The Red Era

brendanx-convert

Some time ago, about two years now, I was at a festival. This particular one I had looked forward to every year. It was here that I had discovered a part of myself that wasn’t scared or anxious. It was during this one day, my brain allowed myself to transform.

It wasn’t until the evening, that a man came up to me. He told me he was a friend of my mother’s. He was friendly, but looked at me intently. We chatted casually about the day, him a drink in hand, and me sober. A state to remember everything. “Oh Reylia.” he said, suddenly changing the topic. He cupped my face in his hand, and then briskly stroked my cheek. “You could be so beautiful…if your skin wasn’t like this.”

Pain and shock erupted in my gut, but left me speechless. Because of this man, the skin trouble I had been dealing with for years might have finally broken me. Every morning, the first thing I would do was to look in the mirror and to see if it was gone. Every night, I would check the mirror again to see if it leveled out through the day. It rarely did, if not get worse with the sun, air, and sweat. Despite all the things I used to try to heal it. And here at the festival where I felt the most confident, I had in front of me all my demons, all my insecurities, in the form of just one man.

In my daily life, once I stepped out of the house, I tried to never mind my skin too much, and to remind myself that there were worse things to worry about than how I looked. In that way, I was confident, and concerned myself with matters that involved my art or my education. Unfortunately makeup had the tendency to hurt my skin more, so it was always me naturally, bare skin to all.

After the words had come out of the man’s mouth and his hand had fallen back to his side, I realized that all my friends were walking ahead back to the station, so I had no time to react properly. I rushed to my group, and was quiet for a while, processing how his comment, his physical gesture, made me feel. I touched my skin gently as the train swayed back and forth, the texture rough to the tips of my fingers.

It was then I realized how much I didn’t care. But that I did want to turn it around and make something through this time of mine. The Red Era. Maybe that’s what it’ll be called. Whatever this time of mine is, I won’t let anyone take away my joy at just living, breathing, and being alive. Here, now, and in my skin.

Always,

Reylia

 

 

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My work for Adobe Photoshop! 25 under 25!

Reyliasmall

Hi everyone! I have some exciting news to share!
皆さんこんにちは! お知らせしたい嬉しいニュースがあります!

日本語訳を以下に記載しています。

This year marks Adobe Photoshop’s 25th anniversary, and in honor of it, the Adobe team has been searching the globe, looking for 25 artists under the age of 25 to create a piece in celebration of it. Among them are digital artists , photographers and even typographers. I’m super excited and honored to say that I’m one of the 25, and this is the piece I created for them.

To read more about adobes 25 Under 25 project, please check out the links below!
http://www.adobe.com/pro…/photoshop/25-year-anniversary.html
http://blogs.adobe.com/…/25-under-25-the-search-is-on-for-2…

A HUGE thank you to the Adobe team, for all their support and advice, and a big congratulations to the other 24 selected! You guys earned it!

I’m also taking over adobes Instagram for about two weeks! Would be so wonderful if you could follow, like, and comment on there! Link below!
https://instagram.com/photoshop/

Also thanks so much to all my incredible friends, family, and viewers for their support and encouragement! You truly are my rock. And a shout-out to the model, Dagny! You were so amazing on the shoot! I can never thank you enough.

Here’s to 25 years of creativity!

Always,

Reylia :))

今年はアドビフォトショップの25周年記念の年です。
その記念に、世界中のデジタルアーティスト、写真家、タイポグラファーの中から”25”というテーマのもと、お祝い記念の作品を創る25歳以下の25名が選出されました。

その25名の中に私も選ばれて、本日(10月5日)、17番目の作品として紹介されることを、本当に光栄に思います。

詳細は下記のリンクでご覧になれますので是非チェックしてみてください!
http://www.adobe.com/…/p…/photoshop/25-year-anniversary.html
http://blogs.adobe.com/…/25-under-25-the-search-is-on-for-2… (EN)

アドビの皆様からのサポート、アドバイスに感謝しています。
そして、他の選出された24名のメンバーにもお祝いの意を表します。

また、本日より10月15日まで、私の他の作品もアドビのインスタグラムに掲載されることになりましたので、是非ご覧になって頂き、コメントを頂けたら嬉しいです。
https://instagram.com/photoshop/

これまで応援して下さった友達や家族、そして応援してくれている全ての方々に本当に感謝しています。このような大きなチャンスを掴めたのは皆様のおかげだと思っています。

そして、この作品のモデルであるダグニー、本当にありがとう!写真の中のあなたはとても素敵でした。

25周年記念を祝して!

Always,

Reylia

Website || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Twitter || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Instagram || http://www.instagram.com/reylia.slaby
Blog || http://www.reyliaslaby.wordpress.com/

Never Leave Me

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“Never Leave Me”
Photo: Reylia Slaby
Model: Dagny Tarver

Finally a new piece. I owe my “delay” to several things. One being that the shoots I’ve been desiring to have involve purchasing rather expensive things, and in that case I must wait, and one by one accumulate all that I need. The second is that this year, my focus has shifted. I see art now as the shadow of experience, and without embracing life, art can become meaningless. My prerogative now is to live.

But more about that later.

This shoot was so wonderful to do for me. Dagny was such a sport, and I can’t thank her enough for going through with it, despite the rain and the cold. She is truly a great model 🙂

As for the idea itself, it stems from my tendency to cling to the things that I love. I have felt this to the extent that it can be borderline obsessive. Despite my undying love for these things or people, I cannot make them stay. I have always known and been ok with this. When it comes to people in this equation, everyone has their own path, a stage entrance and exit. It is ok to let go, because that is the natural flow. Very few things stay.

But on the bright side, many things come back.

Always,

Reylia

Website || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Twitter || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Instagram || http://www.instagram.com/reylia.slaby
Blog || http://www.reyliaslaby.wordpress.com/

Sunsets & Trains

japan-train-photography

I like carrying my camera around. When I first began shooting out in the town, I preferred taking pictures of people’s shoes since I was too timid to shoot faces. In Japan, I don’t see much “street photography”. There are, of course, plenty of tourists with their DSLRs, although that seems hardly a substitute for a photographer whose intention is to capture the essence and heart of a people—of a city. Since there aren’t so many shooters out, I am often anxious as to how people will receive me. I become paranoid when I point my lens at a person, and a rush of wild worry flows through me. Click.

Somehow, despite Japan being more conservative, I feel that it is a lot easier for me to shoot on the streets here, than compared with the States. Confrontation seemed a lot more possible in America, whereas for here, people are more reluctant to talkat least to me. I have never spent much time in the U.S, although, and have only visited 3 times in recent memory, so that might have contributed to my apprehension. When I did shoot, I was asked more than once “Did you take my picture?” Although it was all friendly, I dreaded the possibility that I would one day photograph someone who would react in anger.

But here, I think I will continue taking photos of the outside world, instead of simply restricting myself to conceptual shoots. If I truly enjoy both, why shouldn’t I do both?

Yesterday when I went out to take an ASL class in Kyoto, I brought my camera and shot this image along the way. It had been snowing, so it was brilliant that the sun eventually came out.

I was indeed spoiled by the California weather. It has been raining and snowing on and off ever since I came back home to Japan; ergo, I am definitely one of the happiest when the weather is beautiful.

Always,

Reylia

Website || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Twitter || http://www.reyliaslaby.com/
Instagram || http://www.instagram.com/reylia.slaby
Blog || http://www.reyliaslaby.wordpress.com/

10 Things Photography Teaches.

A few of the things I’ve learned from photography. I usually re-learn them all each time I have a photo-shoot.

——–

1. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.

Sometimes I’d go on a photo-shoot and know from the start that it wouldn’t work out. The models weren’t right together, I compromised the prop or location, or I just wasn’t feeling the idea. This has happened a lot. But I grow from the mistakes. If you aren’t feeling it, then there is something you should change. This applies to every facet in your life.

 2. There will always be another photo-shoot

I’m usually in a  bad mood if I don’t have a photo-shoot planned. If I get lazy and don’t make plans, I ask myself, I have about 50 ideas drawn up in my sketch book, why am I not making any plans to have them materialised? Then i get out there, shoot, and feel a bit better. When I finally do finish up a photo-shoot and have it edited, a deep satisfaction rests upon my soul and I can sleep well that night. But then the next day I feel like I have to create something just as good or better. I ended up repeating the same cycle where I was depressed because I didn’t have anything planned. There will always be another photo-shoot.

3.Everyone is more beautiful than they think.

So many people tell me “I could never model, I don’t have the look for it.” Being a good model has very little to do with how you look, and everything with your attitude. It is the ability to pull emotions from deep inside you and show that through your expression and body. It is being willing to wade in dirty waters and stand in the rain because you believe in the artist and the idea. That means more than a pretty face.

4.You will get stuck, but you will get out.

At this period in my art, I get stuck a lot. I don’t have the resources I wish I had and I can’t travel to beautiful locations. So I find myself using the same area again and again, and trying to squeeze everything I can from that particular place. I end up losing inspiration. But, I always end up finding another location close by that I missed, but is just as beautiful. It is an art to see old things in new ways, and I use that to escape from my rut.

5.It’s OK to use your breakup for inspiration

I’ve shamelessly used my ex for ideas. A lot of people have commemorated me on this, because they wouldn’t do it themselves. They would be scared about how it would be received. They wonder if it is healthy to display your feelings where everyone can see. Let me tell you, if you can find healing through it, it is healthy. As long as you don’t disrespect anyone through your images then feel free to use your pain as an advantage. If I can take all my negativity and turn it into something beautiful, then that is a hope I will carry with me for the rest of my life. That there is beauty in pain.

6. Art helps you understand yourself

Art reveals to me my weaknesses and my subconscious struggles. There are so many questions I have, so many problems I don’t know why happen, but when I throw art into the mix, things became a lot clearer. Or when I am having problems thinking of new ideas for photography, how I am during those times reflect my current state of mind. Can’t focus? Are you scatterbrained? You want to do everything at once? It is rarely art’s fault, but helps you discover the side effects of something that can be poisoning you.

7.A failure isn’t a failure.

When I had my first “failed photo-shoot” I was devastated and I felt incompetent. I was so scared that I would never take a good photo again. But I found out that my so-called failures had nothing to do with my talent, but everything to do with my state of mind and how well I planned out the shoots. I was rushed, I wasn’t thinking clearly, and what I created was the product of my sloppiness. I’m lucky because when it comes to my conceptual photography I can afford to be sloppy, because it is all about understanding yourself and finding out the things you need to change.

Once I had a shoot fail because I had no soild idea attached to it. I didnt see the path in how I would edit it or what the story was. But about four months later, I saw it differently, and I managed to create something that meant something to me. So the shoots are never a failure, either you learn something from it or you save gems for later to re-discover.

8.People don’t see the mistakes as well as you do

Don’t freak out over the mistakes, because the chances are, you are the only one who can see them.

9. Simplicity is key

Whenever I think that I need fancy equipment or extravagant props, I always look back on my most popular photos. In “To Cut Your Ties” all I used was a some string and a scissors as the prop, and yet I balanced it in a way that it was aesthetic. You don’t need more than you need to create something beautiful. All you need is your idea and your determination to see that idea come to life.

10. Just do it.

Do not procrastinate. This has got to be my biggest downfall. Some days I spend so much time feeling low that I end up getting nothing done. They say that procrastination is the fear of failure. I would believe that. You fear that what you do won’t effect anyone, that it won’t mean anything, that no one is going to care. Prove yourself wrong.

Always,

Reylia

http://www.reyliaslaby.com

What Art Taught Me: Passion

What Art Taught Me: Passion

Originally written on: December 31st 2013 

Previously, when someone used the word “passionate” to describe themselves, I always felt a bit uneasy. I never knew why for sure, but I suspect that it is because I felt that on some level word was sacred. Using that word would be akin to calling yourself a genius or a prodigy. To me, they walked hand in hand.

 Despite loving the arts my whole life, I could never bring myself to say that word. I loved everything I did and immersed myself in it all. But to me, it wasn’t being passionate, it was being natural.

 I do think that society has used that word so much that the meaning has been lost, so now most of us are left with a bad impression or no impression at all when it’s used. I think it’s a pity, because when you really look at the word, you realise it holds so much meaning and depth that is usually taken for granted.

 But I didn’t have to look through a dictionary definition to understand it.

For the most part, I found it through the times I was taking photos. It was a slow process, though.The first time I caught a glimpse at it was when I took my first intended conceptual photo. It was there, my feeling was being reflected in my model and I felt it for a moment. But it was only for an instant and it passed by me.

Then after being hurt by someone I cared about, I found it again through heartbreak. It came to me and I saw how I was feeling as a picture. I felt it, and nearly breathed it. But not in the way that Hollywood depicts it, but the way you see it in a beautiful dream. After you wake up, all you want to do is return to all those heavenly images that were dancing before your closed eyes. That’s how it is for me. I feel in images.

 I’m lucky enough to kind of understand passion. I don’t have a very tight grasp on it at all, but I do think it can be in all of us. My question is, is it wrong to say you’re passionate when you don’t know how or why you are? Is passion something we can have? Does it reside in us innately? A free gift to each person as we go through this funny little thing called life? I don’t know. I don’t hold all the answers. But I do hold a few questions. And maybe if we all ask loud enough in one big booming voice we will find an answer ringing back to us.

 That is what I hope to do though art. To find understanding about the life that surrounds me. Something inside me wonders that if I take all the influences, good and bad, and then echo back with art, maybe I will be able to see it more clearly.

 In the end, looking back at my body of work and the experiences I had with each one , I do think I can be passionate. But not all the time. Sometimes I can shut it out, but it keeps knocking until I open up to it again. It is very understanding.

 I found passion in many places during all of my photo shoots. I’d like to share a few with you.

——

 In To Cut Your Ties I found passion in the spur of a moment and the beautiful short hair of the model.

 In Wait I found it in the fact that my model had been a ballerina as a child, and I saw it in the graceful placement of her arms, even though it had probably been years since she danced.

 In It Can’t Protect You, I found it in changing my clothes on a public road in front of a friend in the rain, just because I needed the shot.

 In A Bleeding Heart, I found it in hardly wearing anything at all, nearly slipping on the rocks and dipping into a cold pool of water that I momentarily shared with spiders and water-bugs.

 In Running From Yourself, I found it in a field. I walked about two hours there and back, with all equipment over my shoulder. I was alone, and at the end of the photo-shoot I found myself running through the field and jumping, yet I didn’t know why. I was just happy. Even though no one was there to see it.

 In Your Promises, I found it in my model, who was an embodiment of passion herself. To the way her mouth moved and to the way she clutched the stems of the flowers. I wished I could be like her.

——

 So many…so many. There quiet experiences lead me to a place inside myself that I wouldn’t have been able to discover otherwise.

 Hopefully one day I will understand passion better. But not to use it as a tool to explain how much better I am than someone else, as if passion is only reserved for an elite few. No, that isn’t why it’s here. It is meant to fuel us to make more of itself. For what purpose? I still have yet to know. Maybe one of you have the answer

 Always,

 Reylia

 

Don’t Make Art

Don’t make art, I told myself.

I’m not creative, so I will never be able to be a good artist. I will never be able to reach the level of all those other people. I know I haven’t drawn since kindergarten, but I was always told I wasn’t “the artistic type” so I know for sure I’m not. Sure, all the kids that grew up to be artistic used to be just as bad at it too, but I remember being really bad at it. I know, I know, criticism comes with the territory of the art world, but I know that even if I put in the hours of actual art training, I still wouldn’t be good. Besides, I’m more left-brained.

Don’t make art, I told myself.

There are so many people in the world who make art, why do they need more? It’s not like my drawing will change the world. I might be able to change myself, alter the course of my whole life,  and impact the people around me, but still, that wouldn’t be worth it. If the whole world doesn’t know, what’s the point?

Of course, when I do meet those people who are artistic, I will compliment them on their spectacular talent, and make sure to add that “I’m not creative at all”. But also mention that I wish I was, just to seem a bit more open minded. Maybe even crack a joke about my stick figures.

Don’t make art, I told myself.

I walked through the art store and saw how much that canvas cost. Is this store insane? Don’t they know people have dreams here?! I also took a stroll through the electronics section in the store and saw how much that camera was. Are you kidding me? Do you think I can afford that? Sure, online I could probably find one for less than half the cost, but I won’t bother searching because I need the newest and best one on the market. Otherwise I won’t be the best I can be.

Don’t make art, I told myself.

If I ever wanted to *god forbid* sell my art, then thats another range of skill sets I need to acquire.

I wouldn’t be able to make any money on it. I know that the main purpose of art is to not only inspire others but also yourself, but I will stick with the idea of success before I even start anything.

Don’t make art, I told myself.

I’m much too busy. I have so many things to take care of. Not to mention, I’m stressed. Sure, there are scientific studies being conducted on the health benefits of visual arts therapy, music engagement, and expressive writing, but I shouldn’t take that chance. I might accidentally make more stress.

Don’t make art, I told myself.

I’ve met those artists. You know, the types who end up quitting their job to “pursue their passion”. Then they never have a fully stable job after. Who wants to end up like that, all oozing with passion and all?

Don’t make art, I told myself.