Friday, December 27, 2013

While home for the holidays, I got to visit some of my favorite places in Detroit. Along side my tour de Detroit, I also got to shoot some young and pretty darn cool Detroiters. CMPND (an up and coming production team) allowed me to spend the day with them, taking in all their spirit, humor, and love for their city. It was a wonderfully dope time (especially since one of CMPND's members is my closest friend, China) and the shoot definitely renewed the love I have for my hometown.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

With a little Egyptian inspiration, paracord, and determination, I set out to make my first "statement" necklace. After several hours of lost beads and twisted fingers, I managed to produce this lovely little neon piece. I'm hoping to make #afrowhimsychic a trend of some sorts, starting with this necklace (although its just a prototype at the moment). It was pretty fun trying my hand at DIY accessories, I'm hoping to be inspired to make more. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I love being inspired by my fellow creatives. Not only does it motivate me to get my act together, but it also gives me a fresh perspective on the world around me. I always leave a conversation with a sense of fulfillment whenever I hear the amazing things that artists hold within their minds. The ways in which we view society, though quite similar in beliefs, have such amazing visual differences- and its most certainly a beautiful thing.

 Being able to feed off of their incredible creative energy is one thing, but being able to actually work with them is another gratifying experience in itself- so when I was approached by a fellow Corps Member, who happens to be a fantastical writer, I was all to thrilled to help bring her concept to life. To bring attention to the splendors of writing and its contributions to society, especially our cultural demographic, Nakia at Damn WRITE imagined "Will Write For", a social commentary on her craft and the world that inspires her words. Showing the need for writing and all the good that can come from it, love, equality, and justice to name a few, we set out to demonstrate the critical need for literary artists.

 It was most certainly a phenomenal collaboration. I look forward to whatever our minds bring together in the future. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

For our after school program a team member and I have the honor of leading the arts and crafts club. In our introduction of art to the students, we gave them a community project to work on to unify the team. After discussing briefly the different forms of public art, murals and graffiti being amongst the favorite, we dived right into our own community mosaic.

Sadly we didn't have enough time to finish, so its still a work in progress, but it was definitely amazing seeing everyone contribute in their own creative way. Allowing the students the opportunity to work together to create something beautiful was inspiring and I can't wait for the projects to come!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Today I did some much needed uploading to my lovely site Ghetto Fairytales. I had been sitting on photography from not only the summer but even a project from my last semester at CCS, one that reminded me how homesick I truly am...

I miss Detroit, there is no denying that, but my mission out here has yet to be completed, I've only just begun this adventure and so much more lies ahead of me. Now that school has gotten into a nice little groove my posting habits will be much more in tune with my creative and personal growth.

My portfolio is in motion, the wheels in my head are turning at top speed for the Imaginarium, and life in City Year is still proving to be an amazing experience. I can't wait for whatever comes out of my mind next. Whatever it may be, I'll be sure to post it quickly and not hold it hostage on my hard drive.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I found this quote reading an interview on Shawn Reagan (Primary Ties). When asked for any advice for a designer starting out, Mr. Reagan provided this lovely snippet from one of his readings. It gave me a little kick in the rear to keep moving forward with my concepts and goals. 

“For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not... A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit... If you are just starting out or are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work... It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as 
good as your ambitions.” 
 -Ira Glass

Monday, August 12, 2013

I've been on a semi creative hiatus. My brain of course has been in a constant state of imagining, and I've definitely taken to writing in the absence of photography, but I know that I've been lagging in the visuals department- my excuse is an incredibly valid one though!

I've begun my year of service with CYLA and in the past few weeks, I've been training, meeting amazing people, and taking in the cultural communities of Los Angeles. It's an absolutely amazing opportunity that is allowing me to work within the LA school system combatting negative statistics and making a positive impact on the graduation rate. The values that have been instilled in me within these few short weeks has taught me so much, and still leaves room for growth. I've been learning so much that I can take at the end of my year, back to Detroit, to help change my own community. Not only that, its been incredibly inspiring. I've never been in a such a state of wanting to do nothing but create. I can not wait to get into my healthy habits for this next year. I'm so excited to grow in so many ways, creatively, mentally, physically, spiritually... I'm in a really amazing place, and I'm going to make sure things only get better.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I started working on some font stuffs. I'm really pushing to make my next year's portfolio as original as possible, starting with the creation of my own lettering. Of course I've never made my own font, so this is very new, and quite difficult. Luckily for me, this little Wacom of mines is easy to use and I've got a clear idea of what my aesthetic is going to be, flowers and soft simple things won't be so hard. At least not now. 

Forgive the poor quality, its a growing/learning process. 
All the lovely things will come to light in due time. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I was given the opportunity to photograph a lovely little friend of mine, we went on an adventure to the old LA zoo and it was amazing. The empty cages, forgotten paths, and memories of what once was, was incredibly cool and we even got to see a little Shakespeare in the Park. Armed with my camera, a homemade filter for my lens, and a plastic baggie (for the ghosty white washed images) I photographed a pretty important element in my life, dreaming.

My dreams have always been quite bizarre, probably due to my over active imagination and child like understanding of the very scary things in this world. Growing up, my biggest fear was being lost and alone in an unfamiliar place with unknown elements. It haunted my dreams, and even after waking up I always felt that dreadful feeling. Though now I find it as an adventure, as a kid I was terrified. Now, I possess bravery in the face of the unfamiliar and unknown, but sadly I still cower at the thought of being alone in this world. My dreams will always be dark and I will always wake up feeling that dreadful feeling until I conquer this fear. This shoot is a testimony, serving as reminder of what it is I must overcome.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lianne La Doll is almost complete! She's one of five in my series of paper dolls that I soon hope to complete, cut out, assemble, and frame. Each artist I illustrate is for me an inspiration and representation of natural beauty. With each woman being an artist of my generation, I hope these paper dolls inspire little ladies to embrace every aspect of their natural beauty and grace.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This weekend my gypsy sister and I were reunited and it was absolutely wonderful. From late night tacos on the beach and unsuccessfully long boarding in Venice to exploring backyard gardens and the getting lost in the maze that is Pacific Design Center, nothing but positivity and inspiration has come from this reunion and I know this is only the beginning. With a BFA in Interior Design under her belt and a beautifully delicate design aesthetic, I can not wait to combine creative forces with her and produce a beautiful body of work we both can be proud of. Jennifer and I have a lot of work to do, but within it all there are memories to be made, stories to tell, foods to taste, and flowers to smell.  Now that the gypsy girls are back together, my LA adventure is guaranteed to be amazing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My obsession with Pinterest and Etsy has inspired this crazy need for me to craft. With my "new beginnings" budget, there isn't room for buying art supplies so I've decided to work on some projects that will not only be easy and fun to one day make in a classroom but also super affordable. Found objects, scrap fabric, faith, trust, and a little pixie dust is really all I need. All my project hopefuls for this summer are inspired by my favorite toys growing up... and of course I'll be throwing a bit of poetry in the mix. Can't wait to post project updates!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

After pouring over nonstop Shel Silverstein, Lewis Carroll, and Dr. Suess I've decided to dedicate how ever many moons I may need to writing the most awesome sauce kids' book. It won't be anything too fancy, most likely a random collection of shorts and doodles (like my hero Mr. Silverstein) but I most certainly want to make sure this book serves a purpose. Uplifting creativity while educating the wee ones has been my goal since day one of art school, but now that I'm out adventuring the wilds of Los Angeles, I need a way to stay relevant to my aspirations and this book may just do that. Character development has already begun and I do believe my concept is pretty legit. I can't wait to bring this book to life!!

In addition to this book of mines, I've been thinking a lot about my creative future. I most certainly intend on graduating from CCS (go peacocks!!!) and I definitely intend on receiving my teaching certification, but most of all I want to open a business. Perhaps I've mentioned it before...

I want a place where kids can come and find inspiration to achieve whatever it is they desire. My goals and dreams began within imagination, dreaming of exploring the world, reading books, creating things the way I saw it in my mind-  it shaped who I am. Sadly there are a ton of kids who are not exposed to the notion of imagination. I see more kids playing on their parents' cell phones than I do outside, enjoying the sunshine. Even in the school systems, administration are starting to lose sight of the creative needs of children. With the STEM curriculum powerhousing academia I'm sure the world is going to see some incredibly smart mathematicians, engineers, and scientists... but what about literary masters and creative geniuses... do they not play a substantial part in the development of, well, THE WORLD?!

An engineer may have programmed the computer your reading this from, but an artist designed it. As well as the chair you're sitting in, and the shirt you're wearing. Every element of a child's education is essential to their development, art AND imagination included.

Ok done ranting for now, I've got some inspiration to go gather.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Photo Credit: Kristian Chanel

I've been California Dreamin' non stop, and finally I'M HERE! Driving down the dusty and abandoned ruins of what has become the historical Route 66, I realized this journey would be an extremely impactful experience, allowing me the opportunity to see things and go places that merely peak the vast mountains of curiosity I possess. In my arrival to this new land, I made it my mission to seek out and conquer every challenge California has waiting for me. With a newly inspired desire for adventure I'm going to explore every city I meet and build with each new experience my creative portfolio, network of peers, and knowledge of the world I exist in. I can't wait for the adventures ahead!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I know that I should be packing and not ranting, but ever since I stumbled upon the banned books list I've been in a complete state of disarray. I've pulled out all my great reads from k-12th and have put them on my shelf to remind me that I must keep the spirit of imagination alive! I'm not sure I would be the camera toting urban explorer I am today if I had not spent hours emerged deeply in the pages of a book. As an only child, reading played an extremely important role in my life. Books were my best of friends and because of them I never found loneliness but instead distant lands, daring heroes (heroines as well) and adventure. My ability to form these grand images from the stories I read made me the artist I am today. Now little ones have to turn to on the television to see what the world has to offer. Its frightening to see how much we rely on technology and not the power of our own minds. We're stunting the creative growth of generations to come and I believe that to be complete poppycock. Yes I said poppycock.

I'm just going to have to hold on to these books and when I achieve my life's goal of opening an imaginarium, these literary landmarks are going to line the walls. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I finally have become the crazy artist who wants to pack up with absolutely nothing and leave home. I've been living on my own for four years now, but in the capacity in which I'm about to attempt, never. It's not everyday I muster enough courage to tell my family and friends "I'm leaving! And I might not come back!" Thats not exactly how I said it, but I finally did, and WOOOOH! It feels great! I'm now gathering what little belongings I have, and leaving the nest that Detroit has become for me. Everything that has taken place in my life the last eight or so months has lead up to this very moment. Yes, even me writing this first post. EVERYTHING. I'm beyond grateful for every experience I've had and in this short life of mines I've learned so many valuable things. I know getting away from my "easy" life and figuring things out in an environment where I'm forced to use every skill set, will be a definite test of the knowledge that has been bestowed upon me. I'm starting to shape the person who I'm meant to be (sorry for the cliche)-  Kristian Chanel, future art educator of the wooooorld. I'm quite excited to see where this journey takes me.