It's clear that photography has been a significant outlet for me to escape the realities and challenges I've faced throughout my life. It serves as a sanctuary where I can find peace, serenity, and a sense of control. My work reflects my personal experiences and the struggles I've encountered, allowing me to convey both the beauty and the harshness of reality.
My journey in pursuing photography has been marked by perseverance and determination. Despite the lack of support from my parents and the obstacles I faced in finding financial aid and balancing work and education, I found a way to pursue my passion. Moving to Chicago and finding opportunities at Columbia College provided me with a platform to study photography and work towards my goals.
However, even after completing my degree, I faced further challenges in the art world. Discrimination and racism added additional hurdles, as people judged you based on your skin color and accent rather than recognizing your talent and dedication. The financial struggles and lack of a support system made my path even more challenging.
Art fairs and art installation services eventually became avenues for me to showcase my work and generate income. These opportunities allowed me to prove myself as an artist and validate my medium of photography as fine art. Despite the skepticism and prejudice I had faced from some fellow artists, I persevered and learned the ropes of the art fair world through trial and error.
The emotional and financial setbacks I experienced, including the loss of my 401K and falling victim to a financial scam, could have easily deterred me. However, I refused to give up, recognizing that giving in would only lead to another sad story. My divorce and the challenges I faced as a minority artist did not dampen my determination to succeed.
Photography has become my sanctuary, a place where I can find solace and escape from the social issues, politics, and religion that pervade everyday life. It has allowed me to create a space where I can focus on my passion, separate from the burdens and prejudices I encounter.
My story is a testament to the resilience and the power of self-expression. Despite the hardships and discrimination I've faced, I continue to pursue my dreams and find success in the art world.
I will go into more depth into part of my life in the next blog (August 5, 2023).