September 27, 2011

Fall is in the Air

I am in love with Fall: the colors, the smells, the crispness in the air. The reds of fall are especially gorgeous. Jewel-toned, rich and deep.

September 26, 2011

October 21, 2010

365 Project: Day 141

I realized something today. As of October 13th, I should have been finished with my 365 project. Alas, I am not even half way done. I was looking back on what I was doing a year ago today, and my life is SO much different than it was then. The pink toenails and library books are still here, but I'm in a completely different place now. I feel like I have grown and changed so much as a person.
 The last year of my life has been a huge learning experience. I feel like I'm headed in a similar, yet different direction than I was then. I'm learning how to be much happier and its actually working. I'm taking responsibility of my financial life, and for once I'm setting goals and planning for my future. I have always believed that a person can do anything they want with their lives. For once, I'm not only believing that I can reach my goals, I'm actually creating a plan to make those things happen. It feels very positive and like I'm taking an active approach to living my life. 

October 7, 2010

365 Project: Day 139

I had an unexpected epiphany this morning. Things that I had been pondering, ok, things I had been obsessing about, suddenly became very clear to me. Its a strange feeling when you're blindsided by the truth. Its really amazing how things just switched from being confusing and stressful to very simple. If this were a cartoon I'm sure I would've had a huge light bulb appear above my head. The realization was such a huge relief that I actually sort of laughed aloud to myself. Then I realized that I was in public, but I was still smiling at my book. How did I not see things this way before? Perspective truly is everything. 

I just read the book "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of A friend insisted that I read it and she even let me borrow her copy. I laid in the park one day and read the entire 240 page book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. Hsieh's insight on his life, happiness, setting goals, and his philosophy behind the way he runs Zappos is incredibly encouraging and interesting. He is fascinated by the idea of happiness and has done a lot of research about it. He even recommends other books that he has read on the subject.

Now I'm reading one of the books he recommended, "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Jonathan Haidt. True happiness has always been a mystery to me. Of course I have been happy and I often am happy, but in general I would never call myself a content or happy person. By nature I'm a worrier. I stress for no reason at all. My stress levels have actually caused me physical illness and intense pain on more than one occasion. What makes it worse, is I know that I do this. I realize there is no reason for me to feel this way in most situations, but I can't help it. Believe me, I've tried.

I don't want to be stressed, frustrated, or anxious and I don't think that I should have to be. I don't want to let the little things get to me anymore. I am on a quest to be happy, or at least to find out why I'm not. The way this book explains what makes us happy and why people tend to dwell on the negative is very scientific. Breaking it down in a factual way makes it all very clear to me why I react the way I do. Its fascinating. This book also gives you suggestions on how to retrain yourself to react differently. I have a lot to learn and this is definitely no easy task, but I figure, hey, its at least worth a shot. 

September 29, 2010

365 Project: Day 138

This is what I do when I've been working at my computer for WAY too long. I roll my desk chair away and lay on the floor with my feet propped up on the desk and I stare off into the distance. Its the only position that relieves the pain in my back and gives my eyes a much needed rest. Thankfully the cord for my headphones is long enough to accommodate my need to be periodically horizontal. 

I don't know how people do it. How do people sit at a computer in a desk chair for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week? Aside from the physical pain, it stresses me out. I go stir crazy when I'm chained to my desk. I desperately need a laptop so I at least have a little flexibility. I could sit in my new favorite chair, or in bed, or go to a coffee house. Working in front of a computer for hours and hours like this only adds to my already erratic sleeping habits. My exhaustion then makes my stress and frustration more intense. I try to take breaks, go outside, walk around, lay on the floor. I do everything I can to relieve my discomfort, but after a week straight of long days, I'm pretty much fried.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The result of all this work and pain is what makes it worth it in the end. I photographed, retouched and laid out my very first catalog for Dream Mullick Collection's Fall line. I'm so excited to see the final printed catalog. I'm proud of myself. I think it came out really great! And I'm sure I will only appreciate it more when the pain finally stops.

September 16, 2010

365 Project: Day 137

One of my worst fears is losing my sight. Its a completely unfounded and irrational fear. As far as I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with my eyes. I wear glasses to see far away and I have terrible vision at night, but aside from that, there is no reason for me to fear going blind. I think I fear it because its the most devastating thing I can think of happening to me. As a photographer and artist, my sight is everything to me. I can't imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, but not having the ability to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of a sunset. Living in a world of darkness is terrifying to me. I get most of my inspiration from looking at the world around me: paintings, photographs, architecture, little moments in my daily life...if I could no longer see these things, what would my life be like? I don't know that I would have the strength to continue to try to create. Its been hard enough to lose my inspiration, if I ever lost my sight I think I would fall apart.

| Artists Wanted | In Focus : Pete Eckert from Artists Wanted on Vimeo.

Pete Eckert is such an inspiration to me. Pete is the embodiment of my worst fear and yet he still creates beautiful imagery, even without his sight. I've read several articles about him in the past, but when I came across this video it really touched me. I've seen it before, but I still cried the entire time I watched it. His story, his life, and his perseverance overwhelm me. Even as I write this, I feel emotion welling in my throat. Pete wasn't always blind. He grew up wanting to be an artist. He even went to art school for sculpture and industrial design. He wanted to study architecture at Yale. It wasn't until later in life that he lost his sight due to Retinitis Pigmentosa. He says that now sound gives him vision. Having to touch and hear in order to see is unimaginable to me. How can you see a painting with your fingers?

Pete says, "Women talk about a glass ceiling. Blind folks face a glass front door. We can look into the workplace but aren’t allowed to enter. I do something else. I slip photos under the door from the world of the blind to be viewed in the light of the sighted. I view my work during the event of taking the shot in my minds eye. I “see“ each shot very clearly, only I use sound, touch, and memory. I am more of a conceptual artist than a photographer. My influences come from my past memory of art and what I now find in the world at large. I now ask to touch sculptures in museums too. That’s another long story."
The images he creates are incredible. He paints with light and captures things in a way that I would never dream of. His work makes me think that my sight could be viewed as a handicap to my creativity. It limits my perception of the world to a single sense. I have to ask myself: why don't I use my other four senses when I'm creating? Because my work is visual, I rely mostly on my sight, but what could I create if I couldn't see? It opens a whole new world of possibility. So what am I afraid of?

Visit Pete's website to read about his story and to view his portfolio:

September 13, 2010

365 Project: Day 136

This is my new favorite chair. I love chairs that my entire body can curl up in...especially if they're vintage. Things are generally looking up lately. I still haven't found my inspiration, but other things are happening in the mean time to keep my mind busy. Like this chair.

Today was far from uneventful. My "I'll Fly Away" print was purchased by ABC for the set of Modern Family. I'm so excited to see if it shows up in any episodes! I just found out that I was accepted into a financial planning program that I've been on a waiting list for since February. After months of waiting, a depressing application that forced me to realize that I am well on my way to becoming a financial mess at 27, and a page full of interview questions I'm finally in! I'm really stoked! Hopefully I will now be set on the right path to financial freedom and responsibility. I figure its better to get a grip on these things while I'm still young.

I was almost in TWO car accidents on my way to the grocery store this evening. Both near misses were caused by jerks who were trying to beat red lights. Its always a GREAT idea to floor it through a busy intersection while driving directly into the blinding New Mexico sunset. Right? Idiots. When I finally got to the grocery store, I witnessed a hugely pregnant, not to mention pissed off woman kick a man in the ass right in the middle of the bread aisle. It took everything I had not to laugh out loud. I actually had to leave the aisle. I am so grateful that my life is full of these little moments. I can't help but stop and laugh. I see the craziest things every day and, ironically, those crazy little moments keep me sane. 

On a side note, I am so thankful for all of the comments, emails, phone calls, and text messages that I received after my last couple of posts. They were all so full of hope, encouragement, and support. If nothing else, this project has been a place where I can vent my frustration to the world and get nothing but positivity, comfort and understanding in return. I appreciate you all so much. I am feeling a little better. I'm trying to just go with the flow and keep myself busy until my inspiration returns.

Modern Family

I'm so excited to share this news with everyone! This print was purchased today for the set of Modern Family on ABC!! Everyone help me keep an eye out for it. I can't wait to see if it makes it into any episodes. 

September 6, 2010

365 Project: Day 135

I am uninspired. Still. I wish I had the words to explain how emotionally difficult it is for me to feel this way. I'm just going through the motions every day and its draining and unfulfilling. When I can't create its like I'm missing a huge part of what makes me who I am. The world looks completely different to me when I am uninspired.

I had a great photo shoot yesterday with a beautiful young woman. As I was looking through the lens I remembered what it was like to be at that point in my life: 18, just about to finish high school, and bursting with optimism and possibility. The girl I was back then thought she had it all figured out. I miss that feeling of being so sure of myself. Ten years ago I was full of fire, now I'm full of questions. As the years go by I feel that flame fizzling out. I feel myself settling for the ashes of the woman I wanted to become.  

I have to stop there. Its so hard for me to write this entry. It is uncomfortably real. Analyzing my feelings and writing this is emotionally exhausting. These words are the truth and I can't seem to find a way to censor myself or sugar-coat it. I am trying to be honest with myself and I'm putting it all out there. I'm working hard to set new goals and right some wrongs in my life. I am making some major changes and personal change is difficult. Its a very emotional process that I've been avoiding for months by stalling with this project. I didn't want to write about all of this. I've been surrounding myself with distractions, trying to dull the reality that I'm in this place right now where I have a million questions and no answers. 

365 Project: Day 134

I'm working hard to make some major changes in my life. I feel like there are so many things that I should be doing that I'm not, many things I want to do that I haven't, and many things I shouldn't be doing that I am. All of that has to change. I feel this sudden urgency to get it together. 
As a teenager I daydreamed about the life I wanted to live, and back then, it all seemed possible. I remember being so hopeful and feeling like I had so much time to figure everything out. I didn't know about all of the distractions and detours and dead ends that can come up along the road of life. There are so many ways to lose yourself and I'm feeling very lost lately. I know where I want to end up and I know where I've been, but somehow I've wandered off my path and I've gotten lost in this maze. My frustration has been building and building and I've finally reached a breaking point. I have to do something. Its time to get my priorities straight.

August 24, 2010

Mike Kelly: Wake the Dead - Available Today!

I am so stoked that my friend Mike Kelly's album comes out today! 

I spent months taking the pictures and working on the artwork for this album and now its finally here! I get to see a copy for the first time when Mike comes to play in Albuquerque this Thursday. I'm so excited to see it all finished and put together. I can hardly wait.

Here is a video from the amazing Austin Tolin about the making of Mike's album.

Mike has been on a incredible journey these last couple of years after going through a very serious heart surgery. Now, he is out there pursuing his dream and I am so proud of him and what he is accomplishing.

This is one of my favorite songs on the album that Mike did with the very talented Andy Skib.

August 5, 2010

I Designed an Album Cover!

I have an amazingly talented musician friend named Mike Kelly. When he asked me to design his new album cover of course I said yes!! Months have gone by and I have been waiting and waiting to finally be able to share this project with you guys.

The album's official release date is August 24th, but it is available for pre-sale. Visit his website to order your copy now and you also get a free autographed tour poster! You can also download a free song from his new album. Mike is currently touring all over Texas and New Mexico. The show dates are on his website, so if you get a chance to catch one of his shows you won't regret it.

July 28, 2010

365 Project: Day 133

My back is killing me today. Its all achy and knotted up from sitting for too long. I've been working really hard lately, which means long hours in front of my computer. My eyes are so tired that the right one is starting to twitch...again.
Thank God I'm leaving town this weekend. It'll be nice to take a road trip and get away for a little while. I'm really looking forward to just getting in the car and driving. Plus, I'm going somewhere I've never been before with some of my favorite people. Its just what I need right now.

July 26, 2010

365 Project: Day 132

I have an idea. A really big idea. Its been brewing somewhere in the back of my mind for a while now. I feel like on some level I always knew it was there, but it was fuzzy and in the distance, just waiting for me to find it and focus myself. I don't know how I didn't think of this sooner. 
More and more I find myself day dreaming. Brainstorming. I get a feeling inside of me when I'm onto something that I think is good. Its a nagging gut feeling that won't let my mind rest until I figure out how to make it happen. Every decision I've ever made in my life has been based on my gut instinct and that's what I'm going with now. I still haven't gotten all the details worked out, but its coming together. The only thing I can think about lately is how to make this idea a reality. I'm not ready to tell anyone what it is just yet. Nope. Not yet. But I'm really excited about it!

July 24, 2010

365 Project: Day 131

Lately I feel like I'm waiting around for something to happen. I don't know what, I don't even know what I want to happen at this point. But still, I'm waiting, trying to figure it all out. 
I'm still waiting for my motivation to return. I'm bored, unsettled, unsure. I don't know if I can wait much longer to figure all of this out before I explode. Its getting really frustrating and I feel like I'm wasting time. Days are just going by one by one with no distinction between them. I'm trying to wait patiently. Unfortunately patience is not a virtue I possess.  For once in my life I wish that something could just come easily. Effortlessly. Is it too much to ask for something amazing to just happen?

365 Project: Day 130

I have a love affair with water. Pools, rivers, lakes, oceans, I love it all. Floating around on the surface of the water, everything gets calm and quiet for once. There is something about not being able to feel the weight of yourself that is relaxing and freeing in a way that nothing else can be. 

Its nice to be weightless sometimes. 

July 22, 2010

365 Project: Day 129

I love hotels. I love the little shampoos, the fold out stand that you put your suitcase on, the little fridge, seeing all the people who are traveling to and from who knows where...its great.

Think of all the people who have stayed in that room, from all over the place. Where were they going? Why did they stop there? Where had they been? They should keep a guest book in every single hotel room for people to write the story of their travels. That's a book I'd love to read.