Sunday, November 4, 2007


Her name may or may not be Valerie. She kind of looks like a Valerie. I just thought it a perfect excuse to use the name of my favorite song at the moment.

I'm always on the lookout for interesting photographs. In 2005, while in San Francisco for the Illustrators Conference, I was able to absorb the wonderful energy of the city and take nearly 1,500 photographs.

Near the Hotel Nikko is Union Square, where people gather to eat lunch, hang out, people-watch, or just rest their weary bones. I hung out there quite a bit, grabbing a panini on occasion from the adjacent cafe. Of the many people who caught my eye, this girl with her cell phone and portable CD player was a source of many photos. She kept making great animated faces as she sat and waited out the afternoon. In this scene, I seem to have snapped her in mid-blink.

This turned out to be more of a character study with the background remaining fairly non-descript. The radiating brush strokes and shocks of vibrant color are recurring themes for me at the moment. I'm also experimenting with storytelling -- allowing the viewer to engage with the picture and come up with their own story. How little is required to tell a compelling story? I don't know if I've come in under or over the line on this one, but there are puzzle pieces here for the finding. I think the human mind is always looking to make sense of whatever it sees. It's always more fun to let there be some interactivity rather than spelling everything out for the viewer.

It's the same kind of intrigue we get from looking at a candid photograph -- trying to fill in the blanks to the lives of the people in the picture. What are the details of her life?



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