the capacity of invigorating the passages with lively conversation, had allowed the fluidity of penmanship of my subjects to shine through. Enthralled as I was with the eloquent, intensely passionate and curiously thought–provoking lines of texts it also let my collection stand in its own respectable niché from other compilations along similar vein but dependent on audio / visual medium of delivery.
Perhaps the single most important thread in the whole tapestry that I have been weaving for the last year is communication, efficient and productive, to enable the mere survival and with time the growth of the anthology. A voluntary contribution based project with little financial backup and no expertise is only supposed to work in the realm of a reverie. But life being what it habitually is always possesses the queer capacity of taking surprising turns, and the naïve initiative turned out to be not so foolish an endeavour after all. In absolute terms I have received one positive reply out of every six approaches being made which is fair enough considering the relative infancy & obscurity of my site and the hectic schedule that any artist or photographer often find themselves in; what perplexes me however, is at times when one shows fervent enthusiasm at the beginning but is heard no more after the questionnaire is sent. This unfortunate incidence has occurred more than once and I regret that I could never trace the cause of it.
Due to the scale and mode of presentation, the project entitled me to roles as diverse as a natural ecosystem where each feed off on the output of another and each contributes to the making of the whole. I was simultaneously connecting and contacting, preparing questionnaires, copyediting, studying programming and scripting languages, understanding aspects of design, typography, art history and social order. Being amidst a frenetic pace of learning and its application, leaves little room for complacency to the point where I was feeling discontent about the decisions I made, the designs I created, the questions I asked and the paragraphs I wrote only two months back. Though it is often the case where your past choices limit the present alternatives to leave you heartbroken the very constraint also forces you to device newer ways of circumventing the impediment howsoever unproductive it may be. Being mindful of the mistakes is the greatest takeaway that anyone can ask for during times when only asinine steps are taken and I am no exception. So when I look back it is with much satisfaction when I am able to discern the irregular choices and decisions taken but also cringe when past imperfections seep into the present arrangements that cannot be undone.
A wise man once remarked that your salvation lay in asking the right questions. Quite literally I have gotten to ask over a thousand questions to over a hundred personalities from all over the world. While it is true that many of those questions may not qualify as ‘right’ but some definitely do for within a few weeks of starting the compilation I could easily gather what foundation being laid now would support the creation of in near future; today it has the strength to broaden its horizon, to reveal and document more subtle facets of art and to enthral and educate an audience of a life less ordinary.
Each story, each reflection, each life experience chronicled thus far is an incessant strife of improving oneself, to break through the cupola of aged cynicism, of feeling the ecstasy to hold, to see the fruit of your creative outburst; a personal journey to be better off. In its every line of text, every block of code, every anti–aliased pixel of Plantin typeface, Lucky Compiler holds evidences of my own travelogue. And this connection not only exists between myself and the journal but extends both ways to my subjects and the audience. Thus it is in this ability to make a deeply personal connection, the pinnacle of shared experiences, where my success lies; where I feel most proud about my compilation. It no longer is a platform to deliver stories of others’ lives but has grown to become a medium where countless emotions mingle and learn from each other to hopefully leave someone better off at some corner of this ‘pale blue dot’.