Quick Words About Life + Art

It’s 32 degrees and slightly rainy here today in Chicago. While that isn’t surprising considering that it’s wintertime, I can’t help but crave an environment a lot warmer today.

I’m a winter baby but I am by no means attached to the winter season and everything that comes with it. I prefer sunshine, outdoor activities, patio-eating, and nature that thrives throughout all 4 seasons.

The two photographs above are part of a small photo series I did when I visited the Bahamas. I spent a couple of days on an island called Grand Cay and thinking back to it, it still amazes me the way in which others experience life.

With that said, it has made me increasingly overwhelmed with American life, especially as a Black woman. To this day, Black women are misrepresented, misunderstood, and undervalued. The weight of this reality is tiring and then some. But visiting other countries is a wake-up call for me that not every place puts Black women in this position, and that to venture this world to gain a new perspective is important.

A lot of what I want to do and achieve as a photographer is tied to my experience as a Black person. Though I haven’t always realized it, my desire to find and create stories in the world (to tell my story even) is in some ways tied to my belief system that there is more out there for me. That I deserve more. I deserve to be heard, to explore this world and that I can find myself through my art.

For instance, I was drawn to the photographs above because it represents the internal peace that I seek. The photographs feel empty but at the same time is rooted in nature. It’s a sweet escape from hardship, an escape from the experiences we want to forget, and the isolation makes room for personal growth and development.

But I digress. Today I’m going to focus on taking some time for me while mapping out/ working through a few ideas for a photo series that I’m creating. Until next time.

 

 

New Year, No Limitations

Miller Beach
I took this photograph at Miller Beach in Indiana. I find this part of Lake Michigan to be less traveled in comparison but being there, at that moment, was exactly what I needed. The view was beyond alluring to me and though I know that it is just a lake; I sat at the edge where the water and sand met believing that the lake had no end and dreaming of a life without limitations.

9 days into 2020 and it still hasn’t hit me. Yes, it’s a new year but I’m proud to say that I’ve been actively working towards my goals well before 2020 was a thought. I’ve come into this new year calm but more focused, ready for what the year has for me yet patient.

I don’t know exactly what this year means for me or what’s to come but I know I’m exactly where I need to be. I think any artist has fears of the future and their place in this world. It has always been a fight for artists of all kinds. The world often sees us as unpredictable and unstable, and to deviate from traditional measures of working is irresponsible.

In a world full of artists, there feels to be 3x as more “9-to-5ers”. To be honest, though, we need people who are passionate about climbing the corporate ladder or just those who desire to have a position in the corporate world period just as much as we need artists. But what I’m saying is that the uncertainty for artists can, in fact, be scary when it still isn’t a norm.

My point in saying all of this is that this year I am quieting my fears about all of that. I know who I am and what I want at this moment. More importantly, I know for a fact that I can will accomplish everything that I sat out to do regardless of what naysayers may think. I realize that people and things only have as much power as you give them and I guess if anything, that is what I want to remind myself for this year.

 

 

 

 

Combatting the Dreaded Routine

Lately, I’ve fallen into a routine, which is something that is foreign to me by nature. There is an uncomfortably that comes with doing the same thing every day without wavering.

I know that it’s often said that some sort of routine is important in one’s life and while I can see instances where this makes sense I believe that we must do what make’s us feel more aligned.

This isn’t to say that I like for my world to be chaotic but on most days I want it to be unpredictable. I want to experience the many adventures waiting to be tapped into no matter how big or small they may be. Any small efforts deviating from routine works for me at this point.

My current situation involves me feeling more robotic. I wake up at 6am to start my day, head to Starbucks for about an hour and a half, go home and cook breakfast, and then work on and off for the rest of the day.

It’s crazy because people often say that you don’t know how much time passes when you’re having fun but rigorous routine can do the same, the only difference, in my opinion, is that you’re left unfulfilled.

Writing is a powerful form of manifestation. So I decided that I would write down everything that I want to change and how I plan to enact these changes moving forward.

One of the things that I want to do is challenge myself to create photographs that feel uncomfortable to me if that makes sense. But also hoping it can be a revealing moment. As Chicago’s weather becomes more harsh, working with models will be far, few, and in-between. With that said, I have plenty of time to challenge myself to take self-portraits (something that is uncomfortable for many photographers) while allowing myself to hone in on my style and come up with new ideas for when the weather breaks.

It’s the small things that count for me, and if I actively engage in dismantling my dreaded routine, I know that I will find my way back into alignment.

Hello, Hi, & Welcome

Woods
A wooded area in Georgia

I know the struggle of starting and restarting to “get things right”. I also know the struggle of living inside my own head and stifling my growth as a result.

Sometimes a reset is good, if not necessary. Other times, this need to restart is a result of your negative self telling you that you’re not good enough.

I am, in fact, restarting my blog. With that said, I recognize that I have been living in my own head. But this renewed blog isn’t really a result of my negative self creeping up, rather me realizing that the direction I thought I wanted to go with this blog isn’t the case anymore.

Therefore, starting over is necessary for me. To be honest, when I started this blog I became so overwhelmed with what made a blog successful that I felt forced to fit inside a mold. Even then, I couldn’t fit. I wasn’t satisfied with what I was creating, which has led to posting inconsistency.

Now, this blog is what it is. I’m a photographer that is learning and growing in the world. I am here to share photographs and personal thoughts that may make me feel vulnerable at times. I don’t have life figured out and my life may not even be all that interesting. But my words are raw and it is what I strive for my photographs to exude. Welcome.