Support the Non Conformed

How many of you gain excitement or entertainment from the arts? How many of you plan your weekends around a current movie, exhibit or play you want to see? The non conformed people are the ones that provide this luxury to the masses. The people who choose another way to live are responsible for a good portion of the joy, motivation and adventure everyday people seek. If this is the case, what are you doing to support the non conformed? The sleepless artist spending days, weeks, months or even years to provide you with an image, movie, panting, or dance, can be labeled as the most important people in our lives. What about the small local business that provides your community with jobs, involvement and diversity? If you partake in sustaining those who are artists and entrepreneurs, thank you, but there are many who have not yet joined the club. 

Brianna Shooting in Cuba

This photo above was taken by my friend and fellow photographer Ryan Duclos. Ryan and I met each other in Santa Clara, Cuba in July of 2017. This is my second trip that Ive made abroad as a travel and documentary photographer. One of my greatest goals is to have the images I'm creating live in the homes, offices, sacred spaces, etc... of people around the world. I spend my own money and resources to travel to these places to create artwork. I am just an example of the many non conformist around the world. 

Brianna going to Malibu

How many of you buy artwork to hang in your home/apartment, work stations, studios, cubicles, etc...? The next question is where are you buying this artwork? Is it from Ikea, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, Walmart? If you are a consumer of art and care about where and what type of art you consume, are you truly supporting the artist and entrepreneur by consuming art from the places listed above? If so can you think of a time you thought to yourself, "I wonder who the artist of this work is? Am I truly supporting the person that traveled around the world to bring this image to life? Who is truly benefiting from the money I spend on my choice of joy and entertainment?" 

Once these questions start to run circles in your head, you'll soon realize the importance of supporting the non conformed. Below are a few ways in which you can help make sure artists and entrepreneurs continue to be the reason for your joy, motivation and adventure. 

website store screen shot

1. Take out some time to research local artists and boutiques where you can support the non conformist.  There are people you know right now who are selling their photographs, paintings, candles, waist beads, party favors, candy tables, a finance class, etc.... You name it. 

2. If you don't know anyone personally, the internet is your friend. Go on FB, IG, Twitter and find what you're looking for from someone who is local or just an independent artist you'd like to support. Connect with them. There is power in supporting those you have a connection with. If there is no connection, create one. 

3. Go to street fairs and night markets and introduce yourself to some artists and vendors in attendance. If you are a collector of scarves, find the vendor(s) that sells scarves and find out more  about how it got started, who designs them, where are they made, etc.... In this instance you are putting a face to the brand making your drive to support that small business and artist more personal and engaging. 

4. Money. I know buying personal work can be expensive. My prints themselves can range from $60.00 to $300.00 and beyond.  The money you spend on a piece like this compared to one from Walmart is hugely different, but its the experience and support that makes it worth while. 

5. If you truly feel the work or service is out of range financially, aim at negotiating or bartering. That's the upside to working with entrepreneurs and artists. The profit goes to them and their life to continue creating. 

Start reaching out to those you know who are changing the world. Help them continue on a path of non conformity so the everyday person can have art, music, movies and shows to go to. These are the people making your joy, motivation and adventure a reality.

Care to share which ways you are supporting the non conformist? Let me know about it. 

Decompressing Cuba

Its been exactly one week and 3 days since Ive been back in Los Angeles from Cuba. There is so much I have not yet comprehended and its also been hard for me to go through the images and begin proper editing. It could very well just be that Im back in reality and still yearning to be on the road learning and consuming another's culture and way of life. Yeah thats it. 

Ive discovered on this trip that I have a hard time functioning when not motivated in what we know as everyday society. My truth always seems more apparent when I am away, alone, zoning out to the sites and sounds of things unknown to me. That is the addiction I am currently facing and although it is not a bad one, I have to learn balance. 

This is not a full article on my adventures, just a simple hello Im alive, I had a great time, and yes I know you want to see photos. Im just not ready yet to share such an experience. I prefer to travel alone, but on this trip I was accompanied by my amazing friend Kristine and when she departed, I traveled a few hours south to meet my friend and photographer Ryan Duclos. Because of this I must admit that I didn't have as much of a spiritual experience as I had hoped, yet with saying that I am truly blessed to have traveled with them and I wouldn't have changed a second. Even now days later I am still not there, but not here either. I feel like I am floating constantly waiting for an end to something.

I am missing the humid air sticking to the back of my neck and the brazing sun forcing droplets of sweat to find its way in every crevasse possible. I miss the white smiles shining from the blackest skin and the chemical free food that Ive never had the pleasure of experiencing. I miss the farms of Vinales and the little chubby bananas that were accompanied at every breakfast meal. I miss the ego free love that was felt with every footstep in every city I visited.

So before this turns into an extended piece Ill leave with saying, this journey Id like to share will be continued for your consumption at a later date. The entire purpose of my persuit of travel is to experience exactly what Im experiencing now. To come home with a new outlook, feeling and experience that will aid me in continuing my life's journey. That is the entire purpose of why we choose to engage and become what we are. Its all with the desire and hopes of becoming.