Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#100daysofart: weeks 3 and 4, making it work

Though I have never seen an episode of Bravo's Project Runway, I do fancy myself a bit of a pop culture connoisseur and I do know who Tim Gunn is. It is my understanding that Mr. Gunn uses this term as a 'shut up and put up' sort of mantra, only with far more panache. Trying to create an original piece of visual art every 24 hours is most certainly a put up sort of agenda and, though thus far it has taken turns I didn't expect, I am currently 'making it work.'

I knew that travel outside of the state would create obstacles in my cerebral adventure, but I chose to incorporate my travels as oppose to avoid. Shooting Ghostface on stage was amazing and, not wanting to rely on photography too heavily for this project, I deemed him, and this shot above, worthy. With little time to spare my third day at SXSW I got crafty and created an environmental scene using the wrist bands I had received the day before. Though I didn't know what I was doing as I was doing it, I sort of think this works.

A plane ride can really take it out of you and making my tomato garnish into a piece of art and a symbol of love brought my mediocre Mexican takeout to a whole new level with just a couple swipes of plastic knife. Wanting to explore art with Photoshop I took the maturation of my oldest nephew into an official teenager as an opportunity to make his monumental 13th birthday well, monumental. Flawed as it is, it was done with love - and what could be more beautiful than that?

A postcard to a dear friend is a standard practice in my life, but drawing it with pictograms instead of an assortment of 26 characters was a fun new take in addition to being a throwback to the days of high school when Hillary Gatlin and I thought we were far more clever than any of our teachers when passing notes between periods in this DaVinci code. Seeing beauty in the nature outside, the flora of which is unparalleled in sunny Southern California, let me to my next now pressed flower and pen drawing and a quick article on permanent marker and rubbing alcohol led me to the baseball cap only a niece could love (at least hopefully!).

At first I envisioned this project as a chance for me to take my university honed art skills and get my still life or pottery wheel on. Having a degree in Fine Art has been a blessing, but the practice in everyday life can be hard found. Instead of using my charcoal on the daily, I find myself going way way back, perhaps to when I first became an artist, when I was just a kid with a box of Crayolas. After encouragement from my parents and desire building inside I brought it to college, to the professional world and now here, to social media. The full circle of life. Ha!

Making it a point to use different mediums and play with different techniques, all while fitting it into a busy work life and developing social calendar on a new/old coast has left me using the resources and time that I have to the fullest. Whether that is a collage torn from the pages of People, a quick shot of interesting architecture in a local Asian eatery, experimenting with crayons and fire, creating colorful lines and dots while burning the print off of my right thumb, or my piece de resistance, Selena Quintanilla Perez's portrait on a teeny tiny canvas commemorating the anniversary of her untimely passing. A big Selena fan I wanted to make sure to represent and though a full length image in a purple jumpsuit may have screamed the tejano star a bit more, this simple sharpie portrait would have to do.

 I will admit that this challenge is, well, challenging - but as I am forced to flex not only artistic muscles, but creative ones, in terms of logisitcs as to how to accomplish a piece each day - it is sort of fun!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SXSW: 8 Years Later

My first trip to SXSW was in 2007, nearly a decade ago.

A lot can change in a decade. I am a different woman, living within a different set of circumstances.
My location has changed, my relationship status has shifted, my perspective on life has been altered, but my love for music and photography remains tried-and-true.

I have visceral memories of my last time in Austin, Texas. A great town with even greater barbecue and an influx of art and congestion in the early Spring. I was in the infancy of my career, navigating the professional world at an outlet that trusted me enough to give me a stack of cash and a ticket to the South to produce a number of photo shoots for their upcoming issue. I made some friends, saw some live music, met Amy Winehouse, and cut my teeth in a world I was just embarking upon but, which would remain my world for the next 8 years, and the foreseeable future. Working in media can desensitize you to some of the plain old cool experiences we are fortunate enough to encounter. I try my best not to take said experiences for granted.

When I made my first stop in Austin it was on a cross-country trip. I was 19 and my big sister was pregnant, so you can imagine not a whole lot of havoc was wreaked. The next time I was with Stuff Magazine and trying my big girl pants on for size, so I was relatively professional and eager to please. This go round, I was just old. Last time I was here the sea of faces were white, and bearded. The bodies adorned with tight t-shirts and scuffed up sneakers. The population of 6th Street, growing exponentially during the music festival season, has become more Benetton and less milky white, the sponsors have grown from local venues showcasing a relatively unknown talent, to mammoth corporations flying out the latest Disney star to go viral, but I would like to believe the spirit remains the same.

I would like to believe my spirit remains the same as well.

A lot can happen in 8 years but then you find yourself back where you began. In the pit, sweaty and uncomfortable. Elbowing for room with your camera to your face and your bag weighing down heavily upon your back. Eager to get that one shot; eager to hear that one song.

Or as some of us may call it. Heaven.