Tag Archives: 100 str

Stranger 70/100 – Julio

Stranger-70–Julio.jpgStranger 70/100 – Julio

“Turn off your tech, and go outside and make love.”

Meet Julio.

“I’m currently an artist in residence at the McColl Center.”

What kind of art do you do? “My background is in illustration, and I’m self taught. As I come across new techniques and new materials, I typically work with other artists who have the skillsets to manipulate those materials to the specifications of my drawings.”

“I’m very much into pre-Columbian art… Mayan specifically. So I had this idea — what would Mayans have done if they had different techniques or tools or materials ? What if they were up north and they needed a headdress and could knit? What would their Mayan headdress look like? And so I met someone who does really good knitting and they were able to make my design.”

“A lot of the stuff I do is kind of identity-based I guess. So like looking into my Latin heritage. This other project I’m doing is based on Day of the Dead.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “My biggest challenge would be figuring out how to make the balance… do you work the corporate job and do the art? I’m getting married next year, and I’d like to have kids. Talking with some of the artists it’s like how do you support kids and live the life? How do you not sell out? Like does it even matter? So that’s the biggest challenge, but I think most people go through that in one way or another.”

What’s the difference between good art and bad art? “I’m not a good person to ask. I don’t like a lot of art. It’s like porn — you know it when you see it.”

Does art have to say something? Does art have to make a statement? Or can it just be what it is? “Good art usually does.”

Does it have to be intentional? “No, sometimes you can just have a little mistake you know? But I think it should say something even if it’s just to piss people off just for the sake of pissing people off and pushing buttons. Even at that level, you have enough thought to know the other side.”

If you could put up a billboard in Charlotte, what would it say? “Turn off your tech, and go outside and make love.”

Technical Notes: We were in a shady area, so I used a small reflector to bounce some light from below. I bumped up the color temperature a few notches to give the portrait a warmer feel.

 

Stranger 62/100 – Tyler

100 Strangers - TylerI ran into our next stranger while he was out getting ready to have lunch with his fiancé.

Meet Tyler.

Tyler is originally from the Northeast and has lived in Charlotte for about two years.

What kind of work do you do? “I work in technology.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Don’t rush. Take your time. Think things through. And don’t make decisions for anyone but yourself.”

Is that something you were always able to do? “Yeah, for the most part. It’s sort of a mantra.”

What is your biggest challenge? “Balancing the pursuit of success with happiness. That’s a really complicated one for a lot of people.”

Are they mutually exclusive? “Not necessarily. I think they’re very much related, and that’s where the balancing act comes into play.”

How would your friends describe you? “That depends which friend you ask… {laughs} but, mostly pretty outgoing, pretty easy going, definitely an oddball. Considerate and there when needed.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Respect yourself.”

And you don’t think people do that enough? “Not necessarily. Not in my experience.”

What would you do if you had a million dollars? “You’re assuming I don’t have a million dollars. {laughs}”

I am making an assumption, yes. It’s usually a pretty accurate one… {laughs} “If I had a million dollars, I would probably play with it, invest, maybe go on a vacation. Standard stuff, nothing drastic.”

Technical Notes: It was a sunny day, so we found a shaded area out of the direct sun. Tyler was lit from his left side by a bright reflection bouncing off a distant building. I used a reflector on his right side to even out the light.

Stranger 59/100 – Tony

100 Strangers - TonyOur next stranger works at a local coffee house. I approached him while he was playing Pokémon Go with a friend. “We did a couple of legendary raids…”

Meet Tony.

What do you do in your free time? “Hang out with friends mainly.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Keep your chin up. Everything’s going to be ok. It’s something I always tell myself when things get kind of hard.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Being an adult. {laughs}”

What’s the hardest thing about being an adult? “Just realizing that work is just like school. So I’m really doing the same thing I was doing as a kid… except now I get paid.”

What would you do if you had a million dollars? “I wouldn’t do anything different. Money’s not a big deal. It just means I have a lot more of it. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that I would do special.”

What are you goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “Just surviving. Keeping comfortable. No huge aspirations.”

What is your passion? “In between coffee and cartoons. Anything from kids cartoons to adult cartoons, Japanese Anime and just your average American cartoons.”

Technical Notes: This photo was taken in an open alleyway in front of a dark window. His friend was kind enough to hold the reflector for me to light Tony’s face more evenly.

Stranger 58/100 – Donnell

Stranger-58–Donnell.jpgOur next stranger is from New Jersey and was in Charlotte visiting some friends.

Meet Donnell.

What do you do in New Jersey? “Actually, I’m trying to go to this truck driving school.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Don’t judge and just go for it. Stop waiting. Don’t judge myself… the stuff I wear, my hair, skin color, personality. Just don’t judge. Just keep going man. If somebody says something different, don’t listen to them. If you believe it then you can do it. I would tell my younger self that.”

When you were younger, did you have trouble doing that? “In my head, it’s just like… can I really do it? I always wanted to be an actor, but I think… can I really do it? Nah, I don’t know because I always try to rush into things. But as I grow older… everybody move at their own different pace. Everybody just stay in their own lane. Your time will come.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Confidence. My biggest challenge is confidence… in myself. Sometimes I feel ugly. Sometimes I don’t want to go outside.”

What helps you get confident? “My nephews. They give me a whole different type of energy. I never expected it. Especially with kids… you can learn a lot from kids.”

What are your goals? “My short-term goal is to get my CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) and start working for myself. My other short-term goal is really saving $100,000. But my long term goal is becoming an entertainer, an actor, learning how to do great films, video… different things in the entertainment business.”

Technical Notes: I used a reflector to add more light to Donnell’s face.

Stranger 56/100 – Angie

100 Strangers - AngieOur next stranger asked me “what kind of photographer are you?” I replied, “a tall, thin, white one…”

Meet Angie.

What advice would you give your younger self? “I would tell my younger self to accept myself as is and to be your best self.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “A challenge for me right now is wanting to do and be good at so many things. I love variety, but sometimes if I start one task, I won’t always complete it because I’m on to the next. I think it’s great to wear many hats and be multifaceted, however, it’ll be hard to develop levels of expertise if you don’t dedicate your time to one craft. You’ll just be mediocre in many different things.”

What are your goals?  Where do you want to be in 10 years? “My long term objective is to be happy and spread love. By being happy, I mean self-fulfilled and at peace within myself.  Loving myself wholeheartedly and spreading love to the world. The world is in a lot of suffering right now. I just want to help heal.”

How would your friends describe you? “If you asked a different friend, you’ll receive a different answer. {laughs} I’m not really sure, hmmm… I’m going to say that I’m fun to be around, and I do what I want. {laughs}”

Technical Notes: This photo was taken with natural light using a reflector.

Stranger 53/100 – Bre

100 Strangers - BreWhat brings you to uptown? “Homework.”

Meet Bre.

“I have to write some reports on like International stuff, so I’m going to the Mint Museum. There’s a photography exhibit from Mexican artists. Just something local that I didn’t have to spend money for.”

What are you studying in school? “Accounting… nothing fun. I’m good with budgets.”

What do you do for fun? “I write… fiction and fan fiction.”

What genres do you like? “For fan fiction, I’m doing a lot of Sherlock right now.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Don’t be so afraid. It’s something I’m learning right now.”

What is your biggest challenge? “My anxiety… just being out, talking to people, doing stuff.”

What would you do if you had a million dollars? “Travel.”

Do you have a place in mind? “No, I just want to backpack. But, I want to be brave enough to backpack.”

How would your friends describe you? “A laugher I guess.   I laugh a lot. I like to make people laugh if I can.”

If you could put up a billboard, what would it say? “To thine own self be true. Just be yourself, and if that’s hard then learn to make it easy I guess. Love yourself.”

Do you follow that rule? “I try. I’m learning to right now. That’s what my playlist is… female singers who are all about loving themselves.”

Technical Notes: This photo was taken in an open alleyway in front of a dark window. Bre kindly helped me hold a reflector to brighten up her face.

Stranger 52/100 – Sparkplug

Stranger-52–Sparkplug.jpgOur next stranger is a fire-breathing clown who was uptown getting a permit from the fire marshal for an upcoming show.

Meet Sparkplug.

“I’ve been performing with fire for five years. I’ve been a third generation sideshow performer most of my life. I’m 37… it’s safe to say I’ve been entertaining for at least 27 years.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “I would remind my younger self to be patient. My impatience caused a lot of my own frustration. If I would have just sat back and enjoyed the time as it passed, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more. In my older age I have learned to kind of shut my mouth but open my ears a little more. Someone told me ‘To show patience is to move gracefully through time’.”

What is your biggest challenge? “I am my own worst enemy, you know. I’ve just kind of got to remind my self to just kind of chill out and relax. I’m a clown, but sometimes I take myself too seriously. Sometimes I take everything too seriously.”

What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have about clowns? “Oh, wow! The biggest misconception about clowns is that we want to steal your kids. Personally, I don’t even like children. I’m not that kind of clown. I do adult parties. With the popularity of Stephen King’s IT and American Horror Story… and there’s a legitimate fear called coulrophobia, which is the fear of clowns. With those things resurging in popular view, it’s kind of put a negative stigma on clowning.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “In ten years what I would love to do is to have a traveling circus with a cast and crew of people that I trust and love dearly. We can travel around and remind the world how great and entertaining this place can be. Once we have a full run and kind of tire out the tour buses, I’d like to setup a circus school and kind of teach the next generation how to keep this culture alive and how to entertain the masses. That’s the grand scheme. We’ll see how it goes.”

Technical Notes: We were in a bright area with the sun reflecting strongly off a nearby building. I used a reflector to try to even out the light. This is my first portrait with my new 85mm lens.