Ah, the sweet smell of the obligatory “end of the year” blog post.

2013 has been a marvelous year. From start to end, it’s been pretty amazing. In the beginning of the year we found out that moving was (finally) confirmed, then of course, we moved, and then after moving everything has just seemed a little more bright. I think because creating things is easier when you live somewhere inspiring – but it’s a little too early in the morning for heavy thinking like that and I’ve only had one cup of coffee.
After moving, life was filled with beautiful colors and landscapes and new things to learn and memorize and it was so exciting. It still is!

Let’s begin, shall we? Now commencing… Ellie’s Personal Highlights of 2013.

Before we moved, I made a decision to start a brand new 365 project. On day 20, I was lucky enough to get explored on flickr!

Getting explored on flickr (from my understanding) pretty much means that the head honcho’s at Flickr picked your picture (out of thousands upon thousands that get uploaded that day) to be featured in a daily changing gallery type of thing. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it in the gallery thing. That would have been a lot more fitting.

Around April, I started the collaboration with ION Jewelry. That, of course, is a highlight for me. Being able to take such beautiful works of someone elses art and use it as a stone for conceptualizing something else around it to turn it into an idea and then a story; it fills me with a joy that makes me all warm inside. Plus, Jyl was so easy to work with it made making the photos an absolute pleasure. 

A little while after wrapping up our collaboration, I got to be Sasquatch for a few hours. This, albeit, has nothing to do with inspiration or the beauty of making art or anything that’s going to likely be related in this post, but still. Highlight.

DSC04878 DSC04893 DSC04901

It was the 4th of July, humid, hot, and by the time I got done walking the 6 mile journey (not really but it felt like it) I was drowning in sweat and had Sasquatch hair all over me. Was it worth it? Yes. It was so much fun. I’m pretty sure I held up the parade a few times by waiting so long so all the kids could get candy, but hey at least I’m fair. I danced and jumped and frolicked my way through that parade with that weird Sasquatch smirk on my face.
It was fantastic. I’d do it again.

Fast forward to September when I got a message from a lovely lady named Makeda. I’d been following Makeda on flickr for a long time and always enjoyed seeing her photography. But one day, she messaged me and asked if I’d like to be one of the featured photographers in her online magazine. Naturally I said yes.

And I was even on the cover! I was incredibly flattered and happy that they thought my work would be a good fit for their theme that month – which was skin. They have such an incredible range of young photographers in their online magazine. I highly recommend checking them out. Which you can do here!

In October, I was a runner up in a lyric art contest for Queens Of The Stone Age, and in November I was a runner up for a Goo Goo Dolls one!
For this contest what you had to do was use a lyric art maker and either pictures off the internet or ones you upload to make a submission based around a song. I thought that was a little boring, so I made both of mine from scratch.

come to me 1
Goo Goo Dolls submission.

QOTSA Submission.
I’m determined to actually win one of those contests, but that’s for next year.

Ah, December. Lots happened in December.

In early October I was contacted by a wonderful woman Amanda. She asked me if in mid December I could take photos of her and her son, Nolan. It was an amazing shoot and I loved the results that came of it. Amanda and Nolan were such warm people that were so easy to work with. Oh, and did I mention that there were puppies involved in this shoot? Any shoot with puppies is bound to be a good one.

Later in December, my brothers first album was released!
And of course… who do you think he asked to design the cover? His amazing little sister a.k.a me.

lees album
If the album artwork doesn’t already intrigue you (har har), you should still definitely go check it out. It’s about 40 minutes long all together and all instrumental. If I’m thinking correctly, you can listen to it for free online or buy a physical copy. And, props to my brother for doing the whole thing entirely himself. Every single aspect of the album is all him and it’s all great. Check him out here.

And finally (kind of)…! Twas the night before, before, Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse but possibly some deer. When what should my wandering eye should appear but 4k notes on one of my posts on tumblr.  It was a beautiful moment.
I was just about to go to bed the night before Christmas eve when I decided to go look at the stats on my tumblr that I use for art purposes. It was nuts. In two days I had gained over 3,500 notes on a photo of mine. And, low and behold, it was my favorite I had made all year. It’s a very symbolic photo for me.

When I was editing this picture, I really wanted to see it as a transformation photo. My arms are spread wide and I’m jumping in the air like I’m getting ready for take off. It has a very dark dreamlike feel too, which I admire in so many other photos. Like I said, I wanted to see it as a transformation photo but I was really stuck on the concept of turning into a bird or wishing I had wings. And I suppose that concept still applies what with transformation, but even more so I feel that it’s a prequal to this photo below.

force of nature
I feel like they go very well together. One is dark and with blue hues and this one above is still dark, but it’s complimented with warm hues. It looks like a photo to show something that’s coming. Like a storm is brewing and she’s the storm. The photo itself is called “force of nature” and it’s rightfully so.
These photos are highlights for me just because of how well they show I know myself – and I know that sounds silly and slightly self centered, but it’s true. This year has been an amazing year and I’m so grateful for all the good and the bad that’s happened but I feel like I’m finally ready for something bigger; and that’s the transformation.

If my life were a book, this year would be my incredibly important “character development” year, I think.  And I’m not saying that in a bad way. It’s incredibly important to me. Moving ignited an even bigger creative flame that was stuck inside before moving. Creating things that you’re proud of and that release all the good feelings to make them even better and help the bad things seem easier makes for art that helps you grow and that’s what this year was filled of for me.
My “character development” was growing more comfortable in my skin, even more comfortable with my art, and finally deciding where I want to be.
In 2014, the goal is to get there.

In conclusion, this year was amazing. Other highlights that didn’t make the big highlight list were:

  1. Getting followed by Joel Robison on flickr.
  2. Getting followed by Lissy Elle on twitter.
  3. My birthday.
  4. The weekend that followed July 4th.
  5. Thanksgiving.
  6. Christmas.
  7. Getting drums.
  8. Jamming with my brother.
  9. The countless, countless times I’ve laughed till I’ve cried.
  10. Joe Satriani concert.
  11. Realizing that anyone is capable of doing anything.
  12. Any time spent with my sister.
  13. Seeing my Grandparents.
  14. Realizing that I’m also anyone and also capable of doing anything, then deciding to start doing anything.
  15. Filling my “good memories of 2013” jar to the tippy top.

If you made it all the way down here, thanks!  I wish you a Happy New Year and I hope that your year, too, was filled with laughter and joy.



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