I started community college when I was 16 years old as a part of a crossover program in my state. I took a lot of photos of bands on 35mm film and am trained in traditional dark room black & white and color photo printing. (To be fiar I’ve never stopped learning! It is my passion.)
After community college I went to a liberal state college known for its feminist new media departments but somehow ended up in anything but. my junior year was spent studying nature, movement, film, and music in a class that took me to iceland for 2 weeks when i was 20 years old on a photo/memoir assignment. i took photos and spoek with people who felt like the dark weather had something to do with their inspiration, which is a way that i felt about olympia as well. i never finished the paper because i rarely ever finish papers it’s like a condition i have….
My senior year was spent in a studio course with seminar, critique and lectures on various art world topics. They group was multi-talented and included painters, comics, sculptor, and me – a photographer becoming more and more interested in documenting the queer experience inside and out.
I dared to bring some of my self portraits and more seductive portraits of my friends into class, and I feel like that made me a target for sexual harassment from my professor. He called my work “nudie cuties” to my face in front of the rest of my class. I didn’t know how to confront him about it or tell anyone how I felt about that experience, which as an 18/19 year old was really really bad. I ended up taking nude portraits of gay men and littering my critiques with photos he couldn’t relate back to belittling me or my own naked form. he never spoke a word to me again and that’s when I really started to flesh out my ideas around queer porn. It’s a weapon if you use it right, but you shouldn’t have to because what you really wanna do is making something so nice or interesting that anyone will look at it. Silencing my teacher with his own homophobia wasn’t nice but it did the trick.
At the end of my studies I focused on high quality large scale digital printing and digital collage, creating some neat pieces for my Senior show that everyone seemed to enjoy.