Chapter Six: Feeling In The Gaps.
It’s confusing sometimes, he said as he poured himself half a drink. I’ve been caught in this weird limbo where everything is coming together at zero to sixty while I climb this cliff and yet still feel a huge gap to fill. I’m starting to feel distorted in a battle against all this noise. I mean, truly, I know what I need. I’ve always known, it’s just difficult to conceptualize. You know what I always wonder? Is it passion that fuels the pain or pain that fuels the passion? No really, think about it. Do our screams come from what we feel or do we scream because we’re feeling? I’ve just been sitting here, feeling everything in the world through my eyes and my biggest fear is to figure out the solution. The one question I know the response to yet never want to have answered. What if I take this leap and realize that the only thing that kept me going this whole time was the fear of happiness? The fear of the unknown. The idea of having something left untouched that could have the power to tear me to pieces, or even worse, make me feel victorious in a war against myself. In another life, I once heard that “the important part isn’t what you do, it’s how it makes you feel”. Fucking brilliant, I know. I said it. The irony is that I’ll take hypocrisy any day over actually listening to my own advice. It’s funny how that is. I mean, that’s what my art is all about. Teaching myself things that I don’t want to understand on my own. Seeing what my feelings look like. And trying to prove myself wrong every time. I’m living out of a glass half full, looking for the other half. But what if that emptiness is what keeps me afloat? What if fighting for air is the only thing that keeps me breathing? What if that’s the only muse in my creation? Emptiness only exists when you set a limit, she said. Without that, you’re just feeling in the gaps that you choose to fill.
Nylon Magazine Young Hollywood Event.
Nylon Magazine x Boss Orange x Coachella.
FALL x Coachella.
Chapter Five: This Crazy Mind Of Mine.
It’s happening again, he said. I think. But this time it’s different. You know that feeling you get when something new just comes out of nowhere, fucking changes everything, and makes you think and do things that you thought you’d never do? It’s happening, I think. I mean I don’t know, call me insane or borderline cynical but as much as I love the idea of living life through a black and white lens, this new unsaturated view full of confusing shit is turning into a hate-love relationship, or the latter if I’m forced to cut out the bullshit. And as much as I’d love to follow in my own footsteps and send a numbed version of myself to the forefront to do all the fighting for me, it just doesn’t feel right this time. I’d love for it to be the same. I’d love to have it the easy way. I’d love to not have to mull over this shit that I pretend is completely meaningless even though I know it’s not. I mean at the end of the day it’s all for the art right? Whether or not we end up face down in a ditch or at the headline of a fairytale, it’s all about the inspiration and the journey. Right? I like to tell myself that I don’t give a shit all the time, and honestly I’m a prodigy at convincing everyone that it’s the truth, including myself. Sometimes. But really, the layer, the shell, the shield whatever you want to fucking call it, that thing I hide behind everyday, it’s all bullshit, it’s all an ideal, a perception, a protection I’ve built to push away anything and everything that I deem as threatening. And by doing that I’ve learned that the best things in life happen when you let your guard down and eliminate the filters. That’s what I always tell people. Just fucking go for it, as scary as that sounds. But as much as I’d bet my life that it’s the best thing to do and scream it from the top of the world, I’m a hypocrite in my own story because I’d never turn the page not knowing what lies on the other side of it. And this something that I’ve found can breathe, live, speak and sum it all it up in the blink of an eye. It’s you isn’t it? This is you. Or the start of you, or a part of you. Or something. But all of this, this is what the end of the journey looks like isn’t it? Or is supposed to look like anyway. I mean the real journey, the real adventure, not the pseudo self-created one I’ve set in front of myself as the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The real one that overpowers everything and that actually serves as the conclusion. The one that makes me feel like I’m not alone in this crazy mind of mine. It’s you isn’t it? You’re getting warmer, she said. A lot warmer.
*Photo courtesy of Josh Heller
Chapter Four: Darkest Imperfection.
I can feel my grip getting stronger, he said as he poured himself another drink. It’s so hard not to set the pencil down. Trying to write out everything I’m feeling, all the emotion, the pain of the dream and trying to hold onto all the pieces of the puzzle. I mean what I’m going for is the creation of a masterpiece, that’s all I want. I want something that drips with my sweat and blood, that actually makes people feel something, anything. I don’t even care if they love it or hate it, I just want them to feel something. The world makes us so fucking numb nowadays, with all these societal standards that we have to measure up to, that completely go against the basis of creativity. It’s all bullshit really. I want to make the rules, I want to be the one that sets the standards, that narrates the story of my own life, that dictates every chapter. I want to make all the rules so that I can break them all. If you think about it, diamonds are made by heating up the world’s darkest imperfection, and making it burn until it shines. And that’s when everyone wants it, once it’s all finished and perfect but no one gives a shit about the battle that came before it. That’s what bothers me, I’m here writing, drawing, living, building and thinking until the soul in my fingertips turns to blood and all of that will be set aside the second I’m done. I mean I know that the journey only exists for me, but the beautiful side of art is the process before the final touch and that’s always forgotten. I’m just here to create, and as much as I want it to change the world I’ll never truly know if it does until the day I stop thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t in any way one of my whiskey-soaked diatribes where I bluntly tear apart society’s bullshit. It’s just that lately I’ve been feeling. Feeling things that I usually don’t and this love-hate relationship that I’m juggling is getting exhausting. I’m just looking for an answer, or at least the inspiration for an answer. Anything, I just want something. And what if you already have it? She said.
I want to make the rules, I want to be the one that sets the standards, that narrates the story of my own life, that dictates every chapter. I want to make all the rules so that I can break them all.
*Photos courtesy of William Callan
Pre-shoot x pre-game.
*Photo courtesy of Dirk Mai.