I have been accused of being an optimist and a dreamer. As well, I have been assumed as an unrealistic and unconventional individual. I find lack of structure beneficial to exploring one’s self and I subscribe to the thought that rules are made to be challenged, if not dismantled. I enjoy shattering my routine when I lose creative motivation. I believe a moment in time possesses inspirations that need to be acted on rather than dismissed as irrelevant.
Early in my life I was surrounded by music, motion, texture and photography. I actively participated in others passions and was fascinated by the personal joy experienced through self-expression. At the same time, I was exposed to science, experimentation and the ‘what if’ thinking predominant in the Silicon Valley. These stimuli combined and created what I would eventually become… a musician, an entrepreneur and a consummate student of my surroundings. For good or ill, this is why I have been successfully self-employed for most of my adult life.
But, the birth of a child changes your priorities considerably. When my daughter was born, I found risks harder to justify. My schema of worth moved from expression to collection. Money became the driving force in decisions, and improvisation was sequestered to daydreams. Business success had become equivalent to financial security and time with the family was spent acquiring more wealth. With that change came financial stability, but it also created a void in time spent teaching them what I’ve learned. I had just traded in my ability spend time with my children to inspire them to explore and discover for stability and financial security. I was at a crossroads and decided to create to a new reality and find a way to a balanced success. I needed to work for someone other than myself for security. With the blessings and efforts of my wife, we agreed I needed a ‘job’, and apparently, a degree in order to acquire gainful employment. We decided while the kids are at school, I could return to college and we could move forward on our adventure.
The works I present here are the story or the last year, an autobiographical account of my experiences as a stay-at-home dad who decided to return to formal education during my ‘free time’. All images were created in those moments while I juggled attending classes, studying for exams, working on projects, or maintaining my duties as a responsible husband and father. Because I find imperfection more satisfying than perfection, I present these moments using learned transfer techniques, even though I spent the time making these images exactly as I felt them at the moment, time continues, memory fades and new experiences present themselves.
Dann Graham • 2016