Private Eyes

"You play with words you play with love
You can twist it around baby that ain't enough
'Cause girl I'm gonna know
If you're letting me in or letting me go
Don't lie when you're hurting inside
'Cause you can't escape my

Private eyes
They're watching you
They see your every move"

One of my favorite shoots to date. Julia and I always have such fun creating together. She always brings so much positive energy and artistic viewing to the table and is always down to do anything. I was so excited to create this with her.

Model: @juliafae

My IG: @alexandrajane21_photo

Lyrics from the song cover Private Eyes by Lenachka

 

Excuse Me While Go Into My Cocoon Phase.

It is now October. Most people view this month as a time for horror movies, dressing up, pumpkin flavored everything, and pretending to be witches or Morticia Addams. It is the month of the Harvest Moon, or the Dying Moon. Mother Nature is letting go of her life for the year and she's exploding with color. The weather becomes cooler and the mood of everyone is either excitement or disappointment. 

For me, October is the month where I cocoon. It is the month before my birthday. The month before I rebirth. For the past year I have grown, succeeded, failed, worked my ass off, been hurt, felt loved. My body, like Mother Earth, has reached the time where I must go into my hole in the ground and hibernate like the bear I am. It is not until November that I will awaken as the newly energized Alexandra, ready to start another year of butt kicking. 

October is spent recuperating, and recharging. It is my lazy month, my time to relax. I pushed myself a lot this year, maybe too much at times, and it is time to allow my body the time it needs to breathe and remember its power. The child within is crying out, she needs to be loved. 

I am allowing myself to slow down on projects, on shooting. Instead of four- eight shoots a week, I give myself permission to bring it down to only a few a week. I allow myself to sleep as much as possible, to give my body the rest it desperately needs. I will say no a lot this month. I do not have to anything I do not wish to. I will do more by candlelight. Shower, read, rest, draw, edit, etc. Candlelight recharges me and doing chores and hobbies by the light of fire is calming. I will soak in baths more and drink twice as much water. My element is water, I need to engulf myself in it in order to awaken refreshed. I will do more meditation and yoga, allowing my mind to be at peace so that I may stay grounded. I will pray and read my scriptures, so that I may connect with my God more often. I will say so long to toxic relationships and those that hurt me, to make room for the love that will come my way.

October is the Dying Month, where my old self can go to rest and my new spirit will rise like a phoenix from the ashes where it will be at its peak strength in the coming month and year.

Happy October, lovelies. May you find a way to say goodbye to what is dead or dying, to make space in your lives for what makes you feel alive.

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Photos by me, @alexandrajane21

Julia Fae

I remember this day with Julia so well. We talked and talked abut life and the universe and nature and magic and spirit animals. I followed her around taking photos of her pouncing among flowers and climbing trees barefoot. She is a genuinely kind soul and her heart is pure of love. It was a gorgeous day of sitting in nature and breathing in fresh air. 

Follow her on IG: @juliafae

Follow me on IG: @alexandrajane21

Feeling Jealous in the Industry.

I've been talking to quite a few friends about this topic. It surprised me how many of my friends and I struggle with jealousy. Being jealous is of course normal for everyone. It is an extremely common emotion. Yet, it is incredibly unhealthy.

In the industry of modeling, photography, makeup, ect., there is so much competition. There are so many people that the art of posing or holding a camera has become over-saturated. We are each constantly comparing ourselves to this person, or that person. We want to be better than them, or be as good as them. So often do we hate to see others succeed higher than us. When someone else in our same realm of art gets a paid job, works with someone on a higher level of talent, gets a new camera, lens, or makeup brush we've been dying for, and so on, that little green monster comes up from behind and turns us bitter. We get angry that that person is doing well while we seem to be struggling. Maybe you are not booking paid jobs. Perhaps you seem to be plateauing with your abilities and you are not sure how to get better. Maybe you are having a creative block (read my last blog post on creative blocks) and your ideas are just hitting dead ends. And while you seem to be at a stand still with your work, someone else looks like they are climbing that ladder of success faster than what you consider "fair". 

One of my biggest envies in the photography world has stemmed from people being able to afford better equipment such as new lenses or computers. Due to not being able to work, I have not been able to purchase a new lens or a new laptop that I desperately need. I recently found out two of my friends got new lenses and I remember calling my mum and crying to her about how jealous I was and how I don't understand why people won't pay me for shoots so I can afford what I need. I was admittedly being a baby but at the time I felt so justified!! 

Another jealousy I struggle with is being unable to drive my vehicle so that models and photographers would be more inclined to work with me. I see people driving all over the state, taking random photos on road trips to beautiful destinations. Seeing others have the adventurous life I crave so badly sparks this immensely unhealthy bitterness in me. Medical issues have stumped my growth to a slow crawl at times in this industry. I get so envious of those that are able to just jump in their cars, drive away, hike up mountains, etc., all to take gorgeous photos of gorgeous people. I remember spending so much time begging people to take me with them, even though I could not contribute to gas money for lack of any income in turn causing them to go off without me. I would get so emotional and angry, feeling that again, I was completely justified in feeling the way I did. 

Sometimes I remember looking through someone else's work and wondering why the hell I was not as good as them. Why was I not known like them? Why was I not as popular? She just has a pretty face. She's just skinnier than me. She's not a model, she'll just get naked for photographers. He won't shoot me because I won't get naked. He/she is more popular than me because they met the right person at the right time. He/she is getting paid more often than me just because they can drive. They get paid jobs because I just SUCK. I am awful. They don't deserve to be successful when I work as hard as I do yet I am so low on the ladder. I'm nothing. I'm worthless. I have no talent.

Your thoughts spiral out of control. Jealousy makes you irrational and often even mean. It rips you apart. I cannot even express the amount of time I have wasted on comparing myself to others in this industry and spent my life feeling jealous instead of getting off my sorry ass and getting to work. The time I spent worrying about other people's success and talents could have been spent on improving my own talents and my own success. 

When I finally sat down and thought about it, it hit me; Seriously, look how far I have come! Yeah, I don't have a new fancy computer or a fancy camera. Sure I cannot drive right now. Sure I do not have a typical Utah look. 

BUT MY FREAKING HELL.

In just over a year and a half my talent has grown to a level I didn't think it would be at for years. People I have looked up to for a long time have been contacting me wanting to collaborate and follow my work. My style of work is becoming more accepted here in Utah because I stuck to who I was and didn't follow the crowd. I am making more money lately than I expected. Models and photographers I didn't even know knew of my existence are asking to work with me now. I am doing GOOD. And I am only going to get better.

You see, it's when I stopped trying so hard to have what others have, that I was able to appreciate who I, Alexandra, am and where I am in my journey.

I was able to recognize all the talents and blessings and qualities that I have inside myself. I was able to see that I AM succeeding. I AM talented. I AM worth it. 

Jealousy in this industry is so common, but it is SO unhealthy. It is time consuming. Instead of wasting your time feeling bitter towards others in the industry, pick yourself off your couch, get off social media, and go out and freaking create. Stop sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. It is ugly and no one likes that. People don't admire and look up to people that don't pay attention to petty things.

People admire people that just create and share their art with the world with a smile on their face.

Let go of anger, bitterness, and envy. Go out there and focus on your own success. You are doing better than you think you are.

 

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Photos of @juliafae shot by me

You Are Not As Creative As You Want To Be?

Everyone has been there.

You want to create something beautiful, something spectacular. Photography, painting, drawing, writing, crafting, etc. You know what you want to be good at or what you are already good at but there is that void in your mind where ideas used to be. You scroll through tumblr and Pinterest searching for any source of inspiration. You gaze upon your peers' work, feeling jealous of their talents and their ability to spew out gorgeous pieces of art or literature as if it comes easy to them.

What you forget is, EVERYONE goes through this.

So how do each of us get a handle on our creative blocks so that we can start making art again?

You need to stop being a broken record. We all have our own little ways of doing things. But when you start off every project the same way before you are even aware of it all your pieces start to look too similar and your work begins to lack any life. Your art becomes boring and repetitive. Whether you are using the same poses for a model, the same lighting tricks, the same outline for a poem or story, what have you, it becomes a lack luster affair of comfort zones. You need to force yourself to take a big step back and study that safety net of tricks you have locked yourself into.  When you step over that line and venture into new ways of making art, you will notice your work coming back from the dead.

You need to realize that the world is not constantly watching you, nor does it really care. When you do have this amazing idea, you get excited, and head to the drawing board to sketch and write out exactly what you are thinking. As your excitement grows, a prickle of darkness enters your mind saying, "But what will everyone think of this? Do you really think this idea will make a difference? Do you really think people will look at this idea and like it?" And then you do something extremely stupid: you listen to that voice. Your excitement starts to wane and your spirits falter. Your big idea starts to feel fuzzy in your head as your self confidence shrivels at the thought of putting so much work into something that no one will like. Funny thing is, you haven't even shown the piece to anyone yet so you have no clue what people would think. Another thing, art is for you, not anyone else. As much as you think the world gives two shits about your art, it doesn't. People see art, take it in, and move on. Opinions of the world do not matter. What matters, is what you are needing to create.

Instead of getting inspired by other artists, you choose to copy them and that needs to stop. There is a huge difference between being inspired and copying someone. Finding a picture on Pinterest or tumblr and posting it on Facebook saying, "I want to recreate this shot!" and then trying to duplicate the picture is not creative and it is not art. Being afraid to try out your own ideas and opting to just copy other work is stunting your growth and creativity. People do not look up to people who just recreates overdone pieces of art. People look up to people who are not scared to try something new, even if it fails.

Stop overthinking every single little thing you do. Creating should come naturally and it should be fun. The more you think about the project you are trying to accomplish, the harder it will be to make it a successful piece of art. Putting stress on yourself about creating is not helping you create. Stop thinking, stop second guessing, it is causing you to fail. Go with the flow, let yourself go.

Be more risky. Along with not being a broken record, the opposite would be to be more risky and try new things. Some of my best photos have been when I stepped outside my comfort zone and decided to try that weird idea that doesn't make sense but could maybe turn out good. And sometimes, it ended up looking dumb and didn't work right. But other times, because I chose to go outside the line and try something strange, it became one of my most popular photos. Take risks, you never know what will come out of it.

Get out more. Sometimes I find that the best way to get my juices flowing is to get outside my damn house. Going up into the mountains, going to a coffee shop, taking a walk in the city at night, going on a drive into a new town or landscape, breathing in new air. Getting outside the confinements of your home or work gets certain chemicals in your brain pumping and can get you looking forward to new things. A lot of times my best ideas come from getting outside my normal habitat.

Stop thinking about who you are trying to impress and instead focus on why you got into art in the first place. There are times when I look at my art and think, "I hope so and so likes this" or "I wonder what so and so will think of this." I get caught up in who I am trying to make art for, instead of remembering why I began creating. I stopped doing art for me, and began doing it for other people's acceptance. It stumped my creative flow. I could not think of what to create next. It was not until I remembered that I did art for therapy, for me, that I began to grow again.

Get out of your safety net of people. Yeah, it's true, it is good to hang out with people that are similar to us. But living a creative life can get tough when you are constantly surrounded by people too much like you, do the same sort of creative work as you, etc. You are around nothing new. When you reach out into other social circles you can have your eyes opened to new ways of thinking and creating. Say you and your friends are all into water colors. All you guys know is how to make a perfect watercolor painting. But you are stumped. You want to grow but do not know how. Then you meet this man who specializes in oil painting. You are completely intrigued and end up bringing oils into your art. Your other friends are interested as well, and ask you to teach them what you have learned. You were able to grow in your art by stepping out and hanging out with someone different than you. You allowed yourself to be open to learning something new. Friends who are like you are great. But sometimes in order to grow you need to introduce yourself to someone new that you cannot relate to as much.

Need a break? Take one. I suffer with this above everything else. I never know when to take a couple days off and recuperate. But it kills creativity! You need to allow your body and brain rest in order to think clearly to get those ideas healthily pushed out. Give yourself multiple breaks throughout your life as an artist. It is a must to healthy.

Having creative blocks is common for everyone. But it is possible to overcome and possible to avoid! Take the time to observe the reasons you are not succeeding in the ways you wish you were. When you are able to recognize your issues, you can then take action to get rid of them.

Photos by me.

Follow me on IG! @alexandrajane21 and @allie.bienvenue.photo

Random Depression Rambling.

I have been going through an unfortunate spurt of depression as of late. It has caused me to barely edit or eat. My mind wants to accomplish a lot but my body is heavy and worn. I spent yesterday lying in a ball on my floor for over six hours staring at my wall. I have not been this depressed in quite some time. I know there are thoughts in my head that I need to work through. It is okay to feel down sometimes. But I am at the point where I am just like, "Okay, Alexandra. You've felt sad for awhile. You need to knock it off now, it is getting annoying." 

The light outside is beautiful right now and my normal self would be dying to get out and shoot in it. My depressed self however is like, "Screw that, that is the last thing I want to do." 

I feel completely useless right now. Ugh, Alexandra quit this negative self talk! 

Okay, I am going to make a list of things I am grateful for right now. I am just rambling about life sucking so I need to force myself to be positive. Alright here goes.

  • I have a freaking roof over my head
  • I don't have much food but I am not going to die of starvation
  • I painted for the first time in about a year yesterday
  • I got a last minute visit from my Relief Society President
  • I had a damn good cup of tea today
  • I've drunk two water bottles so far which is more than I have been drinking the past few days
  • I got a lot of shoots done successfully
  • I got myself to shower today which was a big accomplishment
  • I know God loves me and I know that I have many people in my life who love me
  • I have air conditioning which a lot of people don't
  • My apartment is filled with beautiful roses right now
  • I am burning some great smelling incense right now
  • I got some editing done today even though I have not been motivated to do much
  • I am alive

Good. I did it. I named off quite a few great things about my life right now, even if some of them were small and lame. 

Depression sucks, people. But goodness, I am going to get through it. I got too much crap to do in this life to let a disorder control my happiness so much. If you have depression, you are not alone. You are loved and you can do this. 

YOU CAN DO THIS.

Photos by me: @alexandrajane21

The Power of Vulnerability

Being human is beautiful. I cherish the capability I have to cry and to express emotions. People call me emotional, intensely emotional. I take it as a compliment. I have the ability to be real, to be vulnerable. But not everyone looks at vulnerability as a positive thing.

I am determined to change that outlook on people similar to me. 

Allowing yourself to be sensitive and vulnerable is a strength. It is not a weakness as we have been preconceived to believe. Some of the best people I have ever known are those that have allowed their emotions to finally take over and change them. Being human is the ultimate way to transform yourself into a better, more healthy you. Hiding your thoughts and feelings is unhealthy and you are more likely to confuse yourself and who you really are because you bottle up all the emotions that make you a real and raw individual. 

I think especially for women, we are more prone to hide our human, beautiful selves. We wear masks, trying to convince the world, and ourselves, that we are perfect. That somehow being emotional means we are dramatic or bitchy or babies. We are conditioned to fear that being human is a flaw. 

It is absolutely not true.

Deep down inside all of us we have an inner child. The Child Within. That Child is our true selves. He or She encompasses who we really are and who we are meant to become. This Child needs nourishment, care, and love. Neglecting your Child Within destroys your happiness and health. Taking care of this Child is granting yourself permission to open up to the world and be real and vulnerable. Sure, this is a scary endeavor, but in doing so you are also giving yourself the gift of being healthy. 

Healthiness is power.

Being healthy is not just about exercise and what you eat. It is also about your mind. What you say and do and think. 

I want to set an example to each one of you that being a vulnerable human being, a warrior goddess, is a strength and an indestructible power. Being vulnerable is one of the most intimidating traits to possess, because people who do not fear showing their deepest selves, their Child Within... those individuals fear nothing.

Photos of @marleekayy shot by me.

Follow me on IG: @alexandrajane21 and @allie.bienvenue.photo