Last Fine Art Piece of 2014, “Rain, Rain”

“Rain, Rain”
Photo: Reylia Slaby
Model: Hiromi

I can’t believe that 2014 will be coming to an end in just one day (Wow..). With that being said, this will mark my last fine art piece of 2014.

Before I go into detail about the piece itself, I want to talk a bit about “Teru Teru Bozu”, the little doll made out of cloth. It is a very common to see them here in Japan. They are amulets against the rain, and children make them as crafts for when they are wishing for sunny weather.
For a bit more information on it, please follow this link:

This year has been a whirlwind for me. So many amazing things have happened. Because of my schedule and new responsibilities, I haven’t been able to think straight for the last couple of months. Now that the dirt has settled a bit, I feel like I am slowly coming back to myself.

2014 was a mix of the good and bad, as it was for everyone, I believe. We all had things that weighed us down and made us feel less than happy. In my case, I brought certain ghosts from 2013 into 2014 and let them haunt me the whole year. I wished for sun for a long time, and despite knowing that it was up to me to push away any dark clouds, I didn’t, and continued to make personal choices that didn’t bring any happiness.

This image is a bit different from my usual style. It was shot only yesterday, with my beautiful Nikon d7100 and 50mm lens. It was the first time for me to work with someone so young, and I loved it. She was such a fireball of energy, so curious, and so decided on doing what she pleased. She asked me so many questions, questions I didn’t always have an answer to. She helped me remember a bit more clearly what having fun looks like.

The title comes from the song in English “Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day”. Now this picture encapsulates all I want from 2015. It has been raining for a long time, but now it’s about time for a bit of sunshine. Not saying that there won’t be other storms, I’m sure I’ll receive my fair share in 2015, but there are one or two things I need to let go.

I want to walk into 2015 with a heart of a child and with a hopeful spirit. To look forward, but not to be afraid to look back and to learn. To keep dreaming and to keep on growing.

And a special thank you to EVERYONE who has been supporting me, encouraging me, and loving me this year. I owe everything to you.

Have a spectacular 2015, everyone!! Here’s to the New Year!!



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A new series, and thoughts



This piece is a bit different because usually the ideas behind my images are relatable to other people besides myself, whereas this one is about a specific event in my life.

I will be attempting another new series. I haven’t thought of a name for it yet, but I’ll let it come as I create. I don’t know how many images there will be, but I’m thinking that,with the exception of this one, I won’t show any of the images until the whole series is completed (At least until a considerable part of it is).

These days I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of art and it’s effect on the artist. I often disliked my attitude  when I displayed my artwork on social platforms. I became extremely conscious of how much attention each piece received and it was no longer fun to share. It became more about the Likes and comments of the image rather than what I learned from it. It is not only me, though. We have become a society where we care so severely about how many clicks that button gets and it is no longer an individual that enjoys your work, but a number.

But we have to continue to use social media. While we wish it could be all about the art, there has to be a division somewhere.The artist is always in a difficult position because we also have to be businessmen and properly promote whatever we make, otherwise “we won’t get anywhere”. We have adapted this “big-break” mentality, and we go through life waiting for something to happen instead of making things happen and enjoy life how it comes.

That is one reason why I quit Instagram and decided to not to go on again until I could use it in a way that was healthy. I decided to go back on two days ago, except this time I am thinking about it in a different way. It is about interaction, love, caring, and a mutual respect for each other. That is what the social media should be for, instead of adding thousands of tags and taking hundreds of selfies just to get people to notice you. We all want attention and love, but the way we try to get results just isn’t good. When it starts to become an obsession, that is when we need to take a step back and reexamine the purpose.

I was discussing the Scarlet Letter with a good friend of mine, Karina (Who also happens to be one of my models) and we came across this paragraph in the beginning:

I was happy enough to find a listener or two on the former occasionーI again seize the public by the button, and talk of my three years’ experience at the Custom-House. The example of the famous “P.P., Clerk of this Parish,” was never more faithfully followed. The truth seems to be, however,that,when he casts his leaves upon the wind, the author addresses,not the many who will fling aside his volume, or never take it up, but the few who will understand him, better than most of his schoolmates and lifemates.

That passage is true to all artists, but often our thinking becomes distorted and we think that we need to make thousands of people care and understand us. But it is better to have few amazing friends who care deeply and carry a desire to understand than a hundred faceless people whose interaction with you starts and stops after the Like button is clicked.

Anyway, this piece is about a certain time in my life, and I will disclose it when the series is finished 🙂

Thank you for reading!



My file names


Had a long day of photo editing. Quite tired. My solution to it is to nom on oranges with a creepy face.

I just realized that I give my files funny names while I’m editing them. I was a bit frustrated the last few days with this one photo. I couldn’t figure out the framing, the mood for the image, or what extra elements to add. So yesterday when it started to come together a bit, I named my file “Finally-going-somewhere.psd”. I should have a new picture really soon! 🙂 Oh so exciting ❤

Hope that everyone has a splendid weekend!



On “They Called Her Ame Onna”

The more I do photography and write about it, the more I realize how hard it is to be honest in today’s world. There is so much pressure to be perfect that it can overwhelm you and even turn you into a really negative person. I feel the pressure daily, as we all do.

 One of those pressures for me lies in identity. People who are born into the same culture as their parents can’t truly understand the mindset of the third culture child. While I don’t want to dramatize it, it is true that the older I become, the more I am aware of it and the more it affects me. When I was younger, I remained blissfully unaware that I was different than the other kids, but now even when I’m in the store and the clerk says “Enjoy your stay in Japan!” I have to physically stop myself from explaining my whole life story of how I was born and raised here. I want to cry out, “This is my home”, “I’m not different”, and “I belong.”

 It can be painful, but I do by best to push the negative side of it away. But what about the people who take the negative things about their lives and carry it wherever they go? The people who wear their pain like a medal of honor and never let anyone forget what they are going through?

 “Ame Onna” 「雨女」in Japanese means “Rain girl”. It pretty much refers to any female who brings the rain wherever they go. So if you are going to a picnic, and it happens to rain on that day, you could be an Ame Onna. But what about a rain that others can’t see or feel?

 Sure, pain can be beautiful and we can’t ignore it, but there are so many people who choose to dwell on the problem instead of working on it. I can be that type; I tend to over-think painful experiences and feelings. But it is never good to carry your pain around. Only by putting down the umbrella can we realize that the rain has stopped and that the sun is now shining.

 Any comments or questions please message me at  🙂



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.