Daily Life A Short Book By Ian Smith
Daily Life - A Relaxed Look At My Life This small book is a collection of sequences from a set of videos I made documenting myself. For the full videos and more, please feel free to visit the web adress printed on the back cover. Enjoy
Ian Smith - Myself I have always had an obsession with taking photos, ever since a young age. I think when I was young it was just a fun thing to do, my Dad always took photos, and I think I just wanted to imitate him. However the older I got, the more it became about capturing something, so you could always look at it and remember it. I think a lot of my obsession has come out of my Grandmas long battle with Alzheimer’s, which over the course of my childhood changed her from an active old lady, to not even remembering her own son and daughter. I personally have only seen her once in 4 years, this isn’t something I’m proud of, but something I just find too hard to do. Trying to talk to someone you love and care about, and instead just seeing them upset and confused, not even remembering who you are, its probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I decided after the last time I saw her that it would never be me in that situation, I was going to remember everything about my life, for my whole life. I think this has had the largest effect on me, at least in my photographic work. I love to look at beautifully composed photos that someone has really spent time composing, but with my photos, I like to just capture something, and after this point in my life the capturing almost became more important to me than how the image looked in the end. I wanted to be able to see things clearly, to look and remember what, where, and when it was I took the photo, this became pride of place in my work. Just after this it was time to start a new project, and documenting myself seemed to look like an obvious choice to me. I just thought about how many photos I take, and I’m in none of them, I’m just a spectre who captures other peoples lives revolving round my own. I wanted to change this, I wanted to be on the otter side of the lens, but I also wanted to be the one capturing the images, placing myself in a bit of a paradox. Theres only so much you can do with self timers, and remote located webcams, but I took what I had and made the most of it. It wasn’t an easy task, I didn’t really enjoy it, but it was well worth it to see the results.
When you just stop and take time to look back on yourself, not reflect, literally watch yourself back, you notice so many things that you’d never noticed before. This ranges from really simple stuff, like how I bite my lips when I’m concentrating, to quite deep things, like the subtle changes of facial expression when someone you don’t want to leave the room does. I have so many little traits that’d I’d never noticed before, but its really important to me that I now have. This is another great reason I undertook this project, to learn about myself. It has left me so much more positive about who I am as a graphic designer, but more importantly, as a person. I would urge everyone to just spend a little time studying themselves, not as a project, but just as something to do. Film yourself working, cooking, hanging out with friends. You’ll definitely learn something. I also wanted to find what others thought of me, what sort of person they think I am, so after all of this I could look back and see if I agree with them. Truth be told, I think I just did this bit because I’m nosey, and what to know how people feel, but it was still a nice thing to find out more about myself. I did this simply in giving people 3 words to describe me in, they could use them how they liked, but could only use 3. They are dotted about this publication to give a little more of an insight.
“Kind, Forgiving, Fair” Elizabeth Duguid (Mother)
“Funny, Energetic, Extreme” Ryan Pearce (Friend)
What I’ve Learned When I started documenting myself, I had high hopes for the things I would learn about myself. I thought I was going to learn big things, like what I subconsciously enjoy, or whose company I truly enjoyed. This however was not to be. I learned a lot about myself, but nothing you’d exactly call ‘groundbreaking’. I mainly found out quite how weird your face goes when you are not paying attention to how your posing, and about my sub conscience, lets just say that chewing my lips seems to be what my body wants to do when I zone out. I will elaborate more on my findings later on.
“Upbeat, Generous, Extreme” Oliver Rogers (Housemate)
“Sincere, Goofy, Chill” Thomas Robinson (Friend)
Eating A Very Sour Sweet
“Off, The, Hook” Charles Hunt (Friend)
“Special, Illogical, Cartoons” Alex Parker Freer (Housemate)
Testemonial I’ve known Ian Smith since about the age of 12/13, we met at secondary school and found a common ground with an interest in extreme sports, especially BMX. Since then we’ve had a friendship which I feel has always been close. In my opinion Ian is one of the most generous people I know. If he’s got something to offer he’ll give it you or help you out. He’s always a laugh to be around and I always have fun when I see him. My fondest memory I’ve spent with him is hard to pin point. We’ve spent a week in New York together, a week travelling the UK and spent many days together riding and generally having fun. He’s always been there for me when I need him and I hope I’ve done the same, as he’s one of my best friends. One of my fondest memories with Ian was a road trip we took back in 2009. I think, Don’t quote me on the year. We spent the whole trip riding, drinking and chilling with other mates travelling around the south of England. We had such laughs, but what happens on trip stays on trip. I think the true meaning of being a friend is that I was able to spend a whole week with the guy, every hour of the day and not get bored or irritated as I do with some people, Ian’s a top guy. Joshua May
Biting My Lips It seems really trivial, but this is probably the biggest thing I learned from studying myself, its not as big as the things I hoped to have learned, but in a strange way I found it fascinating. It seemed like as soon as I started really focusing on something, I'd lose control over my mouth, and I pretty much wouldn't stop biting my lips until my concentration on whatever I was focused on was broken. I think most people would take this as just a weird habit and move on, but I am personally fascinated by why I do this, I get no pleasure from it, no comfort, and until I watch myself, or 'catch myself' doing it, I actually don't realise that its happening. I'm no psychologist, but I can't help thinking this comes from impulse rooted deep in my mind. "This is a repulsive habit and like many habits can be very difficult to stop." - Dave Kennedi of Ezine Articles After researching into this particular sub conscious habit, I became pretty fed up with the highest rated reason being because I am a flirty girl, or because a man is turning me on. I doubted both these things and was almost at the point of giving up when I stumbled upon an article on a site named Ezine Articles, as you can see from the quote above, the author was not a big fan of lip biting, but did offer some insight into it. Apparently it is a habit the often starts from feelings of stress or anxiety, or possibly because of wearing a metal brace. After years of this you become used to naturally biting your lip, so even when the original reason is gone, you continue the habit. Seeing as I had a brace for many years in my childhood, this would look to be the reason, Mr Kennedi also gives you 5 ways to stop the habit, ranging from chewing gum, to hypnotherapy. I don't think I want to go to that extent, but for me its really interesting to know how I developed this trait, that seems like nothing to me, but is obviously part of my sub conscious.
“Big Friendly Giant” Lucy Close (Friend)
Fixing A Portable Hard Drive
“Friendly, Relaxed, Honest” Philip Smith (Father)
Arsenal vs AC Milan
“Tall, Funny, Reckless” Sin Hang Tsang (Friend)