Maybe Just like you...
For the longest time I was looking for opportunities to collaborate with other artists. A lot of time I am contacted by artist and we will plan for a while and then they eventually fall off. Needless to say when Asia contacted me just over a year ago, I was sure if we would actually get anything together or if it was just another instance of great ideas and no follow through on either end.
Let me tell you, Asia has no intentions of letting that happen. In fact in the process of planning we've become better friends than I can really say in reference to most people that I have met as a result of being an artist. We've spent the last year talking about life, plotting moves artistically and sharing almost every drop of inspiration we could find with one another.
I saw something different in her from he beginning and the one thing she's always expressed to me is that she saw that difference in me. Our goal has always been to create pieces that make people feel something, but that ultimately make them think. We've got more projects development than I could ever really share with anyone, but each one has their place & their very own purpose. I know I'm blessed to be able to call Asia friend, we've grown so much as artists & friends. I've been so excited about this set for two reasons. First it signified my return to New York, I love shooting there. Second for me it signifies a new season, a new wave as it were. To be honest we've both gone through phase of being nervous about this session, we didn't want to fall short of creating something great.
As an artist one of the major hurdles you consistently find yourself needing to clear is convincing yourself that you have what it takes to create something that will resonate with somebody. I can honestly say that in working with Asia, I made the conscious decision to approach this session from an alternative angle. I usually go for more sharp, light, and detail oriented feel. For this set, I wanted what was unseen to tell a story, but more importantly I wanted what could be seen to make the viewer feel something.
I aimed to pull out of Asia that raw emotion that we spent a year writing about and brainstorming ways to make it as real as the moment she felt those feelings. When you (the viewer) looks at the images my hope is that you don't just see some great photos, but that you are impressed to take time to really express what came to mind first when you saw the look in Asia's eyes or her body language.
We look at this session as a beginning point, it is also a signal of a new direction for my work, it's me proving to those who don't believe that I can really do this or that I should treat it as a hobby, that not only are they wrong, but that I'm more focused than ever. All I'll say is this, I have some things ready for you all that will surprise a lot of you. As I mentioned this series was a complete collaboration, so now I want to present an original piece written by Asia specifically for this series, entitled: Maybe, Just Like you...
Maybe, just like you.
Maybe, she had an aspiration for life that no one understood.
Maybe, she didn’t care to be understood, only felt on a higher vibration with herself.
Maybe, she often spent time in the mirror recognizing she had gained weight, subconsciously speaking in places she didn’t like to look at.
Maybe, the weight had came from the stress, to fit into societies perception of her.
Maybe, she saw nothing but labels and felt which label shall i be categorized in?
Maybe, she knew being herself is a gift and curse, what person to you is so pure?
Maybe, purity in a sense that was so innocent, she had nothing but innocence speaking from her spirit.
Maybe, she cried herself to sleep at night, feeling unlovable at times, trapped, isolated. No matter what she knew, she had the soul of an introvert, there is no fighting that.
Maybe, she knew she’s always in here feeling and shit, but so what?
Who are you to judge how she felt with her inner self.
Maybe, she finally became comfortable in her own skin, for once owning and flaunting her shit.
Maybe, she spent years not realizing she been her own shadow.
Growing up, feeling like she had to ignore and deny herself of her own beauty and uniqueness, just to make others feel better about themselves.
Maybe, she knows she’d never be accepted and that was OK with her.
She found self love, she found acceptance and decided to create her own destiny.
She became the author of her story.
Everyone else became the critics.
She has so much confidence in this shit.
This shit is her way of gravitating towards you.
This is how she copes, this is how she heals, this is how she laughs, this is how she grows.
Maybe, each experience she had been through brought her here.
Maybe, each step, each tear, each smile, taught her to embrace the person she has become today.
Don't get me wrong she is oh so still human.
Maybe, it took her years to accept this person.
A woman of courage to be herself.
A woman of wisdom to know the difference between where she is and wants to be.
A woman of enlightenment, a black woman, a queen, that does this sh*t unapologetically.
A woman who fell in love with her stretch marks, her small curves, long legs.
A woman who doesn't define herself with having flaws, she’d rather define herself with nothing.
A woman who is aware of her potential.
A woman who fell in love with her messy days, because her messy days built strength inside of her that made her fight harder, work harder, strive harder.
A woman who seemed to be obsessed with sharing her stories with you, to help you, heal you, inspire you and for that I am no different.
Maybe she didn’t know where her destiny was leading her but maybe, just maybe.
She’s just like you …
If you would like to see more of Asia's work & also see her perspective on our session check out her website.