I’m having a hard time finding the words that will succinctly sum up my 1.5 year hiatus.
A lot of it was great. (I started making my health a priority finally!) Some of it was just trying to fill the void that the lack of an adequate creative outlet caused. (I took the ‘health’ thing a bit too far and got obsessive about it. Don’t worry, I’m back to a middle-ground that feels pretty good!) Mostly though it was just a lot of normal, easy days that a regular person would see as blissful. But to someone who doesn’t feel like they exist unless they are creating something to prove it no amount of dog snuggles, half-assed selfies or bags of chips can help you feel creatively sated.
And so there I was, empty. And yet so full.
Full of a year and a half of pent up ideas and creative energy just screaming to get released. Everything inside of me was yelling, “Make something. Anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. You’ll die if you don’t.” I’m telling you I was about ready to start…crafting.
Then along came Mark gliding into my life with his good vibes, his dancing, and his vegan corn dogs and I don’t know what happened but one day when I was feeling energetic and happy and maybe a little over-caffeinated I just blurted out that I would like to take his picture.
And let me tell you whatttttttt!!!! From the very first image (well, after I fucked around trying to remember how to co-exist with my camera for a full five minutes) until the last image I was so incredibly alive. I was practically vibrating with inspired juju!
And to think I almost cancelled because of nerves. (Feel the fear and do it anyways!)
Mark helped me remember why I do this. Why I stress myself out and challenge myself to make each session unique to the soul in front of me. Because in the end I’ve made something. It exists in the world. And it will live on long after both of us are gone.
I asked Mark to write a little blurb for me. Usually when I ask this I keep my request very vague so you don’t feel confined to writing about a certain thing and everything can flow freely and naturally. Some people write about their life journey. Some people write about the relationship they have with their body. Some people write about their experience during our shoot. My point is that I want my readers to connect these images with the subjects’ words. See them as more than a sexy butt or an amazing smile. Maybe you’ll see yourself in one of these stories. Maybe you’ll start to hear a little part of you speak up and say, “I want to do that too.” I’m here for you when you’re ready.
Anyways, without further ado here’s what Mark had to say-
“Growing up in a fantasy world of color and border-less love kept my imagination overflowing as a young child. That burning passion for this performance we call life always guided me! That exact fire inside my heart allowed me to be undefinable! No labels, no rules, no judgement. Just love and imagination. Of course time passes, heartbreak happens, and society has a funky way of watering down your inner child.
But suddenly, when you least expect it, a flower growing through the crack of the sidewalk interrupts you and screams, “Wake up! There’s still beauty and fun in the world to be had!” That flower is Paige! Her direction allowed me to tap into so many sides of myself as a performer. She has a passion for creating and you can see it running through her veins as she works behind the camera to bring her visions to life right before your own eyes. A true artist is what Paige is. There aren’t any boundaries on set but there is a real love for boudoir and a fiery imagination that could take over the world. Paige and I worked together to develop a movement of bending genders with such unapologetic strength! We created a superhero with a message that tells everyone to be free at all costs! Don’t hold back!”
I love what Mark and I created together. I love the message it brings. Beauty doesn’t have a gender. It doesn’t have a weight or an age or a skin color. Beauty truly comes from within. And the sooner you start believing that you are beautiful, just the way you are right now in this moment in time, the more powerful you will become.