Staring

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When I was a little girl, I loved to spend time staring at my own reflection. I remember that I did this quite often until around the age of twelve. Twelve was when I developed a nasty disease called insecurity, and looking at myself began to produce negative feelings. Prior to that, I was fascinated with looking at myself, and I did it often. I have old pictures that my parents took of myself staring in the mirror. I believe it was separate from any narcissism. All the feelings I remember having was just a simple curiosity and wonder of the body I was living in. I even remember inviting a friend to stare with me once, but he didn’t understand why I found looking into a mirror of any interest. I especially loved staring into my reflection from a car window during a nighttime drive. My face would be layered with the stars, the moon, and the sky, and I felt that in this way I was part of them. I believed that my dim reflection was not only the little me then, but me in the future. At eight years old I believed I knew what I looked like at twenty. I read it in the subtle lines of my face. I felt it as I studied myself breathe. I saw hints of my future in the depths of my eyes.

I’ve gotten a bit older, and at 22 I’ve found that this little habit has made it’s way back in my life a bit. A lot of insecurities regarding my physical appearance have been washed away, and now I find myself fascinated again with looking.

Always,

Reylia

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

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“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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teru_teru_bozu

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!!

Always,

Reylia

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On “The Beauty in the Broken”

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Yesterday I had another photo-shoot for my series “The Mystery of the Girl in Her Garden”. At the moment, I don’t have the desire to say much on the series itself, but I will write a bit on the individual photos and the process.

Once before I asked my sister if I could break her violin for a photo-shoot. Understandably, she wasn’t fond of the idea, so I didn’t push it, even though the violin itself had fallen into disuse and it had been cheap. Today, although, I felt the need to ask her once more. This time she didn’t seem to mind as much, just as long as I eventually replaced it.

I had never broken a violin before, so that was a strange experience.

After I had done the deed, I packed up for the shoot. Along with the violin, I had a black dress, my camera (Nikon D7000+50mm), tripod, and umbrella, and then I was off.

The air has been slowly getting cooler. Along with this new chill, it had been sprinkling. I thought that it would surely rain before I reached the garden, but it hadn’t yet started by the time I reached my destination.

I began working straightaway.

In the moment of brokenness lies a magic that, I believe, cannot be discovered elsewhere. I have found that in my darkest moments laid a blazing fire of hope and inspiration. Once it had been revealed, it was a place I kept returning to, and more importantly, it was a place I could return to. This image, to me, represents those times of trouble, both external frustration and internal struggle.

I was shooting for about an hour, although it only felt like minutes. In the moment I decided I would stop shooting, a downpour began. A beautiful autumn downpour.

Always,

Reylia

 

You can’t force art

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I think that this has been the busiest past few weeks of my life. I am so used to taking things as they come, without giving a thought to deadlines, but lately I have been swimming in them.

My feelings toward this way of life have been mixed. While my gratitude for so many things and people is overflowing, so are my frustrations with myself and my art. I have been doing so many things half-way, without sufficient time to ponder the idea, to marvel at the beauty, and to live in the moment. For this project, I live to serve the deadline, even if what I produce isn’t something I like.

It all has been worth it, because the discoveries I’ve had about my own personality have given me great reward, even though I am prone to stress, and often feel the need to release it onto the people nearest to me. It has given me multiple chances to see how I am under pressure, and to be better. Although I still give in to negative emotions and allow them to control me, I know that I will have many more opportunities to rid myself of them and choose happiness.

These past couple of days I have been going out and doing mini photo-shoots for the project I am working on (The project is with a company, hence all the deadlines). In the beginning I was just shooting everything that excited me, including the image above. Unfortunately the shoot that I had initially planned to do ended up failing. I wonder if it was because I had tried to force something that could never happen, instead of just letting things happen naturally, and to be the witness of it.

It feels like that idea can be applied to more than one thing in life. The more you try to force things to happen and to plan them, somehow they end up turning out completely different from how you expected. I have learned this: You can’t force art, it has to be there already. You just have to learn to see it.

Always,

Reylia

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