Maybe I am jaded but I thought the days of trusting strangers were long gone?
Yesterday I witnessed two amazing gestures of trust:
1.) At the Starbucks across the street from our house we were enjoying Frapacinnos at a table near the door and the gentleman to our right who was sitting working on his laptop, got up, put his laptop on his seat and WENT TO THE BATHROOM. What?! We just stared at his laptop and not that we were going to lift it but were just amazed that he generally trusted his environment to respect his potty break and leave his valuables be. Whoa.
2.) After Starbucks we took the boy across the street to the hair salon to have his hair cut so he would resemble a nine year old boy and less of a bobblehead. I didn't know they didn't take debit cards so he LET US LEAVE AND BRING BACK CASH. What?! He never saw us before and let us leave without leaving collateral or making one of us stay behind. Whoa.
Just really makes me further appreciate where we live. Not only are the people friendly, the property values doable, the water and air clean and I haven't seen one gangbanger or wigger since I moved here, people trust you here. Not some false trust because they are vested in getting something they want from you for free but they just trust others.
Makes me really happy that we are raising our kids here. Makes me feel more confident in raising my daughter to be more focused on who she is than what she is. I was so worried about that in LA.
So we got that. :)
Ah Push It
Push it real good!
A lil Salt N Peppa in the morning nevah hurt nobody! I have been pushing my Sirens makeover work everywhere I can find, online and even for the first time in print. The inquiries are slowly trickling in and thanks to my incessant networking drive, I have hooked up with a hooked up makeup artist. The girl knows a ton of people and we have decided to work together on Sirens. I have decided to reduce my rate and include makeup. We will see how it works out. Keep your fingers crossed! She has facilitated interest from two venues to showcase my work and we will be featured on the show More here in Portland. This time me and my work will be the feature story and not the model like the last two times I was on tv, being a peripheral. When I was on the Discovery Channel, you could see the back of my head for two seconds as I cooed YESSS GOOOORRRGEOUS! and then a 45 second montage of my images from the shoot they were filming flashed on the screen in a slide show. It was pretty cool! I never even saw the segment A&E shot but was told it was just a flash of her doing a photo shoot and a flash of one image but that was good enough for me. The credits roll so fast on those shows, no one sees who the photographer was but it was worth it to use as credits of my work. Now, I am going to be on tv, I have to get my fat post pregnancy weight in check! I have 30 pounds hanging on to my frame, the taunting consequence of my incessant guzzling of chocolate milk during pregnancy. But I will prevail! It's ironic that after 8 years of losing weight, the two times I was filmed for tv, I was in top shape and me myself was cut out of the shows but thank god my work wasn't and now that I am going to be on tv, I am fat again? This shit ain't right! I wish I could take diet pills to get it off quick but alas, I am breastfeeding and cannot. Gotta do it the hard way! Arrrgh! So with my career revving up, so am I. Size 6 lowriders here I come...
SIRENS MAKEOVER PORTRAITURE
I'm doin it again. Back to my roots.
In a nutshell
Whatever happened to this term? Are we becoming a long winded society that feeds on hours upon hours of news coverage that is redundant as fuck and completely mind numbing? Is it a tragedy that Anna Nicole Smith died? Yes. But we don't need three fucking months of news coverage speculating on what was evident for the last several years: DRUG ADDICT. Is the Virginia Tech killings a tragedy? Yes. But we don't need days upon days of speculation on what can be easily summed up in one word: CRAZY.
In a nutshell, I'm sick of the news. I am going to listen to my Dixie Chicks album now.
What does that mean??
I bought The Dixie Chick's new album...WHAT DOES THAT MEAN???
Build it and they will come
It's late and I wish the coffee shop was open so I could get myself a soy vanilla latte and curl up with it in front of my computer screen, the low hum of the fan inside the computer my only companion, the house asleep and still. So wonderfully still. Since I had my daughter, my days of incessant shooting, Photoshop and the relentless quest for finding my niche in the world of photography and making a living doing it have been overshadowed by taking care of baby and being a homemaker. Mind you, I don't say this with any negative connotation. I absolutely adore my daughter and I love being a mother. It is the one thing I am completely confident about in life. Does make being a freelance artist more of a challenge but when did I ever do anything the easy way? My son, he is the good kind of easy. He goes to school all day, gets himself ready for school and for bed, even makes his own snacks! It is tough going back to caring for a little person who depends on you every minute of the day for absolutely everything. The freedoms and selfishness I was getting back as my son got older, gone and so rewarding. I don't know how women with more than one little one (as in 4 and younger) do it. With only one at home all day it is difficult to find the time to get everything done: feed baby, change baby, rock baby, play with baby, laundry, rock baby, dishes, feed baby, dishes, rock baby, floors, change baby, bathrooms, lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Not finding the time for a shower til 10pm is a common thing! Mom always comes last and we savor rubbing our sacrifices in our kids' faces when they are old enough for guilt trips! lol I am solid in recognizing the rewards in my role as a mother. I need that professionally too. Making the choice to pursue a career that is so difficult to successful in is difficult on so many levels that I don't need to add to it by losing my passion and allowing my pursuit to become unrewarding.
My pursuit is multifaceted and the ripple effect of it affects more than just me. Many changes in my life affecting my pursuit. Marriage. Baby. Relocating. Changes worthy of sacrifice. Luckily I don't have to do something else, I just have to start over in a new place. A place we love. We have been here in Portland for two and a half months now. I have lost 30 of the 60 lbs I gained during pregnancy. My son has a lot of friends in his new school, is earning good grades and is on a baseball team. Éideann smiles and giggles now. Seán had a birthday. I shot for a signed band for a magazine publication and a few portrait clients. Things are progressing yet I am scattered. Distracted. Frustrated. I mull over marketing strategies and creative ideas but I always end up in the same corner kicking myself: If I am so talented, why am I not making the money to reflect it? Bad juju. I have to redirect my energies and find a way to be all of the things I need to be, that I want to be and appreciate the process without backing myself into that corner, that place, that state of mind that keeps me from being successful, in my heart, my mind and my wallet. I love being a mother. I love being a wife. I love being a friend. I love making a home for my family. I love being an artist. I love touching other people's lives with my art. I love myself. I love a lot. Nothing has to be put aside. If you love it, nurture it. Pretty simple. Right? This is me redirecting my energies. I cannot imagine my life doing anything other than what I am doing or imagine that this is not my destiny or fate or purpose. I think that what has not been working for me is that I have gotten focused on making money, not in the way of greed but the basic making ends meet sort of way, and have not been channeling my creativity. I've been doing it all wrong. I am a portrait artist. I capture people by not just taking their picture but capturing something inside of them that they so desperately want to express and don't know how or are too scared to try. That is a gift and I turned my back on it. No wonder I haven't been making enough money to support my family. If you love what you do, it shows. A great photographer once told me "Do what you love and the money will follow." I strayed from my path, not realizing that even though I was still doing photography, I got caught up in this tormenting cycle of working great images, not booking the work, doing more trades, not booking the work, envy and aggravation at other "less competent" photographers booking the work...reminds me of a joke I heard recently:
Q: How many photographers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: 50. One to screw it in and 49 to say I COULD'VE DONE THAT!
If it were easy, we would all be photographers.
Simple. Funny. True. It isn't the first time I have gotten off course, well, assuming I knew precisely what the course was, that is. It isn't like saying OK I am going to be an accountant now and go through the steps of getting there and if you get through it then there is a job with a paycheck and benefits at the end of your struggles. None of that comes with being a photographer. So for those of you who have followed my struggle, here I am again, at a crossroads. I could continue on this path and most likely continue to feel confused, aggravated and bitter or I could take another path and see what journey lies ahead. I think I will go with the latter. I was never one to stagnate in a situation that wasn't working for me for too long. I give myself and all artists credit, man. I mean, how long would normal people do something without making enough to support themselves? We are a dedicated abnormal bunch.
During the few years that I have been shooting, I have gotten many letters and comments from strangers telling me that they love my work or that I am an inspiration to them. I don't take that lightly and sort of feel unworthy of it as I am trying to keep my head above water. I received an amazing letter from a soldier in Iraq who wrote to tell me he has been a fan of my work for a few years now and I have inspired him to pursue his dream of being a photographer. He is writing a book about his experience in war, self discovery and repositioning himself in career, spirit and life. He asked if he could interview me for the book. Wow. I mean, WOW. It really sent a powerful message to me. If I inspire others, why then, am I not an inspiration to myself? If others believe in me, why then, do I not believe in myself? I am so thankful for that letter and it makes me realize that I do have a gift and I am not nurturing it by pursuing anything that pays and becoming so bitter over the blanket of trades (translation: working for free) I am presented with. Instead of becoming bitter that someone doesn't want to pay for my services, I should seek people who I want to shoot for trade, for personal work that is meaningful to me and to my subject. Work that inspires and speaks to people. Work that is important. Not to everyone. But to me, to the muses of my future and to those the imagery speaks to. This is my purpose and I am marrying it.
I have also discovered that I really want to paint. I taught myself how to do what I have done, why limit myself to just that? So keep an eye out for that. Who knows, maybe I won't totally suck.
I have to always remind myself that I have two children I am raising and my example will greatly affect what kind of adults they will become. I want them to be strong and follow their hearts, pursue their dreams and live full and meaningful lives. I will make that possible by showing them that they can through my example.
To quote a terrible movie with a wonderful message:
Build it and they will come.
Busting caps in Suzanne Somers butt
I'm not usually one to nap. It's not that I don't like it or want to, it's that it is rare that I can. I don't sleep or drink alcohol during the day. Weird huh? Just...can't. Well, when you have a baby and are completely sleep deprived, you learn to sleep when the baby sleeps. Not every day, most days I use the time she is sleeping to clean the house, do the laundry or try to get some marketing or Photoshop work done but today, I took a nap. No, no, fuck that, I fucking SLEPT. Hard. The kind of sleep when you wake up with a sleep headache and a pool of drool on the pillow. Groggy, I looked at the clock, he let me sleep for two hours! Sweet! As I lifted my dear girl up to feed her, the dream I had while napping unfolded in my head. It was so clear. I was living la vida loca, man! I was slangin', had painted on eyebrows and was even wearing low oversized Dickie's. I went to the store and was browsing the isles when Suzanne Somers ran into me with a shopping cart and then started yelling at me! Going on about "YOU PEOPLE" and yelling as she stomped past me...so I shot her in the butt.
I told Sean the story and he said, "Thighmaster won't fix that shit."
In other news, I am not sure I want to know the answer to this question but what is bukkake? I've heard it on Howard Stern, not sure what it means and I get spammed with porn junkmail and sometimes open them, this one said: Big d1ck bukkake with girls next door. Makes me pose the question once more, What is bukkake? If it is going to be anything like finding out what CREAM PIES are, for the love of all that is holy, do not tell me. I am still traumatized. *gag*