Influences and Origins

The other night, I came across a documentary about New York City photographer Ricky Powell (R.I.P.). Perhaps best known for his raw images of NYC personalities and the up and coming graffiti and hip hop scenes. Powell, was, amongst many artists whose art and images inspired me to pick up a camera and document the world around me. The documentary features many of the highs and lows while remaining focused and very interesting. Overall, it had me thinking about organizing, printing, and even attempting to display my work at a local gallery. With so many other, perhaps more important, tasks on my to do list. The reality that I don’t know anyone outside my immediate neighbors in the area. Chances are slim for any exhibitions. Still, I plan on consistently sharing my images on the internet and with anyone who’s willing. The image below was taken more than ten years ago when I lived and worked in Hoboken, New Jersey.

“How Do You Measure Success?”

Earlier this evening I was interviewed for a project a friend of mine is working on. As her small crew (two people) went about setting up and making me feel beautiful I had a pretty good idea of the line of questioning I was in for. The interview went pretty much as planned. Being that I was being interviewed by someone who looked as nervous as I felt relaxed me a bit and made me feel a lot less self conscious. Then came the question that just took the train right off the tracks, “How Do You Measure Success?”.  I sat there, reaching deep, like the scene in “A Bronx Tale” where Calogero is in the back seat of a stolen car with his friends and a case full of Molotov cocktails, “Someone was pulling the chain and I was going down the toilet.” Okay, so it wasn’t that bad but it was a question I felt needed the right answer. I stumbled and staggered for a moment before pulling myself from the abyss before referencing Henry Rollins and Ian McKaye as two individuals who became great successes both creatively and monetarily on their own terms.

In retrospect it was the easy answer. As I look back on my life I’ve had my share of successes and failures. I’ve cheated death a few times and fought back from what I was told to believe were insurmountable. Growing up I was taught to believe that success was gained by money and fame. It was a road I never really traveled. Regardless, I feel that I’ve experienced plenty of success in my life.  Part of that success comes from the fact that I love what I do. I love the people in my life. Both inspire, energize and influence the feeling that I did something right with my life and I treated people as I wanted to be treated. I’m living life on my own terms. Booyah!!!