In my early twenties, I fell hard for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. I’d never come across the combination of beautiful artwork, and the slow pacing of the story lines which often felt like moving toward very profound and powerful truths. Plus the Endless were so damn cool. The Sandman series served as a way to see the world, and, for a time, how I wanted the world to see me. I generally liked someone a lot if I lent them a copy of one of the ten Sandman anthologies.
I also loved the note on the back of the books which suggested they were for mature readers. Clearly these books were not for everyone, best suited to those who had lived a little (or a lot) and who had read a little too, given the amount of literary references contained within. The tag suggested to me a club which not any old Joe could join. To be a member you needed to be smart and nerdy, someone you are more likely to find at life’s margins rather than dead centre. Someone likely to leave a lasting impression based on their strength of character, rather than the amount of noise they make.
I see the pictures I most like to make in similar terms. I’m not interested in flashy (although I do like a bit of flash at times) Neither do I write glib captions full of exclamation marks. I don’t express huge amounts of gratitude in comments either. There’s only so many times I can read that before it sounds very insincere.
So if I could have one hope for the images I make, it would be that they work in the same way that the Sandman stories worked for me, taking hold slowly, and ultimately forming a collective memory of a people and a place.