30 days ago I began this challenge at an attempt to get to know myself as an artist and individual a little better. It was extremely challenging to say the least, on most days I found myself struggling to keep coming up with new concepts to bring to life as well as find the motivation to shoot. That said, seeing this entire project complete I am left with nothing but great pride. This entire month has been exhausting but this project speaks volumes on my ability to multi task and my character. I have definitely seen a growth in me as an artist all the while reigniting my passion for this craft. Thank you to those of you who have reached out and connected with my pieces since the beginning, I couldn't have done it without all of your constant support. I hope I inspired some of you to take the time to get to know yourself.
As some of you may remember back in May I was attacked in a parking lot by a man who attempted to mug me the night before my birthday. That said, on my birthday I photographed my first self portrait for the year. This served to remember what I had gone through but more importantly it was a reminder that I had survived. The image was a dyph-tych of my face and my back. I can recall looking at it for the first time because it was extremely difficult since I could see the imprint of my attackers grip on my shoulder as well as the scratches he left me as he tried to keep me from running away. For a while I hated looking at myself because I thought the bruises he left me would never go away and I knew that I didn't want his life woven into the fabric of mine. This image is not honoring the attack it is honoring my recovery. This image is shedding on light on my ability to grow and heal from my wounds under any circumstance. This year has been challenging to say the least but it has also helped me begin to love and understand myself more profoundly.
In a city like Las Vegas its hard to imagine ever looking up and seeing a star lit sky. However, the cities brightest stars are not found in the sky, they simply surround us. We can spend an entire lifetime searching for the brighter things in life and never realize that the brightest spots may lie amongst us. Life is filled with moments of beauty and sparkle its quite unfortunate that those instances are the easiest to miss. Todays image was incredibly difficult to produce, it wasn't necessarily intense post production but it was incredibly time consuming when I was out shooting. I will admit that today was another day I was scared I wouldn't be able to produce an image.
Today's image is about celebrating the idea that opportunities open to those who are ready to follow them. Yesterday's image inspired so many supportive people to message me and say that I was ready to fly to new skies and see what the world has to offer but today I finally believe it. After I graduate from the photo program at CSN I'm going to pursue a life where I can share my art and create work that feeds my soul and simultaneously speaks to others. The first step is realizing and recognizing that I have the potential to be the person I aspire to be. As scary as it may sound, I know that I will always have the support of people like you, those reading my captions, and those out there silently lifting my spirit when I am down. Thank you for believing in me but most importantly thank you for helping me believe in me.
I spend so much time thinking about the future and where my work is taking me but I am often afraid to admit that the idea of starting over is undeniably scary. I am scared to be alone again and scared to have to relearn new things. The very thought of having to understand where I fit in amongst strangers gives me anxiety. In fact, the fear is crippling that I worry that my desire to fly into new adventures can and may be overcome by my fear and the anxiety of having to begin my life again. I don't want to be trapped in city where my Art, much like myself, cannot grow and flourish. However, am I capable of meeting people again and developing connections on my own without fear of ridicule or judgment?
Today I discussed with a few people how we've inevitably become extremely reliant on technology as its advanced throughout the years. The minute our phone is unable to give us directions and guidance our desire to travel into the unknown diminishes. We've become so reliant on the knowledge these minuscule materialistic items offer us that we forget to think for ourselves. Technology is certainly bringing people closer together by allowing individuals to interact globally with one another. That being said, it is impossible to ignore the positive correlation found in the decrease in human interaction as opposed to the increase found in the desire to simply connect digitally. Are we afraid to unplug and simply disconnect from one another?
For so long I blamed the people in my life for simply choosing to watch me as I fell apart. I was never offered assistance or given a hand, the people in my life kind of just expected me to be able to put myself back together after others broke me. I'm not sure if anyone ever understood how mean the other kids were to me. I remember being ten and running for class president, I couldn't afford a printer back then so I distinctly recall asking my family to help me hand write my flyers in old English so that I could pass them out. We stayed up really late that night finishing them so I could begin to campaign and pass them out the next morning. That said, the sound of the other kids tearing my flyers apart and laughing is still woven in the fabric of my memory. At that point I know I wanted to fade away. This image is inspired by the story of a boy who didn't want to exist. It's the story of a boy who only wanted to disappear.
Today is about giving thanks so I've compiled a list of things I am thankful for.