Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Hey you.
Yes, You.

Hope this post finds you all very well!

Sooo, I thought it would be a good idea, as I've been a little out of touch with Flickr/Facebook/Twitter, (other networks, etc...) over the last few weeks to touch base on my goings on, both in front of and behind the lens...

I've decided to separate them, by topic, below, including:

*The worldwide creatives (and non creatives) collaboration I alluded to and that many of you put an "X" by on my facebook pages a few weeks ago.


*My collaboration w/ Brooke Shaden




*Getting in front of the lens for other photographers for a personal inner beauty/outer beauty feature


And, for some visual stimuli to go with this post, here's a small photo I recently made, entitled:

"The Memory Jar"

So, let's get to it!

1.) Faerieland. (if you've not yet seen it, click here & here & here to catch up ;)
Alright, for those of you who've been following this storyboard and fairytale I've written in pictures, good news! I have two more characters I've written into the story and are slated to be shot this month. These are elaborate shoots, and have been very fun to conceptualize. These are some very different characters, and I'm really excited to be able to share this darker concept with you all. :)

I hope you've been enjoying it on my website or on Flickr.
This collection is a bit different than anything else I've done, and I've begun to sell very limited edition prints of the characters and pieces within. Very fine art papers and signed/numbered.

I've shot two landscapes of 'the realm', as well as one more character I've yet to reveal in the next week or so. It's been a bit hard to shoot out on location in my area of the country (MN - Midwest - USA) due to (believe it or not) how bad the bugs have gotten. I'm hoping as the weather turns a bit cooler (dare I say it?!) that I can resume shooting as often as I'm use to. The twelve acres that I live on have had so much rain, the mosquitos are absolutely out of control. =/ Putting models (or anyone in my team) out where I'm having them would be nothing short of cruel.

Thus far, creating it, has been an absolute blast, though after these two characters are shot, I'm going to be taking a seasonal break to do a few other things, and to replenish my creative flow...which I'm about to touch on next...

2.) My collaboration with the wonderfully talented and kind photographer, Brooke Shaden.
Earlier, this year, as the fates would have it, I connected with a fantastically creative and wonderful artist/photographer via flickr named Brooke Shaden. Many of you may know her already, and you should. She's also a conceptual photographer. :)

I featured her on one of my artist spotlights in May, and have been lucky enough to get to know her better over the past few months. You can check out her work/flickr stream here.
Long story short, Brooke and I discovered, though our styles vary greatly (processing & content wise) we actually have very similar taste is just about everything art related, and so we've decided to put our very different creative minds together on a collaboration, which as of now looks like it will be happening sometime in September!
She, of course, doesn't live anywhere near me, so I'll be heading west to California to collaborate with her. We already have our idea in mind, but I'll save all the details, so that it's a grand surprise. I will say this: It's very much a team effort, and we are going ALL OUT. I love what we are planning, and can't wait to put it into motion.

3.) Bookcovers
I've been very fortunate (and this year, especially) to have sold quite a few of my images to publishing houses for use on authors' bookcovers. I actually created the image above in hopes that it would one day grace a bestselling book cover. ;)

Here are the books I know of, in no particular order, and I'll list them by country in case you want to venture to your local bookstore. My work sells all over the world, so I've only been able to actually go to my own bookstore 1 time to have that moment where I see my work on the cover of a novel.
1 word in that moment. HUMBLED.

Here those are, of the ones I've been able to scrounge in my google searching...

French Bookcover ...
(the original image w/ the background I shot it in)

USA bookcover for the novel: The Sister Wife, by Diane Noble!
The is the one I've been able to actually go into my own Barnes & Noble (eee!) and find myself. This was the cover where I had my 'wow, cool' moment ;)

I spoke with Diane the other day, briefly in an email, and she is going to be sending me a copy of this. I'm very excited to receive that. Similar to the above image, but they removed my background an put her in a field. I love what they've done :)

UK Bookcover, "Told in Silence" by Rebecca Connell
Hoping to have a friend or two in the UK able to find this either in their own bookstore or on amazon, and send me a copy.

Italian bookcover, which I would love to get my hands on a copy of (as well as anyone who might speak Italian enough to translate the cover for me?)

UK version & bookcover (of an american novelists best selling book) "Home Safe", by Elizabeth Berg. | Thanks to a wonderful friend in the UK, I actually have this book sitting on the bookshelf in my room, here in the USA. In bookstores here, this same book has a bluebird on it.

I've a few other bookcovers floating around out there, that I've not yet been able to find in my searching.
I'll keep everyone posted (facebook is always the best place to stay current :)

4.) Features & Publications!
I've been lucky in 2010! I'm soooo thankful for that.
I'll cover just briefly, for those who may want to read a few features/Q&As I've done w/ magazines & media outlets floating around right now out there.

*As many of you already know, I had the pleasure to do an extensive Q&A (as well as having pieces featured) by the media outlet, The Examiner. It was, probably, to date the most candid and in depth interview I've given about myself, my creative process, and my opinions on the photographic arts/industry. You can check that one out HERE.

*Additionally, I recently had the pleasure of doing another sort of Q&A (also w/ selected works) with the artist organization (mostly photography) called: "The Nonsense Society".
In that interview, I was able to answer questions that were so much fun to answer covering the gamut of what there is to cover with my work :)

*Photo Technique Mag (huge grin on this one!) decided to feature me in their "Underexposed" Emerging Talent section. I was so happy for this feature, because they chose to feature this years primary focus, Faerieland. To see that gallery and bio, check it out HERE.

*Blue Canvas Magazine Spread -
This one thrilled me. Getting an email from one of the most artist friendly publications around (print mag & online) was awesome. I'm currently featured in their quarterly magazine (Blue Canvas - Issue #5 - July through September, 2010) at all major bookstores. I have 5 pictures featured. I hope those that get to the bookstore will enjoy it. As an artist, it's always such a treat (understatement) to see one's work in print; something that can actually be held in the hands. Additionally, I would recommend getting a gallery on their website and trying for a feature yourself!! It's free, and they have a great setup. I also like that it's not just a photographers mag, but ALL artists. As for my feature within it, you can see a very small, badly scanned in image of it on my flickr stream, HERE.

For those who do end up over on Blue Canvas, putting together your own gallery, please feel free to come and say hello over there. I have many different albums over there (and hey, what artist doesn't love a disabled right click feature? ;)

5.) Travel
Well, I've covered my traveling down to Cali' to work with Brooke Shaden in September, but have a few more places on the roster. I found with how much I worked in 2010 (so far) that I'm in need of some MAJOR downtime.

This just means I'm switching gears for a month or so (as mentioned from faerieland to other endeavors, creatively).

And here's where YOU come in. I would LOVE to know where everyone is located, so that if I find myself in the area, I can meet other great creatives! Maybe for a lunch, or maybe for a shoot. I'm always looking to shoot, and learn. Meeting people and travel are huge components to how I become inspired. Please don't be shy!!

6.) Getting in front of the lens for OTHER photogs! (Nude & otherwise)
It's no secret that a great way to learn (or get better at) photographing others is to hop in front of the lens yourself once in awhile. Well, I intend to do just that. It occurred to me as someone who's done quite a bit of self portraiture over the years, that I'd love to see how others interpret me through their lens. While I travel, I intend to endeavor down this path quite a bit. That being said...

The first part of this has become a personal project that is going to be a series of nudes of... yes, .... (DRUMROLL PLEASE...) Myself. I plan to get in front of the lens for a few verrrry talented photographers (whom I trust) in conjunction with running a personal "inner beauty/outer beauty" personal blog feature with those images crediting them. I have three photographers (all very different styles) that have offered to collaborate with me on this little project. And one, whom I was lucky enough to offer to do this with me is the very talented (understatement of the century) and incredibly well known photographer, Erik Almas. He has a beautiful balance of fantasy and reality (and processing to die for) in every single piece of his work. If I shot commercially, this is how I'd do it, because he brings a sense of fantasy and adventure to every single concept. If you don't know him, google him. The others I will leave as surprises. I know that every time I get in front of a camera for someone else in this particular project, I will be allowing someone else to see all of my flaws and vulnerabilities, as well as a part of me that I've purposely kept out of the public until I could understand how it might play a role in my life. I think I'm ready to go there for just a short while. Wish me luck!!

I'm currently in the process of trying to coordinate times to meet with all three of the photographers I'm going to be brave enough to let photograph me naked. I'm nervous and excited, and think that's pretty appropriate. We only live once, so why not live a lot? ;)

The second part of this that I'd like to extend to everyone is getting in front of the lens for photographers who might be interested in collaborating with me in front of the lens (clothed ;) as I travel. If you are, please message me on any of my networks w/ a link to your port. :)


Last but not least, the WORLDWIDE INSPIRATION PROJECT & a collaboration of sorts. I know this particular topic is something that got a ton of interest and a major reason a lot of you are over here. So, here are those details:

How many of you keep an inspiration notebook? You know, stuff you find and love. Some of you, maybe?
Well, how many of you keep a desktop folder called "inspiration" or some computer folder you save all the pretty things you come across that inspire you, while you peruse the internet? I know I do for.sure.

About a year ago, I was perusing blogs and came across a blog that was running this project that was basically one large inspiration book, assembled by tons of different people. After seeing the results of how well that one went, I'd like to try the same thing in the photographic/creative/arts communities.

So, here's how to participate, and I hope the bulk of those who messaged and put an "X" on every network, will, because the bigger the better.

Everyone who'd like to, gets a two page spread in this Inspiration Notebook.

What you'll need:
*Two, 8.5 x 11 pieces of printer paper

What to do:

Once you've gotten your two pieces of 8.5 x 11 inch, regular old (or if you'd like to use a bit more durable) paper, fill those two pages up with ANYTHING you like. Pictures; words; textures; fabrics; strings, etc...
Make those two pages - YOUR two pages, totally yours. It can be even a bit 3D, as long as it is able to stick or stay on those pieces of paper and not SO 3D that it can't fit possibly inside of a larger laminated portfolio/book sleeve (message me if you have questions ;)

What defines you? What represents you? Are you someone who loves portraiture and philosophy? Print out a couple of 4x6 prints you took, and use them for your pages, and then write little quotes all around them. I mean, whatever you want. If you are a makeup artist, make a color palette in eyeshadow, and cover it with laminate, so it doesn't get rubbed off when put into the book. Are you someone who's got an affinity towards old things, sew lace to your pages, and fill it up from there. The point is, it doesn't matter, just as long as you make it yours.

Now, I'm also going to do this. I'm going to reserve my two pages and fill them up with everything I can think that inspires me, and be a part of this book, too. :)

ONCE you've completed your two inspiration pages:

Alright, once you've finished up making your two pages in this inspiration book, make sure that everything is perfect, and that it's durable enough to send, and then SIGN YOUR WORK. Sign your page(s) as your own. Be proud of your creation, and claim your work.

Next, if you'd like to be a part of this inspiration book, you're going to send those two pages to me w/ a note included, that mentions your name, location and one primary link where people can find your work.
Please contact me for the address to send to when you are finished.
My email:

Messaging me on facebook is a good bet:

Now here's the fun part!
Once I receive everyone's (or close to everyone's) two page spreads (get creative, friends! - I mean creativity is the industry that we are in!) I'm going to assemble it into a physical book, and scan it in, at my studio, page by page, with your two page spread on my blog and with credit to you (with the contact info & link that you included, upon sending to me).

It'll be a long blog post, but it'll be a fun one!

Now, everyone has very different lives, including myself, so I need to make a deadline to have it postmarked to me by, and anyone who falls outside of that will miss the opportunity to be included in the Inspiration Book.

I want to give you guys enough time to make those two page spreads your own.
Deadline to have these in the mail (again postmarked) will be (write this on your calendars!) SEPTEMBER 1st, 2010!

Get to work!
Be creative.
Do this, and enjoy it...!
It'll be great. ;)
It'll be unique.
It'll be YOU.

Can't wait to see what you all come up with, and again, for an address to send when you've completed your two page spread to be included in THE INSPIRATION BOOK, contact me.


Anonymous said...

This is soooo cool!
I can't wait to do this. What a great process.

Samantha Nandez said...

So marvelous!! <3 Sorry I don't have a more involved comment XD

I reaaaallllyy love "The Memory Jar" image. Wow.

.E. said...

Love ya Ash....

Cassidy Jean said...

The name of the Italian book is "It's Magic" and the description is something like:
"She is falling in love with a man that wants/needs her, but she could be his downfall/undoing"

Congrats on all the book covers!