(Photograph of Wamuhu Waweru, 2013.)
Female artists have been greatly ignored throughout history and the statistics are nothing short of depressing. A woman’s perspective has always been looked at as something lesser than a man’s, regardless of her ability to influence and inspire others. Through my photographs I hope to portray women (and men) as more than just a muse or object. Perhaps because I am a woman and because I’ve been photographing myself since the tender (and very awkward) age of ten, I have learned that women don’t need to appear blatantly sexy/cute/pretty to be interesting. If we continue to stay trapped in this narrow fantasy world of android like women and terrifyingly macho men then we wont ever get to experience the subtle yet remarkably beautiful differences from person to person. Everyone has a story to tell, and the complexities of their realities are far more compelling than the gross simplification of what art has traditionally expressed. Some stories are deeper, darker, more obvious, more fictional or more secret than others.
From Photoworks #8, Girls.
Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.
For the inspired photographers out there, be sure to check out Lumoid. Based in San Francisco, Lumoid is a newish photography rental company which focuses on making it both incredibly easy and affordable to try all kinds of photography gear.
They have many different badass kits to rent if you want to photograph anything from a wedding to a road-trip, and analog cameras for the film enthusiasts too. Even if you’re only into Instagram these days, they also have accessories you can purchase to enhance your phones picture taking capability.
There are three spectacular women (and one awesome gentleman) working very hard to make the whole process of renting effortless. Founder Aarthi Ramamurthy has a background in Microsoft & Netflix, and in the past co-founded True & Co., a company aimed at changing the way women shop for intimate apparel using technology. Harini Saladi has the engineering side covered, while Gillian Walsworth deals with marketing & partnerships. Inspired Women are everywhere, and thanks to Lumoid we never have to worry about not having a camera to photograph them with.
We’re in love with Suzanne Heintz’s Life Once Removed series…
"A personal photography project about what is essentially…Spinsterhood, and the American Way.
What would drive you to pack a family of mannequins into your station wagon, and take them on a road trip? Enough pressure to conform will send anyone packing. That’s how I came to this personal project about what is essentially…Spinsterhood, and the American Way.
Well meaning strangers, along with friends and family, would raise an eyebrow when the topic of my unmarried and childless status arose. Indicating with a small facial twitch, not only my audacious freakishness, but that I was a little old for such foolish thinking. I mean, come on, eggs don’t last forever!
But really, what was I supposed to do? You can’t just go out and buy a family. Or can you? I did. They are mannequins. The candy coated shell with nothing inside. We do all those family things, all the while capturing those Kodak Moments. Because it’s not really about the journey, or a genuine human connection, when you’re kids are screaming, “are we there yet?” Is it? It’s about the picture in front of the sign. “Get back in the car, we got the picture. Now, let’s go eat.”
We love & obey the formatted image of a well-lived life. So deeply ingrained is that strange auto-grin we put on when a camera is present. Do we live our lives with a keen awareness of how it feels, or just how it looks?
If I pass through life without checking off the boxes for a wedding ring and a baby carriage, I will be missing the photo album, but not not the point. When I take my photos, others stop and stare, then they ask, “why are you doing this?” They, at that moment, are starting to get the point too.”
We love The dA-Zed guide to female rap.
"As a music aficionado I have always been aware of the hard work that goes into writing, recording music and putting a show together, but it has mostly been men who are praised for this. It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles a couple of years ago that I realized how many women are a part of this endeavor, and how much of their passion and love go into each an every aspect of music. Whether a musician, engineer, tour manager, agent, photographer, writer, etc. the music industry is full of admirable, bad-ass ladies who have dedicated their lives to the art of musical entertainment. In their honor, lust.love.leitmotif hopes to capture their breathtaking stories of desire, love and dedication."
"Last week, I received this comment on one of my posts: “I want to know more about what you know. I’m such a mindful consumer when it comes to food but have never thought about how my purchasing decisions with clothes, etc could be negatively impacting the change I so emotionally pursue.”
It inspired me to go back to the basics, realizing again how new the sustainable fashion movement is to most consumers. For those of you wondering why you should care about what’s in your closet, here are the big six…”
If you wear, buy, make, donate or sell clothes you should probably read this article…
Here is part IV in our series of snippets from the IWLA Directory. Click through and explore the many websites of these inspired women, they’re guaranteed to make your jaw drop. (see pt. I, II, & III)
Paula Helu Fernandez:
Doctoral student, sex researcher, therapist, music lover, writer of verse and prose, traveler, cooking experimenter, vintage shopper, adventurer, hopeless romantic.
Real Estate agent at Sotheby’s, experimental filmmaker & musician.
Humor, sales, fashion, comics/nerd art, board gaming and game design, action figures, fitness, smut/lewd unladylikeness.
Talent/Culture/Social Media at Everlane, Found of The Boffin Society
Connector, social media, ecommerce, websites, animal rescue, food,
http://theboffinsociety.com // http://instagram.com/evagoicochea
Certified personal Trainer. Bootcamp instuctor. Bikram yoga gal, dark chocolate lover. Foreign/independent film, hiking.
Jewelry designer/crafter/slinger, animal resucer/walker/sitter/lover, musician, licensed esthetician, camping fanatic, scrabble addict.
www.blackwillowjewelry.com // www.oldtestamentmusic.com
Photographer, mother, caffeine addict
http://www.elizabethweinberg.com // http://scrapbook.elizabethweinberg.com
Ceramicist, ameture-plus photographer, Car-hunter, big hair enthusiast.
Serial entrepreneur (Co-Founder of Magic Powers DIY), actor, writer, wardrobe styling, and Bookings Director for Vinyl Rewind.
http://deannedestler.com // http://magicpowersdiy.com // http://vinylrewind.tv
Musician, writer, food maker and recipe creator, stylist/art director, enthusiast of color, rocks, dreaming, menus, old folks, babies, the outstanding nature of an atom and breakfast.
www.alinahardin.com // https://alina-hardin.squarespace.com/
Actor, reluctant business development consultant.
Writer, screenwriter and journalist.
www.theworldbreakseveryone.com // http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Fowler_(writer)
Mentor, Graduate Student, Graduate Assistant at Azusa Pacific University’s office of Discipleship Ministries, Painter, photographer.
Heather Lee Becker:
Stylist, lover of music, vegetarian who leans vegan, DIY obsessed. Co-founder of Vortex and Alchemy - Integrating Photography with Movement and Magic to induce a Phantasmagorical Anomaly with Mary Tap and Sandi Amedeo.
www.vortexandalchemy.4ormat.com // https://www.facebook.com/vortexandalchemy
Visual Artist, Photographer, Adjunct Faculty at Chapman University, Owner of Virginia Digital - a boutique Fine Art Printing studio in Echo Park.
www.julianapaciulli.com // www.virginia-digital.com
In the profession of Taste Making, novice to cooking, Avid wine drinker, resale junkie, poignant thought maker, shop owner at www.buttonsandbowsla.com, DTLA enthusiast/revitalist, Director at www.shopwalkdtla.com
DJ on KXLU 88.9fm and in an all-girl collective called Honey Power, student at Loyola Marymount University, wanderlust, daydreamer, list maker, pizza lover
http://muktamohan.tumblr.com/ // https://twitter.com/muktamohan
Creative Photographer - Commercial, Fashion, Editorial, Fine Art. A lover of anything that’s colorful and can make you smile.
www.photolauren.com // @laurenlemon
Stylist, Designer, Costumer, Potter, Jewelry Maker, Camper, Salad Maker, Animal Lover.
Louisa came for freedom, she came for stardom but she stayed for… The Feline Feeling. Follow Louisa as she meets the right kind of sewing, stealing and stripping gang of cats ruled by Renee and Lucille (played by a be-wigged Lucy in her debut role). Cat fights, cat burglars and cat cats come together for the most dramatic picture ever produced. Can you resist…The Feline Feeling?
"Listen Up Adults" is a short film featuring the amazing kids of the Barrio Planta Project, an arts and education nonprofit based out of San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Donated by Weird Pixel. Starring Kevin Fernando Villalta Vermudez. Directed by Meg Pinsonneault. Produced by Kelly Rego & Lauren Spiegel. Videography by Sabina Padilla & Meg Pinsonneault. Edited by Meg Pinsonneault. Music by Ben Meade. www.welcometoweird.com
Submission from Dream Inspired Design
WE LOVE this project and everything that you stand for. Thank you for existing and bringing wombyn together to celebrate and inspire one another. I am the co~creatress of a new business in the LA area called Dream Inspired Design http://dreaminspireddesign.com/. We create conscious websites + branding + marketing for the new earth. Ana and I are ready to be celebrated! We want to let other creative, inspiring, earth conscious wombyn know that we exist and are here to help their businesses thrive in alignment with their eco values. If your interest is peaked we would love to connect with you and share more!