DARK SIDE OF THE LENS

This is my absolute favorite surf video ever. About once a year I feel the need to watch it, then I watch it over and over for a few days.

Before you watch it, you need to be prepared to listen. He gives voice to how I feel about my own artwork and the way I live my life. He has an accent that can throw you off when you first hear it. It is shot somewhere in Ireland.


 

So, you know so far that I’ve been pretty involved in the art world on my own level. Art has always been a part of my life. My freshman year of high school, I picked up a disposable camera and started taking photos of everything and anything. I spent so much money on having those printed out haha. This is when digital cameras were first getting popular and were fucking expensive. I begged for one and got my wish granted on my 16th birthday. That little silver camera never left my sight. Then I spent all my money on batteries:) One day on our lunch break we drove to the beach when the surf was going off. I had already started surfing at this point and had my own board as well. I walked onto the pier to look down at the lucky bastards who got to be out in the water. Sure as hell, I whipped out that camera and started shooting. It was on after that. If I wasn’t in the water myself, I was on that pier taking as many photos as I could. And if there wasn’t surf, I hung out at the skate park all day and shot those guys. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just experimented and shot until I got what I was looking for. My nights were spent editing and uploading. I created my own style where colors were distorted and the viewer really had to look at them. If I need to define the purpose of my artwork, on any level, I would say that I need viewers to have to look and think. Whether they like it or not, I don’t give a shit, but did it make them stop and think?

So at this particular point in my life I’m working, going to school and spending every other moment around the water and/or skating. I surfed all the fucking time. I got up before sunrise and went before school, I went in between finals and right after that final bell rang. There were plenty of times that we walked into that school in wetsuits and boards in the back of the truck. I was getting good also. I had my own style of knee boarding and people respected that. I may not have been able to pull tricks off like everyone else but I could fucking hold my own and powered through. I skated everywhere. That I wasn’t as good at. Oh god, my poor knees. Skating is still something I love to do. I sold my last skateboard this past winter though. My surfboard isn’t even mine anymore in all technicality. I sold it to a friend of mine and she stores it here, I get to use it if she isn’t already.

So the screen on my little silver camera broke. And I cried and cried. It took me a couple of weeks to save up for a new one. I wasn’t very satisfied with that one and that was when I was introduced to Jon Steele. Our shop teacher started the very first surf club and would bring in different guests to talk to us. Jon was one of those guests. He showed us what he did and how he lived as a surf&skate photographer. He talked about the photography school he went to in California. It was brought up that I had been working on my style and he asked to see a sampling. He had a show that night in Corpus and a group of us went. I gave him a CD with my work dowloaded on it with my email address written on the front. He was impressed but said that I gave him too large of a sampling. After meeting him I decided that I wanted to do this much more seriously. I was entering different shows in Corpus. The summer before my senior year, I worked at La Playa at night and during the day I cleaned vacation rentals. Worst job ever. But I took that money and bought my one and only Canon Rebel DSLR camera. The real deal professional shit. Holy fuck I went wild with that thing. Then I started getting pretty well known in this area for what I was doing. I had my own photograph printer and would print shots out, write my info on the back of them and hand them out to the different people I had shot. I still keep in contact with Jon from time to time. He has encouraged my work and I look up to him a lot. I live vicariously through him.

My PawPaw died my junior year, I was 16. I don’t remember a lot about home around that time. I blocked a lot of it out. It was the first time someone I knew had died. And it was a major someone. One of the most important people in my life. I think that had a lot to do with why I pushed so hard into the photography. I needed to escape somewhere.

I fell in love at 17 with Matthew, one of my best friends. When we finally got together as a couple, it didn’t last long. But he pushed me to do more and work harder at my photography. I used to always tell him that he will need to keep an eye out because one of these days, he would see my name on the bottom of a Surfer Magazine. As far as my college plans were, I didn’t really know but had seriously considered going to the photography school in California that Jon Steele went to. Mom didn’t want me to major in art. Unless it was graphic design. She always told me I would be good at that and I should have listened to her then. Matthew and I split up the February of my senior year. My first real heartbreak. I was a little lost after that. I applied to TAMUCC, was accepted and enrolled as a business major. I started hanging out with Brian. I wasn’t making my own choices at this point. Well I was, but I wasn’t making them on what I really wanted or else I would have gone to Cali or found something else like that.

After I graduated, got mixed up with Brian and started living in Corpus, I didn’t really surf, skate or shoot anymore. I was very much an empty version of myself. It got worse after I had Adelyn. I felt trapped. And very angry. After I finally left Brian, it felt better but I still needed to break free of a lot of other things. I hated college. I kept trying to make myself go but it was useless. I just had this major feeling that it was keeping me back from doing so much more. So I quit for good. And I started working on my art again. And I mean really fucking working. I came up with a whole new photography project and founded the KPAB art show so I could exhibit and let others do the same while fundraising at the same time. After that I did other shows, some I founded and others I just joined as an artist.

My passion for photography and my artwork is still there. It is still something major in my life but there are other things that take priority right now. And I’m ok with that because if I were to try to pick it up right now, it would be forcing it. And forced artwork sucks.

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