Welcome to the Insta-hood : @supermagicpowers!

This week I interviewed @supermagicpowers !

  1. Tell me about yourself:

“I run the Cosmic Academy for Curious Youngsters. I project a lot of youth; kids always tell me I am not really a grown up. I don’t feel old in the head, but I do in the body. I worry about losing my magic all the time, but I don’t think it’s gone yet. I love making things my own, I love kids, and I love connecting with my core self. I think most people should look back into what made themselves happy as a child to find their core self. As the great Dean Koontz once said, “The future is the only way back.” My super true love is Billy Lilly, and he is the best magic maker I know, and is very inspiring. It’s funny because I think he’s the best, but he would stop if I wasn’t kicking him the butt, saying keep going. Behind every great man is a woman kicking them in the butt. I love my family, and I have had some truly special moments with them. The spirit of Santa is real, and that’s all I’m saying.”

2. What is Cosmic Academy?

“The Cosmic Academy for Curious Youngsters is something Billy and I cooked up when I was very unhappy with my job at a daycare. We wanted to start a program that would be for the weirdos essentially. The kids that were living life as art, but not knowing it yet. We are in a small town, and the art options for kids are VERY limited. Children are naturally artists, and we want to keep that alive in them. The energy in most schools right now zaps that, encourages everything but creativity most of the time. 

One of the huge things we push is that you do not have to be able to replicate real life. Realism is not always the goal! We hear so many kids say, “it doesn’t look like the real thing.” GREAT! That’s perfect, if we wanted the real thing, we would take a photo. 

We make tons of art with these kids, we write songs, we make videos, we teach them everything we know, and they teach us a lot too. One of our favorite things to do is write hand jives.  We have hand jives about topics ranging from dadaism to what we named our belly buttons. 

This life comes with interesting challenges too.  Most kids only draw their own gender and their race. Oh, and SKINNY IS THE ONLY BODY TYPE.  It’s crazy, not really something I thought about too much before. When you start thinking about representation, you start to notice how much there ISN’T. It’s really cool because as soon as I learn something new, I have this whole audience who I get to teach it to. We have had a lot of discussion about drawing how all people look, and the results, of course, fantastic. I do get pushback sometimes; I once got a phone call about a boy drawing Sailor Moon. It was spectacular, but not everyone thought so. Ugh, oh well, I get to experience more magical moments that anyone I have ever met. 

The kids are raw and pure, and so FUNNY. When you let the kids know, they are free to explore inside their own mind, you get some interesting perspectives. I love to play, so when a child says they have another personality, I am all about it. I take it seriously because of course, I have some characters I like to play too. One is Miss Bad Teacher, inspired by the book, Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard, illustrated by the incomparable James Marshall. She’s a big hit, gets them a little too crazy, but she’s super fun in small doses. Miss Sunshine is ultra-sugary sweet, sort of Snow-White level nice but, good lord, they liked her too much, so she had to have a reboot, now she’s a germaphobe who can’t stand when the kids touch her. I had to do something; I was getting jealous!

I get sad when they start to get obsessed with technology. It’s like watching the treehouse they played with everyday fall into the disrepair. The great thing is more kids keep coming! My fantasy is that the Cosmic kids get older, and they stick around, they volunteer through their teen years (we call that being a Cosmic Elder), helping raise up the next generation of Cosmic, and once they are an adult, well then, they are our friend! And Cosmic gets bigger, and I get to hire all the Cosmic kids who stuck around, and soon we are on TV, talking about how great it is to live your dream. I mean really, most days are a dream. I spend all day playing, making things, helping kids, or planning on doing all those things. What more could I want? “

3. If you have to choose three pop culture icons (alive or dead) that best describe your fashion style. Who would you pick and why?

“Miss Frizzle- I mean she’s pretty self-explanatory. I loved how everything she had on was the part of the theme. The dresses were amazing, but the shoes! Wow oh wow! I stopped trying to squeeze my wide feet into “normal” shoes, I have embraced my cavewomen heart and am strictly a Croc person. I wish there were dinosaur themed heels that felt like a Croc, but alas.

Grandma Rabbit- I would say she is not a pop culture icon, but she was to me. She is the main figure in the children’s book called Where’s Grandma Rabbit? As soon as I saw the cover, I knew that was who I wanted to be. She is on a green and blue bicycle with one baby rabbit in the basket, and one in the bike baby seat behind her. She has on an amazing outfit; fit for the queen she is. I am sending over a picture. She falls asleep on the haunted house ride, and later ends up dancing the night away with a pilot. Grandma Rabbit knows how to party.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse- What’s not to like? The playhouse has a little of everything. I love mixing up all the good stuff. I love that it’s not just for boys or girls. It is kind of messy and chaotic. I even love when it’s decorated for every holiday at once.”

4. What is the inspiration behind the images of the sweatshirt you made?

“Last year, our Cosmic Kids had not gone back to school in the fall because of the coronavirus, so we had a lot more time with them. After online schooling was done, we still had about five hours to make things. We went whole hog into Halloween decorations, and it was very inspiring. I was doing a lot of research into vintage decorations to get ideas for our projects. I was wanting to make some Halloween shirts for myself, but I wanted something more colorful. The kids were very into clay then, and I got into it too. I have always loved the idea of something with a lot of texture and even dimension printed on to clothing, so Billy showed me how to make a shirt design, and that was it!”

5.Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“Well, right now I am working on episode 3 of Cosmic TV, which is a short YouTube show Billy and I started making when we were shut down because of Covid. We wanted to have a way to connect with the kids even though we couldn’t be together. We aren’t shut down now, but the kids love the two episodes we have, and have been helping me with this one. It’s the fashion episode, and it’s very fun. We have some special guests, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

I am also working on a Super True Love sword. Since I was a teenager, I really wanted colorful weapons.    I have no idea why I wanted these so bad, but I sure did! I never really had the confidence to try to make my dream a reality. I don’t need them to hurt anyone, just give the energy I want so I am customizing fake weapons. We will see what happens haha.”

If you like to learn more about Abbigail. Here is her following contact information: https://www.instagram.com/supermagicpowers/

Question!…is it haunted?

hello everybody!!!!

Quick question I would like to write more blog posts about haunted vacation destinations. What places have you always wanted to go on vacation to and that is haunted? Comment below and I will write about some in an upcoming blog post.

thank you!!!!!

Great Small businesses: @pagesofvega !

This week I interviewed a great small business: @pagesofvega !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“Call me Vega.

Vega is my last name and also one of the brightest stars in the night sky, giving off a blue-ish glow. There is a great story about the Milky Way love affair between the stars, Vega and Altair, that you should look up sometime. Vega was once the north star and will be again in about 13,000 years. It’s a very celestial namesake. 

I grew up in Dallas, TX within a mixed family of Filipino and Mexican-American heritages. The cultures are similar due to Spanish colonization and Thanksgivings were always a conglomerate of lumpia eggrolls, pancit noodle dishes, turkey, and tamales with rice and beans. Some of my favorite memories are eating pan dulce sweet bread with my grandparents and running around with all of my cousins. My first name is Natasha, by the way.

I moved to NY about 7 years ago and have been living here off and on (back and forth from TX). My jobs have mostly been in retail/sales, interior design, and as a teacher. I’ve always had a creative mindset with an appreciation for the arts, visiting museums, and reading books. All of these feel like portals; glimpses at other people’s worlds, feelings, adventures. I’m into astrology and identify quite strongly with my dreamy sun sign of Pisces. I’m also a Sagittarius moon, which keeps me moving around (I’ve lived in Mexico, Spain, and South Korea), with a rising sign of Leo (which I’m still trying to decipher). Don’t even get me started on the house placements of my birth chart!”

2. Can you talk a little about your store?

“Maya Angelou has an infamous quote about how people will forget who you are, and what you said, but never how you made them feel. I’ve thought a lot about this and have tried to adopt it into my practice for the shop, “Pages of Vega”. I hope to provide an entire book experience for the buyer. I like to add different vintage paper pieces as decorative flourishes with each order. Books in themselves are very special from the cover art, to the illustrations, and stories. It always feels like secret information that you are telling yourself. I have a fondness for 1970’s paperbacks and early 1900’s hardbacks which is evident in the shop. I am working on highlighting more WOC authors as well.

I’m not a baker, so my Covid hobby that I picked up was paper making. It’s such a process, making the pulp and the slurry, but I love all the botanicals and texture that you can add to the quality of the paper. My goals are to create stationary, cards, and other novelties like zines, bookmarks, and journals as an expansion of my great love of paper. “

3. If you had to make a top five must reads for fall. What books would you put on the list and why?

” My first top read for Fall would be, “The Plague” by Albert Camus for obvious reasons. I read it about 4 years ago for the first time and then frantically looked for the exact vintage red cover version earlier this year. I wanted to know how this ends, if this ends. It heightened and calmed my nerves reading about how others dealt with the age old crisis of plague and what they discovered about themselves; the isolation, the compassion. The descriptions of those bubonic rats are also stomach churning!

Second on the list would be, “Seven Eves” by Neal Stevenson. It’s quite a heavy loaf of a novel that begins with the moon exploding in the first few pages. WOW! A Sci-fi thriller that goes quite in depth about the technicalities of living out in space. I enjoy the layered cast of characters, strong female leads, and transition of worlds. Worth the time investment (it’s almost a thousand pages long) as it’s a complete immersion into this alternate galactic space life.

Third, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte- a classic by all regards. It’s my cozy bedtime read every Fall season. Although I’ve read it many times, I still get caught up in the 19th century prose and Jane’s character. It has all the vibes of love, loss, self discovery, and gothic brooding. Perfect for crisp autumn nights by a faux or real fireplace. 

Fourth, “Your were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance” by Chani Nicholas. This is a good intro into understanding your 3 major sign placements (sun, moon, rising) and how to work through their challenges and gifts. I know astrology is often perceived as made up, but there is a science to it.  Researching more about the special arrangement of my birth chart has allowed me to be more merciful towards myself and how I interact in the world. Learning more self awareness is always a good thing in my book, any season.

Fifth, “Martita, I remember you/Martita, te recuerdo”  by Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros hasn’t published a novel in a decade so this was a delightful surprise. Growing up, “The House on Mango Street” and her poetry “Loose Woman” were very impactful. These were stories about feeling lost in the duty of family and the struggle of becoming one’s own self from a Latinx point of view. I’m excited that this new novel is dual language. Even though I am not fluent in Spanish, I still try to read and practice. I’m also intrigued that the novel is spawned by re-discovering a long lost letter from a friend, the connections we make while traveling, and the movement of life. I admire Cisneros and will always recommend her. “

4. What is an interesting fact that not many people know about you?

“This was a bit difficult to decide on. I will share that although I enjoy living in different countries and learning about other cultures, I am pretty shite at learning languages and holding conversations in them. My Spanish is embarrassing at best and I only learned survival Korean phrases for ordering food and asking for directions. I can read hangul characters though, which is maybe another interesting tidbit, along with the fact that I have a hangul tattoo of my name on my left arm. 

So, despite all the language difficulties, I do enjoy singing in other languages. The accents and wording are a hell of a lot more forgiving with a melody. I have a few songs I like to sing in Spanish (mostly Selena songs), a couple Korean (indie) ones, and even a couple French songs. Tagalog is the next language I’m looking to add to my singing repertoire.  “

5. Do you have any upcoming promotions or events that you would like share?

“I just had my first IG “Giveaway” and pop up market experience in Albany. I would definitely like to do more of both. There will be another book giveaway happening sooner than later and I am looking into different market vending events. It’s such a great way to meet people and see your work/collections out in the open for others to enjoy. “

If you like to learn more about the Pages of Vega store. The following contact information is below:

Instagram: @pagesofvega

Hashtag: #readmorevega for complete listing of books available

Email: pagesofvega@gmail.com

Thank you so much for the interview!

Until next time!!!

My fall to read list!!!

As a new season comes so does a new and exciting list of books to read. I wanted to share some books that I currently have on my to read list.

Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson – This is my current read. Elvira has been a personal icon to me since I was nine so I was super excited when I heard her autobiography was coming out.

Link to buy is here: https://www.hachettebooks.com/titles/cassandra-peterson/yours-cruelly-elvira/9780306874352/

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach

Does wildlife have to respect people laws? This book dives in to some weird but interesting laws that concern nature. Just the title alone made me put this on the top of my to read list!

Link to buy is here: https://maryroach.net/fuzz.html

Confessions of a Puppermaster: A Hollywood Memoir of Ghouls, Guts, and Gonzo Filmmaking by Charles Band with Adam Felber ( Release Date November 2021). From the man who brought you such movie classic such as Ghoulies (1985) and the Puppermaster series has wrote a book about the high and lows of the underground movie scene.

Link to buy is here: https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Puppetmaster-Hollywood-Memoir-Filmmaking/dp/0063087340?keywords=confessions+of+a+puppet+master&qid=1624619846&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl1&tag=horrorscvideo-20&linkId=4113bcbb88829ea9cffc314ca281440e&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl

Carpenters: The Musical Legacy by Mike Cidoni Lennox and Chris May with Richard Carpenter. (Release date November 16, 2021) I don’t know much about this music duo and what I do know is from the Todd Haynes movie. So when I saw this book on the fall must read list I made sure to add it my own. Especially since it has Richard Carpenter telling his own story I am sure it will be worth a read.

Link to buy is here: https://papress.com/pages/carpenters

This is just a small sample of books from my very, very long list. What is on your to read list this fall? Comment below!!!

Until next time!!!

Artist’s Spotlight: @thepaperprophet !

This week’s artist’s spotlight is on @thepaperprophet:

  1. How did you come up with your name?

“You know truth be told, there’s not a lot to my name, which I know has to destroy some of the mystique about it. I’ve always enjoyed naming things, particularly long formal or unusual names utilizing alliterations. It’s all about how the words roll off the tongue. 

(Self-portrait 2021: mixed-media, analog and digital.)

Plus I’ve always been drawn to the idea of anonymity in art, which is perhaps a holdover from my formative graffiti days.  It’s not about me or what I look like, but rather the artwork and my ideas themselves. I like the idea that I can separate my corporeal self from the display of my art. It’s always been a consuming direction for me. In fact, I think the last bio I wrote told the story of my being a Pet Rock, that became sentient after accidentally being irradiated on the International Space Station. Even my self-portraits usually have some twist of obfuscation and anonymity to them.”

2. Can you talk a little about your big cartel store? 

“That’s not actually my store! But rather the store of a community organization I closely work with. I design logos, illustrate posters, and help develop visual messaging and Popaganda (the cross between pop-art and propaganda). They’re called “On Site Public Media”. A initiative based out of the Twin Cities that works on a variety of public programs, including community focused and publicly funded journalism and media from a ground level perspective. 

I consider myself sort of like an artistic “gun for hire”, taking on whatever jobs that speak to me on a personal level, or seem fun and challenging. Lots of illustration for posters – apparel and logos, doing book designs and album packaging, stuff like that. Most of my work is commercial in some capacity, though I’ve been getting in to more traditional commissioned illustrations these last couple years. In fact I did a series of commissions not long ago for a group of Dungeon and Dragon players, depicting their campaigns party members. There’s also illustrations for private events, portraits for people depicting beloved animals and / or family. I once made a half-sheet full color rendering of the characters Wolverine and Wendigo fighting in forested mountains.

If anyone’s interested in having me work on projects, my commissions are open. Message me on Instagram at @thepaperprophet or contact me via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thepaperprophet . Whatever your illustration and graphic design needs are, whether they’re for business, you’re living room wall, and everything between – I’m positive I can make something awesome for you… FOR A PRICE. Duhn duhn duuuuhhhn. Cue dramatic organ music.

(Popaganda poster for “On Site Public Media“, available for purchase at their web store.)


(Details from privately commissioned Dungeons and Dragons character art. Digital.)

3. What is the first art piece you remember creating?

” I’ve literally been creating art my entire life, so there’s no one thing I can point to. I remember a few really old grade school projects. Drawing stories about Mad Monster Parties, making paper mache Puppets and Dragons. Everyone including teachers would ask me to make things for them from elementary school onwards.
My entire life has been dedicated to making stuff. Writing, cooking, music, code, film, comedy, visual art, just whatever. Creativity in all facets would be the cornerstone of my personality. It’s the primordial slime from which I spawned. There has never been anything else that I’ve wanted to do other than make stuff. The one exception being Science. But in the end isn’t art just the antithesis of science? 
Like two sides of a coin, art and science sit so far apart on the spectrum from one another that they’ve come full circle and sit side by side, only the thin line of reality separating the two. It’s like Science is the exploration of the corporeal universe, where as Art is the exploration of an ethereal universe.
If I really dig deep and go back, a conglomeration of memory’s stand out. I remember being super little, sitting in the living room at the coffee table with my mom listening to music, while we busted out the coloring books. SO Many coloring books. And she was so phenomenal with those crayolas, my heart swells thinking of it. Everything was always so meticulously colored. I was driven to be as good as her, and wouldn’t be the artist I am today without her nurturing my creativity at that crucial age. In fact, Crayola crayons still remain one of my favorite mediums to this day.”

(Random sketchbook drawing. 100% Crayola crayon)

4. Where do you find inspiration when creating your pieces?

“It really depends on what I’m working on. I make art professionally, and I think it was the late-great Chuck Close who said “Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.” Which is something that’s always stuck with me. It’s all about getting in there and stretching those muscles. Being aware that not everything you make is going to be perfect, and the important thing is your making “it”, whatever your “it” may be. Be that writing, drawing, playing music. Whatever. You’ve just got to take the time to make things. Creativity is as much a muscle as those in your hand, and they all need to be worked out regularly.

That being said, I like to thematically pair my environmental experience to match the tone of the projects I’m working on. I’m all about curating an immersive experience for my everyday life. With mundane every day activities being reframed to go hand-in-hand, aiding the theme, work, and emotions of the day. Life should be inspiring in general, you know? So we’ve got to fight back against this soul crushing existence within the imperial core, by having fun with things.
Take the social justice art and Popaganda that I make. I‘ll watch a lot of documentaries or movies that match the tone and issues the artwork conveys, and it’s not out of the question that the music and food we consume that day match those themes as well. If I’m working on gig-posters, I’ll listen to the genera of music best representing the events set list, or the bands music itself. Perhaps while at a bar known to share the same values. If I’m working on pixel art I’m usually watching Game Historian, Code Monkeys, or listening to Chiptunes while deep-diving 80s and 90s era comfort food.”

(Commissioned portrait. 100px X 100px pixel art, Digital.)
(A collection of samples from various gig-posters. Hand-drawn, analog.)

5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“I recently announced the line-up for this years Frightful Film Fest. 31 days of horror movies with weekly themes throughout October. This years themes include “Away From Home”, “Shudder” (the horror service), the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, and “This is Halloween” – which is a collection of horror movies taking place around Halloween. Plus there’s a few guest curated selections to round the month off. It’s kind of like Inktober on steroids. As not only am I doing daily drawings, but I’m watching daily movies and attempting to write reviews of them. 
Initially the Frightful Film Fest started as a drink-and-draw style event, with a small group of people getting together in person for a double or triple feature on the weekends. We’d have discussions about the genera and analyzing movies over tall-boys and sketchbooks. As life progressed and people moved, the Fest evolved in to a individual affair with a focus on streaming services and smaller daily viewings, rather than bigger weekly events. I’ve been in talks recently, however, about doing a special one-night-only live edition of the Fest at a local art gallery (should Covid permit).
It’s exciting and terrifying all at once, and not just because of the horror movies. It’s an epic and ambitious amount of work. It’s rewarding though, and allows me to unabashedly delve in to one of my life-long true loves. Horror. All while giving my hands and brain a thorough work-out. If any of your readers would like to follow along with this years Frightful Film Fest they can follow me on Facebook or Instagram @thepaperprophet.

Great small businesses: @_jstyleforthesoul_ !

This week I interviewed a great small business @_jstyleforthesoul_ !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“Hey I’m Jonathan, and a little bit about me is that I’m from Maryland and I come from Salvadoran and Honduran heritage. I am very artistic and outgoing, so I love expressing myself through clothes. When I’m not styling someone I’ll usually be reading current events, or just trying out new recipes I see on my Instagram feed.”

2. What made you interested in pursuing a career in fashion?

“Well, getting into fashion was really an interesting journey for me. I always wanted to study law because I wanted to make a difference in the communities around me, so when I was doing paralegal studies I took a job at Anthropologie and Co. at Georgetown and after about two years of working in their home and apparel departments as a Senior Customer Associate I fell in love with all the creative fashion I saw and the way people dressed and I’ve stayed in fashion ever since.”

3. What fall fashion trends have you noticed for this season, and which trends do you support?

” Fashion trends I’ve noticed recently for this upcoming fall have been Sherpa, vintage graphic tees and straight leg denim. One of the  trends I’m absolutely loving is this prep trend, where it’s straight leg denim, graphic tee and a  blazer, I think you can always dress it down by removing the jacket and then just go out for a night on the town by placing the blazer over the outfit and adding a cute neck scarf as an accessory.

One of the trends I’m currently not in love with right now is the oversized lug sole, as much as I do love lug soles, when they are made too big they can overpower outfits and be very heavy to wear. “

4. If you could dress any three pop culture icons (alive or dead). Who would you pick and why?

“If I could dress three people I would dress: Gabrielle Chanel, Rihanna and Jin from BTS.

I would dress Gabrielle, because of her strong sense of style and she would definitely be very opinionated when I pull out looks for her which is great and would allow me to curate looks.

For Chanel: I probably would introduce her to suits with shoulder padding just because they are so tailored and give a very good look, and I’d definitely introduce her leather blazers knowing how tailoring and clean and comfortable style is a key for Chanel. 

Rihanna just because throughout the years she always pulls off great outfits that are thought out and have a story behind it so I would want to curate that story for her.

For Rihanna: since she has a great sense of fashion I’d want to dress her in an outfit that inspires beauty and elegance, I’d put her in a blush gown with crystal embroidered floral print. Shine bright like a diamond!

For Jin:

And finally Jin from BTS because his style is very clean but when shooting videos he has very colorful and tailored looks.  I’d dress him in slim black trousers, a comme de garçon blue and white stripe dress shirt with a long graphite colored trench coat with chain detailing on his coat and pants to give him a cool urban tailored look.

4. How does one book a styling appointment with you?

” So the process of booking an appointment with me is fairly easy, you can either access my stylist storefront: https://stores-bloomingdales.com/jonathanm

And from there once I confirm a date, I generally will email or text a set of questions regarding their style preferences, colors and their goal for this appointment.

The day before the appointment I will pull out styles and sizes based on their needs and I will then go forth and begin creating outfits and looks the night prior. Generally I’ll have 15-20 items pulled before an appointment.

The day of the appointment I’ll send out a text and meet my client by the entrance and then have a small chat and let them browse for a bit before entering their room.

When I enter them into their fitting room, I explain each outfit and show the styling for each look including accessories and shoes that can be worn for a more personal touch.

And from there I work with whatever sizing or other suggestions I can provide.”

5. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into the fashion business?

“For anyone that is looking to get into the fashion stylist industry, no matter who you are the best thing you can do is be you! I think a lot of people have a misconception of stylists being sales people, although it is our job to sell, my main job is to make you feel comfortable and happy with what you wear. So if you are honest, have an eye for detail and love working with people you’ll do great!

If you like to get in contact with Jonathan. The following contact information is :

note that actual number to contact him for an appointment would be this number:  917-903-4385

This is his storefront link: https://stores-bloomingdales.com/jonathanm

This is his instagram: @_jstyleforthesoul_

Thank you so much for the interview!

Until next time!

My birthday month: A reflection

Hello everyone!

Just a quick personal update about myself. A couple of things: I just finished up my last class in September in order to obtain my Office Assistant certification.

I cannot believe that it is already October! I always feel like that the last couple of months of the year go by the fastest. This year was no exception before I knew it October had entered like a hurricane!

I started working at a new full time job in late August and enjoy the people I work with! Hi new people!!

With October being here also comes two important events: MY BIRTHDAY AND HALLOWEEN!!!!

So with that combination I will be doing 3 giveaways this month. The first one will be announced later this week.

I am not going to lie but this year has been the most stressful and draining year so far. So my best advice is just take each day as it comes.

Thank you guys for your support!


 Welcome to the Insta-hood: @ryanfromdreamland !

This week’s Welcome to the Insta-hood is on @ryanfromdreamland !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“From age 0-11 I felt like I was a pretty normal kid–happy, ate pizza.

From 12-20 things got complicated… found it extremely difficult to relate to people.

From 21-28 I retreated into creative projects alone–music, photos, films.

At 29 I came back from the crossroads, suddenly good at taking photos.

From 30-34 I was tremendously frustrated and sad due to my lack of success. Just going bald at my low-paying job.

From 35-present I took responsibility and prioritized changing myself, self improvement, doing things I feared or had avoided. Went through much embarrassment and pain, but learned a lot. Seems to be going better now.”

2. What made you interested in photography?

“I used to go to estate sales with my dad, and at one there was all this 35mm slide stuff–slides, projector, screen. There was a little document that went with it that was typed on a typewriter. “Ethel took me and Janet to the airport at 7:30 in the morning. Wore a sweater and a skirt.” There were all these cool old slide pictures of these ladies in front of glaciers with crazy glasses on, and I liked it. While I was looking at it, a relative of the family told me that they got laid off from their jobs, so they just went on cool trips and took photos the whole time.
I bought all the equipment and made slideshows of all their best photos and showed them to my friends. There was one pink slide where she’d written “That’s all. Good night.” I always used that as the last picture in the show. Slides were the best because it was like making a movie out of still pictures… but a pure one, meaning the pictures weren’t scans or anything… nothing digital happened to them. They just showed up really big on the wall, four feet wide or more, with the real colors exactly right. The whites white and the blacks black and all showing up the correct and natural way, instead of a scan which has to make choices and compromises.
For several years all I took were slide photos, before I learned how to scan my own negatives. At the same time, I was really inspired by the excellent quality of color photography in Playboy magazines of the ’60s which I collected. From them I learned to work on the background as much or more than the subject.”

3. What are your favorite places or people to photograph and why?

“Here’s what I look for in a place to take photos.

A) Are there multiple potential backgrounds in this place? Or just one? I always try to pick places which have the potential for the highest number of different backgrounds in one day or shooting session. Such as if you pick a park with big trees, you will get big trees or grass as your background for every photo. But if you pick the Madonna Inn, say, which you know has a lot of different areas inside and outside that you can easily go to that are all old and cool, you know you might get ten or more different backgrounds.
B) The second thing I look for in a location is shade. If it’s not at golden hour, daylight-balanced film photos need to be in shade to look good. So you might plan to do some in shade first and then others out in the open as the sun begins to set.
As for people, I have found that the best photo subjects are those who are loose. Meaning it’s not so much that the person is attractive or stylish, but rather that your relationship with the person is such that both you the photographer and they the subject are having fun and not worried. It makes your photos seem spontaneous and fun even if they were extensively planned. It’s still possible to get good photos with people you are uncomfortable around, but I would say it increases the chances to get a higher number of “hit” photos in a day.
Also, though, it does help if the person looks interesting. Like, everything is going into your photo frame, so don’t make anyone look at something which isn’t that great. Imagine the image you are making was a painting instead of a photograph. In a painting, a person’s shirt could take up maybe 40% of the canvas. That’s a lot. Make sure the color or pattern of the shirt makes sense with the other elements.


If I named specific people who I have enjoyed photographing the most, I would say @thunderpuss and @marisolmuro.


They both naturally wear interesting outfits with good colors and things, so it saved me having to do the work of making some of those choices.”

4. Are there any movies you have seen this year that has inspired your work?

“I wouldn’t say especially this year, but overall movies have inspired my stuff more than anything else. I was a cinema major in college and I didn’t have any friends ’cause I was shy and scared of people, so I would just watch movies in the library there by myself all the time. They had everything on laserdisc and you could just have them put it on for you for free and you would watch it on a little TV in a cubicle with old brown rubber headphones on.
I have always seen movies as, like, the most complete and meaningful art form… where everything I’ve already done–music, photos–has just been unconnected fragments of the big show, a feature film. So the things that have inspired me are…
The overall writing and focus on the realistic interaction of people (or lack thereof) from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, Rushmore, The Trouble With Angels, La Strada, and Le Souffle Au Coeur. Also most of these all have tragic, weighty endings.

Midnight Cowboy

The apparent spontaneity and lack of “rules” from Godard, as well as the 4×3 aspect ratio and framing of women’s faces, namely Bande a Part, Masculine Feminin, Vivre sa Vie, A Woman Is A Woman. Also Funeral Parade of Roses and Hausu are super unpredictable like that, but they’re not Godard.

The numerous memorable, iconic color images of Kubrick, namely 2001, Clockwork Orange, and The Shining.
The dialogue and American editing of Scorsese–where it’s not super fast crazy French stuff, but you still see it in an in-your-face way, where all those scenes become famous just from slow motion and music–When De Niro walks in the bar without his pants to the Rolling Stones in Mean Streets, when he warms up in slow motion at the beginning of Raging Bull to classical and also later in the knockout/marriage montage, when he smokes the cigarette to Sunshine of your Love in Goodfellas.”

5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

” I started an email list in December where every Sunday I send out a link to a free movie you can watch at home, a cool lesser-known visual place you can go, or a practical tactic I’ve tested that you can use, such as systems to be more productive or get better creative ideas. I was really surprised that everybody kept writing back to every email and thanking me. I call it the “inner circle” and we’re almost at 1,000 people. It’s all free and here if anybody wants to join:


Besides that, I’ve finally got my website going to sell big photos, and I’m trying to finish the third draft of my first feature. (And quit my normal job haha.)The site is SometimesFilms.com.

Thank you so much for the interview Ryan!

Until next time!