The Collective Finale
The Collective has been a joy to write. I can’t express how much I appreciate the support. As the semester draws to an end, so will the Collective. Reflecting on the three artists Auli Sinaga, Anthony Hurd and Khairi Christopher, I couldn’t have met such well rounded individuals. Not only have they created such wonderful pieces, they have created platforms for the things they believe.
Sinaga’s award winning photographs were perfectly staged, aesthetically pleasing and fun. I loved how she created her own touch. You can easily identify her photographs with their bright, beautiful colors and fun models. She knows how to properly expose a shot to match her creative vision. Aside from creating beautiful photographs, she has created her own platform for underrepresented models. According to The Fashion Spot’s latest Diversity Report 72.1 percent of the models cast were white and 27.9 percent were women of color. This imbalance is something she strives to destroy. Her models are girls with shaved heads and piercings dressed in fun clothing. Aside from the beauty of these models, Sinaga’s photos stand strong. They were so eye-catching, and that’s why I was drawn to reach out and interview her. Since the interview she has released more photos that I absolutely fell in love with.
Hurd’s sketches are even more visually stunning in person. The colors and sketches are so powerful and clever. He is a funny and intelligent individual which transfers over to his pieces. This aspect is what drew me to Hurd’s art. Great art can be any style or technique, but what is vital in a good painting or sketch is its ability to stimulate the viewer’s mind or heart. If a piece of a painting is able to touch you or move you, that’s what makes it good. When I first saw Hurd’s painting of Puddles The Clown, it made me feel something unreal. It made me vividly remember the last time I cried. For someone to create something and invoke something is what makes art great, especially if you experience it on your own.
Watching Christopher’s last film also filled me with a sense of hopeful anxiety. His unrelated clips seamlessly flipped back to back, embodying his own journey of his creativity. It wasn’t easy for him when he transitioned from being an actor to working predominantly behind the camera. While watching the film I felt the struggle and joy being portrayed. I love looking at local art that I can create my own meaning from.
When we study older masterpieces, like The Mona Lisa or Starry Night, their meanings have already been determined and studied for thousands of years. As much as I try and create my own thoughts on them it will already be clouded by everyone else’s ideas.
I tried to steer as far as I could from telling you what the pieces meant to me. I wanted The Collective to be a medium to share art so you, the reader, could come up with your own meaning and experience. I hope with at least one of the artists you were able to experience that feeling for yourself. I know every piece emotionally touched me and stimulated me as an artist. I am forever grateful for them.
Thank you for your vulnerability and openness. You are all destined for greatness.
To draw a close on The Collective, I will hesitantly talk a little about myself and my own creative life. Growing up, my dad was my best friend who heavily influenced me on music and films. He was very invested in the music scene growing up with my godfather who was a DJ. My favorite days of the week were Fridays when my dad and I would drive to Hollywood Video after school and blast Beastie Boys the whole way. We would rent a movie to watch together, each our own movie to watch and a video game. Growing up I was always very sure I would be a drummer in a band, or somewhere off making films. I’ve played drums and percussive instruments for about 10 years. Competing at world level in Indoor Drumline Circuits in high school and for a while I thought I would do something along those lines. Yes, I had a garage band that broke up rather quickly under the restraints of AP Biology. I was very confused about my career path until I took a digital film course my senior year, I was sold.
I knew photo and videography was for me. All the films that inspired my youth I was implementing and making my own. As of now I post a lot of raw shorts films on my Youtube Channel and have a few solid unedited screenplays hand-written in memo pads sprawled around my room. I am very hopeful that I will attend The New York Film Academy in the near future and finally get my big chance to fully immerse myself in my craft. I can definitely relate to the other artists who are struggling artistically.
Day jobs and general education blow, but there’s always beauty in the struggle and those always make the best stories to tell. So keep struggling and working hard for whatever your dream is. We only live once, and there’s no time to waste on being anything but happy. Do what makes your heart most content, do what makes you’re heart uncomfortable, scared, but in the end ecstatic.