Putting together a 305 page book is hard. Really hard.
I don't even know how many unpaid hours I spent this year finding and contacting photographers, coming up with questions, organizing all of the photographs, linking them together in a theme, interviewing artists, transcribing their interviews, designing each issue, editing and proof-reading, and then dealing with printer issues.
But, then again, it was really easy.
I was delighted by photographs that appeared in my inbox. I was fascinated by the responses from people who view the world differently from me. I got the opportunity to interview people I have wanted to talk to for years. I learned grammar rules that I never knew existed (thank you, Shelley). I was inspired by artists all over the world. And I made friends with artists in my own community.
And that is why THE STREETS - 2017 COLLECTION is dedicated to all of the Contributors and Interviewees who have done hard things, too. I need your constant inspiration and reminders that great tasks are always hard. But when you feel called to do it - when you are using your gifts to do it - it becomes a delight. It becomes easy because you can't not do it.
Thank you to each person who contributed photographs to THE STREETS this year. You are each uniquely gifted, and you inspire us. You help us to see the world from a new perspective. Thank you to the artists, business owners, and community servants who graciously allowed me to interview them. You were generous with your time and wise insights. We can all learn from you.
Thank you to all of the people who helped get this book ready for production. Thank you to Eva Howard for her constant support as both an encourager and creative collaborator. Thank you to Shelley Wunder-Smith for her exquisitely detailed proof-reading. Thank you to Alicia Kramer for her "second-round" proof-reading and for catching things that "just don't look right". Thank you to Greg Howard for supporting me, making all of this possible, and for telling me when "that is too many words." (He didn't read this post.)
And last but not least, thank you to Marcus Whitaker and Jake Llaurado of FamilyHoodATL for organizing, planning, and promoting the release party at Eventide Brewing. They make parties look easy. If you couldn't make it, we hope to see you next year. Until then, grab a 2017 Collection and be inspired...
* Photographs by John Amis
Meredith M Howard is a photographer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She was inspired to start THE STREETS magazine after many conversations with strangers in downtown Atlanta.