Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Creative Natives [o] Liz Frias [o]

So its the end of the semester, and thusly my last blog for school purposes, and I thought, maybe its time to introduce myself! I am about to (in 3 Weeeks!) graduate from Paier College of Art in Hamden Connecticut with my photography degree and am currently working hard at trying to make a name for myself. My passion for photography started at a young age, but never thought of it as a serious career until I went into Americorps NCCC and traveled across the country for a year doing disaster relief in the gulf. It was an amazing year of self growth for me, and I came to the realization that life is nothing if you are not doing something you love and are passionate about. As the photo journalist on the team I recognized my passion, and immediately following the program I started school, and loved every second of it. My goal in life is to be able to take my photography on the road and travel, but I realize there are steps one has to take to get to that point, and have since found my passion in documenting moments of peoples lives. People look their best when they are happy, and people are most happy when love is in the picture, these are the pieces of life I depict. So the obvious route for me to take is documenting people getting married, and having babies, and their babies as they grow up! It makes me happy to be a part of life in this special way! I try to take an approach that blurs the lines of commercial and fine art, bringing my passions together, and making for a more creative image. Connections between people fascinate me, including the relationships people have with themselves. Through this project I told each artist that it was important to me that their portrait really speak about them, more so than my words. I said something similar to the models in my I Just Want to Be a Woman" series, exploring femininity and what it meant to each model. I asked each woman, what makes you the woman you are, and many of them wanted me to show how they were "unconventionally" feminine, because they could fix their cars, use power tools, or box, others said, "Well, Im a mommy!". I was thrilled with the response I got from women and how into the idea everyone got! My photography has brought me through many stages, but the under lying tone is my discovery of individuality in the world. Just as there are so many unique individuals out there, there are thousands of ways to photograph it and I am thrilled to spend my life figuring out which works,  on a case by case basis. Getting to know people has been the best perk of this job! I will never box myself into any ONE kind of photography because each class I have taken, each technique I have tried has taught me something new about myself, and Im sure it will continue to do so.

Please contact me at 203.859.1524 or email for any event, or portrait!
For more samples of my work Click HERE!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Creative Natives .;*Tattoos by Tracey*;.

I met Tracey 3 years ago while she was leading the Elm City Dharma Collective, a group that discussed the Dharma and Buddhist thought and how it can be brought into our everyday lives. Tracey has studied the Dharma for about 15 years, and has taken on teachers and mentors for a more serious study for the last 8 years. As a good buddhist should,  she wanted to help the New Haven community understand compassion for themselves and others in everyday life. Tracey helped me and many others through our struggles and remains to this day an amazing friend and mentor.

 Her amazing attributes dont even come close to ending there! Tracey brings her light into this world through her art as well, through many mediums. Perhaps the one she is most noted for is her work as a tattoo artist. People come from across the country to get bold, colorful, Dharma inspired (and otherwise) masterpieces tattooed forever on their bodies from Tracey. I obviously could not run around and stalk the masses of people who have gotten work from her so you should  TOTALLY check out her Portfolio! Tracey has been tattooing people since 2000, at first apprenticing under Jim LoPresti, until 2001 when they opened Lucky Soul Tattoo, which recently moved to Woodbridge CT. She has been accredited from coast to coast, won so many awards at conventions ...(I almost couldn't fit all the trophies into one picture!) and even been showcased in Tattoo Revue Magazine, and Tattoos for Women magazine! Tracey feels most comfortable with having control of her intricate details in her tattoos, but as with any artist she has to be able to counteract that with yet another medium.

When Tracey takes off her her gloves and escapes the pristine and sterile tattoo shop, Tracey feels the need to get her hands dirty at the pottery wheel! She enjoys the ability to get dirty so much she finds her self elbow deep (sometimes even in her hair) in clay. While she is still working and creating with her hands, her ceramics work is her therapeutic creative outlet. While tattoo artists are usually given creative freedom, for the most part, its hard to find time to create for just yourself. Tracey has 'fired' up her own outlet (sorry I had to do it). She is currently working on building her collection so that she can share, and sell, some of these amazing pieces she has made! Being the artistic creator she is, she also makes sugar sculls out of paper mache, and has a love for oil paintings, and charcoal drawings! She really is a well rounded artist which Im sure lends a hand in creating each amazing piece, tattoo or otherwise. Tracey is a beautiful soul, so its no wonder that beautiful things come out of her.

Tracey has an arm dedicated to artist Alphonse Mucha, when fellow photog, and friend Melissa Nachilo learned this she contacted Tracey and asked her to do this piece by the same artist, luckily I didn't have to do much staking to get this photo :)

Just being in Lucky Soul tattoo for the interview made me want to get something that I had been wanting for a while.... so Tracey squeezed me in to her hectic schedule! .... and you KNOW I documented...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creative Natives {{Feruvius}}

                      "The conflict of duality is the essence of great creativity."

                                           -Henry V. Miller

I find the next artist particularly interesting because he is very articulate about how and why he uses art, and he uses it very therapeutically. I think we all do, and I think it is one major benefit to art, it is an expression of our inner workings and can help us visualize what is going on in our neurotic brains. Feruvius specializes in incredibly intricate, controlled line drawings, focusing on shapes, and the viewers perception of what's going on. 

{{Click Image to Enlarge}}

The control is a huge aspect of his work, as for many of us its a way to harness control in a way that life sometimes doesn't allow. In fact, he started doing these drawings in high school because his sub conscious needed to vent, we all acted out in high school, most of us not nearly as constructively. As he puts it, he uses art to "bring back the relationship we have with ourselves." He very much uses his craft as a meditation. Some of his bigger pieces take upwards of 6 months! If you can imagine drawing perfect lines over and over that never intersect, and the control that comes along with that, then you must also understand where the "duality" comes into play. Feruvius also went through a stage of doing very colorful, what he calls, "cave paintings" which require much less control... to me I see it as a way of shaking off the intensity and turing that intense emotion into a completely different look, and relaxing the muscles, and the eyes.

Some of his line drawings were so intense my camera couldn't even handle the lines, and kept trying to warp the picture. Feruvius took that as a compliment, and loved the idea that it was too much for the digital world. The pictures I took can only do so much justice to work that requires respect. I believe they show the amazing detail and time he has put into the pieces, but in order to really understand the intricacy you must see these pieces in person!
AND you are in luck because he will have a spot at Art walk in Westville on Saturday May 7th, with pieces for sale.  Or you can check out his website Or email him at

Friday, April 8, 2011

Creative Natives **Silas Finch**

Doing a Blog Spot on this next artist is a challenge because I am not sure words can describe how overwhelmed with awe I was when I walked into his studio. Silas Finch's medium is "found objects" (ie totally mixed media). Using these objects, that he finds at flea markets in the tri-state area(probably even further than that too), on the ground, junk yards etc and constructs, (sculpts even) anything and everything from lamp fixtures on skateboards, pieces that  recap Kennedy's assassination and other political events on skateboards, a sculpture made entirely of sheet metal that he spent hours hammering out to get the perfect shape,  to a trombone/gun... as an instrument to kill oneself,  Everything, except the gun of course is fully functional! Airplanes fly, and lights turn on. He not only has the artistic ability to conjure up the ideas to put these amazing and fascinating things together but he has the mechanical knowledge to make them work! While I was there he was working on a few different pieces, which he says is totally normal, he has a few projects going on at a time so he can move from one to the next to ensure that pieces fit together and work organically. Another interesting fact, everything is 100% handmade, put together with nuts and screws, no glue or welding, which once you see his pieces you will grasp  how amazing that is!  After spending over an hour taking shots of all the things that fill his studio I knew this would be an amazing challenge, that being said Im going to let the photographs speak for themselves. There are so many pictures of all his work, tools and nick knacks, I had to make a Web Gallery!

If you would like more information check out Silas' Website

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Creative Natives ::Eric Schrader::

The next artist I feel lucky to have known since a photography class we both took in high school, only he went in multiple different directions with his passion and continues to be an inspiration to me, as well as anyone he comes in contact with. Eric is extremely talented in many ways, but his passion lies with film, editing, producing, starring you name it, he's done it. His room is a mecca for movie novelties, and posters. Eric started in high school by working at a movie store and surrounding himself with other people who loved movies, and at the time he had the 1st Apple VCR editing bay. Luckily he never  had to work with reel to reel, so he was easily able to get really creative, and now he is everyday learning how to keep up with technology.... aren't we all. Eric feels fortunate to have grown up in the 80s because obviously the 80s produced the best movies (Schwarzenegger, Tarantino, Lucas) that he now takes inspiration from. He attributes his growing passion for movies as a child to a babysitter he had, who would bring her video camera, and they would make movies such as "Robo Chop vs Carl Banks" and remake movies like "Nightmare on Elm" and "Friday the 13th" movies, and every night of babysitting was a new chapter to their movie collection.

His talents don't end there by any stretch, Eric has also played in bands since high school, and even had a opportunity to travel across the country, where he video taped everything(before youtube, so it was never published)... then he thought, ' would it be cheating if I went to school for video?' So he went to Southern and now he actually teaches journalism tech, and how to cut video with final cut pro. Eric credits his success and inspiration to his great group of friends who have kept him inspired from the beginning.

Right now Eric is working on a new movie "All for the Best" a movie about Mark Mulcahy and his band Miracle Legion to be out in the Summer of 2011, with names like Dan Trambelli (from Pete & Pete)  and Frank Black from the Pixies

Other important pieces to talk about from Schrader include Burial Boys which just came out won all kinds of awards at Silk City Flick Fest - Hartford, CT
::oh AND there's no award for such things yet, but it also has More Swear words than SCARFACE, which has the 3rd most curse words in any movie!::

Heres a few clips from his collection for your viewing pleasure with love from Eric Schrader...

Documentary which follows the CT. punk/new wave scene from 1978 - 1988 

With Debbie Rochon scream queen from movies like 'Toxic Avenger' and 'Night of the Living Dead' 1998 30th aniv. 

On a final note, Eric's Band, Treebeard's CD release party is at Bix Cafe in Brandford April 20th!