Humans of New York

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Good people of the blog world. I have kept a secret from you…well not really since the secret is a very public and well followed blog. 🙂 I showed Erin and Dee a few days ago and their reaction was as great as mine was when I first came across it.

The brilliant blog is called Humans of New York and is run by Brandon Stanton. He basically walks around New York City, takes pictures of and talks to all kinds of people. For me the brilliance of this blog is that it shares the extraordinary stories of everyday people with the world. Stanton’s photographs and interviews breaks hears, humours, inspires, and even  breaks through stereotypes. 

The first video is taken from the Humans of New York blog. The second is a TEDx talk given by Stanton. The two videos give a beautiful introduction to Stanton’s work. 

GK

Snippets, Vignettes, Poetry, Eduardo Galeano and Ivo Andric

I haven’t updated the blog in a while, but I have been creatively productive. I have started writing a collection of vignettes from the lives of two characters.  Right now I am just focusing on writing the vignettes from different parts of their lives, and although the product is a series of snippets, there is reason to the madness and it I think that readers will be able to piece together the larger story from the vignettes.

While writing this, I have also been reading (not intentionally!) two books that are a series of vignettes. The first one is Espejos by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano (Translated as Mirrors: The Story of Almost Everyone). In the book, “Galeano retells the history of the world from the point of view of the powerless, the voiceless and the dispossessed…he presents his story as a series of short vignettes..”. I have read this book a while ago and recommended it to many. I’ve actually bought it on my recent trip to Madrid because it’s one of those books I just really wanted to own.

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The second book I’m reading is called Susret  (rough translation as Encounter) by the Yugoslavian writer Ivo Andric. I am absolutely loving this one because he writes about the same randomness that I find fascinating.  The vignette called Susret, or encounter, stuck out to me because he writes about how he feels the need to document someone’s smile, and how he doesn’t want the “story” of this smile to go undocumented.  Like Galeano, most of Andric’s vignettes in this book are about a page or so, with a few stories which are a bit longer. A lot of the vignettes served as jumping points to larger works of this Nobel winning writer.

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As for my own story which consists of vignettes, it is influenced by injustice, war, but also by friendship, love, goodness, and those with the fighting spirit to change things in their own different ways.  I took a poetry class earlier, but I didn’t think that poetry will ever be my main mode of writing. However, when I read some of my vignettes to a friend, she told me that a lot of my writing post-poetry workshops was very poetic. So I am very grateful for that experience.

Below is a snippet of the story. Still very rough and in need of a lot of editing (this one is pre-poetry), but these are the few lines that propelled the entire thing:

The paintbrush is soaked with vibrant red paint. It glides smoothly over the yellow already on the canvas, blends, and adds fire to the otherwise calm sunset sky. This is what I want to capture: the intense beauty of my sky, this sky covering the ruthless reality of my town. My hands, which to the humiliation and disappointment of my father are much more adept at maneuvering a paintbrush than a gun, are stained with hunter green, royal blue, mustard yellow. The mustard yellow of the houses in my painting, of my sister’s raggedy dress, and of the specks in her otherwise green eyes. 

The men are coming to our house to discuss the looming war. My stomach growls with hunger, but I stay on the roof with my canvas to avoid having to pass them.  I don’t understand this anger which is threatening to turn neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend. All sides are confused and too stubborn to admit it, so they puff up their chests and attack. That is what real men do, according to my father. They attack. They attack the enemy. They attack women and children.

I’ve never been the attacking kind. Most of my life has been spent defending myself…”

A Skype Session…

For those of you who are unaware, the members of this collaboration are currently spread throughout Ontario, making our initial group sessions a little harder to coordinate. So last night Goldie and I tried a new approach and decided to pull out a session through Skype. I think that we could be on to something here.

We each worked on our own projects while we discussed new ideas and projects for the collaboration. The big project that we are working towards is throwing our own version of “Smash the Park“. We are working out the details for now but we will post the final details as they are finalized.

My main work throughout the session was spending my time on a secret project and working away in my sketchbook. Here’s something that I can show you from that:

skype-sessionGoldie, however, was working on something very exciting for us as a group. Lately we have been working towards developing our own logo. Up until last night we only had some sketches and were throwing some ideas around. Last night throughout the session Goldie was working on starting the digital step in that process. We were able to talk back and forth about what we wanted, preferred, and liked about what we had. You can see the progress here.

We both said throughout the night how much we like the collaboration and feedback that we get out of these sessions. There are times that I like to work on my own, to have a project come out my way, but a lot of the time feedback forces you to step back and get a real good look at your work. Both of us were on a high after the session, so much potential and progress. We plan on doing these sessions more frequently now that we know how well they work and how effective they can be.

06 Status

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Hello Blog world. I hope you are keeping creative. What to say about the month of May? Well, its been nice and warm so I did some gardening. I have planted some tomatoes, strawberries, hot peppers, herbs, and flowers. My front yard is looking so nice that I have spent hours upon hours just chilling on my front porch. I have managed to drag my self away from my small but very homey garden to do some work. 

Before I get into what I have been up to in terms of my personal projects, I would like to give a blog update. You may have noticed that there was no Creative Resources post this Monday and last Monday. The reason for this is that we have decided to do one a month instead of one a week. This way we will have more time to tell you about our our own and collaborative projects. 

Updates on Past Personal Projects

09 Social Media Craze.

I attended my first Instameet this past month. An Instameet is basically a social photowalk gathering with a group of Instagramers. This particular one was organized by @IGToronto and it was amazing fun. It was great to meet so many of the people whose adventures I have been following and pictures I have been admiring. It was a great afternoon of chit chatting and taking pictures. The pictures taken at the event by all the Instaramers who attended can be found under #igtodoesdistillery. if you do not have Instagram click here to see the pictures.

10 Fire Hydrants

This collection is growing and growing and growing 🙂 I went back into my older vacation pics and pulled out a bunch of hydrant pictures. I have also been taking more pictures of hydrants around the city. I will update the Hydrant Gallery with those pictures this month.

Updates on New Personal Projects

11 Art Journal

You may recall Erin’s post about Art Journals a little while ago. Well it inspired me to start one. I have combined the journal with my city journal and named it “The book of me and the things that make me smile”. Perhaps a bit Cheesy, but the point of the journal is to put down whatever comes to your mind. I guess I was in a cheesy mood when I did my first entry. 

Now you may wonder what I mean with a city journal. I tend to collect business cards, write notes and keep certain paper memorabilia while I am on vacation. Each trip or city gets a new book. Its just nice to go back to and reminisce or give advice to friends who may be going to the same location at a later date. I recently wondered why I do not have a book for Toronto. I mean I live in the city but why not keep tack of the good restaurants, cafes, festivals ext.  that I go to. 

My art journal is about my adventures be it physical or creative. 

12 Pavilion for BIG on Bloor

I was approached to join a team who is working on a pavilion for the annual Bloor Street festival in Toronto. I have offered to help out with the management aspect of the project. Stay tuned for more detail on the project as it progresses. 

 13 Night Photography

Over the weekend I attended Exposure, Henry’s annual photography and video imaging exhibition. There were some very interesting seminars and some of the biggest names in camera and camera accessors manufacturers were there. I bought a long awaited tripod and am now ready and totally excited for some night photography sessions. Hopefully I will capture a few images worth sharing. 

GK