Guest Speaker: Arthur Marquez

I thought it was great having a guest speaker, especially someone who has worked closely with the professor. It gave a different perspective on what opportunities a person can attain through photography. It was interesting to hear the details Arthur Marquez had to share regarding his experiences as a photographer, and to see his work. My favorite story he shared was the one where he had to take a photo from a helicopter of U.S ships lined up horizontally. I think people see these types of photos in magazines but never really think of what it takes to actually get the shot. It honestly feels very valuable to have a professional give you tips while you’re shooting as well as being given feedback on your work. I’m pretty grateful about it!


Robert Mapplethorpe

I feel like I have seen self portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe, but I never knew who he was. It was intriguing to see old footage of the chaos brought by the controversy of Mapplethorpe’s artwork. While his artwork involving sexual body parts made me personally a little uncomfortable, I understand that he was constantly pursuing the need to be unique and striking. One type of artwork I found interesting was when he used Polaroids and incorporated them with other art like drawings/ collage like pieces. I liked how people who knew him described him as if whatever he was doing was never enough, he was always doing whatever it took to be famous, and there was always something defiant about him. In all, I think what pursuing artists can learn from him is to constantly strive to be unique. I really don’t think that is an easy thing to do, but from what I saw, Mapplethorpe didn’t create a new medium. He used different mediums to create content that was just completely far out, startling, and new.

Lighting Shoot

On March 14th, our class got to experiment with different types of lighting in a studio. I was extremely impressed with the entire setup. I have never done, or been a part of something like this before. Nevertheless, I feel like I had a difficult time at the shoot because I was just trying to capture whoever was the focus.

Environmental Portrait

I took these photos on March 9th, 2019 of our classmate, Rachel. I asked Rachel what were some of her hobbies and she said that one was photography. We went to Discovery Lake which is very close to CSUSM. While I really like these photos, I feel as if I should have gotten some shots of Rachel showing her face. At the moment, I was only thinking of trying to capture Rachel in action, but I believe I missed the idea of a ‘portrait.’

Young-ha Kim Ted Talk

I enjoyed how Young-ha Kim described the excuses people make when considering to become an artist.I honestly agree with everything he mentioned in his Ted Talk, and prompted me to think of other reasons why people may not want to become artists. From my personal upbringing, while nobody has ever told me directly, I’ve always felt like being an artist is not considered a real career, more of a hobby, and many times a luxury to be able to spend time making art. I once had a somewhat negative experience with art as I had to visit multiple art exhibits for a class assignment. I went to a really nice venue, surrounded by nature in very affluent neighborhood. The gallery was by one artist. I am honestly a pretty artsy person, but from what I remember, the paintings looked like paints mixed together, and that was what made the paintings look interesting. I think because I already felt uncomfortable to be in a affluent neighborhood and I paid to see these paintings, I just had a  negative thought in my head that I still remember. I thought, “Dude, this is dumb. This is rich people stuff.” I’m not proud of it, or the grammar in my head, but at that moment those were my feelings. I was probably having a bad day, running low on gas or something. While the whole point of the Ted talk was to not focus on the reasons why we shouldn’t be artists but why we should, I realized that all my life I have loved to create and make things, whatever it may be. Now that I think about it, I own a sketchbook, paints, markers, coloring pencils, a vinyl cutting machine, a heat press, a button pin maker, embroidery supplies, a bass guitar, and a camera. However, I’ve never truly felt like I would make the drastic decision to make a career out of my artistic hobbies. For me personally, because I do not come from a wealthy family, I’ve always felt like an artistic career is out of the question because I don’t really have the cushion to fall back on. For that reason I’ve always had mixed feelings with art, as if I’m not allowed to love it. Nevertheless, I have realized that I will always love creating and I have to always remember to keep it a part of my life.

Ps.  I hope that artist’s gallery I saw is doing great. I don’t know his story and I felt bad for thinking that.

Letters to a Young Artist

Overall, I had a positive experience in reading, Letters to a Young Artist. Most of my time spent reading this book, I felt relieved for not having everything figured out in life and I was open to all of the advice it provided. The chapter I spoke about in class is titled, ‘Confidence.’ I mentioned this chapter because it spoke about the difference between confidence and determination. Anna Deavere Smith states, “Confidence is a static state. Determination is active. Determination allows for doubt and for humility-both are which are critical in the world today” (Smith, 25). I am someone who is relatively new to the adobe suite, and many times I find myself intimated knowing that there are other students who are much more experienced than me. The classes I am taking this semester have put me in a difficult place to feel confident. I may be wrong, but I have this fixed view on this field as being very critical and made up of people who pride themselves in how much they know and what they could produce, which is GREAT!  However, I know for a fact that I am not anywhere near that level. Through determination, I have to remind myself that I will only become skilled in this field through practice and experience. I have felt doubt wondering if my work will be good enough, and I have made space for humility because I’ve had to ask for help countless times. I’ve had to let my guard down a little to step into a place that is unfamiliar and be determined to learn as much possible from the ground up.