The Secret Fortress & The Struggle To Find Balance

Hey there!

If you follow me on a social media platform, you may have noticed I am going through kind of a "re-branding" of sorts, personally. At least that is what I am looking at it as. While there are pros and cons in every decision involving a wholly personal matter, I felt that using a working studio title was a good choice in the long run.

I started Portlandism in 2006 as kind of an ode to Portland, Oregon. My home. It started as a photo project, and labor of love. Essentially a scrapbook of Portland throughout time. The good, the bad, the changes, and neutralities. Originally, Portlandism was also going to be my working studio brand. However, the Facebook page I had made for it blew up after I had broken the news first that a local icon passed away. Portlandism went from 126 "Likes" to almost 10,000 in just 2 days. Since the site was associated with old photographs, I didn't want to confuse folks with a drastic change in content. Plus, I still enjoyed (and still do) digging through photos and posting them for folks to look at and appreciate. I toyed with using Portlandism on and off for years, using Portlandism Studio at one point. Finally, I made the decision to stop flip flopping on that, and just used Portlandism for its original intent. It's purely a personal project. I had to appreciate it for what it was, and had become.

With that decision, I created the VERY short lived 11lb Studio as a working studio and online shop that housed some of my prints and designs. I quickly realized that I wasn't really attached to it, and it felt like more of a project on the side, rather than my own, tangible thing. I just felt indifferent, and to be honest, kind of generic about. I liked the logo I made, that's about it. That surely is no reason to base an entire body of work behind it, and it didn't take long for me to slowly back away from that. I took my shop down, all my art work I had curated to show, all my items I had sampled and tested to release, and so on. It was bitter-sweet for sure.

Why am I wanting a studio title? Why don't I just use my name instead of branding something? 

To put it simply: I just want something different. Something that completely isn’t attached to my name entirely. I enjoy being able to separate that to a degree. 

This brings us to Secret Fortress Workshop. As I type this, I am simultaneously tweaking stuff on the site behind the scenes to shift from my "J.Pedegana" page to the current Secret Fortress format. It should be rough, but ready, by the time anyone is reading this. The plan is for it to go live tomorrow (Friday, September 1, 2018) morning. From there it is anyone's guess on what the future will bring. I am excited to move forward with a new outlook, and a bit more experience. I beleive the balance of preserving self, while putting yourself out there as an artist, is an ever tipsy walk. For now, though, I feel like I have some steady footing and am ready to hike through.

Thanks again for reading through these assorted thoughts assembled randomly on the interwebs. By this time tomorrow, the switch will have been flipped, and Secret Fortress Workshop will officially be onto the next step.

I will touch on what that entails in the next post.

I hope all is well. Make it count.

- Jason