Friday, June 29, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I've recently taken it upon myself to promote reading and literature. Modern pop culture's focus has turned to Jersey Shore and Keeping up with the Kardashians as a means of entertainment and mental stimulation. Violent video games fill the attention spans of young adults instead of the pages of books. Cable television and smart phones are making people progressively stupider. Don't fall into the trend; Get your hand off the remote and get your head into a good book.
1. Don't view it as homework.
A huge setback is thinking of reading as a chore. Think of reading as going on an adventure even when the weather is crummy or you're stuck on the bus. When you're reading an article for school, you can view it as gaining a new perspective or learning about a situation that you wouldn't otherwise be familiarised with. Changing your viewpoint on reading is the first step; view it as something exciting instead of a time consuming task.
2. Find time to read.
Unless if you're working 3 jobs, going to school full time, and raising a kid, you probably have a bit of downtime when you can crack open a book or a newspaper. My personal favourite time of day to read is while at the bus stop or on the train. Read instead of flipping through your hundreds of cable channels. Read while you're sitting around on a Saturday night waiting for a boy to call. Read while on break at work or when your girlfriend is shoe shopping. Read instead of Facebook stalking people you hardly know or clicking through endless amounts of fashion blogs written by 19-year-old girls.
There. Now that we've cleared away some time for you to read, now to decide what to read. Head over to the library or, if you don't like reading books numerous other people have paged through or ate over, go to the bookstore. If you like poetry, head to the poetry section and start digging. If you like essays, choose a topic you're passionate about and find a book on it. If you like biographies, choose one about a person you're particularly fascinated or inspired by. A certain era in time may send you to the non-fiction category, or a childhood favourite might send you back for those Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys mysteries. Always remember, it's okay to start small. Don't jump for Faulker or Gogol if it doesn't interest you or if it'll be way over your head. This will only discourage you rather than delight you.
4. Talk about literature.
It helps to talk about what you read with other people. Form a bookclub if you like, or even just ask a friend about what they've been reading lately. Having debates over literature with other people will fuel your interest in the topic and lead you to want to read more, or read again. A friend who recently read The Great Gatsby inspired me to re-read it in order to have a more definite opinion on Daisy's character. A man who recently told me that rape certainly is not "normal" and the best way to deal with it was to take a gun to a rapist's head, gave me motivation to finish Transforming a Rape Culture so I can back up my own opinion on the normalcy of rape in our culture. Discussion with others creates motivation for reading.
5. Make recommendations, take recommendations.
Talking about literature will often open up the opportunity to make recommendations as well as recieve them. Making a recommendation will often lead to further discussion about the book or possibly inspire another person to be active about your cause. Accepting a recommendation may deepen your interest in the subject matter or lead you to discover a new title, genre, or author that you may have overlooked.
6. Take delight in literature.
Learning to love these new characters, new worlds, and new perspectives will lead you to take delight in literature and appreciate it as a form of entertainment or knowledge.
As part of transforming Urban Tease from a mindless fashion blog and more into a lifestyle blog to stimulate the creative mind, I will now feature weekly book reviews. Feel free to offer up recommendations to me and I hope that some of my future suggestions might inspire you to crack open a new book!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Birthday weekend has been spent almost entirely sleeping and blowing my nose. I came down with a sudden, violent illness on Thursday and thus, 19th birthday has been spent in bed. I managed to sneak out on Saturday night to get dinner with my best friend before she heads back up to university till August. It will be strangely lonely not having her just down the alley from me. We spent the evening at Moscow on the Hill eating chicken kiev and dark chocolate mousse. Oh, I do love the Russians!
As soon as the waitress set the chocolate mousse on the table and I saw the beautifully sugared cookie butterfly, I became one of those people who take photos of food and plaster them over the internet. It was short lived, but it was lovely (the mousse, not the obsessive food-photo-taking).
Friday, June 22, 2012
Although I made a comment in the last post about updating on my 19th birthday with a lecture about what I learned in the past year (I do love lecturing, don't I?), I have found myself with nothing to say (this is rather a new, strange thing). So instead, I've decided to share a few gems from the family archives. I just finished reading The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt (a birthday gift from my mother) and thought to share some photos of summer festivities from years past. I included captions from photos which featured them, but I've found that my past relatives were very bad with marking things, and if they did bother, their scribbles are illegible.
Some relatives or neighbours down the block from where I grew up.
"Musky Lake. July 1922."
My parents' cat Cinder.
Completely unknown & left up to interpretation.
My parents, accompanied by my aunt, on their wedding. September 1980.
My aunt and father camping in the mid sixties.
My father on another family camping trip with his pup Pepper. Note the Buddy Holly glasses.
Unknown couple in love on a haystack.
My grandfather Ray, accompanied by my mother, proudly pictured with his new grill.
My grandfather Raymond, the Star Chef wearing his Hot Dog Diggity apron.
"Taken while on a jubilee Oct 1 -1912, Slim Knopp, J. Brill"
Unknown and slightly mysterious postcard with impossible to read handwriting all over.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Carrie Jade is a 19-year old Fashion Communication (and former Photography) student at Ryerson University in Toronto. She likes the colour silver, Lana del Rey, eating sushi and red velvet cupcakes, and watching The Princess Bride. I asked her a few questions about her journey into photography and the inevitable mix of fashion within.
I think I got interested around 2007, between middle school and high school. I started joining art communities like DeviantArt, and the artwork on there was sort of a culture shock. They were so inspiring, and I really wanted to be a part of it. I took two photography courses in high school, and around that same time I started getting interested in fashion. Editorials in magazines like Teen Vogue and Nylon, and most importantly, Richard Avedon's work–truly inspiring, iconic photographs –really inspired me, so I kept at it with the intention of hoping to produce beautiful work like that one day.
I've never had a “niche,” so I wasn’t spending my time on or doing anything else. And it was cool, my friends thought it was cool. But I never take it too seriously. I think you lose the fun and spontaneity. I don't take myself seriously and try not to call myself a photographer unless it’s business related. I feel a little pretentious when I do. Everyone owns a camera now and calls themselves a photographer. It’s lost its substance, I think, and I don’t think I have “the” body of work to truly call myself that. Maybe one day!
To be honest, I also fall in and out of taking photos. I’m not consistent enough, or truly devoted enough. I can see that in my photos—not sure if others can—but I’m hoping that, by switching majors, I’ll get back a sort of creative freedom I lost when doing assignments for school. There’s something different about being inspired by other photographers and famous photographs, versus being inspired by fashion, culture, and other mediums of art. I prefer the latter; you compare yourself less and do work you really care about, that’s more reflective of you, rather than obsessing over who’s better or why you’re just “not good enough,” or doing it just as a way of proving to yourself and others that you actually can. That was my biggest problem during school this year, and it was a terrible feeling.
You work with a lot of Toronto-based designers for their look books and you also shoot for
Getting to incorporate both my interests into one! And it’s very inspiring. Fashion is something I care a lot about, so being able to use that in my art is very expressive of who I am as a person. Like everyone says, fashion is a form of art. So it’s kind of like a double pow-wow to get to mix two different forms of expression together.
What's been your favourite photoshoot that you've done?
Do you style for your own shoots?
Usually yes, though I don’t think they’re as inspiring as I would like them to be. Which is why my latest shoot is my favourite—I really took the styling as an important element of the shoot, and I loved the results. I’m hoping to continue doing so! Always looking to work with stylists and designers, though!
I would like to reflect my own style in my shoots, but I don't think I do. But now that I've gotten a pretty good handle on what I like in regards to my own personal style, I think it'll come across more.
My personal style is kind of all over the place, but I wear a lot of black and flow-y stuff. I’m sort of a nu-goth flower child, sans black lipstick. I love lace and that whole festival, hippie thing, with floppy hats and flower crowns. I live for maxis and crushed velvet. For the past fashion week, my colour palette was black, gray, burgundy and red velvet. It doesn't mean I don't love colour, though. I just have a hard time wearing it.
What would your dream shoot be? You can choose any model, location, etc.
A shoot with Boyd Holbrook. He was one of the first male models I became “aware” of, and years later I’m still not over him. He was so versatile and did some of my favourite editorials and campaigns. He’s doing more acting now, landing a supporting role in The Host (another Stephenie Meyer book-turned-movie that stars a bunch of my fav actors), which is sure to be a blockbuster. Maybe a fun, edgy editorial while he’s promoting that? Haha, I should get to building a solid portfolio, eh? Loved him in the recent History channel mini-series Hatfields & McCoys. He’s just so talented, it’d be very inspiring.
Where would you like your photography to progress to from this point? Model testing with agencies, to shoot their new faces. A small step, but hopefully that'll lead to magazine submissions, and published work! That would be a lot of fun. And just being more consistent in shooting and producing work I’m proud of. Consistency is really something I need to work on, and actually publishing/posting my work online. I’ve never regarded photography, or being a photographer, as a career, and I still don’t. But I love it, and always will, so I won’t stop doing it.