Tag: you

How I See You ~ Part 3

My sister, Aleigha, has a insanely active imagination and colorful personality. After seeing Courtney’s transformation i my first “How I See You” post, she willingly sat on a stool for an hour while I painted her face until we got these incredible photos above.

The way I see her now isn’t the same as I’ve seen her as a little girl. Then, she was everybody’s girly girl, a petite little princess who enjoyed the spotlight.

But like may teenagers do, she’d begun to redefine herself as she slowly developed her skill as an artist. While I paint and sketch portraits, she’s dived into the world of animation, cartoons, comics, and anime; growing int our favorite nerdy tomboy.

I could tell her desire to look and feel beautiful never went away. We both struggle with our self image in a similar way, but she would have kicked and screamed if I’d put her in a dress. Her style didn’t go with the flow of modern trends, so I decided to try something a bit out of the ordinary. The art she creates is a pure reflection of herself. BOLD, FUN, DRAMATIC, and EXPRESSIVE. A true character one would find in a classic Archie Comic. Because classic is probably the best way to describe her.

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How I See You Project ~ Part 2

It only takes one photo to tell a story. The man you see here is someone I had the pleasure of meeting last September. He just returned home after being stationed in New York. After his active term in the Army was over, he started a life that was much different than the chaos he was used to, even since childhood.

While respecting his privacy, all I can say his how much I admire him for following his desires to find peace and truth. In Palmyra, New York, he learned about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For a year he read the Book of Mormon, taking his time to read, ponder and pray until he chose to learn more.

When he moved back to Arizona, I won’t lie, I was immediately fascinated after spotting him at church. And thankfully he was more amused then creeped out, but eventually our friendship solidified and I learned just how awesome he truly is. At first glance, one could easily assume him to be a nonmember or convert. His tattoos are the first to give that impression, but to me they’re proof of his artistic talent considering he did a few himself.

What’s cooler is his heritage. Just recently I learned that not only is he Mexican descent, but part Native American as well. Lately he’s been diving into family history, which brings us to this photo here. We took a very long road trip to St. George, Utah to hike Zion’s National Park, and walk the grounds of the oldest running LDS temple in history. We stood on decades worth of history and he asked me to take a picture of him.

Originally I had the intention of taking different posed photos with him. I wanted this project to highlight some of his best features, which includes his smile. Instead, I found the best angle and pose to take one photo that spoke volumes to me.

On the way there, someone was very quick to profile us. I didn’t blame that person for jumping to conclusions. But what they saw in my friend was only the surface. But what I’ve seen since the beginning is a man who has always turned his back on the past to face God’s light. Not that he forgets it entirely, but embraces where his past has lead him so he can learn and continue to move forward.

If he’s reading this right now, he’s for sure laughing at how much of poetic cheeseball I am. He’s not one for being in the spotlight. But how I see you, is how God sees you. And I hope this picture will remind everyone to do the same for all people. I think I speak for everyone when I also say, thank you for your service.

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New Photography Project! “How I See You”

As an artist, I love trying new mediums and expanding my creativity beyond the paintbrush. Recently I decided to do a new project where I capture the closest people in my life in the way I see them. My first subject is my youngest sister, Courtney.
Courtney was born under severe circumstances that left her in the NICU for 8 days, three weeks sooner than doctors expected. She grew into a brilliant girl with an active imagination, known to be our tough as nails Tom Boy. But as her big sister, watching her blossom into a young woman, a trait I always saw was how delicate and graceful she is with timeless features.  To me, angelic and fairylike. Her response to that…a sarcastic, “Okay, Chelsea. Whatever you say…” She never really liked getting her picture taken, but with endless pleading…she agreed.

My original plan was to create a fashion forward look using products I found at the 99 cent store, which I did! I purchased her makeup and made the flower crown myself the night before. The dress was once owned by an old roommate who gave it me, and I passed onto Courtney. The whole look cost under 20 dollars.

Courtney was skeptical at first, especially when I started using the liquid liner and dusting eye shadow on her cheek bones.

But after 3o minutes of hair, makeup and finding the perfect angles, I began to edit…and as soon as I got what I was looking for, I showed her the final product. Her face lit up. “They turned out better than I expected,” she said with the biggest smile on her face. No matter what time of day, in whatever state she’s in, Courtney has always been a beautiful girl. And like many, it takes a new perspective for us to see ourselves as others see us. And it wasn’t just the hair and makeup…it was the persona she stepped into. These pictures reminded me how much she loved dressing up as Cinderella when she was little. The funny thing is, no matter how old we get, we never stop playing dress up. And this was a lovely reminder that once Cinderella, always Cinderella!

Here are the final favorites!

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To Andy Grammer and Jon Schmidt

Have you ever listened to an album and felt chills run down your spine, inspiring a vast spectrum of emotions imploding in your brain and chest cavity? I’ve had many different reactions to different artists, but today is my tribute to two particular artists – Jon Schmidt and Andy Grammer.

 

In June of 2012, Andy Grammer came to perform at Dixie State where I attended college. At that point in my life, I live in a bubble. I hadn’t heard of him, nor his opening act, Rachel Platten. Of course, it was before her hit singles, “Stand by You” and “Fight Song” even existed, but still…holy crap, I was in a room full of talented greatness! Some may disagree, but the sound, lyrics and energy was everything my soul needed at the time.

 

Towards the end when Andy had someone take a photo of he and the entire audience I was in, it completely made my night, especially when Facebook resurfaced that memory after 5 years. I found it so poetically perfect sense it was his newer album, Magazines or Novels, that inspired my upcoming novel, Unseen Road to Love.

Ideas for my book had been roaming around my head for years, but I wasn’t motivated to begin the writing process until after my friend’s birthday party. His girlfriend at the time had planned a big surprise, and I showed up to find his friends, family, food, cake and massive blowup slide in his backyard. And if said friend is reading this right now, call me, it’s been awhile. Anyway, there was a moment amidst all the awesome chaos when I noticed them gravitate towards each other. And for a few minutes the world around them disappeared.

The exchange was sweet and gave off a genuine feeling that suddenly inspired my main characters, Logan and Addie. I could see their personalities, their lifestyles and what their interaction would be like if they were put in the same room. Right then the story had a foundation, but now it was time to learn about their history, and determine their future. In doing so, I discovered Andy Grammer’s album.

“Kiss You Slow” – Logan’s secret sensitive side his connection to Addie.

“Pushing” and “Sinner”  – Logan’s desire/struggle to be spiritually helped.

“Back Home” – The bond between Logan and his family.

“Co-pilot” – Logan and Addie’s relationship.

In the book, a particular musician, Jon Schmidt, is mentioned, as well as one of his songs, “Christmas Medley. This was before he was officially a part of The Piano Guys. He frequently performing at my high school back in Riverton, Utah, and that song not only inspired the whole scene it’s mentioned in, but the whole nature of the book. It’s what inspired me to give the whole book and Christmas/redemption theme, and I get chills every time I hear it. Like “Hedwig’s theme” is to Harry Potter… “Christmas Medley” is to Unseen Road to Love. At least in my point of view.

So to Jon Schmidt and Andy Grammer, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your musical talents with the world. I hope I can inspire in a similar way, and perhaps one day I’ll get a real photo with my heroes lol.

As far as inspirations go, I have so much more to tell, but I’ll wait until after April 11th to give you more of the juicy details. There’s quite a few shout outs to real events and people who inspired the book. Some of which are intense and awesome in my opinion. So stayed tuned for next time!

Cheers to you, XO

~ Chelsea

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