since 2019 this project has documented creatives in different phases of their lives. just as those creatives have grown through the years, this series continues to do so as well. previous years have been archived with these select images serving as reminders of where we were and where we are going.
ryan simpkins and I had occasionally been in the same room, always related to taylor. I knew they acted but wasn't familiar with any of their work. to me it was a friend of a friend who happened to be involved in the arduous process of making art. 5/19/21 was the day this photograph was taken.
I hiked up this terrible hill in hollywood, taking breaks catching my breath while gig-economy dog walkers passed by. it didn't help that this was the time I would get haircuts once a year, and it had been almost two since the last one. sweat-drenched hair would hit my eyes. I couldn't even swoosh it away since the thickness of it would hold it in position—it greatly contributed to my future decision to keep it DIY buzzed.
they're all in on movies. ryan loves film. from the vhs stacks under their television to the movie posters scattered around the rooms. they fuck with them, heavy. I'm almost scared to go through their letterboxd and seeing all the niche selections. film bros get fucked. how can you not be envious of someone that embodies all aspects of a passion? they immerse themselves in cinema. gazing at the color of a scene carefully selected by the director. studying the subtly in facial expressions of the characters on-screen. to love something so much, and being able to say they themselves make it? to go on set and witness the inner-workings of what ends up in another rabid movie fans' favorite films of the year list? that's fucking sick as hell.
I aspire to love beyond what I create. I don't look at other photographers. sometimes though, I remember when I was younger and did have an affinity towards whatever I saw on tumblr. petra collins was an obvious favorite back then. I can't name anyone else.
zoe alameda sold clothing and art at the sleezehog-iversary show back in 10/25/19. she had this kermit the frog plushie attached to a clothing rack. that show was great. polartropica, guppy, raddicus finch + some dj sets. pabst blue ribbon even sponsored the event—free beer galore (I hate beer so that didn't even matter).
she lived in a house shared amongst other usc students, including roski kids. there was shit everyone on the living room floor, work-in-progress art pieces by either zoe or her housemates. it was cool. seeing the early stages of what could be the piece. I wanted that kinda experience when I was younger. art school, living amongst other art school peers. immersing ourselves in each other's mediums and collaborating like some clique/movement. saic and pratt were my choices before dropping out of high school. I was grateful to see a part of the experience second-hand. the house called themselves "the walton," after the street the house was on, walton ave. it was on the corner intersecting 30th st. this band, julie, had a show there before zoe moved—i missed out.
that was months later though. maybe even the year after. but this day we shot, 9/7/21, was a good hello/goodbye to this place I didn't get to know well at all. and I don't need to—I got to know the artists residing in there, much better.
ember knight came on my radar when she played a sleezehog show, 2/5/20 just a month before covid shutdown. she (with a full band) played on last, after the groans + izumi. it took a bit over a year on 5/14/21 for us to officially meet in person.
it was a big house. split amongst all kinds of creative people. didn't get to meet them but when every other reply to complimenting equipment is "that's my roommate's" then you get the idea that everyone in los angeles will eventually move-in together. there's a cat there, orange guy who loves to bite. and I'll gladly be a chewed up piece of gum for this little stud. we took our time through the place, ending with a nice trampoline session.
ember is eccentric. an odd-job. lion onesies (now turned to ash after being set on fire), electric kid ride-on cars, ill-fitting suits of various colors, an old reddit account with what I can describe as one of the worst nudes ever taken (purposely bad of course), a internet web series "the ember knight show" where she stars as the titular character—is it a character? the point is, that there isn't one. there's never been one. ember figured that out a long time ago and is just pushing on. wherever they land it doesn't matter, because no matter how high you fly you're gonna hit the ground regardless.
aparna brielle and I met for the first time when I went to her home, an apartment unit next to a crazy conspiracy-theorist, trump die-hard. that was she's long gone now, thank god. that was 7/30/21.
we had mutuals. namely taylor (my common thread, connecting so many people featured in this project) and harley. their histories I don't know, I can only assume they've met in some audition waiting room trying for a part that ultimately went to an elle fanning or kiernan shipka.
she's got a cat. oscar. I met him that day, he has very little if any teeth at all. a strict diet to ensure he's got some longevity on this planet. she adores him. an instagram page dedicated to the little guy, I don't follow it because I think it's a little dumb—but I appreciate its existence as a monument to a pet-owners devoted love.
aparna's got some taste by the way. she can moonlight as an interior decorator. furniture choices were top-tier. the way she organized her books? top-tier. shelving? top-tier. it's crazy how someone can just have an eye for putting shit together, piece by piece. I don't have that kind of vision, but I do see how it can take someone like aparna far in life. she performed in this sort of tribute to edie sedgwick and the factory scene of the 60s not too long ago, ended with a "happening" that was all too common back in the day. I wish I had went, money called me that night. I don't like being broke. Little did I know, my life could have been richer.