Tuesday, January 31, 2012

a simple approach to art...

over the top, energetic, tasteful, creative. those are the words that i hope to evoke from future works.

sometimes, i think that as an artist it can be overwhelming to believe that I WILL bring something different to the table. that’s exactly what i plan to continue to push for. there are various extremely talented photogs/videogs out there that “bring it” on a regular basis.

since i recently started drawing again i have had various off the wall ideas come to me. i have jotted a few of them down for future pursuits and i know that just from the scope of the work…it’s gonna take a talented team and dedicated models to help pull of the concepts. all of which i know i have access to.

art and imagery are all around us and i have never been more passionate about it in my life. only in the last few years have i really felt that i would have access to and pursue my artistic desires and be PAID for them…AMAZING!!!

i want to thank everyone who has believed in my work and the message that i am aiming to get across when it comes to pursing dreams.

i also want to add a thank you to all of my readers. i told myself that i would write this blog everyday (giving myself 1 day off during the week) whether anyone read it or not. my goal has been to touch at least one person with something positive each time i post and at least one has person has told me i have done just that.

so with that, STAY ENCOURAGED!!!




Monday, January 30, 2012

to the fullest...


YOU just have to attack life…

the emotional climate of the world is perilous right now. i don’t know if you have been following it but the daily news doesn’t bring hope or encouragement as often as it should. i suppose it’s due to the ratings and intrigue positively correlated with drama, carnage, despair, grief, and destructive energy.

there’s so much going on in politics, world affairs, and the economy it can be difficult to swim against the current of despair. many loose hope in, stop pursuing, and give up on dreams that were attainable had they stuck to the plan despite the adversity they faced.

i say these things because i believe in the notion of “not giving up on yourself.” there were, and i am sure will be more in the future, times when i wanted to just give up and not participate positively in society. 

i would have done it too but i knew that i would not have been able to live with myself knowing that as each year would go by i would be thinking, “what if I would have just tried a little harder, hung on just a little bit longer, gave up more sleep, reached out to one more person, did more self promotion, used every avenue more efficiently…”

is it still rough for me now? certainly. but even though i am nowhere near the pinnacle of what i plan to achieve, i know that I have the rest of my life to continue to push toward it.

my goals are lofty, hefty, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically draining. and i love it! wouldn’t have it any other way!

why live life in the middle when you can live life on the verge of your breakthrough moment?

Chase life, don’t let it chase you away!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

roots...


what language do i speak? how well spoken in that language am i? just a couple of questions that i pondered over while drawing in the bookstore. i love reflective thinking.

creative vision is a language filled with dialects that have different meanings tied to the same words.

some people express themselves through fashion, clothing, hairstyles, make-up. some through more traditional mediums such as: music, writing, painting, ballet, and photography. however you choose to speak the language is up to you.

sitting in the bookstore most weekends, my better half is so patient  ;0) , i often become inspired by reading this language in the multitude of periodicals i’m usually surrounded by. i jot down notes, plan, reflect, and occasionally snap some shots of pictures that really catch my eye-for future inspirational reflection purposes only.

yesterday and today i spent some time drawing, something i haven’t really done in years. my artistic roots lay in pencil and ink composition. i was so engulfed in drawing yesterday that my mind couldn’t stop thinking about the meriade of images that i plan to capture on both canvas and digital film. it is truly amazing how the mind has muscle memory. so thankful for that.



Friday, January 27, 2012

innovators...


Sometimes we meet people along the way in our creative careers who need to be recognized for their zeal, passion for excellence, dedication, and overall effort. I plan to highlight as many individuals as I come in contact with, who exhibit these traits.

This blog is about my vision and interpretation of the world around me. However, I only gain vision and can only interpret what is around me and who has made a positive impact on my creative vision.

Karolyne Ashley has contributed and has been like a creative lil sister to me. always eager and open to helping others. She has an aura that is both kind, genuine and when necessary, frank.

I hope you enjoy this quick interview and glean from it insight into this lil lady’s creative mind, her ambitions and hopefully by the end of this reading, if you are not already a supporter of her work, you will be.

Enjoy!


1. When did you first know that you wanted to be a fashion designer and who/what was your first inspiration?

While touring as a background dancer for international music artist at the age of 12, I began to Fall in love with making creative fashion choices.
When I moved on to high school, I was constantly watched to see what I would be wearing to school. Everyone, including my classmates, teachers and the school principal, came to me each day to see what clothes I had decided to put together. Afterwhile, I began to see carbon copies of things that I had warn pop up around my school. This is when I knew that I could make a positive impact on the world of fashion.


2. What has been the most important thing that you have learned about fashion and the art community thus far?

My most important lesson has been that both things and people take time to formulate and solidify. I always have a huge laundry list of things that I am trying to accomplish. Oftentimes I get down on myself when things take longer than I had expected. Overall, I have learned that while you are starting out, there are tons of things that you would like to do but many more things that you have to do in order to build a solid foundation.

In terms of the industry, I’ve learned that everyone’s ideas are useful and important. As creative people we can be very territorial and egotistical when it comes to our work. However the best times that I have had thus far have been on teams of creative people. When we all get together the ideas explode and all that chemistry gathered up make the most amazing masterpieces.

3. Do you think that going to Drexel made you better at designing or better at honing your vision for fashion or do you think that what you learned in school could have also been learned in the non academic world?

Going to Drexel not only made me a better designer, it made me who I am as the creative director of my company. The grind and persistence of school along with the intense technical training, laid the perfect foundation for me to build in whatever direction I chose to go. I am a strong advocate for higher education, especially in the creative fields, which is a bit controversial. I have found that although that undying passion and creative gene comes from within, once it is coupled with practical training, ones potential is sky rocketed. I have always been undeniably talented but, upon my graduation from Drexel, I had the confidence to step out with my talents at the forefront.

4. How have you propelled yourself and kept yourself inspired even when times have been hard?

Great Question! This for me is a constant battle. Times are always challenging in one way or another. In my journey I have decided to go after things that were completely unheard of for someone of my age and background. Because, I delved in with such great intensity, I have felt the stings of the hurt at those same great levels. I stay grounded by staying vey close to my family and close friends. I also keep creative people around me that are equally as passionate about what they do as I am in my craft. When I lack inspiration I look back at everything that I’ve already overcome to remind myself that I am more than capable of moving foreword. Then, I turn on some awesome music and get to work!

5. What is the underlying vision for your brand and what is the single most import thing that you hope to gift to your peers and advocates?

The underlying vision for my brand is to spread love and creativity to all the nations! As I continue to build a platform in the fashion arena, I will be using my voice to be an advocate of love and self-esteem. I want people to know that no matter what they have been through or how they see themselves when they look in the mirror, it is their heart that will spring forth in everything that they do. There is a since of freedom and bliss in the clothes that I create. When people wear a Karolyne Ashley garment I want them to feel liberated to show the true beauty that they have inside. When we are able to be ourselves, we are happier and more open to love and be loved. I think that love is the cure to many of the things that happen in this world.










Thursday, January 26, 2012

modeling...

green models...

i am fascinated by how MUA, photographers, and stylists have been inundated with vast supply of models.

increasingly, more individuals are wanting to jump in and join the plunge of modeling. that can be a great thing for MUA, photographers, and stylists. but i would like to use a word of caution: FLEX!

what do i mean by saying FLEX!? basically, show me what you got! there has to be something that each member of the creative team brings to the table. as a photographer i am there to capture the vision and provide some direction but at the same time the MUA has to make sure that the skin is bangin and the stylist MUST have the clothes right. so where does this leave the model? it leaves the model with the chance to KICK ASS by portraying emotion and bringing life to the scene.

look at any movie that has been dubbed a block buster. at the center of these movies, aside from the background techs, and directors etc., are the leading actors and supporting actors. these are the people that bring life to the vision.

with that i leave you with a model who was completely green but had punch and passion about her look. her hair, make-up, and styling were all her own. she was ready to rock and roll.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

never give up...

i was sent an email (Tyler Perry fan club) the other day about success. we all hear about what it takes to become successful and the trials that we must endure to become successful.

there are a multitude of quotes and monologues on how to do it. there are varying interpretations of what success is. what it means to the individual will vary as with anything else that is based on opinion.

at the same time there are crucial characteristics that have been seen in all people who have been seen as "successful" in the societal sense of the word. mainly dealing with financial freedom and social notoriety.

these people were not always innovators or geniuses. but many of them held true to one thing, never giving up on what they knew, for themselves or for the people they wanted to touch, was apart of their destiny or the purpose of their existence.

the pictures below are of Tyler Perry. he is adored and loved by many but not liked by all and that's ok, but the important thing that i grab from him and people like him is that even in, and sometimes especially in, failure there is a learning point and it shouldn't be taken as a sign to give up.

it may be that the way the obstacle was approached was wrong or even if you feel that you did everything right but it still fell through you must realize that everything is not always under your control but that doesn't mean that you should give up on something that is deeply ingrained in our spirit.

my personal mantra that i believe with every fiber in my body, for the things i can control, is this: "What are you gonna do about it". nuff said.

STAY COMMITTED!!!




source of images is from google photos.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

fashion...

what sets trends in the world of fashion? is it style, energy, creativity, mood?

i think that it is all of those things. even people who say that they don't care about what they wear i.e, my t-shirt and jeans people, there is still an effort made to be casual and presentable. personal style and ideas are all about just that, being presentable or presenting yourself in the best light.

i have been a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy for a long time. mainly because i feel like i wear my clothes, they don't wear me and i know i look good in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. i am confident in this approach but at the same time i am still very particular about the style of jean, the style of t-shirt, the style of shoe, the style of watch, and i am absolutely OCD about making sure i am clean shaven EVERYDAY.

so with that i present the work of many captured by yours truly. i couldn't have gotten these shots without a team of people. i am always fortunate to work with talented individuals who aren't afraid to collaborate even if they remain behind the scenes. shout out to nikki-"maestro".

personal style IS: energy, creativity, and certainly mood.

HAPPY TUESDAY! LIFE IS THE MOMENT! LIVE IT!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

in retrospect...

i enjoy filmmaking almost more than i do taking pictures.  my goal is to project an idea that is both visceral and abstract but easily relatable.

my wedding films encompass a different aspect of my craft that can be more challenging to produce, not because i am at a loss for ideas when filming but because capturing every detail, every important moment, and the "money shot" is not only mentally demanding but physically challenging.

so with that being said i wanted to share a quick look at an idea i have had since being in baltimore (2wks).

it has been pretty nippy here and i have been without a tripod but the idea i wanted to convey came across well. i hope. moody and short. let me know what you think and thank you for watching!

Digital Vibrations - Jamiroquai





Saturday, January 21, 2012

getting noticed...

how important is it for an artist to leave a lasting impression in the world?

to me it is bigger than my current existence. why? think of all the most important figures in art or history in general, who have left such a profound impact on society that their names nor legacies will ever die.

some projected hurt on society, some love, some indifference, some made a mark so powerful that an undying movement was created by their actions. the latter is what i am more interested in.

my goal with art is to inspire people. to spark a curiosity in the individual that will germinate a desire to seek out new possibilities in him/herself.

pretty bold huh? well let's just say that if i would have been encouraged more as a youth to pursue my dreams and aspirations that i would be much further along than i am now. BUT because i wasn't pushed i have been able to reflect on my past and not let it dictate nor hinder my present or future. with that i hope to project the same intense love for art that i have to others. letting them know that it really is never to late to become that "rockstar" in what ever genre of life that they choose.

i started at 28yrs. and Lord help me, i will live the rest of my life pursing my own personal rockstar status. you can and should do the same.




street shooting style...

Friday, January 20, 2012

bookstore swag...

have you ever just been out and in a creative mood? i usually carry my camera with me everywhere.

unfortunately i walk around with a beast of a camera. and it has its good and bad points. the good far outweigh the bad but i will tell you...sometimes people get apprehensive if you ask to take their picture with a huge pro level looking camera. *nikon d3s shooter*

ehh, i like to catch every day drama images when i am out and about. i usually hit the barnes and noble on the weekend, flip through bridal, fashion and photography magazines for inspiration and the newest camera news. everyone once and a while i spot someone that i think i could make look cool in a picture. it's not easy though, trust me. not to say anything bad about the subject but the craft of photography isn't easy.

that's how this pic came about. dude was cool, i asked to take his photo and explained that i was a photographer and not some weirdo. *have to have finesse and be approachable when asking for photos*

i took several but this one...was the most interesting, to me. thoughts?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

legends in the game...


Legends in the game…

I know many people consider Derek Blanks to be a legend in the game of photography.  He has produced fabulous images for publications to include: essence ; sister to sister; ebony and other mags. I would only add that there are other photographers in the game who have propelled the craft and the artistry to another level as well.

A few of the ones that instantly come to mind who may be less known to the public because they cover a wider range of photographic assignments, versus mainly high profile celebrities, that include both pop culture, world events, commercial, and editorial would be: Chase Jarvis; Scott Kelby; Joe McNally; and a host of others.

Now why am I even discussing this…well, I would just like to say that there are various innovators in the genre of photography just as in any profession, who I believe, deserve recognition for their contributions. I am a contributor to the craft of photography and I aspire to one day have my name randomly thrown in the mix of the “Legends” as well.

For now, I plan to continue to hone my craft, inspire others with my work and hopefully have my art contribute to society as a whole.















Wednesday, January 18, 2012

musings...

hmm...weddings. why do i like weddings? well for starters it is probably one of the only times in a person's life where people come from all around to celebrate this milestone.

but why do i photograph weddings, you ask? FOR THE FAME!! lol! kidding.

because capturing this once (hopefully) in a lifetime event can be a powerful moment not just for the couple and their family and friends, but for me as well.

i recently photographed an african wedding that was so spiritually intense for me that i really had a surreal experience during the event. the drums, the clothes, the food, the people...it was really just a moving experience. i always gain an increased respect for love and the love that i have for my lady which makes the moment i snap a picture that much more special.

what is it that makes your soul tremble when you do it? creating images and capturing life in the moment does it for me.

inspiration...

inspiration can come in many different forms. sometimes even from just looking at someone for a moment and thinking about it...sounds crazy, but that is how i work most times when doing fashion/editorial shoots.


sure there are some shoots that i plan and put effort into. it's just that sometimes the energy of the vision i have for my work just takes over...look at me all pseudo philosophical...smh

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 all in

hmmm...a little about me, as you can see i don't capitalize very much. ha! and yeh, that's me below as taken by a fellow photog. i shoot nikon, d3s, and have been for the past 4yrs. i love creating interesting pictures and capturing weddings. i cut my teeth in nightlife event photography and have since enjoyed a steady stream of wedding gigs and the occasional fashion shoot, to include a trip to nyc fashion week back in 2011.

i wanted to start this blog to get in touch with those of the art community and those who just appreciate photography and the work ethic that makes it such a inspiring yet difficult under taking. i am into various mediums of art but it just so happens (i have been told) that i excel in photography and as of lately, well, films. 

i hope that you enjoy the many posts that i plan to contribute to the blogosphere because trust me...they will either entertain or hopefully, captivate and maybe even inspire you.

cheers!!


j