May has been a bit of a slow month for me. But I did manage to knock out a quick project earlier in the month. It’s an image of two cosplayers from Comikaze 2016, placed over one of my Tokyo photos from two years prior.
Being a creative professional can be challenging. This is especially true for solo-entrepreneurs who lack access to solid advice from experienced peers. It can be hard to know whether one’s choices are the “right” ones, or whether or not they’ve even picked the right industry. This is particularly relevant to me, having pursued several professions within my own creative field.
One of the challenges that comes from moving to a new town, while simultaneously pivoting in my work, is that I don’t have much in terms of a portfolio. This problem is especially prevalent in photography, where the niches I want require planned shoots with paying clients. But out here in the San Gabriel Valley, contacts are few and far between- at least so far.
I’ve been a little all over the place for the past year or so. I let my photo business sort of taper off, got into a brief game-design stunt, then took up t-shirt design. It’s definitely less-than-stable, but all I can say is that I’ve been chasing these things in an attempt to figure our just what it is that I want to do— or rather, what is meant to be my “thing”.
Oxnard’s La Colonia neighborhood has a lot of history. History that I must admit, I’m mostly oblivious to. This fact is made more apparent when gazing upon the massive 70-foot mural at Colonia Park. Titled “Historical Images of La Colonia,” this mural depicts many of the themes and focal points of Oxnard’s Latino history.
We started off with some basic perspective shots against the horizon, and then followed those up with a few shots in front of one of the jets. And here is where the challenges started. First off- it’s generally not a good idea to pick backgrounds that will dominate over your subject. Because of this, composing my images was very challenging.
Because this is my first entry in the series, I selected cosplay. It’s an art that has fascinated me since I first laid eyes on it. I’m not really sure why, as things like fashion and costumes have never interested me. However, if I had to guess, I would propose that it’s because Cosplay is an intersection between many of my major interests. On the surface, there are things like fine-art and portrait photography, and digital effects. But then there are the subjects of that photography- which in cosplay, generally includes games and anime; two other huge interests of mine.
Tokyo is a city that will forever have my heart. There are a number of different reasons for this, but today, I’m just talking about one- the Tokyo Rail System. Sure, there are a million flashier things to be all caught up about. But for me, this one is a biggie. These trains played a vital role in my traversal the city and without them, I probably wouldn’t have been able to see so much of it. It’s an urban circulatory system that carried me far and wide from day-to-day. And it’s something that has continued to leave a mark on me, even now!
Just up Cooper, is another mural on the side of a corner store. This one shows the adjacent intersection along with members of the Colonia community. It’s a unique piece with a strangely utopian, almost pandering feel to it. It’s full of smiling people; children and adults with an odd mix of occupations. There’s a baker, a line of field workers, a random mariachi, and a mailman.
I think the first murals that I had ever seen were the trio of murals behind the train tracks off Oxnard Boulevard and Cooper Road. The works were painted onto the sides of Carrillo's Auto Mechanic building.