Archive for the ‘LaLaLand’ Category

LaLaLand | Subculture: Body Painting

Last month I competed in a body-painting photo competition, deftly organized and executed by body painter Nicolette Spear. What tha–? How does that happen, you ask? Well, a few months ago I saw a flyer on the student board at Otis calling for photographers to compete in this body painting competition. So I submitted and was [obviously] selected. Ten finalists were selected, but I’m not sure how many photographers actually applied. Most of them were seasoned pros, not a semi-pro-former-indie-film-crew person like me, so I’m going to pat myself on the back for being even selected and not dwell on how in-over-my-head—OMG I’m never going to win so I should just give up and go home and watch TV because I’ll never accomplish anything ever— manically drowning in a crisis of confidence I was when I saw my shooting space and was told I only had 15 minutes with my models.

I was assigned painters Avi Ram, who is from Israel and painted an Israeli woman on one side of his model and a Palestinian woman on the other, surrounded by imagery of the wailing wall, mosaic graphics, and doves to represent his desire for peace between the two cultures. My other artist was Oscar Galvan, a fellow Texan, who painted a camouflage piece, blending his model into one of his own canvases.

Overall is was a pretty cool experience, however, I think next time I will attend as a guest, not as a competitor. We were only allowed to submit two photos for the competition, which are the first two in my album below. (See the winning photos are after the jump.)


What felt like a million hours of Photoshop later (but was probably only 8+), here is one of the two photos I submitted.

This was the other photo I submitted. I like how if you let your eyes relax—or in my case, let my lazy eye drift—the model's arm almost looks like it belongs to the Palestinian woman and she's dancing. It's almost an optical illusion. I also like the irony that the Muslim Palestinian woman who would normally be covered head-to-toe is painted on to a naked woman. But I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who sees that irony.

This was the "before" photo. Her face was quite distorted because of how the model was standing. One friend commented that she liked it that way because it was natural, but THIS IS LA. Natural imperfections are not permitted! So, I gave her some Photoshop-plastic-surgery for the final image. But, actually, this photo looks like the "after" in some plastic surgery cases.

I almost submitted this photo instead of the Palestinian back, but I decided the model was too pose-y. It's a bit distracting from the overall message of the art. The lighting is cool, though, right?

This girl's face feels more in-tune with the art. She is neutral. Just a canvas.

This is what the facilities looked like. Painters stations lining every wall of the building.

This artist, David Gilmore, is really cool. He won second place in the show. Check out his website:

This was the amount of space each photographer was given. That's my backpack, purse, and camera.

We all crammed our gear in the room, overlapping each other's space.

Fortunately, the shoots were staggered, so we weren't all shooting at once and could back up and spread out.

This was Oscar's painting.

And the winners were…

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LaLaLand | My Beach Bachelorette Pad: version 2.0

So, I’ve made some upgrades to the apartment, and entered myself into Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool contest, and after I hit submit I wished I had sent them different photos. Ah, such is the life of a hypercritical artist. So, anyway, decided to get my second chance on my blog. And add a few more to boot.


My ivy has finally started to grow into a room divider!

New-ish wall art. One of my own photos that I had printed on a 4-ft canvas.

I really wish I had submitted this photo instead of two kitchen pics. Gotta show off the credenza, right?

LaLaLand | My Beach Bachelorette Pad

Sooooo, I’ve had these photos for a while, but haven’t posted them because there are still some things I want to do, like sew kitchen curtains and a couple more pillows for the couch, re-arrange/hang more art, etc. I also thought I’d have a house-warming for LA folks, but just haven’t made the time for one. And I’d practically have to do it with assigned viewing times as to avoid becoming a fire hazard by over-crowding my 400 square foot apartment. So, anyway, here:

LaLaLand | Shackles of Indecision

This is who I want to be:


This is who I feel like:


I want to be the eagle huntress overcome with happiness because she is living her true calling while simultaneously breaking gender-role barriers. She is in harmony with nature and has a fulfilling purpose. [Incidentally, check out more beautiful photos of Mongolian eagle hunters by photographer Asher Svidensky.]

Instead I feel like Robin, tied to a conveyor belt moving slowly to the impending doom of a rotating blade, about to die in a ridiculous costume he was told to wear by his partner to whom he was just trying to be loyal, but despite his responsible decision of duty, he is really just a Dick.

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Recap Interruption | TODAY | USA | CA | LA | Beach Pad

Y’all, I am seriously trying to finish the recaps. SERIOUSLY. But a lot has happened since I last capped. I have been working mucho, and I moved to a new apartment… near the BEACH. Not at the beach exactly, and sadly no beach view, but it is 0.8 mile from the sand. A quick 2-minute drive or a 15-minute stroll. But between work and unpacking boxes, I haven’t had a chance yet to visit the sea.

2014 has already brought a lot of changes, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else will happen. I am trying to simplify my life: focus on one or two hobbies, not 30; buy less things and purge more stuff; and work less and make more money. Not sure how to achieve the last goal, but, hey, I am an American. Anything is possible.

Once I get the Mediterranean recaps done, I’ll continue sharing the LA chapter of this crazy journey, posting pics of the apartment decorama and the new pieces of furniture I’ll be building, even though I have no room for them in my tiny beach studio.

And in efforts to simplify my life, Journeymoon is now my official blog. I am retiring my former Sunday School Beauty Queen personal blog. I feel a bit weird sharing my daily life with the blogosphere (beyond the travel adventure), but it seems to sell any product you make, you first have to make yourself a product. Hence how internet-pet-favorite Ariele Alasko can sell a freakin’ hand-carved spoon for $235.

So, stay tuned, stand by, one moment please as the journey continues.

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JM3: The Asia Pacific
JM1: Mediterranean
Life in LA