I recently posted about my computer crashing and the resulting loss of data, including but by no means limited to countless photographs in my portfolio. A travesty, but also an interested twist of fate...
There's something interesting about an unintentionally cleaned slate. Depressing in some ways, inspiring in others. In all honestly, when I first realized that there were photos and files I would never see again, my heart skipped a beat and subsequently sank about ten feet into the ground. I think I went through all five stages of grief repeatedly for the next 24 hours. On the other side of that grief I found something intriguing. A sense of excitement and a new sense of determination. There is no point in going back to recreate the photos I've lost. Not only is that impossible, but it's boring. The photos I lost already existed and the thought of trying to recreate them immediately struck me as boring-- however much I wanted them back, I knew that they had already lived their life and that I had to move on.
I realize this may sound overly-poetic and (dare I say) pretentious. If that is the case for you, then by all means, exit this page and move forward with your life. Maybe I need to validate my own thought process and in writing this I'll come off gratuitous or perhaps self-indulgent. At that risk I still stand by one thing... losing your work, in any way, is sort of like a forest fire. The heat is hot and brings destruction to something which was once regarded as a wonder, but it also forces a new explosion of life-- new and different than before... and perhaps even better.
As I've lost all my previous work I've also realized that I am no longer bound by what I've done in the past but rather newly equipped with a clear perspective to create something NEW. Regardless of whether or not it is good or bad, right or wrong, I am now only accountable to what it in front of me, no longer a slave to the caliber of my work in the past. For now, all my lost files will exist solely as a memory in my mind, perhaps better in my recollection that they actually were, and remain as fuel for what is to come.
I'll be entirely honest in saying that I tend to skew depressive and anxious. Loss and circumstances out of my control are often at the root, so a circumstance like this definitely pushes those buttons... But in a desperate attempt to cling onto some sort of silver lining, what I've outlined above is what I've come up with so far. I've also scattered a few of the files I was able to recover throughout this post.
Here's to creating work inspired by honesty and good taste... work that is challenging and does not take cheap shortcuts. Also here's to backing up all filed on an external hard-drive from now on!