" at the gates "

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simple things, simple things. all the answers are in there.

this past weekend, i had another very fruitful photographic collaboration with a friend of mine. the sun was luminous and shining bright through scattered wispy clouds, which were like wispy silks in sapphire waters.

we talked about many things, listened to the radio, laughed, and made a celebration of creativity. the direct times where you have the task at hand; the execution of the idea into being. the in between times, where you shift and contemplate, sometimes quietly, and sometimes with a flurry of movements; a brush on a canvas, splashes in the shallows, careful placement all around.

in the end, our collab was so powerful in its simplicity. it was not only a workday weekend, but it helped to reaffirm that i live for these moments. i thrive in these moments, and with trust, bravery, and camaraderie, everything suddenly becomes possible.

tonight's homework:

find a friend or collaborator for a work of your own...or their own. help them on their project, or be helped in bringing yours to life. flourish and expand, be bright, be great, be bold, and be fearless. express all you have to express, then refine it, and do it again.

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" freeing yourself to be free "

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expanding yourself, opening up yourself, being honest and forthright. these attributes do not go unmarked and unnoticed. you are an artist ever-creating, ever-flexing, and ever-exploring past predetermined and perceived boundaries.

if you look closely, really take the time and take a close look, you'll see that many lines and borders are not there. you'll begin to feel great weights slough away, and the release of tension is so immediate and frank, that a supreme lightness could well up in your entirety.

this sense of Self-realization, this aura of contentment and hope, of shifting towards something amazing and without shame, this is the moment of clarity you've been seeking perhaps.

and perhaps it's just a blip. perhaps it's just a lick of a 9-volt, a scrape of your shin along a jagged exposed curb, a sudden flush of blood to your face, a riot of crackles from a bonfire which singes your arm hair because you got too close.

you're on the edge of the edge in ululating waves which wash and flow over your skin. you are in the water with arms spread. you are on land with your legs pumping without strain as you run and run and run. you are in the sky defying physics, eyes open wide, laughing raucously amidst the surrounding atmosphere.

tonight's homework:

since absolutely no one responded to my call, please continue to work on the previous assignment (CONTEST!), or in the least consider it as an opportunity to do something out of routine for the weekend and the upcoming week.

maybe this proves to me that although people might be reading this blog, no one seems to want to engage. this is fine with me, but if you want to engage, if you feel like you have something to say and share, i just want you to know that it's okay to share with me.

i'm therefore extending the contest one week. the new deadline will be good friday, march 29th. other than that, be good to friends and strangers alike; the rewards are ceaseless.

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" laying yourself open and bare for all to see "

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when you decide to create a piece of art, you must first attempt to understand what it means to want to make that art. there is such a spectrum of people whom i've met that say they're artists, but they never make anything, or do anything, or embody anything.

they're not tortured or deep or special or quixotic or definitive or desirable or haunting or any of the things that makes anyone interesting. and we've all been that version of a person or artist before i'm sure.

of course there are moments when you must create and collaborate out of the sheer need to understand yourself, and this is the particular vein that i seem to explore over and over in my portraiture work.

i want i want to know the perimeters of my limitations, and how i can go about crossing over that defined border. in laying yourself bare for all to see, the desire for your expression may begin to take shape.

i want to be more myself in every moment, and in photographing others, i find that sense of truth, beauty, savage calm, sense of bravery, vulnerability, and strength. in laying yourself bare for all to see, the desire for your expression may begin to take shape.

if any of this interests you, and you feel like you want to explore your perceived limitations with a fellow artist, please feel free to contact me. i'm always looking looking looking, and always finding finding finding.

tonight's homework:

take a chance on yourself and give yourself permission to be honest.

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" the eternal in the elemental "

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just got three rolls from the lab this morning. there's nothing like picking up film from a lab, and that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment when your vision actualized in the negatives. 

beautiful inverted frames all in a row like memories made. with love, with skill, and soon to become a new thing altogether.

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" a realistic standard "

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and when do i say to myself, "this is it. this is enough. i've accomplished something." and when do i say it, and mean it?

is it enough to know that i'm doing the craft that i love to do, that i'm compelled to do, sometimes without reason? is it enough? and what is the metric of such a success?

to know no end to the images dreampt up in my head, to know no satisfaction or perfection, to never extend tat feeling of bliss that begins with a conversation, and ends with an exposure. these are the elements of my therapy.

photography being a tool for expression, exploration, reality, documentation, fantasy, memory, and on and on and on. it exists and without my interaction and execution, none of these images would be in the world.

each one beautiful in its own right, each one precious. each one necessary, and each one on purpose to some degree. it feels at times the images are scratching upon the walls of my mind begging for a release. the constant torment the catalyst for a myriad of moments of fond exertion.

blows to the eye in milliseconds. blows to the heart which linger. i wake up and see the potential of these images flicker and glitter in the sun coming through the trees. i go to sleep and see the looming apparitions of these images conjure themselves manifest in that time in between awakedness and slumber.

to have such blessed demons coaxing the very best out of you is a state indeed.

tonight's homework:

ask yourself why you make your work, why it's important to you, and why it's necessary to have your work in the world. ask yourself these questions, and know the answer.

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" the other half of everything "

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why new york, and why new york now? how many people coming to live and work and expand and express themselves in new york will it take before this city is satisfied? i've been here just over six years, and what do i have to show for it?

is it enough that dreams are seeded, cultured, nurtured, fail, rise, succeed, and all other manner of it all in between? who am i to interject into the skin of it all? who am i to feel like i'm not insignificant against the numerous others that have something to say?

why am i the only one that feels like i feel? knowing i'm not really, doesn't make it any better, or less lonely, or less of a daily struggle.

i work hard, think endlessly, pay rent, pay off debt, eat to stave off hunger, drink to stave off responsible thought, walk when i must go, and speak when i wish to be heard. this city gives and takes, and pushes me to the edge of it all, then coaxes me back into its loving boundless warmth like dipping your finger into a pot of summer honey. and sometimes i hate this. and most times i love this. it's masochism and it's letting go.

it's faith in my work that keeps me engaged, and a love of the craft that keeps me inspired. we work and toil and become frustrated, have breakthroughs, remain stifled, take longer strides, widen our broad strokes, focus in, listen up, become more who we are in each moment passing than we have ever been ourselves before, and, we still want more. and more and more and more.

why new york?

it's not even about new york, but why not? i'm here now, and i've a story to tell. what is yours?

tonight's homework:

make a plan for a body of work. it doesn't need to be long-term or deep, expansive or revolutionary. make the outlines for this body of work, seek out the tools to complete it, and accomplish one manageable attainable project by the end of the week.  you'll feel great, trust me.

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