Round up all of the things, every tiny piece inside you that is toxic. Every negative thought you’ve had, all the shitty words you’ve told yourself or have had uttered, spoken, yelled, screamed or whispered towards you. Collect them all, along with any doubt you’ve had about yourself and doubts others have bolstered. Take them all and put them in this janky suitcase, zipper it up so they can no longer occupy space in your mind. Walk away, light it on fire, do what feels right. Just don’t give up on yourself.
It’s ok to not be ok, we’re all a work in progress.
I found this suitcase walking my best friend Ryan home the last time I was in Vancouver. We had met up for dinner and were winding down the night. Right by his apartment I saw this in an alleyway. It stunk of piss and the smell became overpowering when I crouched down to take the shot. Ryan yelled over to me “watch out for needles” I love that guy to bits, he’s fucked up like me and one of the most genuine people I know. Dudes, it’s totally cool to say you love another man. If there is someone who is important to you. Tell them. Man, woman, non-binary. The love is deep and wide.
Originally posted on Instagram
I’ve been quiet as of late from a word perspective. It’s not that I don’t have words to say or thoughts blasting around my cranium, as the infamous nomeansno belted “There is no stopping a brain that keeps talking. I know its not healthy, I know it’s not true, I don’t even know who I’m talking to.” my mind never stops talking. I have for the most part been active on Instagram still, but even that has waned in the past months. My professional life went sideways and a cascading effect of that has nearly killed my creativity. There is a possibility that I was maybe on a manic swing on the creative front and flew too close to the sun and crashed like Icarus. It’s really hard to pinpoint these kinds of feelings and there is probably little value to dwelling on the why and what, those activities are likely to drag me down a pointless rabbit hole.
There were some pretty fucking rad things that happened between my last post in April and now, and some kind of shitty things. I won’t delve too much into the shitty things but long story short my primary source of income was at risk and this created a very stressful situation. One that put a lot of things in my life up in the air with questions that had no answers. Great news though, despite that roller coaster I’ve secured a new job and we’re all good to keep the good ship Merlin afloat for a while longer. On the exciting stuff front I have a few new book projects on the go, one of them I am really excited to share with you all when the time is right. The other is a follow up to Queen City Bodegas, we are going to go bigger and deeper and celebrate David surviving against Goliath. I also have a longer term book project involving photos from the archives going back to the early 2000’s when I lived in Vancouver. Oh and then there is Boston, a few months ago I went there to attend a workshop with Jason Lee and it was awesome so there will have to be a post for that.
I am going to make more of an effort to use this space to share my thoughts and happenings from both a creative and professional standpoint. I have been keeping those things seperate but have decided to merge them because they are the parts that make me who I am. So this blog will be one part creative and one part technical because well that’s me babe. I have experienced a lot of things good and bad and have learned so much in the past few months. My biggest take away is to let go, I’ve always dwelled on things, especially bad things as if they were badges of honor. It is important to learn from the hurt but it’s more important to let go, I don’t want to dwell in unhealthy places anymore. I don’t want to be anchored to my hurt, I release you.
On Monday Feb 5th 2018 I officially released out into the world a project my friend Chris “Elvis” Koehn and I have been working on for a few months. It came about because of social media but the result is something tangible that you can touch and feel and see images in something other than a black mirror. I am proud of what we have created and have been humbled by the support from so many friends and strangers. This project has opened a veritable pandora’s box for me and is just the beginning of many more projects yet to come. When Alicia at Queens Shop reached out to me I didn’t realize just how much of an impact that was going to have on my world. She found my work on Instagram and asked if i would be interested in being her next resident artist in her shop. I came by her shop and saw the space and agreed to put some stuff together, while we were talking I had mentioned this book idea I was working on with a friend and she was like rad we can do a book release when we open your showing. I excitedly agreed and then while walking back to my car had an oh shit moment, I had agreed to release a book that was still just a fucking pipe dream. I had already been shooting photos for the book idea but had yet to sit down and figure out what this book was going to look like. Chris promptly volunteered to design the book for me but I’m stubborn and stupid so I took a stab at designing it, ordered it and when it came in I realized I had made a huge mistake. Pride swallowed, I hit up Chris and asked if the offer still stood for him to design the book and he said yes.
The first draft he sent me blew my fucking mind, it was undoubtedly a bazillion times better than the piece of garbage I made on my own. We bantered back and forth and edits were made, a few short weeks later “Queen City Bodegas” was born into two beautiful editions a portrait trade book and a landscape photo book. Orders were made and preparations went into action for the book release. This was all new and crazy to me, I had never had my own exhibition or created and released a book before. Feb 5th came and I was nervous for what the night would look like, lots of friends came through and books were sold. This whole experience was kind of amazing, I have to thank Instagram for linking me with Queens Shop and making this whole thing happen. I am hugely appreciative of Chris for being my adventure pal and making this book with me. I’m looking forward to the next projects coming up and am so glad this box was opened.