An explosion of Color.

I love changing things up. There are always so many creative thoughts going through my mind, so many different vibes on my inspiration board. Why not be both classic and silly? Play with both beautifully simple black and whites and explore explosions of color? If we have been given the freedom and capacity to create, the free will to choose love and recognize beauty, why wouldn't we open our minds and hearts to the bigger picture rather than confining ourselves in the "safe"?

Its all abut perspective. Abraham Lincoln once said “we can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” We complain about this generation that has become so promiscuous and irreverent, but what are we actually doing to shape this generation? Are we even relevant and appealing?

When I speak about creativity I don't only speak of art. Creativity, to me, is to have the understanding of how to not necessarily adapt but help SHAPE our culture. Create a new beautiful, define the new "goal", live by the moral standards you say you believe in and present that as the new cool. Figuring out how to align your life with the Word while having an impact  and understanding of the World. Why try to separate and divide what is meant to be united for the same purpose? Isn't our duty to utilize the tools God has graced us with to glorify him in our individual ways? But for whatever reason we still choose to play safe. Culture doesn't define us, we define culture. The closer we get to our creator the more creative we get. The more creative we get, the more we can help shape culture. 
 
“How is it, that for many of us, being a good Christian is nothing more than being a good person? The entire focus of our faith has been the elimination of sin, which is important but inadequate; rather than the unleashing of a unique, original, extraordinary, wonderfully untamed, faith.” 
― Erwin Raphael McManus

Whoever tells the best story shapes the culture. 
 

Shot by Hannah Burton
Art Directed by me

All over the place.

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I have to admit that I am one of those people who seem to have a million unread emails. I know- I'm embarrassed. But the thing is, I am always in a rush, always on to the next thing. Running behind, running late, trying to run with it. Lately I've been wondering what the problem might be.  Am I disorganized? Am I taking on too much? Am I not productive enough? 

I want to blame being a New Yorker for the cause of my mental mess because it's the nature of this city. Our lights never go out, our phones never shut off, the pressures never die down. But in reality, you don't just have to be a New Yorker to relate, our culture is perpetually flooding our lives with more to look at, more to do, more to consume us away from the most important things. This generation doesn't disconnect, it is nearly impossible to go off the grid. How does one, then, keep their sanity, balance, health and peace of mind? How does one invest in family, friends and career? How does one possibly find the time for themselves, their needs, their wellbeing... time to allow God to restore their souls? And then we wonder why we aren't living as effectively as we'd like. 

I often get asked the question "How do you juggle it all? How do you manage?" like I'd have any answers. In my head, I am struggling just to perform at an average level. Nobody carries exactly what you carry, nobody can measure your level of stress, nobody knows about the pressures you feel; it is all internal. But who has time to think about pressures anyway? Thinking about "the pressures" only makes you procrastinate, thus generating more pressure. I just take a day at a time, put one foot in front of the other. Deal with one email at a time. And because of that, I have been too busy to even remember to ask myself how I am doing.  

We never seem to have much time left to replenish our souls enough before we have to pour more out again. We always feel like we are running on reserve. We expect God to show up in big ways but we don't even save him enough time to show up and refuel us. Isn't one of the points of knowing God that He will replenish our souls and quench our thirst? Why, then, am I exhausted? Why am I running? Why, then, are we restless and anxious? Why are we disoriented? I thought one of the perks of knowing God was to know his peace...

We are certain that to live in God's presence is the only way we can find fulfillment. But living in God's presence isn't achieved just by "knowing" God. Whether we fall short, run out of options or run out of fuel we expect Him to show up, replenish and restore our souls. We say that we know him but we forget that the key is to WALK with Him. But we just KNOW God. We speak to him, we speak well of him, we set our alarms to remind ourselves to spend time with him. We are acquaintances, good neighbors. 

But good neighbors are who you go to when you run out of sugar, they are not your first call, your first thought, your go-to. Not who you share most laughs with, they are certainly not part of your will. But we want God to show up in our lives and replenish our souls when all we are is "good neighbors". We were called to WALK with him, not to just know him and pay our respects on sundays. 

May we be the generation that figures out how to walk how we were intended to walk. Let us never settle for any less than our promises and let us not possess any less than our inheritance. 

Knowing and accepting God saves your soul, but walking with God replenishes our souls.

X Es

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Wearing: For Love And Lemons/ Converse
Creative and art direction: Moi
Shot by Hannah Burton

 

The right to create.

Whoever has worked with me would have heard me say "I want interesting-NOT pretty" at some point. Im usually drawn to angles that give you unusually long limbs, partial covering of the face, unexpected outfits... I love contrast and diversity. I love creating, expressing, thinking outside the box. Our ability to create is a gift from God. 

Anybody who has been following my work knows that Im a fan of a shadow/light play. Its not always the obvious beautiful portrait I'm looking for, but I'm always looking for something interesting. Something that causes me to 'double-take'. Im a thinker- give me something to analyze.

I believe that God gave us a unique ability to express ourselves through art. When it comes to art there is no right and wrong; all is relative. Each is unique. There are many "artists", but they are all individual. How interesting. How perfectly tailored. Sounds exactly like something God would do. We were uniquely created with a unique ability to create. All for his glory. It doesn't even matter whether or not we like each other's "art", each other's creation. When it comes to art, God made it individual, he made it a heart and a passion matter- theres no right and wrong, it is all relative. God chose to give us the right to worship him with our art.

Shot by Hannah Burton

The Story Behind The Shot- Balmain

These photos were a part of a little story shot in England. During this shoot, we ran out of time and ended up having to shoot the last look in the elevator- which is hilarious. We were all laughing so hard at the challenge it was to keep the door open and get a shot before that horrible beeping noise begins, to no hoard the elevator all to ourselves and be respectful of the other 20-and-some other floors on the building, AND to not get the photographer's reflection on the mirror. LOL. Came across these photos and they made me laugh. I love the memories photos bring.

x Es

 

 

Dress - Balmain at Layers London
Shoes - Saint Laurent
Ring - Joubi