Where Ya Goin' ?

Truth is, we usually don't know where people have been,
or where they're going.

Reset.

This is one of my favorite young people on the planet. I've known Daveed for just over 9 years now, and it has been great watching him grow up.

Sometimes a young man needs to experience some new things in life to grow, so this young man made the move away from his home and fam in North Carolina to reside in Houston, TX. Here are a few of the moments I captured of him the day before he made the move away.

I'll miss him and that huge smile, but I look forward to watching him live, learn,  and overcome new challenges to become all that I know he is capable of (and more). He's a man now!!!! 

A Place To Be Free...

There is something about being able to create images that feel so free. I love that we didn't have to leave the city to make create this experience. Celebrating the beauty of brown skin. It's natural to me. The representation of brown beauty is underwhelming... I capture the beauty I wish others to appreciate.

JESSICA PRESCOTT - A ZEN ERA

"Follow on IG @madzetetic"

"Follow on IG @madzetetic"

When I first moved into my space at C3 Lab, one of the first artists I took note of was Jessica Prescott. She had a lot of photography work in her space. But the images had poems collaged to them. They were cut out and sewn into. It was more than photography. It was beautiful. It was just the type of thing I want to do with my images, but the final result is nothing like what I want my finished work to be. I could be inspired without copying!


Almost immediately after moving into my space – well, possibly right before, Jessica starting to switch her focus from photography to painting. But she wasn’t creating images of representational things with color. She was just exploring painting. Exploring what paint does. Working with the paint - pouring it on the surface, pulling paint, scraping paint. Sometimes unmoved by the painting she made, she'd completely cover it with more paint, and continue carving into the paint. Gluing things onto the paint.

Of the 8 or 9 artists I share the space with, Jessica is among the people I see most frequently. I enjoy our conversations, and we often discuss her new endeavors in painting. She doesn’t always seem to know the desired result of her explorations, and she often doesn’t like the "finished product". She just knows that she enjoys the process, so she keeps going until she reaches a pleasing result. It is an intuitive, whimsical, and earnest process. She doesn’t appear to over-think it. It seems very Zen.

That’s something I’m a fan of. Commit to your creative process and enjoy it. I don’t think it’s our job to judge the things we are fascinated with. I think our job is to follow our fascinations. Follow them and allow them to teach us something about ourselves or present circumstances. What do these fascinations mean? Are they helpful or harmful? How do people connect with them? As we learn the significance of what we are doing, how can we do it better?

So, that is something I want to do more. Plant the seed. Water the seed. Watch to see what fruit it produces.

She is also doing something cool with worms.

Your Friendly Misanthrope

It's funny how people connect. I first met Hannah a few months ago at Art Chat Charlotte. I stopped in to observe the discussion about Performance Art (Dialogue in Action), and I remember her because she had on what I considered to be an unusual outfit, and posed an awesome question during the session that opened up some very interesting dialogue. 

A few weeks ago, my friend Lovonia mentioned Friendly Misanthrope, and though I didn't make the connection to the small-framed woman from Art Chat, I checked out the page on Instagram and started following.

Last week, I was one of 15 artists invited to participate in a session of Collecting Pile, a collaborative community drawing project that is going on through June (check it out when you get a chance). Anyways, Hannah was one of the other artists invited to this particular session, and as we spoke, she reminded me about our first meeting. She was now more familiar with my work, and expressed enjoying how I celebrate real figures and diversity in my photo work. We decided we should link again soon to continue our conversation. When I went back and reviewed her IG page, I knew she would be a fun person to get in front of the lens. I contacted her about being photographed, and she was down. Below are the highlights of our first collaboration.

Lately, I've been wanting to explore more overtly sexual themes with my photography, but haven't been sure how I wanted to address this. From my discussion with Hannah, I knew she would be able to help me create images that were more overtly sexual, but not about sex in the context it's usually presented. I wanted to create images that were "erotic, whimsical, and fun".  When she came by we had more awesome conversation about movies, diversity in art, health issues, beauty standards, and the differences in process of photographing herself and being photographed by someone else (me).

I really can't wait until my next meeting with Hannah. We'll probably grab a coffee, talk way too much, and figure out what to do the next time she is in front of this lens!

FUCKIT.

Life is Good. So why is this the first image I shoot with a camera that was bought with gifted funds? I think this image is a part of my happiness. With so many positive things happening for me that deserve my attention, I don't have the energy to deal with the lemons life sometimes hands me. There are certain things that lie outside of my control and I refuse to give them much of my attention. Why should I? I can't change them - at least, not as quickly as I'd like to. I keep my head down and try to focus on what's working for me. When something doesn't work for me, I just look at it as something that shows a skill I need to learn. Know better. Do better. "Fuck The Rest!"

Mentally, I'm always waiting for the bottom to drop out. So I won't let anything less than The Trials of Job bring me down. 
 

I Can Use Your Help...

A little over a year ago, the camera I’ve been shooting with for 8 years got sick and died. My passion for photography kept living, and I did not allow not having a camera to deter me from shooting. Over the past year, I’ve borrowed equipment, rented gear, and even did photo sessions on my camera phone. But lately, not having a camera of my own has limited my ability to approach new projects and push my creativity with photo work.

https://www.paypal.me/chdwck (click here)

I could really use your help. This weekend, I am asking for donations to help me raise funds to get a new Canon EOS 6D – a professional level camera that suits my abilities.

Any size donation is appreciated, but I don’t want something for nothing! Gifting $35 gets you an original 12x18 artwork on paper.

If you’re in position to donate more, I can give you more. Let me know what you’d like - photo sessions, large commissioned works, dog walking - let's figure it out and make it happen!

unapologetically beautiful...

i won't apologize for my beauty. i am magical. i like to wear wigs, but not right now. i like makeup, but not right now. i am intelligent. i am fascinating and alluring. i don't need to dress it up. 

i love myself. i love my ability to make decisions. I love to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I know not everyone understands all of my decisions. it's cool. i don't always understand theirs. i won't apologize. maybe my choices will inspire you. i hope my choices make you value your own.

choose to enjoy life. choose to learn. choose to challenge yourself. choose to challenge others. choose to be safe.

IMG_6544comp_web.jpg

i will choose to look you in your eye. i refuse to be ashamed of myself. in this moment, i choose to be bare. i choose to be vulnerable. i won't leave this to the imagination. i don't need you to be imagining this.  imagine me wearing makeup. imagine what books i'm reading. imagine what type of music i like. imagine how you might bring a smile to my face today. imagine how you can inspire me. imagine how you can make our world a more beautiful place.

28 Collages in 28 Days

"The day is the only unit of time that I can really get my head around. Seasons change, weeks are completely human-made, but the day has a rhythm. The sun goes up; the sun goes down. I can handle that."

-Austin Kleon

 

In his book, Show Your Work, author Austin Kleon says, "Building a substantial body of work takes a long time - a lifetime, really - but thankfully, you don't need that time all in one big chunk. So forget about decades, forget about years, and forget about months. Focus on Days" 

I really couldn't agree more. I want to build a body of work, but the task seems daunting. I'm learning to appreciate the value of developing a rhythm in your work - whatever work that may be. 

But I tend to overthink, and underestimate the value of working in increments. 

In the past year or so, I've discovered some tools and processes that frequently lead to me creating work that I enjoy. But I don't engage the process nearly enough.

To explore these my creative processes more consistently, I am commiting to creating 28 pieces of art in February.  

I look forward to see the power of working CONSISTENTLY in small increments. 

This is not necessarily a collage-a-day challenge (though hopefully it will end up being that).

I'll be updating every couple of days, and will show all of the work at the end of the month. 

IMG_3041.JPG

A body of work...

Would't that be nice?!?!!!

IMG_3051.JPG