Image by Kyle Thompson 2012



Whist at university (especially second year) I found that I was having a lot of emotional breakdowns because of stress and not enjoying myself, I realised that I was spending most of the year feeling deflated and creatively stunted. Over the summer between second and third year I tried to think of ways that I could stop it from taking over me and stopping me from working so I started to take the situation in hand and turn it into a project.

Being upset doesn’t have to mean that you have to stop creating imagery, don’t let it absorb all of your attention. You never know, the emotion you are feeling could mean you think in a totally different way and end up creating something fucking awesome!

The next time you are down/stressed/upset and anything else, try doing a mind map of the situation and how you could turn it into a project or even a self reflective/self portrait series. This is what I did when I was verbally abused about being gay whilst in a gay bar in Cornwall. I was getting really down about how people treat gay people and how I was treated in a place where you wouldn’t expect any homophobicness. This played on my mind for weeks and it was right at the beginning of a project so I was mentally not in the right place for being creative. I don’t know why I let it take over looking back on it now, but I used all the negativeness and used it to kick start my project on how I feel about being gay in a modern society. I wanted to show how I felt entrapped, but also free, but with very different imagery/signifiers for both sides.

“Walking in Another Mans Shoes” collection by Lee Foulger 2014

These images are only part for the collection, but they show being entrapped in an open space (left) and being free (right) with the sheet emulating myself. None of the images have had any editing done to them as I wanted to keep them ‘as is’ which is how I feel about the situation about being gay. It is what is it.

This made me feel better about what had happened because I knew I had the upper hand as I had used what they had said and created art that meant something to society and myself. This is an example of what you could do to get out of the emotional rut, I found it helpful, but everyone works in different ways.

When I was researching for this project I stumbled across a few photographer who did things along the lines that I wanted, but only a handful of them really stood out. Kyle Thompson was the main one, I was suddenly very aware that my images were looking very similar to his (I had already started shooting before finding his images) but because my shoot was personal to me with a personal message I let the project lead itself and develop on its own, which is what I think is best to do when doing a project. Never force a project, let is happen naturally.

Kyle Thompson is a young photographer who picked up photography when he was 19, but his anxiety stopped him from being able to talk to people. He used this as an opportunity to talk to the world with images which started with just self portraiture. His images went global and have been pickup up by many websites, magazines, papers, and won an award. It proves that you can achieve things even when emotions can get you down.

(Left) “Scarecrow” (Right) “Untitled” by Kyle Thompson

His images are stunning and have had the recognition that they deserve. They all seem to show him entrapped or obscured from full view by matierals or the land and perfectly shows anxiety. Check out the rest of his work by clicking on his name above thats underlined.

Images by Kyle Thompson taken from his Tumblr page.

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