One day I was searching for contact information on the Smashbox Studios website where I happened to stumbled upon a landing page banner that read:Twenty Thirteen
The Original SMASHBOX
Photo Assists Show
On a whim, I applied with about 4 photos from my Semester at Sea experience, of which were previously exhibited at Chapman University. To my complete surprise, 2 were selected to be featured in Smashbox’s Annual Photo Assist Show. As one of the youngest artists recognized at the show that night, it hadn’t registered in my mind just how significant this was or the magnitude of this acknowledgement until a good friend, Clinton Wallace, put it in perspective.
I had just met Clinton for the first time that night, a night that marked an encounter with a soon to be mentor as well as many new friendships and surprises. He and I took a picture together which is the fourth photo featured below. Clinton, along with another photographer at the event had asked me how it felt to have been chosen out of thousands of submissions? I noticed that in that moment, I became self aware of my tendency to downplay my accomplishments or recognitions. I’m not certain why, but I feel it may be because I refuse to become too attached to those moments as a means to refrain from slowing down my progress. I never wanted to become comfortable as a child, and now it is represented by my continuous inner drive t0 grasp, accomplish and reach my full potential as a storyteller and artist. Just like a shark who needs to constantly swim and roam in order to stay alive, we must similarly remain in motion, for that is where creativity lies.
Never the less, it was truly was one of the most amazing nights within my senior year at college. The night was garnished with artistically clad individuals ranging from laid back street wear styles to mysterious faces shielded by interesting hats. There was a tribute band to the Beastie Boys who performed in halfway throughout the night, changing up the energy of the event, creating some up beat excitement. The Beastie Boys theme was cohesively reflected as well in the photo shoot set, which encouraged the partakers to openly masquerade the bedroom scene. My friends, Ashley, Austin, Christian and I decided to take a domestic stance posing as a future newage family portraiture on a Sunday afternoon. My cousin Jake Ross, spun that night, continuing to supply the event with his funky, electro-disco infused set. Just hours before heading out the door for the event, my Mom called me telling me that Jake works for Smashbox and would be there all night spinning a live set. I probably hadn’t seen him for 8 years. It was a night where I entered with no expectations and left thinking:
Expect the unexpected.
Random coincidences never were part of my vocabulary
. . .