Photo Shoot: Rachel All Growed Up

My little sister, fairest maiden in all the land, graduated from high school this weekend. Not only this, but she graduated salutatorian just like her big sissy! For those who are wondering, I was beat out by smartypants Josh for valedictorian.

Anyway! I am so proud of Rachel, and I absolutely cannot wait for this fall. Rachel has decided to attend the same college as Josh and I! She will be living right across the street from us in a matter of months! I have missed her so desperately. You can imagine that this is the greatest news ever.

In honor of the big day, I now post a few of the loveliest pictures ever taken of my sister, and I am more than a smidge proud that it was I who took them 😉

This one kind of takes my breath away
Love her so much!

Her current loveliness and brand-new status as a graduate are a bit overwhelming since I still remember when we looked like this:

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Live Well, Dress Well: Inspired by David Kassan

I am a huge fan of the realism genre in visual art. It sounds boring, but I find it so fascinating that people have that kind of skill which enables them to so perfectly recreate images of the world around them.
Most mind-boggling to me out of all realistic art is the photrealism genre. If you have never seen an example of photorealistc art, look no further than graffiti artist David Kassan.
I’m sure if I happened to walk through an alley painted with one of his creations, I would think there was an actual person leaning up against the wall. The attention to detail when it comes to shading, texture, and depth is absolutely unbelievable. Be sure to check out these other artists whose creations look like they could come to life.
I created two outfits inspired by David Kassan–one for each of the above samples of his work.
This one is inspired by the painting of the older woman. I wanted to channel the pale color palette as well as the darkness of the image and the bright pops of pink. I think of maturity when I look at this woman, so I added the blouse and structured vest for a “grown-up” feel. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but this woman strikes me as so old. Maybe not in terms of years, but she’s just experienced so much. She’s so tired it’s almost as if she’s dead–hence my morbid skeleton necklace.

This next painting is so sultry to me. I selected an asymmetrical dress because of the girl’s off-shoulder look in the image. She seems very sweet, but also like someone who’s been through some hard times. I toughened up the outfit with some studded Mary Jane heels and a chain belt. I kept the outfit largely monochromatic in keeping with the original picture. The only real color is provided by the pink lipstick, inspired by this girl’s perfectly formed lips.

Live Well, Dress Well: Inspired by Kate Nash

Kate Nash is a British pop diva who fills my heart with such youthful delight that I can hardly stand it. Her music is playful and cheery without being syrupy sweet. She sings with just enough obnoxious irreverence to make her music real and significant to your average young person, and what’s not to love about that accent?

I adore Kate’s style not only because she is simultaneously classic and creative or because she masterfully utilizes color, but also because (in my experience) she is sexy without being slutty. She doesn’t have to show off 95% of her skin in order to turn heads (Hello, gorgeous red hair?) She strikes me as a really confident and down-to-earth girl, as is suggested by the lyrics of her song “Mouthwash.” For this reason she is one of my biggest style icons.

Photo Credits 1 and 2: Pipe Colors

This dress inspired this outfit:

I mostly leaned on Kate’s color choices for inspiration in this case; however, the fun yet put-together feel of the pieces is also very her. She picks clothes that both flatter and delight by selecting well-fitting pieces with unique patterns and color combinations. The necklace that seems kind of random over there on the left was inspired by the low scoop neck of Kate’s dress.

And this song inspired this outfit:

I don’t know why, but an orange tank top and brown leather jacket totally says “cheese on toast” to me, and while you probably couldn’t wear these fierce pumps to a disco without falling over on the dance floor, they have a disco-esque vibe for me. The flower hair accessory is there because . . . well, what says happy like a flower? It also illustrates how Kate comes off as sweet, but as the B.A. leopard pumps suggest, she has a wild side.

Does Kate Nash make you “Merry Happy,” too?

Born Again, and Reincarnated As a Model

The photos in this post were taken a while ago at a time in my life when I needed a creative rebirth. While they are not particularly recent, they coincide with what I thought was the death of my dream to become a professional actress and freelance writer.

Upon marrying the love of my life, I had come to the realization that his dreams were to become mine, that his pursuit of his dream job would require my wholehearted support of him and our future family, and that dreams of Broadway and the New York Times were no longer mine to hold if I ever wanted us to have a stitch of money to live on.

I wrestled with the nagging feeling that surrendering my preferred career path had changed who I was as a person. Then one day, not long ago, I remembered who I was and spoke the magic words into my own ear.

“I am an artist.”

To make a very long journey into a very short story, I now have fingers in countless pies which include but are not limited to writing, acting, singing, dancing, filmmaking, photography, graphic design, modeling, public speaking, and signing (American Sign Language, that is).

These photos by the amazing Drew Swantak are from my first ever adventurous foray into the art of modeling, so I find them an appropriate addition to this foray into the art of blogging–this maiden voyage of the good ship Nine to Phive.

I make art. I always have. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. It’s what I do for a living, and that has nothing to do with what I do for money.

You too? Well, then I’m so glad you stopped by.