Ironically, the thought of photographing a candle has been on my mind for a couple of weeks. Following my previous blog, I wanted to create something that I could tie a message to. The candle was a natural choice. The scripture was simple to think of. The message is one I needed for myself more than anyone else.
The responses to “Don’t Worry” through other websites and social media confirmed the direction I need to go. With “Light of the World”, it became a simple, powerful…humbling statement. It also helped reveal what I’ve envisioned for quite a few years now.
I imagine my work in bookstores, typically as greeting cards under the brand that is my logo. In my mind, I would see this long banner above a row of shelves holding all my work. But I couldn’t see the work itself. It was just a huge blur, no details of what the content/photos looked like. I couldn’t understand why.
When I finished “Light of the World”, all the blur started to become clear. I know now that each card has a message that someone needs to hear. Because sometimes people get discouraged or lonely or afraid or feel unloved and they need someone, something to give them hope, boost their spirit. That is what my collection is supposed to accomplish.
Yes, this was my goal the entire time, to encourage people. However, I completely refused to type scriptures and such over the majority of my work. I did not want to be pigeon-holed into a “Christian” market. (Yuck). “Why?” …it’s like I see too much going wrong. Like…you have too many people (in my humble opinion) saying they’re Christian, but then…they don’t live how they should as a Christian. So, I felt disgraced calling myself a Christian because I became associated with all these people. Not nice on my part, but it’s truthful.
Finally, I ran into a problem internally. I couldn’t be myself, even in my work. I was afraid of people judging me or picking on me and such. Now, I look at this image and think: I love it. I loved putting it together. I love the message. I love how it can make people “think” and ask questions. I love how it says a lot with a little bit of content.
So, what’s wrong with it, the message? What crime have I committed? Whose feelings could be hurt because I’ve insulted them? I can’t think of anything legitimate. Though, I will have to accept the fact that some (or quite a few people) will cringe at these messages. However, keeping my sanity has now become more important than helping them keep theirs.
I can’t put into words how excited I am to see how the next image will turn out and I don’t even know what I’m going to work on. But as long as I don’t get in my own way, I think it’ll be good.
Eric Christopher Jackson