Sometimes life has a way of making you feel that you're going nowhere. You find yourself stuck or going around in circles and you start asking questions why all of it is happening. The answer may very well be hiding in plain sight — you're afraid to take a leap of faith. Artist and photographer Sadie Bailey knows a thing or two about taking chances, after all, she left her home in London and moved all the way to California with nothing but a camera in hand and a few rolls of film.
Many good things spring from leaving your comfort zone. The times could be trying but it'll mold you into the person you need to be. Sadie shares snippets of her life on the road in her new zine titled Itinerary. In it, Sadie opens up a lot to whoever's reading, if not her entirety. When asked about why she wanted to publish such a personal story and why it mattered, she replied:
“I just wanted to see something I cared about in print. Something that, years later, I could flip through with my friends and reminisce from. It was less about publishing for an audience and more about publishing for the love of print. Every print project has been important to me. I’ve never created art for an audience. It’s always been for myself. I love being able to look back at different projects and feel those feelings again. Each zine I’ve published has showcased a different part of my life. Being able to track my progression as both an artist and a person through the medium of print is incredible. One day, when I’m old and senile, happily living out in the desert on my lonesome, I’ll be able to look back through this catalog of my life. Print will be around much longer than all the bullshit I spew out onto Instagram”
And during a time, like now, when sometimes likes and shares mean all the world to other artists, this raw honesty feels refreshing. What you find inside the zine aren't fancy, no glamorous shots, and trendy places; just real life captured on film and printed on paper. It's a roller coaster ride and you're strapped in the front seat and faced with the different personalities that made Sadie's trip all to memorable, at least for her. Sadie hits the final nail in the coffin when she told us why she loved photography:
“Diving further in, it portrays that first breath of fresh air you take after being submerged for what felt like an eternity. The freedom of travel, of exploration. The unity of friendship, being bound tighter and tighter as days turn into nights. That overwhelming sense of happiness, where all you can do is take a step back and let it all sink in. That’s why I love photography. Not for the Instagram likes, not for the magazine features, not for the name dropping of who shot who at what party with what designer. I love it because, for the first time, I was happy. I can look back on this project in the dark hours yet to come, and know that it’s okay. It will all be okay.”
Realizing these things must have been an experience, an epiphany of some sort. Who would've thought that a simple zine could mean so much to a person and her art? And while it may be dramatic to say that Sadie's zine is lifechanging, the experience of working on it with people who generously shared their time and life with her must have been a great and crazy ride.
“It definitely helped me put a lot of things into perspective. I’m finally at a point where I’m comfortable with what I believe should be my priorities and what should be left in the past. Life is (finally) worth living and I want to experience every moment of it in the best way I can. I want to be present and I want to be happy. I’m not sure if my head would be in the right place if I didn’t spend this last year focusing on myself and, with respect to the cliche, following my heart. ”
And as if the zine wasn't personal enough, all of the sales from this zine project are being donated to the Los Angeles Fire Department. A big fire hit California in November of 2018 and devastated communities. The fire department did all they could to put the fire out to save lives and the livelihood of people. Without them, the images in Sadie's zine would have been all ruined.
Itinerary is a 42-page zine filled with black and white film photographs during one of Sadie's trip to California. All images were shot on Ilford HP5+ film and were all self-processed by the artist. Follow her on her photographic journeys on Instagram and her website.