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analog

The beautifully tragic thing about the digital age is that it is so amazingly occupying.  You can spend days straight (no sleep) on Facebook or lose yourself on the 'Gram.  A wonderful thing if it's being properly utilized, but more often than not, I miss out on so many of the things I truly love.  I often forget how much I love to create images.  Not just photographs, but simple pencil to paper or paint to canvas.  It's so easy to forget.  It is so easy to get caught up in the entertaining ease of Social media, or Netflix, or whatever.  I personally lost a couple of months between binging on Grey's Anatomy and refreshing my memory for the 3rd season of House of Cards (I literally went  missing for a month).  The sad truth is, I indulge in things that I feel are masterfully crafted.  I feel inspired by the creativity and the hard work that go into producing art in all forms (most forms...).  The key though, is to be inspired enough to take the time and master YOUR own craft.  

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I say this; This age of instant gratification is killing art.  It is slowly dying off, at least in a lot of places.  With so many things to occupy our time, we neglect the art of living.  Fooled by this pop culture, we somehow think that mediocrity is acceptable.  IT'S NOT!  that's no way to live. 

We need to be in an intense pursuit of life, of art.  

So... back to the creative cave! at least for a few hours a day.  

• Meditate
• Practice
* Live

Pretty simple task list huh?  

 

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poppin & lock'n

Hey Day!!!!

Hey Day!!!!

I was pretty impressed with the backlash from Giuliana Rancic's comment regarding Zendaya's choice to wear 'faux locks' to the Oscars.  

First let me say that the word 'impressed' is not a good or bad word.  It simply means that an impression was made.  

What was the problem?  Giuliana said that she thought Zendaya looked like she smelled of weed and patchouli.   
1. It's this woman's job to give her unsubstantiated, wack ass commentary on people... and trying to fill Joan Rivers very inappropriate yet big shoes, she "tried" 
2. There is a very interesting way we look at critics.  We somehow place them on a pedestal.  A pedestal labelled "expert".  There is no reason that we have to take these people's commentary seriously.  If there is criteria for qualifying them as experts, what makes Giuliana an expert on fashion all of a sudden?
3. We have established that some people really LOOOOVE that 1st amendment... until there are repercussions.  YES! you can say whatever you want... but that does NOT stop the reaction you'll get.  Hell, you're free to jump off of a building... but please don't turn around... all "how DAAARE gravity take affect and send me plunging to my death!  I should be able to jump from any building I want!"  Good luck with that.  
4. I know a LOT of people that were mad at this... but have dreads.... and smoke a lot of weed.  The comment made by Giuliana was ignorant.  The woman is ignorant.  What is it about our society that thinks they can cure ignorance like this.  We need to stop celebrating ignorance.  We need to get those jackasses out of the places that allow them to have influence.  Then people won't WANT to be ignorant.  Most of all.... are we looking for reasons to be mad?  She was trying to be funny... we are quite insensitive when we "joke".  Just give it right back.  ;)

My real concern is the fact that I have seen so many conflicting ideas about it from people of color.  I have heard people say that they do not like the trend of faux locks, I have heard people defend it.  I know people that have been growing their locks of years and resent those that do it "artificially" and some that are happy that the look is being embraced.  
Interestingly enough, in many cultures, the locks themselves represent an opposition to vanity.  Now they are embraced as a physical beauty.  

I feel that we live in a society laden with hypocrisy.  The amount of things that we do for beauty are truly immeasurable.  So what makes this any different?  

"Natural" would look absolutely crazy.  I am glad for the beauty routines, looks, etc. that we have.

I think Day looks frikkin fab with her locks.  I also know all of the shit she had to go through to be comfortable with herself as a woman in this judgmental world.   Keep kicking ass Day!

What do you think? 
(always keep in mind... there is someone on the end of your comments :)

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spending time...

Today, we talk about the upgrade.  Most people think that means you have to go spend a ton of money... That in itself is NOT an upgrade.    First off, please let me preface this by saying I am not a watch expert.  I am not the most well versed person when it comes to movements and complications.  I do know a bit, because I don't just jump into everything without understanding some of it.  That being said, I do know people.  I do know social behavior and I do understand that a lot of people do not.    There are a few things on a man that are usually tell tale signs of the "type of guy" he is (stylistically at least).  When I talk about the upgrade, it is referring style.  The most unattractive thing is to see someone that is acting to impress everyone while neglecting himself.  Spending beyond you means to get things that you think will elevate you in the eyes of others is a serious mistake.  Most often, the people you want to impress, are not viewing you as you think they are.  Timepieces specifically are part of a larger lifestyle.  If you somehow buy a $10k watch... and you can't afford to repair it if something happens to it... you've got a problem.  There is a huge difference between luxury and quality.  A difference that many tend to confuse.  Some people see those that try to buy into a lifestyle that they cannot truly 'afford' as less respectable than if you were just content being content without.    If you can however, do your research and buy into things that are investments, or at the very least do not depreciate rapidly and hold no social, practical or aesthetic value.    This brings me to my subjects!!!!   My everyday watches (right now.... kinda)    Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar (smart watch pictured above)   Solar powered (never needs a battery), Touch Screen, Compass, Altimeter, Chronograph, Timer, Temperature, etc.  Plus... it looks handsome, like I am a spy killer or something. 

Today, we talk about the upgrade.  Most people think that means you have to go spend a ton of money... That in itself is NOT an upgrade.  

First off, please let me preface this by saying I am not a watch expert.  I am not the most well versed person when it comes to movements and complications.  I do know a bit, because I don't just jump into everything without understanding some of it.  That being said, I do know people.  I do know social behavior and I do understand that a lot of people do not.  

There are a few things on a man that are usually tell tale signs of the "type of guy" he is (stylistically at least).  When I talk about the upgrade, it is referring style.  The most unattractive thing is to see someone that is acting to impress everyone while neglecting himself.  Spending beyond you means to get things that you think will elevate you in the eyes of others is a serious mistake.  Most often, the people you want to impress, are not viewing you as you think they are.  Timepieces specifically are part of a larger lifestyle.  If you somehow buy a $10k watch... and you can't afford to repair it if something happens to it... you've got a problem.  There is a huge difference between luxury and quality.  A difference that many tend to confuse.  Some people see those that try to buy into a lifestyle that they cannot truly 'afford' as less respectable than if you were just content being content without.  

If you can however, do your research and buy into things that are investments, or at the very least do not depreciate rapidly and hold no social, practical or aesthetic value.  

This brings me to my subjects!!!! 

My everyday watches (right now.... kinda) 

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar (smart watch pictured above) 
Solar powered (never needs a battery), Touch Screen, Compass, Altimeter, Chronograph, Timer, Temperature, etc.  Plus... it looks handsome, like I am a spy killer or something. 

            AND!!!!

G-Shock MT-GS1000BD-1 (tough as nails watch)

Solar Powered, Alarm, A bunch of cities to adjust to automatically (really accurate time), Water Resist 200m, Shock Resistant, blah blah blah.... this is a frikkin mans watch.  This is the watch you hike, skydive, climb mountains, fight bears and wear to take pictures of models in.   Most importantly, they won't break the bank.  Both a little over $1k and will last, both physically, practically and aesthetically.   These are for the man that knows himself and likes nice stuff.  Theses are conversation pieces.  The watch snobs will probably look down on you... but the truth is, those are the jackasses that allow their "geek' to override their "chic".  It is common in every facet of life.  People become so 'into' their thing that they can't let people be dope as themselves.    The key is to be comfortable being YOU!  Why go get a watch that you know nothing about and understand even less regarding the culture.    #BeDope.    P.S. All this.... until you can afford that Rolex DayDate or IWC Big Pilot... then go get it!!!!!  They are definitely awesome!!!!


Solar Powered, Alarm, A bunch of cities to adjust to automatically (really accurate time), Water Resist 200m, Shock Resistant, blah blah blah.... this is a frikkin mans watch.  This is the watch you hike, skydive, climb mountains, fight bears and wear to take pictures of models in. 

Most importantly, they won't break the bank.  Both a little over $1k and will last, both physically, practically and aesthetically.  
These are for the man that knows himself and likes nice stuff.  Theses are conversation pieces.  The watch snobs will probably look down on you... but the truth is, those are the jackasses that allow their "geek' to override their "chic".  It is common in every facet of life.  People become so 'into' their thing that they can't let people be dope as themselves.  

The key is to be comfortable being YOU!  Why go get a watch that you know nothing about and understand even less regarding the culture.  

#BeDope.  

P.S. All this.... until you can afford that Rolex DayDate or IWC Big Pilot... then go get it!!!!!  They are definitely awesome!!!!

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like art.

Good morning!!! 
Spent some time with my friend Monet this past weekend.  She is somewhat of an anomaly.  She was on a reality television show called Married at First Sight.  Without going into a bunch of detail regarding the show itself, I just want to say, she didn't get on TV and act absolutely crazy.  ...Which has become an epidemic.  When these reality shows get a hold of women, they promote and encourage "drama" and misbehavior (yeah, that's a nice way to put it, misbehavior).  

 My personal opinion is that this is a market completely driven by falsely manufactured demand.  I would rather not see people on television genuinely having "the most traumatic experiences of their entire lives" (... and brunch) every week, but somehow, I watch if it's on.  More than that, I somehow develop a genuine interest.  Funny, I have been on reality television before.  I know that it is far from reality.  Between editing in post production and staging things during production, there are few natural actions that are not coaxed.  But we believe, even if only "kinda".  

Anyway, that is to say, I DO feel that these reality shows are a proper representation of life.  Just not the healthy aspects.  That is my problem.  Everything in my life is not for public consumption.  Everyone has drama, but when we take responsibility for ourselves, we start to realize that we have an impact on the world around us.  It is like a "carbon footprint" on the behavioral environment.  That is not our everyday.  It is the exact opposite of how we are on an interview.  Putting your best face out there for people to see is NOT a lie.  It is actually expected.  So the formula for successful TV was unlocked.   People behaving badly.  

Monet however handled it like art.  Knowing that she is a representation of so many things, she did her best to be the good face for them.  No crazy behavior,  no aggressive behavior, just a cool person.  That is not the norm.  Somehow, when you get on TV, there is an unspoken, almost unnoticed validation that says "this person is special, better than most, and you should look up to them".   Some people can get past that.  Some understand that 'celebrity' is not something that makes one better than another.  But the  majority, the masses hear that unspoken validation loud and clear.  Monet did an amazing job!!!  She embodies 'do it your own way'  

It needs to be applauded.  

Thanks Monet.  

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express yourself.

Good afternoon!  Today... I am thinking, 'M aster the Art of Expression .'   It is pretty amazing the things we can convey with the slightest movements in our faces.  This can go from toothpaste ad to kiss friendly lipstick in a heart beat.    I shot it as one in a composite series for the art of portraiture, but it says a lot more.   This is what portraiture is for me.  It is about expression, emotion, a story.    It is art.  Being able to convey your feelings is an art.  We have been given so many facets with which we can articulate what we are thinking, what we want others to "hear" us "say".    Learn the art of EXPRESSING YOURSELF!  It could be the difference between career success and being stuck in a cubicle death trap.  It could mean the difference between having a beautiful relationship... and being an old bitter cat lady (nothing wrong with that, if that's what you love.  Just saying.)  Better yet, It could mean the difference between being in an abusive relationship (emotionally, mentally or physically) or being completely happy and satisfied, with someone or not.    It helped me immensely.  I have been able to navigate my way through life in a way that I can truly say lead me to a place with no regrets.    •Get some insight from reliable, trustworthy friends regarding how they perceive you (you might be surprised) •Before you react/respond to people, take a minute and play out you comments in your mind.  Will it truly benefit the situation? Sometimes it is just not worth it. •Learn the difference between acting and reacting.  Sometimes it is easy to react to someone's behavior, but that gives them power over you.  You maintain your character irrespective    of what/who others are.  •Sometimes it is therapeutic to maintain a written journal to review your mindset at various times.  •In conversation, try to listen.  Sometimes you find yourself waiting to talk.  Sometimes the other person's perspective is a good look. •DO NOT COMPLAIN.  It doesn't help.   Far too often we do not understand how to communicate with others.  Partially because it takes two... and the other person is the ultimate variable.  But mastering the art, expressing yourself and having a "voice" is such a step in the direction of happiness.    blk.      

Good afternoon!

Today... I am thinking, 'Master the Art of Expression.' 

It is pretty amazing the things we can convey with the slightest movements in our faces. 
This can go from toothpaste ad to kiss friendly lipstick in a heart beat.  

I shot it as one in a composite series for the art of portraiture, but it says a lot more. 

This is what portraiture is for me.  It is about expression, emotion, a story.  

It is art.  Being able to convey your feelings is an art.  We have been given so many facets with which we can articulate what we are thinking, what we want others to "hear" us "say".  

Learn the art of EXPRESSING YOURSELF!

It could be the difference between career success and being stuck in a cubicle death trap. 
It could mean the difference between having a beautiful relationship... and being an old bitter cat lady (nothing wrong with that, if that's what you love.  Just saying.)  Better yet, It could mean the difference between being in an abusive relationship (emotionally, mentally or physically) or being completely happy and satisfied, with someone or not.  

It helped me immensely.  I have been able to navigate my way through life in a way that I can truly say lead me to a place with no regrets.  

•Get some insight from reliable, trustworthy friends regarding how they perceive you (you might be surprised)
•Before you react/respond to people, take a minute and play out you comments in your mind.  Will it truly benefit the situation? Sometimes it is just not worth it.
•Learn the difference between acting and reacting.  Sometimes it is easy to react to someone's behavior, but that gives them power over you.  You maintain your character irrespective 
  of what/who others are. 
•Sometimes it is therapeutic to maintain a written journal to review your mindset at various times. 
•In conversation, try to listen.  Sometimes you find yourself waiting to talk.  Sometimes the other person's perspective is a good look.
•DO NOT COMPLAIN.  It doesn't help. 

Far too often we do not understand how to communicate with others.  Partially because it takes two... and the other person is the ultimate variable.  But mastering the art, expressing yourself and having a "voice" is such a step in the direction of happiness.  

blk.

 

 

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com•plex•ion

This weekend my beautiful friend Julia came by the studio.  Julia is an Emmy Award winning Make Up Artist, wonderful mother and most of all, dope person.  

She is also a good friend.  We talk about everything under the sun and it is always inspirational.  ...But her skin!!!! 

It is a little of an unfair advantage to talk about how beautiful her skin looks, her being a professional in the beauty industry and all... but I must.  

I remember never really paying my skin much attention, until I got a tan.  There were times I would come in the house after playing basketball all day and my mother saying "look how dark you got!".  It was something to laugh at.  Those mini tans were gone by the next day (or so it seemed).  The first time I went to LA, I decided that I needed a convertible.  As far as LA goes, that is the most annoying thing.  Too hot in the day and too cool at night. smh. Anyway, I wasn't about to waste my money... so that top was ALWAYS down.  A few weeks of that and I got really dark.  

I didn't really notice it because it was so gradual, but when I got back to NY.... HOLY HELL!!!!! everyone was in shock... like I had on blackface.  I wasn't happy... until I really dissected why I wasn't.  It is a very... "interesting" thing, the way that darker skin is perceived.  I know people that are very open about their distaste for dark/black skin.  I remember hearing how "those people" were one way or another, but "oh... not you!!! You're different".  
There is so much I could go on and talk about regarding this, but what I really want to talk about is how I got over it. 

I actually became fascinated by it.  I remember looking at it and thinking that there was so much depth and texture to dark skin.  I would look in all the magazines that I had and really didn't find anyone that explored that.  It seemed that the world had a similar view on the subject.  It just wasn't something to be "adored" or beheld as art.  

It seemed though, that the issue ran more deeply.... because everyone still wanted a tan.  They wanted to get darker.  So where was the hate coming from?

It came from a generation that was ignorant.  A generation that had a hatred and jealousy for dark skin.  It was so much deeper than racism.  It was "culturism"  
So... that generation is about to die off.  The ignorance, the hatred, the jealousy, it HAS to die with them.  

I used to see my dark skin as a defiance.  Against that old ignorant mindset.  It was an "in your face" stance toward the people that hated it.  

It changed.  It became a salute.  I feel like, we are in a time where I become a new representation.  I set the standard.  The standard for my vision of beauty, which is not exclusive.  

Looking at Julia, I see it.  It is that fact that her skin is gorgeous AND she is a truly beautiful person...  That is the beauty.  

Look more deeply.  

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Live.

So.... faced with the (1st) blizzard of 2015, I get to actually sit and edit some images.  It is so funny how we spend so much of our time ripping and running.  Speaking to some of my acquaintances put things into perspective.  Truly put things into perspective.  People complaining about the snow, and how it was going to create such a headache.  In worrying about the "aftermath", in anticipating or dreading something that is "to come", we lose the moment.  Understanding inevitability should actually be liberating.  For example, we are all going to die.  It is a fact.  But thinking of that time when we have to leave our loved ones to begin/return/enjoy/suffer new and different circumstances (depending on what you believe), and letting that time ruin the moment you're currently in, is truly a waste.  The idea that you only live once is liberating.  Not in a "I am going to get drunk everyday and neglect everything" kinda way.  But in a responsible way where you truly seize the moments and remain engaged.  
So I am trying to understand  my friends that are absorbed in dreading this storm.  Not only are you going to have to shovel, and endure the BS that comes with the aftermath... but you're going to also spend THIS time NOT relishing the time.  It is amazing how perspective changes.  If you're not saving the world, and no one that you need to work with (to save the world or not) can work... why are you upset that you're snowed in?

Maybe we move too fast.  Maybe we become consumed with the wrong things.  Take a minute and allow the "still", the confinement to be therapeutic.  

Laugh... have a real laugh.

I was just looking at some images from this weekend with Monet and just seeing her infectious smile, the images of her laughing, reminded me of the amazing time we had.  We are doing what we love.  We are dedicating our time and energy to it.  We are investing... in happiness.  

INVEST
PUT THAT MONEY IN THE BANK    

When you look back, you'll have no regrets. 

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