26 July 2015

Looking Ahead - For Gallery and Exhibition Opportunities

Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley

"The entertainment is in the presentation."

This past week is the first real fresh week for me since returning from Central America in June. I'm just now getting back into the swing of things and I'm eager about it. I teach One-on-One Photography Classes with independent clients and my schedule has just now opened up to where I can get back on that. They are week long intensive, but at your pace foundation instruction classes to begin with, but I give clients an option for a second week at more advanced principles of understanding light as well as working with the absence of it. I can travel to anywhere in the United States, but my best work will be here in Las Vegas. I definitely encourage potential clients outside Nevada to travel to Las Vegas, secure accommodations, transportation, and give me a week of your time. My last student was at the end of February and I left for Guatemala City just days after that. Its now MID-JULY and I'm just getting things to where I can start it back up.

Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley

I can now also concentrate on accepting clients for more Photography Projects, as well. That's the principle part of my photography business which is shooting of course. I will continue my main line of portraiture and event work for clients, but at this point, I'm also looking to step it up a bit and operate outside the traditional fare with more Food and Interior Design Photography. But my Portraiture Photography work will be focusing instead on that particular client that needs something new, fresh, and different from the norm that involves a bit more of my artistic side with the creative liberties to push the envelop.

Market Square, Antigua, Guatemala ©2015 Terrell Neasley

Market Square, Antigua, Guatemala ©2015 Terrell Neasley
Lets see, what else? Oh yeah, the 3rd principle element. Photo Sales! I don't traditionally print small. I used to, but I'm more happier concentrating on work that goes on walls, not just sitting on coffee tables. I have books for that. 30x20 and larger is the realm of reality where you'll find me. I make images that are made for books and walls. Display and presentation are key concepts that help define what happens to my images and artwork. Shoot, Edit, Print, AND THEN PRESENT is the final step of the process. It does not end with the print. A print can never make it out of the portfolio. A print on its own will be appreciated by the small circle of its creator. However if said print is destined to be viewed by the world, Presentation is key.

Of course you have the web, web portfolios, web galleries, and archives that can store photos and make them available for viewing. My argument is that seeing a shot that will be viewed upon various screen size resolutions and color shifts does nothing for the image. It does not serve the creator nor the viewer the way a printed piece commands respect. As opposed to sitting transfixed in front of a small screen browsing away at the speed of your scroll wheel, an exhibited piece of art demands the viewer to work a little bit. Engage a little bit. Spend a little bit. Invest a little bit. It requires the viewer to leave home, jump in a car, and arrive at a predetermined destination. It insists that the viewer forgo an alternative form of leisure or other investment of time and trade this opportunity for the cost of being present and standing before my work of art.

Street Corner, Matagalpa, Nicaragua ©2015 Terrell Neasley
Now my job is to make this investment of time worth the price of admission and elicit such an emotional or calculated response as to implore the viewer to take this work of art home before a rival buyer might make this choice. That's my job. And if I can do my job successfully, this process will repeat itself again and again perpetually. I understand that some pieces will not be successful. I understand that some pieces I have emotional ties with may fail with you and you make wish to take home an image that I would never have believed to ever garner attention. This has happened before. The work that I so loved, sat while another image sold quickly.

Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley

Art Model, Covenant ©2015 Terrell Neasley
I haven't bothered with exhibition to much in the past. Now its a focus. I now have preparatory work to do in terms of finding exhibition opportunities, selecting pieces for display, and having those pieces made available in the right form of presentation. This in and of itself is not a cheap process, especially with the way I choose to present and have my work hung. I make it especially more challenging on myself, because I have to insist that my nude work is part of this process and some spaces may have difficulty honoring this due to various policies. Nonetheless, it is a must. If I'm not showing my art nudes, then what's the point. In some instances, that is the main concentration and exhibit focus. And that's where you can come in. In changing tactics like this, I definitely need some insight. Having seen my work, if you think you know of exhibition opportunities that can accommodate me, then please message me the details. I'd love to hear from you!

17 July 2015

Why Traveling (Internationally) Seems So Hard

Couple traveling in Guatemala
"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

I get asked often about why I travel, what its like, and how I do it more times than I'd care to count. I'm amazed at how mysterious so many people think it is. But then again, I'm reminded of the fact that I used to be the exact same way. It's not easy when you can't speak the language. Its too expensive. I have kids or a job that won't let me take the time off. Trust me. I had the exact same thoughts and had a few events and people in my life not helped me change that mentality, I'd still be in the same mindset.

German Art Model traveling through out Central and South America
For me, the military set the ball in motion. My first duty assignment was in Germany. I hail from Texas where being 200 miles or more from home was a rarity and most of those times I exceeded 200 miles, I was still in Texas. I turned 20 in Germany if memory serves. It was a wake-up call and was the first thing or event in my life that let me know people did things differently. During time off, I got to travel around Europe. Eventually other assignments took me to more places and I learned to be in the habit of moving a lot.

German Art Model traveling through out Central and South America
Towards the end of my military career, I stabilized in the city of my last duty station in Tennessee which is where my kids call home. I got to travel from there to Lake Tahoe with a former friend of mine who travels domestically often. I got to see that its not as expensive as I had been lead to believe to arrange flights, hotels, and car rentals if you do it wisely. The advent of the internet and online booking options really aided me in those efforts. And yet, I gradually lost the calling to seek out new life and civilizations. I got bogged down in work and making money. Through some hiking associations, I met fellow traveler, @Heather Rae Murphy of In Search of Squid.com who took off on her own to Southeast Asia for two months one summer. I couldn't wait til she got back to talk to her about her trip. It was at this point that I realized a few things. Excuses were just that...excuses. I had already been through enough life events to realize I wasn't going out of this life with thoughts of making more money for my employer. I was on the road WITH Heather that next following Summer in Guatemala and Belize. There was one thing in particular that I had to change in my life in order to make these things happen.

Art Model Covenant on Little Corn Island traveling throughout Central America 

Yes. Prioritizing travel was all it took really. Just making the decision to go. Go anywhere! But don't be deluded. You ain't going anywhere til you get that ticket. All the plans you make. All the good intentions and mean-wells do you absolutely no good until you GET THAT TICKET! So booking the flight is first. Well at some point before you go, you're gonna have to get a passport if you don't already have one. Plan a trip that is several months away to give yourself some time to make the arrangements. Central America has been the perfect proving grounds. One, its close. Two, its cheap. Three, it eliminates any and every excuse you might have to not travel. As many times as you've flown across the US for the holidays or other family events, you'll pay less in many cases flying internationally to the Central America. So what you can't speak the language. I'm still alive after several trips of being down there. My Spanish is getting better. But I didn't remember much of anything outside of counting to twenty-nine in EspaƱol. Don't be scared of that. I'd wager that 80% of all the travelers I meet do not speak the native language and yet you don't hear of news reports of people dying because of it. But chances are your priorities are probably getting those new J's on your feet. Or maybe trying to find a way to keep those $500 a month car payments up. Or its probably more important to have your Starbucks in the morning. You spend your money on what you are about most. If you cared about traveling, odds are you would be or will soon be traveling.

Art Model Covenant on Little Corn Island
traveling throughout Central America 
"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."
~ Walt Streightiff

So you got kids

Children playing in Belize ©2012 Terrell Neasley
Yeah, my kids are grown. Is that an advantage? I won't lie. Yes it is. However... So what?? Bring the kids!! Why not raise 'em on a good wholesome diet of culture variety? You can't tell me how this would be a bad thing unless you are planning a trip to Syria. More likely than not, your kids will also become travelers. Why? Because they'll be used to it and will ALREADY have passports. Many people stay put because they have never applied for a passport. I see kids on the road with their families all the time. Many get raised on sailboats with parents who circumnavigate the world. You know who I meet on the road from other countries traveling by themselves? 18 to 23 year old kids doing extended travel for a few months before they get locked down in jobs and careers. Do you think your 18 year old is ready to cross the Pacific on their own? Well they would be if you took them there before they leave home.

Is it the job?

This is probably a tough one. But then I gotta ask. How important is traveling to you? If your job doesn't understand your need to be off more than a week a year, then...damn. I don't want to tell you you need to find a new job. YOU need to tell you that you need to find a new job. America is one of the few countries that still don't understand the value of time off and burn-out prevention. Traveling or not, a well-rounded lifestyle is more beneficial to your health and longevity. Expense reports are not. But honestly, who can tell you to change careers. I follow travel blogs all the time and often hear about husbands/wives, or single people quitting their jobs to follow their hearts.

All I'm saying is this: There are options out there if you look. Plenty of them. But none of them will do you a bit of good until you make the call to prioritize travel with your money and your time. Get the ticket!

Locals in Antigua, Guatemala ©2014 Terrell Neasley