We went to the city last weekend to stop by the Cartoon Art Museum along the bay. We arrived early to do a little photo walk in our favorite park, Fort Mason Green. We used to go there in our first year of moving to the bay area. It not only has an incredible view of “The Bridge,” but it kinda sits atop everything with such an expansive view. It just feels incredible to be there—looking back either on the beautiful hills of SF lights or out at the water, Alcatraz, the Palace of Fine Arts, huge trees, palm trees, whatever your pleasure! This year, they’ve really put the GREEN in Fort Mason Green! I must admit, the rains (and several other huge factors) have been so depressing this year, but wow, everything looks so lush and gorgeous. I’m so glad (and terrified at how I’m going to pay for it) that I bought a new Sony a7iii and crazy Zeiss lens because #bealphafemale. But I’ve been shooting with the same old gutted camera for over 8 years now. I mean, personally obviously. I’m so fortunate that I get to shoot with nice gear for a living.
It’s not the same though as when it’s MY camera. I always have such a strong connection with my camera. It’s more than a piece of equipment. So we may be eating ramen for a year to pay for it, but I’m so extremely grateful to have a new camera that is mine...and isn’t dented or has a short in the display anymore.
Aaaaaand this is the spring for photography in the bay area. Green, green, lush, green, lush!
We went to the book signing to see Brian Fies give a presentation about his new book. I won an Emmy because of him and his incredible storytelling. So as he says, “We’re forever tied together!” It was a great opportunity to see him again, get a signed copy of his book, and see my work as part of a museum exhibit. That certainly doesn’t happen everyday. I don’t push products, but you should buy his book.
As a pretty selfish artist myself, it’s so meaningful if your work can directly have an affect on someone’s life. I started learning all of this for my own stories and never thought I’d have the chance to share someone else’s because of it! Maybe it’s silly, but that means the world to me. This was such a heartbreaking story to edit and animate. It was exceptionally difficult to manipulate another artist’s work, but he was so wonderful about the changes and modifications I made. And he certainly changed my life in the process. Now I get introduced at parties as “She has an Emmy!” —but seriously, this story saved me. I felt like my world was crumbling and I was presented with another story way worse and far more important than my own troubles. It forced me out of a darkness and into creation. I worked around the clock to animate his story in the rapid news cycle of today. I thought it would be important for the people devastated by the fires. It was at least important enough to him and his family to share it with the world.
This story, and his previous stories, strike such a chord with me because of his ability to take horrible trauma and turn it into something that is relatable and yet completely brutally honest. His art comes from darkness, something I can certainly relate to…
I’m so happy to see this book rise out of the ashes, in his medium, comics. To see his refined and beautiful drawings that are completely true to the rushed, ragged version that we started with, now in full color. Full circle. Thank you for dragging me along on a little of your journey, Brian. Onwards and upwards, dear sir!
After the talk and book signing, Mariela and I walked the dark path back and spent some time taking long exposures, crawling around in wet grass and using only our phone flashlights and it was perfect. I love shooting with her more than anything. She makes me want to take chances and do things different. Still my muse. I know someday we will do it more…and until then, we can do lots more mini photowalks of our own.
Speaking of mini — I bought Mariela a little instax mini 90 polaroid-like camera for her birthday recently. She’s not really one for sharing her photos, but her eye is better than any photographer I know. It may sound crazy because she won’t even touch my new camera and barely touched the one that I just sold and had used for almost a decade. She’s not technical about her photography, it’s just really GOOD. She has incredible hidden talent in photography, she just won’t believe me. She loves instant photos so I had to find her a fun camera that SHE would love. I knew she would like it for awhile, but I didn’t think she would love it quite as much as she does. She really has taken to it and makes these amazing double exposures that blow my mind. I know I’m biased, but she took more than an entire roll on our walk yesterday and each photo is so damn cool. The textures make you want to stare at them forever…a tiny business card sized photo! Fuck instagram, I just want to crawl through a tiny museum of Mariela’s Polaroids!
She gifted this photo to me and gave me full permissions to share as I wish. ❤️