Tag Archives: love

Stranger 75/100 – Julien

100 Strangers - JulienStranger 75/100 – Julien

“Love one another and maintain.”

Meet Julien.

What are you doing uptown? “Just chilling before I go to work. I went to go like meditate for a second. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sounds of nature.”

So do you meditate everyday? “I used to. I might get back to the swing of things.”

Meditation is one of those things that everybody aspires to do, but most people don’t. “Yeah. {laughs}. Most people don’t.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “Stick to yourself.”

What is your biggest challenge right now? “Just getting back on the good foot. To get equilibrium.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in 10 years? “Maybe I’ll have sold a bunch of music. Have a good life. At least maybe I have my own house to share with my son.”

What kind of music do you make? “I do rap, rock and R&B. I even like some electro-funk kind of thing. I just work by myself. I write music… I’ve wrote like 320 records. Yeah, I wrote a lot of songs.”

“I’m not necessarily going for like a gimmick in music. I don’t want to be limited to doing one thing. I want to do all things. I want to be into like rock. I want to do R&B. I want to be in soul music. I want to be able to do rap music. I want to do different genres within rap music. I don’t want to only do one kind of thing. That’s boring and bland.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Love one another and maintain.”

Technical Notes: We were under an overhang near the side entrance of a bank. Julien was lit from his left side and I used a reflector to even out the light on his face.

Stranger 73/100 – Joél

Stranger-73–Joel.jpgStranger 73/100 – Joél

“Love more. That’s a universal message that I think people just need to hear and to practice.”

Meet Joél.

What advice would you give to your younger self? “To find your passion and go after it and don’t be scared to take a risk. Take the risks, make the jump, make the connections, meet new people. Do the things that you’re afraid to do.”

What are your biggest challenges right now? “My biggest challenge right now is balancing this corporate career that I’ve built over the last ten, twelve years, maintaining it as well as balancing my creativity, being and artist and not suppressing that art and not suppressing my passion. Being able to fulfill both at the same time. It’s not easy.”

I asked Joél about the conundrum of working a full time job and doing art on the side vs. pursuing art full time. “I like to be able to do what I want when I need to do it. As a citizen in this society, everything costs. To be an artist costs… if it doesn’t cost you, it’s going to cost someone else. So, I figure why not me absorb the cost and I can do things at my own pace. I can do things on my own time. I can do things at will if I have my own resources and if I have my own assets. And I won’t need sponsorships and I won’t need to wait for the go.”

And you won’t need to sell out or compromise your art… “Exactly. It’s a balance that I’ve come to be comfortable with. I’m totally fine with not being a starving artist. I’m totally fine being the working artist who has an office job and I have my fashion line.”

Where do you want to be in ten years? “In then years I see myself successfully running my fashion line… maybe not at a global scale, but like just successfully running it. Producing stuff that people want, producing stuff that I want and just making my impact in a small way. And even if I’m still working corporate, it’s a win-win situation for me.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it way? “I would tell people to just love more. Love more. Simply that. Love more. That’s a universal message that I think people just need to hear and to practice.”

Technical Notes: It was a bright day, so we moved to a shadier area to avoid any harsh lighting. I used a reflector to brighten up Joél‘s face.

Stranger 65/100 – Jessie

100 Strangers - JessieWhat brings you uptown? “Painting.”

Meet Jessie.

“Yeah, I used to paint a lot of people. I used to paint a lot of trees and stuff. I really want to be an architect, but they do a lot of computer work, so I don’t like that fact. I would rather take the same aspect of the buildings and put it into my artwork. You can tell just by the lines that it’s architectural.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? “{laughs} Probably to not lose focus of my goals. Because there’s a lot of times where… people would tell me… doing other things are more important than doing your artwork. Art is always important to me, so I always feel like never give up. Which I never lost it… I just sometimes lost focus.”

What is your biggest challenge? “Now my biggest challenge is challenging myself. Finding new things to challenge myself is a challenge because I feel like I’ve conquered a lot of things. I can pretty much draw anything, so it’s like I want something to challenge me always.”

“Right now, this (current painting of the Hearst Tower) is pretty challenging because of the dimensions especially this right here (the front steps) is kicking my ass… just this… just because it’s circular. You have to add the characteristics to make it look like it’s circular but also squared with the background. This right here is challenging.”

What are your goals? Where do you want to be in ten years? “My goal would be not to lose focus and to go somewhere with it in a way. Or at least be able to do what I do comfortably everyday. That would be my goal. Not even being rich or like successful but just knowing that I’m comfortable where I’m at, so that way I can always do my artwork without having to worry about anything.”

What do you worry about now? “Nothing really. I don’t really worry much. That’s why I live my life how I do now. I just come out and paint and just hang out.”

If you could put a billboard up in Charlotte, what would it say? “Spread love. That will be a big sign especially in Charlotte because I don’t like negativity. I feel like if you’re going to do anything, I would spread love, not negativity. Don’t be a hateful person. Be more of a loving person. That way everyone would get the message to love more and hate less.”

Technical Notes: It was an overcast day with very flat light. I used a reflector to draw more light to Jessie’s face.