Whenever I set foot in New York City, an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and longing comes over me. Last weekend was no exception. My boyfriend and I took the Megabus up (never again) for a quick overnight stay for his show. For those familiar with the route from DC to NYC, you know the bus drops off at 27th & 7th Aves., right in front of The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Seeing the school was a trigger and like clockwork, I was suddenly venting to Marv about how I “really need to get back to me.”
About a month ago, I found out my 15-year-old sister was the victim of cyberbullying. She sent me endless screenshots of a conversation conducted within a group dedicated to belittling her, to which she gained access after months of this happening right under her nose. My hands trembled while I read the horrible names they called her, saw the ruthless memes they took the time to create about her.
Boy, do we have some cool things to share with you. Enjoy, friends…
Germany – a girl is outdoors playing. In a few minutes, the playground will clear when a birthday party is announced. The host informs the girl that she’s not invited. She returns home. Later, the girl peers over the dining room table as her mother cuts out a length of flat fabric covered with drawings and pins what will be sewn into dresses for the girl and her baby sisters. Sometime later, the girl’s dad sits at the same table, this time covered with newspaper, and fills areas of a board outlined in shapes and numbers using a paintbrush and oil paint from small containers to reveal an image.
One of my favorite YouTube channels, Shameless Maya, follows the journey of Maya Washington after she decided to live her life absolutely “shamelessly,” meaning she would no longer be detrimentally humble, shy, or downplay her talents and accomplishments. In turn, she adopted a mindset of confidence, bravery and, well, shamelessness about her career goals.
As a kid, I was spontaneous, taking on “big” projects at my imagination’s whims. I was inspired by what I saw around me, and sought to imitate what I admired. At four, I set my sights on emulating the storybooks my parents read to me, sagas I eagerly memorized and devoured. Armed with a limited vocabulary and pink colored pencils, I made my first venture into the world of novel writing.
If I know anything for sure, it’s that creativity has been a constant throughout my life. I enrolled in every art class available, driven by an inherent desire to learn the skills required for every medium. As my creative foundation grew, I began combining mediums to build different styles of work. This then developed into research and self-taught skills in order to reproduce specific pieces I liked.
I go through obsessive phases on a weekly basis. Right now, I’m about one week into a deep “drama films only” phase. I have consistently watched two movies daily for the past seven days and I don’t see this phase letting up anytime soon.
My craft as an artist is creating images, either through photography or video, and pointing at aspects of our lives, things deeply relatable, calling them into question, or, at the very least, asking for these aspects to be paid some attention, some awareness. I have been taking photos all my life and making videos since I was 17. When I was very young, I just wanted there to be photos of me in my parents’ photo albums.