Cardinal sightings can have many meanings, one of which is being an omen of hope, joy, and rejuvenation. With a new year around the corner, I am using this cardinal to set my mind in a setting to welcome all of those things.
Change has got to be one of the hardest things to deal with for me personally. I get comfortable in my own ways and I don't like letting go of how things are or how I think they're supposed to be. I tend to look at change as things ending and doors closing, but here's to reminding ourselves that change also means new beginnings and opportunities.
“You may kill a fire. And everything you know falls to dust and ash. Yet the remarkable treasure in this seemingly hopeless pile, is hidden deep within. The burning embers incarnate the perpetual desire to go from spark to flame.”
― Akilnathan Logeswaran
How To Love
Have you ever loved someone so much that it blinded you? And you couldn't see yourself getting wrapped up in them more than they were in you? Your mouth, your mind and your body belonging to them without a second thought; never realizing you had been losing yourself in the process
This weekend at Brooke Shaden's Promoting Passion Conference in California, I discovered a lot about myself as an artist and just in general. I've overcome endless changes and pain in my life, and in reflecting on those events I've come to the conclusion that I am a survivor. I am resilient and determined to find a way to keep going; to sprout after a wildfire in all of my emerald glory.
Veiled in Ephemerality
"Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise."
For some reason that saying has always stuck with me since the first time I heard it. When I was 15 I remember being in the car and seeing a middle aged woman walking down the side walk looking like she was talking to herself while waving her arms around. As we drove up closer I thought to myself that she looked like she was whacked out on drugs and judged her harshly. When we had passed her and I could see her face, I realized she was crying hysterically. At that same moment, I realized how awful I'd been to assume the worst of her and bursted into tears feeling ashamed of myself. I still wish to this day that I'd made my mom stop the car to let me go ask her what was wrong and try to help her in some way. Maybe she was whacked out on drugs or maybe she had a bad day or maybe she just lost a loved one or so many other things. That day taught me a serious lesson. Never ever judge someone you don't know, you have no idea what's going in their life. Always show kindness to other people, even the ones that aren't kind to you.
As much as I hate to admit it, I have a very bad habit of partaking in self destructive behavior. Sometimes I think myself into it and sometimes when other things are putting me down, I think myself down even more. Sometimes when everything in my life is going well, I'm so scared of something going wrong that I search for it and probably make something negative that wouldn't have been otherwise. I don't know why I do this or if I will ever be able to completely stop it, but I am beginning to recognize some of these habits so I can work on them.
Sometimes I think it's important to remember that reality is only what you make of it. I love stories like Alice in Wonderland or The Chronicles of Narnia because they blur that line between fantasy and reality and open a door to new worlds. I love creating art that does the same.
Learning to Fly
This photo was heavily inspired by the story of the ugly duckling. Growing up I was always the odd one out, and honestly I still find myself feeling that way. But at some point along the way I learned to embrace it because the things that have set me apart from everyone around me are my favorite things about myself.
The Road Less Traveled
It is so easy to fall into the habit of a negative lifestyle. I've dealt with problems regarding depression and anxiety and a number of other things. It is so easy to let it consume you. What is difficult is finding your way out. It takes practice and perseverance and it's not a perfect thing. In the darkest of places you can find beauty and you have to choose to follow it.
I spent this past weekend at Brooke Shaden's Promoting Passion conference (where I took this photo). During one of Brooke's classes, we did an exercise and one of the things we had to do was write down about 5 words that describe our work. Mine were the following: search, endure, understand, prevail, release.
While I could relate all of those words to my experience this weekend and my art, I think release played a bigger role. I spent a lot of time working on releasing the idea that my art isn't good enough and that I'm not capable of getting myself to the point I want to be at in my life with a career in art. Being 20 years old I feel a lot of pressure to have every thing figured out right now, but being 20 years old I am also realizing I have time to figure it out. I think everyone could use a little bit more release, harboring negative feelings only holds us back.
The Action of Blooming
This image was created as a part of Brooke Shaden's Content Creation Challenge. The theme was faceless emotion.
In creating this photo, I was channeling the idea that we are not where we come from. Abandonment and other tragedies we have had inflicted upon us do not determine where we will go from there.
“You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again.” -Azar Nafisi
"She burnt like a dead white star." — Virginia Woolf
"For goodness sake, I wasn't told you'd be this cold. Now it's my time to depart and I just had a change of heart."
How sad it is to watch a radiant young mind turn its lights off in order to prevent themselves from outshining the sea of dim minded. How sad it is, that burning brighter than the rest is frowned upon. How sad it is, that we are taught that comfort is found only when one locks away their differences to appear the same as the rest. When did conformity become the way of the world? Unpack your hidden treasures and pull on the chain thats been left alone for so long. Shining is not something to be ashamed of.
“People are like whirlpools, he said. The way they pull you in. How they drag you under. You have to work so hard, just to keep your head above water.”
Dollhouse pt. i
“Everyone thinks that we're perfect, please don't let them look through the curtains.”
Dollhouse pt. ii
“Throw on your dress and put on your doll faces.”
Dollhouse pt. iii
You're Too Old To Be So Shy
“Do not try to be pretty. You weren’t meant to be pretty; you were meant to burn down the earth and graffiti the sky. Don’t let anyone ever simplify you to just 'pretty.'”
Glitch pt. i
“I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem.”
Glitch pt. ii Latch
“Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages.”
"I had a dream so big and loud, I jumped so high I touched the clouds. I stretched my hands out to the sky, We danced with monsters through the night."
Scars Are Souvenirs You Never Lose
A Narcissistic Treaty
There Ain't No Rest For The Wicked
The Calm Before The Storm
Child of the Forest pt. i
Child of the Forest pt. ii
Lifestyle & Film
An event regarded as a portent of good or evil.
Handmade with plywood and aluminum sheeting.
Inspired by Bruce Nauman & David Drake.
Installed on E 14th Street 5.12.16.
Digital → Inkodye
Each girl volunteered to model without knowing what they were doing, other than being asked a question and taking a before and after photo. The first photo is just a regular portrait, posing however was most comfortable for them. Then I asked, "If you were able to change anything about your face, would you? Or would you keep everything as it is?" Each girl visualized this with face paint. The project comments on insecurities; how everyone has them and how we pick at ourselves more than anyone else ever does. Just looking at the first photo of each girl, most people would never think they were anything other than pretty, so why don't they think the same?
My goal for creating this piece was to personify the death of our beautiful reefs. They are miraculous, beautiful things that provide a home for the world’s marine life and it’s sickening to know that we are killing them by speeding up global warming. Say that out loud once, “I am responsible for the death of the Great Barrier Reef.” It seems a bit unbelievable, but it’s what is happening now. At the rate we’re going, it will just be something that future generations read about in school, like dinosaurs and dodo birds. If we don’t make some changes, our coral reefs will no longer exist.