Project 365 | A Look Back

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Four years ago, I started the photography Project 365. The idea was simple, if difficult to commit to: take one photo every single day for 365 days. Sharing the project online would hold me accountable, I figured, and it worked. I photographed, stored, post processed and posted all 365.

That was 2013. Fast forward four years, bluish glow illuminating from my screen. I’m on a flight next to, presumably, a Statistics teacher, who is raving on about his students. Low whir of plane engine–here goes, nostalgia lane, and I scroll through the album.

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Photos depicted the expected. Essays, tests, new friends, old friends. People I quit talking to. People I started talking to. The dance, the trips, the endless summer drives. Relief, happiness, irritation, impatience, excitement, all rolled into one visual lump.

It felt strange looking back. Had me and xyz really been that close? Realization that things–images– aren’t always what they seem. My diary entries were angstier. Then a light wash of guilt that, over time, I’d lost touch with certain friends. But, well, people come and go, and they’re supposed to.

Still. It felt odd seeing our goofy faces, old friends, heaps of inside jokes. Regardless, this Project 365 brings me a sort of happiness in it of itself. Cue: flickers of nostalgia, fade to black.

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A Week of Hermitdom

My micron pens are in and I’ve been waiting on them for days (thanks, Amazon! But, no, really, thanks) except I haven’t picked them up yet. So note to self: pick up pens tomorrow.

Currently I’m half-convinced that my spirit animal’s a cross-breed of a hermit and turtle.

I wrote about this earlier, but I spent the first three weeks of January bumbling around, meeting new people and seeing old friends, etc. Being social in the busy bee talkative-as-ever way. I had no qualms calling up complete strangers I’d added only five minutes prior on FB (which I momentarily activated just for this phone call, where I hunted down strangers) for an interview.

And I didn’t mind step-dancing around and laughing and joking with strangers.

Or going to friends’ houses or making new friends at birthday dinners or chatting up on politics with more strangers at debates.

Or, in other words, doing extraverted and chatty and exhaustive things.

I mean, the exhausting part only just caught up to me about a week ago. It only took a few weeks for the familiar intense urge to hide-out to come over me. The past week, I’ve retreated into my cozy introverty den, a warm shell carved out for occasions just like this. A space to recharge, recharge, recharge.

And, quite frankly, it’s been a lovely little respite.

think I’m ready to venture back out into the world. I’ll be hanging with the best this weekend, and we’re going to a few events in the next two days, so there’s that. Stepping out into the world of, well, people again.

Life Updates | Jan. 23rd

Hey, WordPress, hi. Life’s been happening. I’m pretty sure the people I know in real life don’t read this, which is kind of a relief. But it’s still the Internet, and I’m still on social media.

Anyways. It’s been a while since I’ve done a live life update, maybe a few weeks. A day without writing still feels like an eternity, and my fingers get all itchy. I’m all pent-up. So here I am, taking the typish breath I’ve been holding because I’ve been so damn busy.

Where do I even begin? I’m not sure where I left off. Two weeks ago, I think. Right.

In the time since, I’ve rejoined the newspaper as a photographer, reporter and illustrator. I’ve done photo and news before–the illustration part is new. I was in the office the other day when a friend, who follows me on Instagram, made a kind note about my Daily Art project. Then I ended up talking to an editor, then another, and now I’m an illustrator for the newspaper!

Which is honestly really cool, and I’m inwardly quite happy about it–the delight of seeing your work in the newspaper never really wears off. I remember the sheer joy of seeing my photos of Zadie Smith plastered across the front page. It was my first photo assignment. I didn’t know who Zadie Smith was at the time, but her elegant deep British wisdom rolled off the stage like butter, and I knew she was important somehow. She was, she is. And there she was, my photo of her, on the front page.

Funny note: a fellow WordPress friend, whom I met here a few years ago, is an assignments editor–my assignment editor.

My Daily Art thing–oh, I don’t know if I mentioned on here before, but I tentatively expanded it onto Instagram. Talk about accountability. And the sociability of social media. I was mostly afraid I’d bother people by posting once a day–once a day! that’s just spam–but it seems like most people, I hope, don’t mind. In the past few days, acquaintances have been bringing up my art, more so than they ever have. In a kind way. They’ve been saying things like I really like your daily art posts or are you an art major? or, well, just really nice things. So it’s nice to know that I’m not harassing people with my regular daily posts. I hope.

On the mellower end, I’ve been hanging out with friends–went to an art museum, grabbed lunch with the best, ate birthday filet mignon at a fancy fine dancing restaurant. Met new people and made new friends at banquet.

I… think I’m going to be involved with the Contemporary Art museum, but I’m not sure if I’m biting off more than I can chew. They’re looking for somebody who can do a bit of field research for them, meet artists, view the installation process. It seems like an interesting opportunity, to get involved with the art museum, but at the same time–do I have the time? I might not.

I’m also hoping to get back into freelance photography during these last few months, pick back up the side hustle.

A lot of…stuff, if you will. Hopefully not of the overwhelming variety.

100 Books Reading Challenge

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Started a reading challenge project mid-spring. The goal: read 100 books by summer in a year. I’m inching along, albeit at a slower pace than I’d like. Figured posting the list on my blog would hold me accountable–also, I get to share cool books!

So here’s a list of books I’ve reading; I plan to update every 10 books or so. If you have any book recommendations, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

  1. One! Hundred! Demons!, Lynda Barry
  2. James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie
  4. Here, Richard McGuire
  5. Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks
  6. Burned, Ellen Hopkins
  7. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling
  8. Walking Dead 1, Robert Kirkman
  9. Walking Dead 2, Robert Kirkman
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelous
  11. Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur
  12. Partner Track, Helen Wan
  13. Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen
  14. Kafka, R. Crumb
  15. Project Jennifer, Jill Rosenblatt
  16. Dignity, Donna Hicks
  17. Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Roz Chast
  18. Ginny Moon, Benjamin Ludwig
  19. Autobiography of Barefoot Gen, Nakazawa Keji
  20. Meow Meow, Jose Fonollosa
  21. Beautiful Darkness, Fabien Vehlmann
  22. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  23. The Skin Above My Knees, Marcia Butler
  24. Essential Poems (To Fall in Love With), Daisy Goodwin
  25. Sailing Alone Around the Room, Billy Collins
  26. Future Tense, Paintings by Alex Gross
  27. Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling
  28. Thirst, Poems by Mary Oliver
  29. Global Street Art, Lee Boffkin
  30. Men Without Women, Haruki Murakami
  31. Vintage Cisneros, Sandra Cisneros 
  32. Have You Seen Marie, Sandra Cisneros
  33. Woman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros
  34. The Quiet Eye: A Way of Looking at Pictures, Sylvia Judson
  35. Blue Nights, Joan Didion 
  36. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  37. This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz
  38. The Embassy of Cambodia, Zadie Smith
  39. Love Mad Poems, Rumi
  40. The Wolves In The Walls, Neil Gaiman
  41. Forms of Distance, Bei Dao
  42. 73 Poems, E.E. Cummings
  43. The Love Bunglers, Jaime Hernandez
  44. Little Book of Little Stories
  45. Shoplifer, Michael Cho
  46. Rick & Morty Comics
  47. Fresh Complaiment, Jeffrey Eugenides
  48. Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg
  49. White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  50. South and West, Joan Didion
  51. Dear Dumb Diary
  52. Stories Julian Tells, Ann Cameron
  53. Stitches, David Small
  54. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  55. Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka

(Updated Feb 4th, 2018)