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.