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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!

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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.

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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.

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