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whydearthomas's Profile Picture
whydearthomas
Thomas
Artist | Professional | Photography
United States
I am a Photographer from the midwest. I explore many subjects, but my main focus artistically has been an Untitled self-portrait project I started around 2011. That is primarily what I'll be sharing here. It deals with Examining emotions... specifically vulnerability and contradictions.
Obviously This will be 18+ Thank You for understanding.

Journal History

I've been here before, and I left. I tend to go through these cycles. I can't explain it. I wish I didn't, it was easier to embrace this work, to share it, to promote it, to be excited about the idea of letting go and embracing whatever opportunities might arise from it, but... I struggle with it. I wrote this explanation on Tumblr, I guess it kind of applies to what I felt here as well, so I wanted to share it. Thanks for understanding. 

Social media is difficult. I read an article, (or maybe I heard it on a podcast), regardless, it was about how the likes and comments we receive through social media are like mini dopamine hits that light up our brains, and that’s why it becomes so addicting. Maybe there’s something to that?

Anyway, Someone commented on one of the photos I uploaded on Tumblr (before I left) and said something to the effect that she could “feel the conflict, it felt like I was fighting against myself.” I know I’ve written about that very subject a million times, it’s a constant theme in this work, but to read it from someone else, to know that another person can recognize that conflict… I don’t know, it made me feel good, it really hit me for some reason. I knew that was why I was here, but there was something eating away at me too…

I started going through the work I was sharing here and I realized I was pushing myself further and further down this rabbit hole. As I looked through the likes and reblogs and comments, I noticed that the majority of those responses were coming from porn blogs and blogs that really didn’t align with what I was trying to capture with this project. It just kinda made me question my reasons for being here. Was it really about attention? Was it exhibitionism, was I addicted to the dopamine hits from simply being recognized (artistically or not)? I felt torn, on one hand I was genuinely connecting with an audience of people who understood and recognized the emotion and message of this work, and on the other hand I was finding so much of my most vulnerable and personal work exploited by porn blogs and anonymous (no name, no face blogs), captions deleted, credit gone, the message completely misconstrued and warped… it sucked, and to see my work in that light… The truth is, it made me feel guilty. I felt like maybe I was going about this all wrong like maybe it was becoming more about exploring my sexuality in a public forum (exhibitionism). I was taking risks, and over sharing, and I don’t know? I just felt like I was in the wrong head space. This project started with a genuine purpose, to explore vulnerability and emotions in a raw and honest way…  and it’s always been a back and forth struggle, but somehow, it evolved into something else. I started focusing on shooting self-portraiture and let the rest of my work kinda fall to the side. Tumblr was taking up so much of my time, between work and shooting, editing and sleep, I had no time for anything else, not Flickr, or DA, or Facebook… Tumblr is where I was getting the best response, so I got sucked into this crazy world. I’d check it when I woke up, on a break at work, or before I went to sleep. It made me feel good, but ARGHHH, it just felt like I was almost pursuing this project for attention rather than exploring emotion and vulnerability for the sake of Art. I hate even writing that because it’s not what I want this work to reflect at all. I recognize that we are human, we crave attention, we are sexual beings… and this work will inevitably reflect that in some ways, but I want that to be a byproduct and not the focus.

Oh and for the record, I totally understand how hypocritical it might sound to pose nude and then complain about the porn blogs, or the idea that this work might only be seen as a nude body… Also, I’m not anti-porn, and I don’t contend that this work should never be viewed through the lens of sexuality or attraction. After all, I am a guy, I have an undying appreciation for the female form, as a sexual being, an emotional being, and as an Artist, but I’m also capable of recognizing the complexities that exist within those bodies, the grace, the emotion, and the intellectual presence of the models and artists. I have complete respect for every single one of you! The nude body is a powerful subject, it just is. It is Art, regardless of gender, age, size, race or type… It captures this complex expression of contradicting emotions. It always causes a reaction, whether it’s positive or negative, or somewhere in between. I feel like this project helped me through a super difficult time in my life. It’s introduced me to countless people and artists whom I genuinely consider friends. It’s not something I want to give up on. I feel like I have more stories to tell, more connections to make and more art to explore. I just know I want to open this work up to Artists and people who genuinely understand what it’s about. People I trust. I never wanted this project to be about numbers or popularity. I want to be an Authentic Artist. I genuinely want to share this work in the hope that it will lead me to where I know I’m supposed to be. Unfortunately, I don’t have this clearly defined plan or path in my head, but I do know that allowing myself to be exploited by porn blogs or anonymous people focused on just the expression of sexuality, only makes me feel guilty and it’s not the kind of attention I want for this work. Admittedly it feels good in the moment, but as the days passed it just weighed on me tremendously, and eventually I found myself in a place where I just Needed to start over again. So I deleted everything, Flickr, DA and especially Tumblr. The fact that all that work is still out there in the Tumblr world, and I can’t really do anything about it, that part is disconcerting, but I understood how this site worked when I got into it. I do question myself for that decision, though. I think I would much rather share the most personal pieces of this project with a small group of people I can have genuine conversations with, people I trust, people who are friends. That’s what I want most… Real,  Honest, Connections.

I really don’t know what to say, what to write, I’m not even completely sure what I’m feeling right now. I just needed to vent, to express these thoughts. I’m not sure if I should start letting go of fear and just being honest about my life, and who I am rather than hiding behind this mask of anonymity, it doesn’t help anyway. There’s a part of me that wants to fill this photo stream with everything! Sunsets, animals, people, portraits, street photography, and if my penis makes an appearance along the way, fuck it, it’s all part of life, right?

I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, I just know I want to be happy. I want to be open, I don’t know if I would feel better sharing this project in a different context, square crops, censored, a pg-13 project, in some ways I think it could possibly be even more powerful, be more accepted and understood, and I’d feel a whole lot less guilt. Then I always have this thought that I’d just be selling out, sharing half truths, and I let fear win, I’d feel defeated. Again with the conflict! 

Anyway, That’s all I got, a million questions, and very few answers. 

I’ve missed this place, the people, the friends, the other Artists… 

I know it has to be different this time, but I’m okay with that. 

To everyone who has shown me support along the way, sorry I left the way I did and thank you for always being so good to me… and Thank You for Understanding. 

Activity


I've been here before, and I left. I tend to go through these cycles. I can't explain it. I wish I didn't, it was easier to embrace this work, to share it, to promote it, to be excited about the idea of letting go and embracing whatever opportunities might arise from it, but... I struggle with it. I wrote this explanation on Tumblr, I guess it kind of applies to what I felt here as well, so I wanted to share it. Thanks for understanding. 

Social media is difficult. I read an article, (or maybe I heard it on a podcast), regardless, it was about how the likes and comments we receive through social media are like mini dopamine hits that light up our brains, and that’s why it becomes so addicting. Maybe there’s something to that?

Anyway, Someone commented on one of the photos I uploaded on Tumblr (before I left) and said something to the effect that she could “feel the conflict, it felt like I was fighting against myself.” I know I’ve written about that very subject a million times, it’s a constant theme in this work, but to read it from someone else, to know that another person can recognize that conflict… I don’t know, it made me feel good, it really hit me for some reason. I knew that was why I was here, but there was something eating away at me too…

I started going through the work I was sharing here and I realized I was pushing myself further and further down this rabbit hole. As I looked through the likes and reblogs and comments, I noticed that the majority of those responses were coming from porn blogs and blogs that really didn’t align with what I was trying to capture with this project. It just kinda made me question my reasons for being here. Was it really about attention? Was it exhibitionism, was I addicted to the dopamine hits from simply being recognized (artistically or not)? I felt torn, on one hand I was genuinely connecting with an audience of people who understood and recognized the emotion and message of this work, and on the other hand I was finding so much of my most vulnerable and personal work exploited by porn blogs and anonymous (no name, no face blogs), captions deleted, credit gone, the message completely misconstrued and warped… it sucked, and to see my work in that light… The truth is, it made me feel guilty. I felt like maybe I was going about this all wrong like maybe it was becoming more about exploring my sexuality in a public forum (exhibitionism). I was taking risks, and over sharing, and I don’t know? I just felt like I was in the wrong head space. This project started with a genuine purpose, to explore vulnerability and emotions in a raw and honest way…  and it’s always been a back and forth struggle, but somehow, it evolved into something else. I started focusing on shooting self-portraiture and let the rest of my work kinda fall to the side. Tumblr was taking up so much of my time, between work and shooting, editing and sleep, I had no time for anything else, not Flickr, or DA, or Facebook… Tumblr is where I was getting the best response, so I got sucked into this crazy world. I’d check it when I woke up, on a break at work, or before I went to sleep. It made me feel good, but ARGHHH, it just felt like I was almost pursuing this project for attention rather than exploring emotion and vulnerability for the sake of Art. I hate even writing that because it’s not what I want this work to reflect at all. I recognize that we are human, we crave attention, we are sexual beings… and this work will inevitably reflect that in some ways, but I want that to be a byproduct and not the focus.

Oh and for the record, I totally understand how hypocritical it might sound to pose nude and then complain about the porn blogs, or the idea that this work might only be seen as a nude body… Also, I’m not anti-porn, and I don’t contend that this work should never be viewed through the lens of sexuality or attraction. After all, I am a guy, I have an undying appreciation for the female form, as a sexual being, an emotional being, and as an Artist, but I’m also capable of recognizing the complexities that exist within those bodies, the grace, the emotion, and the intellectual presence of the models and artists. I have complete respect for every single one of you! The nude body is a powerful subject, it just is. It is Art, regardless of gender, age, size, race or type… It captures this complex expression of contradicting emotions. It always causes a reaction, whether it’s positive or negative, or somewhere in between. I feel like this project helped me through a super difficult time in my life. It’s introduced me to countless people and artists whom I genuinely consider friends. It’s not something I want to give up on. I feel like I have more stories to tell, more connections to make and more art to explore. I just know I want to open this work up to Artists and people who genuinely understand what it’s about. People I trust. I never wanted this project to be about numbers or popularity. I want to be an Authentic Artist. I genuinely want to share this work in the hope that it will lead me to where I know I’m supposed to be. Unfortunately, I don’t have this clearly defined plan or path in my head, but I do know that allowing myself to be exploited by porn blogs or anonymous people focused on just the expression of sexuality, only makes me feel guilty and it’s not the kind of attention I want for this work. Admittedly it feels good in the moment, but as the days passed it just weighed on me tremendously, and eventually I found myself in a place where I just Needed to start over again. So I deleted everything, Flickr, DA and especially Tumblr. The fact that all that work is still out there in the Tumblr world, and I can’t really do anything about it, that part is disconcerting, but I understood how this site worked when I got into it. I do question myself for that decision, though. I think I would much rather share the most personal pieces of this project with a small group of people I can have genuine conversations with, people I trust, people who are friends. That’s what I want most… Real,  Honest, Connections.

I really don’t know what to say, what to write, I’m not even completely sure what I’m feeling right now. I just needed to vent, to express these thoughts. I’m not sure if I should start letting go of fear and just being honest about my life, and who I am rather than hiding behind this mask of anonymity, it doesn’t help anyway. There’s a part of me that wants to fill this photo stream with everything! Sunsets, animals, people, portraits, street photography, and if my penis makes an appearance along the way, fuck it, it’s all part of life, right?

I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, I just know I want to be happy. I want to be open, I don’t know if I would feel better sharing this project in a different context, square crops, censored, a pg-13 project, in some ways I think it could possibly be even more powerful, be more accepted and understood, and I’d feel a whole lot less guilt. Then I always have this thought that I’d just be selling out, sharing half truths, and I let fear win, I’d feel defeated. Again with the conflict! 

Anyway, That’s all I got, a million questions, and very few answers. 

I’ve missed this place, the people, the friends, the other Artists… 

I know it has to be different this time, but I’m okay with that. 

To everyone who has shown me support along the way, sorry I left the way I did and thank you for always being so good to me… and Thank You for Understanding. 

Comments


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:iconlunaticsonthegrass:
LunaticsOnTheGrass Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2017
You're back !!!!
Reply
:iconrollarius55:
rollarius55 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thx a lot for faving, Thomas!;-)

Mature Content

Sleep to forget II by rollarius55
Reply
:iconsecretsofaphrodite:
SecretsOfAphrodite Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Welcome to deviantart , beautiful gallery and thanks !
Reply
:iconsiedemzeroiks:
siedemzeroiks Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017
thank you!
Reply