Job one: Photographer and Videographer
Being a photographer allows for so much creativity and exploration. For the past 5 years I have gotten more and more invested into photography and videography and am inspired to continue that growth. I am starting to achieve this life everyday but constantly creating, capturing moments, and thinking about new ideas and places to go. With that I will learn more about this field and can continue to improve. As a picture perfect dream life I would imagine myself having the ability to travel around to different cultures, communities, places and capturing the big and small moments that make up each place; send a message out to the world that has yet to be discovered or talked about. I would love to be working with either an adventure lifestyle like surfing, skating, hiking, etc. Or pursuing something that does send out a greater message like helping the environment or bettering a community somewhere.
Job Two: business owner of yoga studio and juice bar
Yoga has been something that I've been grounded in ever since the transition from moving away from home. It's been something that’s secure for me and that I’ve found personal growth in, so I now want to give back what I’ve experienced and share with others. Let others find personal acceptance and growth in their own ways. By doing so I want to open up my own yoga studio along with a juice bar that is entirely vegan. Veganism is another thing that I have found love within and that has truly shaped me into the person I am today. Sometimes it can be challenging finding places that is completely cruelty free while still giving nutrients to the body, so this is just the place I want to create. To do this I will complete my yoga certification class and begin practicing and putting myself out there to teach at other studios and then work my way up. I will also become more educated with nutrition and juicing to gain the right knowledge needed to provide for others.
Job Three: Creator of ethical clothing brand
The world of fast fashion is overpowering. Companies producing and selling clothes at incomprehensible rates and those workers get paid near nothing, not to mention the horrible effects it takes on the environment. From manufacturing pollution to items of clothing getting dumped to landfill - it is outrageous. To combat this small companies, like the one I aspire to make, create ethical clothing from recycled and eco friendly products that are produced by quality staff that get paid fairly. I want to create a brand that feels like a family and gives out love to those who support. My ideas are simple neutral color clothing that are very flowy and comfortable. I would also like to release my own line of yoga wear and surf wear. I think it's important for women to comfortable with who they are in what they wear. I will do this by taking classes based upon making the garments themselves in a eco friendly way. Then will start opening up my own business to sell the items that myself and others create.
Artist: Jillian Thompson
Exhibition: Sista Sista
Media: Ceramics, Glass, Mixed-Media, Installation
Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Jillian Thompson is a second year working towards her MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing. She just recently moved to California about a year ago and oddly enough she transferred from Grand Valley University in Michigan, which is 10 minutes away from my hometown. She originally wanted to go into graphic design to make hip hop album covers, but then she learned that the demographic of the school wasn’t a good fit for her. Then she took a ceramics and jewelry class at the same time and discovered her love for creating jewelry and working with metals that were very forgiving. She's always had a fascination with LA, especially by growing up with LA hip hop, specifically Long Beach hip hop is very significant in her life. Thompson found a great community based upon her culture that she didn’t get to experience living in west Michigan, but did grow up with it when she lived in Detroit. Jillian stated that, “the art black community is very strong here, stronger than New York, Atlanta, and that is why she chooses to stay here. She now makes and sells her own jewelry and is building her connections and working to get picked up by a gallery or have her jewelry in museums.
Jillian's space was centered around a great big sculpture that consisted of old wood planks that were supported by bricks of cement. The wood was covered in painted designs and had ceramic statues on top. Then hanging above the sculpture was weaves of hair mixed with some jewelry. Then surrounding the gallery was mixed media pieces that consisted of magazine clippings, printmaking images, hair, and jewelry. She used mainly bold colors on a white backdrop.
The exhibition, Sista Sista is the idea of having a safe place for their work to explore freely. It truly relates back to the principle of being a black womyn in today's society and living with the remarks of what others say and how they act around them. For their mixed media pieces with magazine clippings and quotes that have been said to them or have read and heard. Quotes such as “Nice hair aint cheap hair” and “I didn’t have time or energy to go deeper into the problematic history of racist petting zoos.” They got their ideas based off of feelings and past experiences that have built up. They included the hair to show what it's like to braid then unbraided their hair and how that feels living with that. Jillian said that they created this work to emphasize that they are no different to anyone else.
I think it is very inspiring to see young women create this art with such a powerful message. I love how in the description of her work she decided to change the spelling of women to “womyn” just so the word “men” is not included. It shows a very feminist aspect from the start along with the name of the exhibition. This gallery caught my eye and new there was something special about it and come to find out that I would connect with the artist and relate back to a place of my past home. I absolutely love the how she included pieces of hair extensions and weaves because to me I've felt like it has had a bad connotation to it, but now it is all about embracing it and her art brings that concept to life.
Plaster casting in the sand was something that I have never heard of before but is a very creative project to get art and the beach involved. On the day we went it was unfortunately a very cold a windy day at the beach but it was still manageable. We began by digging our holes and then burying each one of our hands to create a shape for the mold. Then we quickly mixed the plaster with water, however at first we did not mix the right ratio. We did a 1:1 ratio whereas we should have done a 2:1, so we added another container of plater and poured it in as quick as possible. Then after waiting 30 minutes we revealed our molds that had hardened and found that they really didn’t look anything like a hand. More less a piece of coral, which of course is still a cool final product. What went wrong was most likely the thickness of the plaster. It was already starting to harden as we were pouring it in so it was hard for it to mold to the shape of a hand.
This experience was still very cool to be because it was a chance to work together and ask for help from other students as well. Also during the 30 minutes of waiting my partner and I decided to go around the beach and collect trash. There are huge amounts of litter that collect in the ocean and spilling out from ships and even gathering a simple trash bag makes a big difference. Something needed to be down and it's not a time to wait on someone else to do it. We must make it happen.
Artist: Vivian Torres
Exhibition: Fuerza A Duo Painting Exhibition
Media: Canvas, acrlyic
Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Vivian Torres is just beginning her journey as an artist by soon graduating from College of the Arts specifically the drawing and painting program. She is apart of the BFA program as well, so she will be preparing more paintings projects for the upcoming senior show. Torres explores the ideas of feminism through her abstract pieces. When she first came to CSULB she took a women's and gender studies class which ultimately inspired her to dive deeper into the empowerment of women.
Torres used a color scheme of warm tones such as pinks, purples, and blues to portray feminity. She uses acrylic on canvas to display her vision. To get the shape of her pieces she starts by draping multiple sheets on herself and photographs them to have flow throughout her work. Even though it is abstract she still creates leading lines that allow the eye to follow smoothly across the whole painting. Torres stated that since she uses fabrics as her inspiration that she wants to incorporate that into her future fabrics by possibly draping some fabric over the cavanas while mixing it with the painting. She did however, use some stitching on one of the smaller paintings which did add a unique element of texture.
Her pieces represent and explores the characteristic of feminism. Women can dance in the ideals of society. They flow with the way of life and what combats them. That’s why she uses the drapes to get the idea of flowiness across. To Torres it’s important that both male and female are these concepts to open their eyes and her art is a form to send the message out.
Torres art is very symbolic to the ideas of feminism because in my eyes they contain figures of women. Whether that be up close and just the face or the whole body. It is empowerment. I think her work is very compelling and makes you take a second to stop and observe what her paintings reveal. Her message will be always prevalent in present past and future because the women’s movement will always be there. It’s encouraging seeing women empower other women and strive for growth, so having a represent of that on campus is a beautiful thing.