The Vision 2.0

Back in March while I was in the 24-7 Prayer room I wrote my own version of The Vision.

Today I am feeling exceptionally low. I am tired and I have nothing left to give- and a lot left to do. I’m in a place where I’m not convinced dream chasing is all it’s cracked up to be. Swan diving into the unknown is easy (for me). Landing and climbing the next mountain is so hard. And it’s even harder when you live 5000 miles from your mom.

Anyway, I reread my vision tonight. I suppose I still stand by it, but I am becoming seriously concerned about the cost. Can’t I be both extraordinary and ordinary? Can I be an expert and an innovator in my field, can I have a big airy studio in a cottage with a mortgage and a partner and a family? If I can’t have it all I’m not convinced I want any of it.

I understand now why not so many people chase their dreams. Dream chasing is really freaking hard. It’s exhausting and it’s lonely, and it’s scary.


What is the Vision?

The Vision is Spirit. It’s art.

The Vision is art that moves. Art that brings glory to His name. Art that breaks down barriers. Breaks down the walls between art & God & fashion & culture. Art that inspires and defines. Art that is intelligent.

(The spirit in me. Moving me. Making me. Driving my ideas.)

The vision is a spacious white studio with lots of windows & a big table & large format Epson printer. The Vision is not held back by earthly things. By bureaucracy or by lack of funding & resources.

The Vision is multimedia art installations driven by photography & washed in the Spirit. The Vision is exhibitions that give life & change life.

The Vision does not follow the rules. It is loved & reviled across media & spheres of culture. Hated by churches, loved by critics. Loved by Christians, hated by bloggers. Moving between spheres of influence as easily & seamlessly as changing clothes.

The Vision is success & visibility but in love & humility. The Vision can handle attention & bad press. The Vision gives all the work & the glory & the pain to God.

The Vision works hard. Loves hard. Gives everything.

The Vision is fulfilling.

The Vision is not alone.

(The Vision is probably really messy.)

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On Shia.

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A couple weeks ago my course leader arranged a symposium for our Fashion Spectacle class. A handful of people in various parts of the industry came and spoke with us about their exeroences. About halfway through the day he said that we would be Skyping with UAL alum Nastja Säde Rönkkö and that she had a performance piece for us.
When the Skype call started we were all shocked to see Shia LeBeouf’s face pop up on the big screen! Afterward I learned that a few people thought it must have been a video. He introduced himself and then began reading from Guy DuBord’s The Society of Spectacle. It took a couple of minutes for me to catch onto what he was reading and to get my head wrapped around what was happening. To be honest it was hard to pay attention and not immediately start texting and tweeting about it!
It was a really interesting and exciting experience. I feel lucky that I got to experience it first hand and I am very thankful to our course leader for arranging it. We’ve been talking about how spectacle is built into our society and how necessarily fashion- particularly fashion photography- fit into that. Of course Shia is not a fashion photographer, but he is the best possible person to explore this concept of spectacle with. Because he is a well known celebrity his mere presence makes him a spectacle- the media attention and his ‘antics’ make the spectacular nature of his existence even more pronounced and obvious. However, to make it more interesting, the text he was reading decries the society of spectacle that we live in and his presentation was utterly boring and void of spectacle as it were. It was early morning in LA, he was dressed very casually, drinking coffee and reading to a bunch of students a text they should have already read. The spectacle ceases to be spectacular… But then one remembers again who he is and he just keeps reading and reading and reading for ages and the whole thing circles back around to being utterly spectacular.
The whole experience is a bit of a mind bender. Is he a brilliant artist? Or is he a wannabe cavorting with great artists? We might never know, but I absolutely love participating in the conversation.

Relocation: A celebration! Then the hard part.

Hooray! I had my grad check today with the head of my department… and good news! I only have one quarter left! It’s going to be a really heavy load, but I know I can do it. It is going to feel so good to finally be done!

Making my graduation date official was phase one of the big move. Phase two: figure out how to move to the UK legally- not an easy task. After a couple hours of research I’ve concluded that I either need £50,000 to be an entrepreneur, a job offer from a company willing to sponsor my visa, or to go to grad school over there (and prove I have the finances to pay for it without working). Daunting to say the least.

I know there are programs out there that will sponsor a visa for paid internships so I am looking into that… anyone have any other resources?

Image“[T.S.] Eliot began to wonder if there was any room for art in a world gone mad. How could a responsible Christian devote time to poetry or fiction?” Philip Yancy (I Was Just Wondering, 130)

I grew up wondering why secular music was so much cooler than the Christian stuff. I couldn’t figure out why the Red Hot Chili Peppers were so good and Deleriou5 was just ok. (Don’t judge, it was the 90’s.) I thought, if we’re so connected to The Creator, why don’t we make better music?

As I got older I saw this in other mediums, too. Classical religious art notwithstanding, Christian art always seems to fall short. As Christians, shouldn’t we be more plugged into The Creator? Shouldn’t my faith make me a better artist?

According to Philip Yancy, T.S. Eliot was driven to conversion over anxiety over the future. Many complained that his conversion ruined his writing, that it “lacked the depth and genius of [his] early works”. (Yancy,130) He accepted writing assignments from the church, wrote captions for war photos, and for awhile turned totally away from writing to work in economics.

“He had apparently lost faith in the power of art.” (Yancy, 131)

What Christian believes in the power of art? Not many. We believe in being useful, in helping, in spreading the Gospel, feeding the hungry, being contributing members of society. (Whether we do it is another story.) But what worthwhile Christian holes up in a studio writing poetry, sculpting, painting, or composing photos?

When I got home from Haiti I was all rip-roarin’ to go save the world, and I am so glad God stopped me in my tracks. In that time I forgot the power of art, and in my recovery from the issues that spawned from my time in that devastated land I learned the healing power of art.

So I am going to say it: I am an artist. It is a gift from God and I should not hide it under a bushel, as they say. The more immersed in art I get in school, the happier and more myself I feel. And you know, we’re one body with many parts. We’ve all grown up hearing that, but suddenly it makes so much more sense to me. I can’t be everything, and I shouldn’t be.

So here’s to being as good as, if not better than, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Editorial: Glitterati

il·lu·mi·na·ti noun (plural) /iˌlo͞oməˈnätē/
People claiming to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of something.

glit·ter·a·ti noun (plural)/ˈglitərätē/
People claiming to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of glitter. Attractive, exciting, often superficial.

Model: Meesha Jones

Hair & Makeup: Brianna Scheff

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

I never read A Million Little Pieces… and I probably never will. (Although I really like the cover art…)

Bright Shiny Morning was loaned to me by a friend with good taste. The only reason I read it was because she told me to… I am  glad I did.

I tend to be one who it much more interested in story and plot than writing style. I love books, I love to read… but what I really, really love is a good story. This isn’t that. At least, not really.

This is a well written collection of snapshots of life in the greater Los Angeles area. Some of them are heartwarming. Most of them are depressing. (LA is nothing if not the City of Broken Dreams) All of them are interesting.

Just read it. Or, you know, don’t.

Editorial: Fallen Rainbow

There’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby

skies are blue

And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star

And wake up where the clouds are far behind me

Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I?

Model: Dana Johnson

Hair & Makeup: Brianna Scheff