Before / after / and in between. A few images from recent work documenting the ultra gifted NYC based artist Shantell Martin on her latest 16' x 60' mural project entitled, Use Your Voice, on display at AirBNB HQ in San Francisco.
Capturing Shantell in her creation state can be a bit mesmerizing at times. Her process consists of a live drawing that’s a meditative mix of lines, faces, and whimsical characters. With clear messages of positive intent and inspiration it’s hard not to feel good as the viewer.
And... she gives her crew full creative freedom with doughnut breaks! All around good vibes and always a pleasure to work with.
You can also get a weekly nudge of inspiration on her YouTube channel.
Always a pleasure having pal and super talented artist @shantell_martin in town for a few days. We talked about art and commerce, broke bread and chugged weak tea. She even inspired me to take a few swings with a flashlight during a long exposure collaboration. Good times with good people. Be sure to check her channel out on youtube as well!
Day 1-4: On assignment shooting the inimitable Shantell Martin creating her latest and largest piece to date, “Don’t Hide” located at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.
Over the course of four days she allowed me full creative freedom to document her as she took on this massive endeavor of a 20,000 square foot sidewalk mural.
Joking around,I mentioned to her that capturing her process was very similar to capturing a small child or wild animal; erratic movements and completely unpredictable. She Laughed, agreed, and continued on spray painting. As challenging to shoot as she is an absolute pleasure to work with. An inspiring experience to work alongside such a remarkably talented individual and team. Many thanks to Nine Dot Arts and The Denver Theatre District for putting up with me for 4 days straight, and Shantell for the invitation to the mural marathon. The piece is a definite winner.
I've created an overview of the 4 days in a web gallery. Check it out!
"My work is a meditation of lines - a language of creatures, and messages that invites her viewers to share in her creative process. Part autobiographical and part dreamlike whimsy, Martin has created her own world that bridges between fine art, performance art, technology, and the everyday experience: conversation, objects, and places." -Shantell Martin
Artist, friend, mentor, and brother from another mother, Quang Ho and his family have had a huge influence on my life and artistic path from a young age.
Amidst a holiday dinner and with the aid of a quality single barrel scotch I was able to convince him to step outside and paint with a flashlight for a portrait idea I had in mind for him.
I ran these exposures manually from around 20 seconds to a minute long, depending on the duration needing to complete the light painting. Incredible watching him blindly scribe the area with a basic flashlight to create these forms almost effortlessly.
Good fun and quite an honor collaborating with the humble master.
It saddens me to say we lost a good man yesterday. My father, Edward Paciaroni lived a life impossible to describe in a few words. A bit of a renaissance man; he worked as a meteorologist, manufacturers sales rep, theologian, Master Woodworker, and a fine arts painter. He implemented his ever increasing list of ambitions with a quiet dignity and grace. From his education to his list of careers, from his skill with every kind of tool that could fashion wood, paper, canvas, or the clouds, my Dad engaged with the world as a man of many talents who would be its master.
Self-made and self-reliant, Dad aimed to fulfill every obligation he undertook. His word was his bond, and everyone knew it. I never heard him utter a lie, nor intentionally deceive.
Listing just a handful of things he taught me were the importance of love, integrity, generosity, the art of dry humor, and that the best restaurants are in the worst neighborhoods. He also taught me that life is precious, kindness and humor are invaluable yet free, and to follow your ambitions under any and all circumstances.
His character is the foundation of my conscience and I am honored to have called him my Dad.
Farewell, Pop. You did good. You did real good.
1.) Make sure you’re financially prepared. Have at least three months worth of salary in the bank for when you’re in between projects. Freelancing can feel like a financial hardship if you’re looking at your business in a short term way. You have to have the stomach for periods of uncertainty in your income and understand how to plan ahead so freelancing can become a long-term play. Your cash reserves are there to be piece of mind at the very least and self-preservation when necessary.
2.) Know that there’s a lot more to being a self-employed photographer is more than just photography. You have to have a diverse skill set that includes marketing, business development, project management, accounting, writing and production. Many of these tasks won’t be your expertise but it’s your responsibility to get good at them or at least good enough so that you can land projects, keep them going and bring home the bacon when they’re over.
3.) Treat yourself like a client. It’s worth it, even in the beginning, to put in the effort position and market yourself. This means, at the very least, being clear on what you do, creating a simple website, having business cards and polishing up your LinkedIn. If you want people to take you seriously, you have let them know who you are, what you do and that you’re open for business.
4.) Be prepared for a lot of ambiguity. I’ve had two week projects turn into six month projects, and I’ve had moments where I’ve gotten really comfortable with what I thought was a long-term consulting gig, only to have it disappear. One way to navigate these choppy waters is by being proactive. Initiate regular dialogue with your existing clients on upcoming workload. When you don’t get a job, which happens to everyone, ask for feedback. If communication drops off with a potential client, it’s ok to send them a polite note to move the conversation along. If you don’t hear back, don’t take it personally and move on.
5.)Hustle. Working for yourself is wonderful but the truth is many of us do this from home…alone…often in your jammy's. You’re not going to get new clients by staying home. Go to industry events. I highly recommend this, because you never know who you are going to meet or what opportunities you may hear about by attending. They are also a great way to stay current with what’s going on in the design industry and a fantastic well to draw from in conversation with potential clients. I also love catching up with friends and colleagues for lunch or coffee. Being an extrovert and being social is a big part of staying top of mind for potential clients.