A remarkable number of serious artist-photographers subscribe to the dictum, “Finished means posted.” The reasons are many: almost impossibly capable digital cameras, lots of tools for website creation without tears, an internet-enabled potential audience of billions conveniently gathered in groups self-selected by taste, talent, and temperament, and a growing number of galleries equipped with screens to “hang” digital images. For all that, though, plenty of others believe that finished means “printed.” From those whose interest dates from the old days of wet (and smelly) darkrooms to those who are recent converts to analog methods, the attraction of physical experiments and real-world results is irresistible. This month’s featured artist, Belarusian alt-process photographer, Anna Melnikova, is one of those.
To me, a successful project is one that combines a great idea with impeccable execution. Prior to starting an art project, I spend a significant amount of time perfecting my techniques. I often spend the entire day in the laboratory to master specific techniques, as I am a natural perfectionist and believe that everything must be executed flawlessly. This can be both beneficial and detrimental, as I can become consumed with completing tasks to my exact standards. However, I realize that the most crucial aspect of creating an art project is not perfecting the technique, but rather developing a captivating concept.