Welcome to Minneapolis

Well, friends, I find myself in Minneapolis at last. I am exhausted and excited and nervous and ecstatic and I am feeling all the things that make humans alive and I haven't felt those things in years. 

Today and yesterday have me thinking quite a lot about work, about transparency, about writing and creativity and the things that fill my soul, thinking about the haze that I found myself in for the better part of five years that I didn't realize even existed until waking up in my new city this morning. Unpacking my things into my new room, I didn't recognize many of the objects that I'd grown so accustomed to. All I saw were misplaced fragments of an old life. Objects I didn't care about related to activities I didn't care to participate in and reminders of people I was happy to leave behind. Reminders of an existence that often felt like a misfit sweater.

In late June, while hiking through the desert, both alone and with friends, something truly shifted in me. I woke up. A deep strength grew in me. I am still reveling in the waves of that shift 4 months later. Since the desert I have found myself being more intentional with my time, with my relationships, with my work, with my life.

Since that time I have also felt more clear in my identity as an intuitive person, one who is driven by creativity, by intuition, by a deep spirituality that I had previously denounced in favor of my more cynical side. As creatives, as intuitive people, we do scary work. It's often not rational. Our work, our lives, don't play by the rules. And typically what that amounts to (or what we're conditioned to believe that it amounts to) is constant financial struggle, which I'm really going to begin facing in the next few months. Have you all ever worked through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way? It's a great starting point for creatives who feel like their potential is being blocked in some way. There's a section on money that I intend to work through again as money anxiety begins to mount. Since I was a kid I've had the thought that I just wanted to be able to make a living being myself, and I have every intention to do so, despite the crushing reality of modern mainstream life. I am encouraged that it's possible by women like Marlee Grace and Britton Boyd, both of whom I have followed virtually and been inspired by for some time now.

I'm looking for a better way to connect with you all about these things. I haven't seen much transparency in the area of money and actually making a living and paying bills as a creative person, so as I figure this stuff out I intend to be as open and transparent as possible and lay it all out for you, so that if you find yourself in a situation similar to mine, hungry for a life centered around true humanity and not money, perhaps you'll find some inspiration and hope. We're in this together, y'all.

I'm looking more into Patreon as a way to generate support for this creative life, but I'd like some feedback. I'm not satisfied with the typical *pay money and you get a product* model of things. That's something I'm actively trying to avoid as I begin this shift toward more human, fulfilling work. I would rather provide some kind of service, something more meaningful than just receiving a print in the mail. This could take the form of simply receiving access to writings in exchange for your patronage, gaining access to the daily goings-on of my creative pursuits, or something similar. That's not to say that prints or art would go out the window as rewards, but I'm trying to think of something more sustainable, more meaningful. Lately I've been thinking of art as more of a means to an end than the end itself. 

Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments or shoot me an email at kendallquack@gmail.com <3

As always, endless thanks for your support and interest.

Shoot with Tyler Thrasher

This is something I've been putting off writing for a while. My fears with opening myself up in this way go back a long way, and my hesitance to share comes from being told that I was selfish for my experiences, that I needed to suck it up, that many were worse of than me. I've held a lot back out of fear and worry of being seen as self-absorbed, an idea that crushes me to my core. Luckily, that stuff that's been tucked away hardens and turns to rock, catches fire and becomes the spark that lights my soul up.

I have declared this the year of opening up, and so it felt only natural to do this shoot with one of my dearest friends, artist Tyler Thrasher. His recent foray into photography has been impressive to watch; strength and courage is difficult enough to pull out of one's own self, let alone someone else. I've struggled my whole life with self-esteem issues and not feeling good enough, pretty enough, feminine enough, strong enough, not fitting the image of myself that I had in my head. But every time I stepped back to peek at the camera, I saw my real self behind that tiny glass.

Seeing yourself through the lens (literally) of your friends is pretty magical. Suddenly, accepting yourself as the radiant, fierce being that you are becomes much easier. 

This shoot embodies many of the things I've struggled with for years. What is femininity? How can it be channeled in a way that doesn't rely on current cultural perspectives and expectations of femininity? What strength lies there? And always, a forever question in my practice, what lies at the intersection of darkness and light, the soft, delicacy of flowers, of flesh, and the harshness of rock and thorns?

The wolf mother. The lioness. The mama bear. The Earth Mother. Soft and nurturing to their young, the things most precious, fiercely protective of their own. The wind will not blow her down. She is grounded and rooted, but never stagnant. What it means to be a woman to me is growing into a very sacred thing, a very sacred responsibility that I am happy to take on. It's perhaps the only obligation I've ever had that feels right and good, that gives me strength and life.

Thanks for viewing *~

Vermont & Bar Harbor

In September 2016, Jeremy and I found ourselves in Vermont, followed by Maine, after first heading to Chicago for Renegade Craft Fair (my first time showing my own work... yikes!). We had both been itching to get to the Northeast for a while, and it exceeded every expectation. Roadside moss and ferns, sleepy quiet evenings, ripe apples falling at our feet many of the places we went. 

Below are some of my favorite images from our excursion: