What have you learned about yourself from being a creator?
I have learned how to better understand myself through allowing the process and product of my art to reflect back to me. Photography has allowed me to bring to life the world as I see it. I first started doing what I call “assisted self-portraits” (where I style myself, set up the shot and then have someone simply press the shutter) as a way to artistically document my outfits . It gave me the confidence to see myself in the way I feel and imagine. It got to the point though where I would just have so many rolls filled with images of myself and I was bored of me! I realized that my friends I would have take my pictures were who I wanted to photograph. All of my friends are so beautiful and I was compelled to capture that. I wanted to reflect back to them the beauty I saw. Writing, drawing, embroidering, sculpting, and photography have all been means of creation that have allowed me to process my experiences and encouraged my curiosity about the world we live in. Self-expression is something incredibly precious in each one of us and being able to connect to others and encourage their own self-expression is a gift I realized through my own process.
Who or what inspires you to engage in photography?
I am inspired by the magic that happens everyday. The way the sun on my face reassures me to keep going, the way the voice of a friend makes me giddy, the way a hug from my mom fills my heart, the way sharing a bus ride with strangers in a new place makes me curious–all these feelings inspire me to capture them through an image and I am deeply inspired when others art evokes genuine feelings within myself.