all portraiture

‘Nother portrait

We were gods.

We had altars ripe with gold,
pomegranate stained our lips red,
wine made our tongues lazy.


We were youths,
who frolicked and fucked
in prairie fields.
Bees flying lazily above us,
rich with honey.


The soil was fertile and soft.
We rolled around in the dirt
and kissed each others lips furiously
like this was the last time we were living.


We half believed we could fly,
and resided lazily somewhere between the ether and nature below.


We walked on water,
turned rivers into streams of wine.
We were divine and we owned it.


We dreamt of birds, and constructed our own flying machines.
We had altars,
We had temples, paintings, sculptures, hymns, congregation, endless followers in endless ecstasy.
We owned kings.


We were just a ragtag bunch of half cocked mortals,
who thought they stood a chance,
Somehow we did
and we became larger than life.


We became divine.
We became gods.
and then we lost it all.

—  greek gods in portraiture, greek gods in youth part I 
Gregory Violet headcanons

For @pipermccloud :)


- His favorite works by Shakespeare include Cymbeline and Troilus and Cressida. While history regards them as “problem plays” because they lurch wildly between tragedy and comedy, Violet sees them as a realistic portrait of the world. People don’t live in a defined constraint of “tragedy”, “comedy”, or “romance” but a melange of all three. As a result, he sees these two plays as among Shakespeare’s best. 

- Violet is part of the aristocracy. His father, Samuel Emerson Violet, is the Viscount Lisle and his late mother, Lady Constance, was the daughter to the earl of Whitehall. He has no siblings and his only sister, Desdemona, died in infancy.

- Gregory first met Edgar Redmond at one of the many soirees thrown by the latter’s uncle, the Viscount Druitt. Not particularly fond of large crowds, Violet slunk away to the moonlit gardens and began to sketch. Sometime later, Lord Edgar appeared (having gone to the gardens to escape the attentions of a particularly abrasive young lady who was determined to become the next Lady Redmond) and quite literally ran into Violet. Midway through their mutual apologies, Edgar caught sight of what Violet was sketching and asked if he would take on a commission:

“My word, these are tremendous!” Edgar—ever the patron of art and beauty—took in Violet’s sketches with a keen look of admiration. “Have you studied under a master?”

“…No.”

“Well you hardly need to! These drawings…they evoke a sort emotion that simply can’t be learned.” He mused, glancing back down at the sullen faced stranger, and saw in his eyes—once glazed over with boredom—a look of slight curiosity. Ah-ha! Edgar chuckled, it takes art to get through to him. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to take on a challenge, would you?” He inquired blithely, an easy smile appearing on his handsome face. 

The man’s expression changed, now a mixture of inquiry and mild annoyance. “What sort of challenge?”

“Portraiture.”

“Of you?”

“Mmh…I’ve been told that the fairness of my image presents something of a luxury to portrait painters.” He attempted to infuse a sense of modesty to his words but when one has been cooed and cosseted upon as the “handsomest subject in all portraiture”—well. It made humility a tad difficult.

Violet ignored him. “Who then?”

Edgar hid a smile—oh Lawrence was going to kill him for this. “An old friend of mine—his father owns half of England’s banks.”

“How impressive.” He sounded bored.

“Yes—but the trick, my good sir, is to draw his portrait while he’s not looking.”

“…”

“You’ll have to sketch from afar and pray he doesn’t see you.”

“And what if he does?” The man inquired, rising from the ground, a look of interest—and faint amusement—glittering in his dark violet eyes.

“Then we’ll have to find another way to torment old Lawrence.” The blonde chuckled fondly, handing Gregory back his sketchbook while the dark haired man looked at him, a strange sense of kinship beginning to take over.

(And thus began Edgar and Violet’s friendship.)

- Violet’s actually quite athletic. He just prefers literature and art to cricket and rugby.  

- He doesn’t dislike people and is, in fact, one of the most insightful men you’ll ever meet. He just dislikes the fact that people have forgotten what it’s like to simply enjoy one another’s company without filling the air with useless chatter.

- He often blends mathematics and art together so he can get the proportions and dimensions of a figure just right. As a result, Violet was actually one of Weston’s best geometry students (alongside Edward).

- Don’t let his slight form fool you—out of the four of them, it’s Violet who can outdrink almost everyone and still remain relatively coherent.

- The first Halloween Redmond, Bluewer, Violet, and Greenhill spent together after becoming friends is one of their most memorable. Violet designed and made his own costume, going as Sir Mordred right after he’d been defeated by King Arthur in the Battle of Camlann. He used fake blood (made of corn syrup and food dye) and realistically painted wounds and bruises all over his face and arms. When he showed up at the Redmond mansion, Greenhill answered the door and screamed, thinking Violet had been in a genuine accident. He knocked over a suit of armor which tipped over the punch bowl, spilling punch all over Bluewer whose glasses then fell off, causing him to run into Redmond and send him flying into the 12 layer Halloween cake. It was the first time any of them had seen Violet genuinely smile.

- While quiet and reserved, Violet can be very sweet. When he learned that Lawrence’s youngest sister, Evangeline, was sick with the measles, he drew a picture of her on a summer’s day, sitting in the grass and holding a newborn fawn. He sent the picture over to the Bluewer mansion complete with a letter of address and a red wax seal because “All little girls want to feel important, don’t they?”

- Gregory’s father is somewhat disappointed that his only son and heir prefers art to combat. As a former commodore, he’d hoped Gregory would follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in the navy.

- Violet was the only one (out of the S4) to see Lizzy at the Sphere Music Hall.

- Violet is quite musical. He learned how to play the piano, violin, and clarinet as a child because his mother, Lady Constance, was convinced her son would become the next Mozart. He quit composing and playing altogether after his mother died.


I hope this is alright! :) 

Chronograph

I’ve transformed all portraiture of virtue
My being vantage of visage revealed as
The meeting of our hearts stand as coil
To the preface of us like the sun and moon

A fever dream, you fall into unconscious
Omniscience lay down inside me as
A prism that charts no spectrum towards
My gaze so I fall deep, deeply into your eyes

And just as you were leaving, I met
Those eyes, the eyes of a woman
Who knew what she wanted as cascade of
Feelings rolled into me like summer thunder

A blue cavalcade of paired embrace and sorrow
Knowing I will never see you again - but
Smiling anyway as you kissed my cheek
A sweet remembrance of time’s lost furrows

After all we had been through I felt
As though my heart now fell further away
Launched from some unknown shore of torment
Towards an open sea with no course charted

No one at the helm but me.


© K. James Ribble

Appropriate Body Types

Good morning, campers!

So, I want to talk today about body types. I think this is a topic that get’s wayyy overlooked when it comes to writing - especially fantasy and post apocalyptic writing. The problem with trying to create appropriate body types for the setting of your plot and status of your character is that you have to work via stereotypes for a rough guideline. For example; if your protagonist is a peasant, it is likely that they are malnourished. 

Perhaps not, perhaps their family are excellent farmers and have enough food to go around, simply nothing else of any worth. That’d be an excellent explanation as to why they’re father, say, was overweight, or never in a foul mood! He’s never hungry. 

Because that’s something people overlook: MOOD MATTERS. Factors that effect your body can have a huge impact on your mood, mental health and mental growth. Take yourself, for example. Have you ever gone three days without a meal? Imagine what kind’a mood you’d be in to deal with someone’s shit. It might not be so pretty. In this way, body type spans way more than just how much muscle someone is carrying. 

A good example to look at would be NOBILITY. I have seen far too many slim young noble girls in fantasy fiction; when in actual fact, all the portraiture and documented evidence we have suggests these noble women would do well fed, have curves, and be praised for that. The complexion of your skin also said a lot about you: rough, or sun-tanned/burnt skin meant your had known labour. 

But again this has to be balanced against what is normal for your character. I’ve known so many ‘tomboy’ style noble characters, who join in the hunt and spend their days in the skin yet retain their porcelain or ebony complexions. How, exactly? They don’t come through divine birth you know! Similarly, with noble males. They did tend to receive more training than other males, sometimes, more than even soldiers. 

So, when planning body types, here is my advice;

  • Look at what social-economic status your character has.
  • Look at the average body type for your character’s time/class.
    • How much food do they have access too?
    • Do they drink?
    • What training or physical activity do they partake in?
    • How common are physical ailments/injuries?
    • Do they get enough sleep?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of your character’s body type?
  • How do health factors affect your character’s state of mind?
  • How do others’ look at your character solely due to appearances?
  • How does your character feel about their body, skill and image?
  • Do they fit, biologically, with other members of their family?
  • Do battle scars, mental traumas, and old diseases just vanish, or have you made sure you understand their lasting effects? 
  • How do they relate to gender?

Now the DO NOTs;

  • Don’t judge beauty/health standards by modern, western ideals. 
  • Don’t think that your world should have one ideal image.
  • Don’t assume your character is happy with their gender or ability simply because they were born with it. 
  • Don’t think that no one judges you on how you look.
  • Don’t give your character a disability if you don’t want to do your research or ever have it hinder them. 
  • Don’t give your Barberians/peasants/etc shaved armpits and tweaked eyebrows. Y’know, unless they’re Spartans. 

Again, you know. Appearance isn’t everything; but it is a huge part of who we are and how we look at ourselves and get through life. This is the only body we get to spend our lives in and in some climates, cultures and worlds, we didn’t have the same choices about our body as we do now. 

So just think on it! 

I’ve been putting off writing about this for some time because I’ve been so sick, and I’ve been telling myself that my mental acuity will come back any day now, and bloody hell if I don’t want to be Witty, damn it. As the days creep on and my medical problems continue to cascade into a tangled heap that a naughty kitten would be proud of, there comes a time when you just have to suck it up and do your best.

Hospital Glam: many months ago a wonderful friend in my very close-knit support group started putting a name to something that I had naturally developed a habit of myself. That friend is karolynprg and you can see her very own hospitalglam blog.

As a retired professional photographer (and an on again/off again self portraiteur), it was natural for me to turn to a camera as I found myself spending more and more time in hospitals and doctors offices. Without knowing it I was taking back some of the autonomy that you lose very quickly as a patient.

It became a habit, something that I couldn’t resist… Finding a mirror or some other way to snap a quick selfie. This developed into dressing well; trying to have fashion sense again. As someone who has had many periods of debilitating illness, and varying degrees of disability throughout my life, plus a weight that has fluctuated 50lbs or more because of said illness, the clothes I wore often became last priority during these times. At other times, when I was feeling less sick or in pain*, I would pride myself on having a very particular aesthetic; I would find joy in trying to find a balance in all of my interests and reflecting that in my clothing. (*with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome you are never pain or symptom free, our normal is just less-so).

I don’t remember when the actual turning point was. Maybe it was after my 50th physiotherapy session and I was sick of being stuck at home the rest of the time and only ever leaving the house in workout clothing, that I started experimenting with said clothing to see if I could make it more ME (I am NOT an athletic gear type of person). No offence to those of you who love your yoga pants or your jogging bottoms, but it just doesn’t really fit into my self image of a dystopian, but feminine android, displaced from the future!

The change in myself and how I handled my medical appointments was apparent: I had so much more confidence and I no longer felt like it was fair or right for doctors or other medical professionals to treat me like a child; like a subordinate. It was around this time that I started to think more actively about healthcare. I no longer wanted to wallow in the fact that the modern healthcare system is cack-handedly retrofitted into a much older system where patients weren’t allowed any voice whatsoever; I wanted to do something about it.

The prospect of changing an enormous bureaucratic system from the point of view of the individual is impossible. But the whole point of self-advocacy is that despite this impossibility it is up to us to do it anyway. And the one thing that no one tells you is: you can only be an active participant in your own healthcare, and more importantly, an advocate for yourself, if you have enormous reserves of self confidence.

This is what Hospital Glam does for me. Historically I’ve had tremendously low self esteem. Yes, even for a dystopian android from the future this is possible! There’s nothing that depletes those already low reserves faster than when your body is ravaged by disease and you are forced to face a medical system that is wrought with even more prejudice than general society.

Karolyn has done some interviews recently and says many of her own very eloquent things about why she does Hospital Glam. Do a Google search and I’m sure the many articles will pop up! For me, at least, since Karolyn gave us the name, my own ritual has had even more purpose. It’s now an essential part of my hospital visits, medical tests and other healthcare appointments. I now try to err on the side of deliberate thought, framing and act of self portraiture rather than the quick selfie. In doing so, I consider my entire surroundings and how I fit within them. In this act I find my sense of space and ownership and autonomy. I gain the confidence to force my doctors to see me as more of an equal; as an intelligent adult that deserves their respect and compassion, even if I cry during our appointment. And despite my protests, I am in fact a human being after all… my self portraiture serves as a reminder to myself, as well as the world I choose to share it with afterwards.

JIM JARMUSCH ON “ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE”

Note: This is the unedited and unabridged version of an article that appeared in The Guardian last week.

“I’ve seen my dog dreaming”, Jim Jarmusch tells me over lunch on a snowy December afternoon in Manhattan’s East Village, the iconoclastic filmmaker’s typically sedate voice betrayed by the excitement that pops in his eyes. “I suspect that other animals have imaginations”, he continues, “in fact, I know they do.” His answer is engaging enough for me to forget that my question had been about Tilda Swinton’s hands, and how the 3,000-year-old vampire she plays in Jarmusch’s opiate new film Only Lovers Left Alive can deduce the age of an object simply by touching it.

“Once I left a mop outside the window of my apartment, and I saw a sparrow examining the mop for several days”, Jarmusch continued. “It kept coming back, and then it started biting through to take away strands to build a nest. It was thinking, you know?” Jarmusch transitions into his sparrow voice, which sounds identical to his human voice: “Man, I think this might work…”

There are perhaps only two living directors who would so casually introduce an anthropomorphized bird into a conversation with a stranger, but Werner Herzog would never so transparently allow himself to wonder at his own story. If at first I’m not entirely sure how Jarmusch’s anecdote pertains to his new movie, our conversation becomes easier to navigate when I realize that speaking with the famously cool filmmaker isn’t all that different from watching one of his films, which don’t cohere into stories so much as they do constellations, networks of seemingly isolated ideas that achieve a greater meaning when arranged together just so. When I confess to Jarmusch that Only Lovers Left Alive had sent my mind reeling and that my questions would likely be all over the place as a result, his quick response comes with a grin: “I like that, I’m all over the place with the answers.”

It occurs to me that, while all of Jarmusch’s films are inimitably his own, Only Lovers Left Alive is the first to broach outright self-portraiture. 

For all of the things that immediately identify Jim Jarmusch – his Lee Marvin face, that resilient shock of white hair that looks like Andy Warhol was touched up with a Tesla Coil – there are even more recurring elements that immediately identify Jarmusch’s work: a broadly minimalist aesthetic, laconic but lovable characters (often played by musicians), a cool compositional remove that invites humor without ever sacrificing sincerity. Yet, perhaps the thing that most naturally unites Jarmusch’s films is their shared belief that everything is connected, even if it’s not always plain to see how. His is a diachronic cinema of culture in conversation with itself. A young Japanese couple obsessed with Elvis. William Blake reborn into the American West. Instruments that resonate with every note that’s ever been played on them, the world bound together by cab rides and cups of coffee. As one character sums it up in Jarmusch’s instructive and unfairly maligned The Limits of Control: “Each one of us is a set of shifting molecules, spinning in ecstasy. In the future, worn out things will be made new again by reconfiguring their molecules.”  

Only Lovers Left Alive is a film about the urgency of that recycling process, a sublime and snickering genre tale that shacks up with a pair of exhausted paramours who are desperate to become new but frustrated that they can’t grow old. Jarmusch has been trying to make the movie for seven years, and whenever a bump in the road had him ready abandon the project, Swinton would insist “That’s good news, it means that now is not the time. It will happen when it needs to happen.” Now that the vampire film has become petrified by its own popularity and conversations about the death of cinema seem more prevalent than those about its future, Only Lovers Left Alive may be arriving just in time. Every generation is convinced that they’re living at the end of the world, and not a single one of them has yet to be right.

Like a sparrow looking at a mop and seeing a new future for itself, Jarmusch has always perceived a tremendous potential in even the most destitute of cinematic forms. His manifesto about the rules of filmmaking, published nearly a decade ago in MovieMaker Magazine, famously insisted that “Nothing is original”, and instructed aspiring directors to “steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration.” For Jarmusch, well-worn genres don’t offer a crutch so much as they do a succinct mechanism for locating us in time, the cinema’s most lucid way of reconfiguring its molecules before our eyes.

“I’m a kind of film nerd”, Jarmusch allows, carefully ordering his words. “Genres are beautiful and I love them but I don’t want to deliver their expectations.” We don’t understand the idea of infinity, or of time not ending or of space not ending,“ Jarmusch says with the authority unique to inviolable claims. "I think cultural things, or maybe the advancement of humans’ imaginations, is the real way to tell time.” 80 years is relative, but compare Vampyr to The Twilight Saga and it’s easy to see how far you’ve come, even if you’re not entirely sure in what direction. 

While I’d happily argue that Only Lovers Left Alive is Jarmusch’s best film, perhaps it would be more helpful to say that it’s his most fluent – if all of his work is intoxicated by ideas of recycling and transference, this is the first time that he’s repurposed his pet themes as his primary subjects, an evolution that’s clear as soon as the film opens with Jarmusch’s version of a bone becoming a monolith. Where Kubrick favored the cold bluntness of jump-cut juxtaposition as he cut from Earth to the heavens, Jarmusch prefers a smoother ride for the return trip, the infinite glint of the cosmos swirling into the grooves of a Wanda Jackson LP. As the action settles on terra firma, Jarmusch begins to pull the film together with centrifugal force, the camera rotating around two bedrooms that revolve at the same speed despite being worlds apart. 

Eve (Swinton) is in Tangier, an ancient city always on the cusp of being reborn. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is in Detroit, contemporary America’s most famous icon of decay. Both are exotic in their own way. She Skypes him on an iPhone. He answers on a rotary relic that he’s rigged through a tube television. They’re vampires, and they’re in love. 

They live apart because they can, because it doesn’t deprive them of time together. “If you live that long, separation for a year might feel like a weekend” Jarmusch explains, his famously spacey drawl belying how present he is in conversation, zen-like but generously engaged. “They love each other very deeply, but it’s not an obligation, it’s an emotional connection.” An emotional connection so strong that Adam, a natural romantic who sees poetry in science, intimates that his relationship with Eve is an example of Einstein’s Theory of Entanglement, or spooky action at a distance: “When you separate an entwined particle, and you move both parts away from the other, even on opposite ends of the universe if you alter or effect one, the other will be identically altered or affected.”

In Detroit, Adam grows despondent about the stale state of human culture. In Tangier, Eve packs her favorite books into a small metal suitcase and arranges a series of night flights to The Motor City in order to see her immortal beloved. She reserves her tickets under the name of Fibonacci, a nod to the influential mathematician that hardly feels out of place in a film where even the tossed off references spiral inward. “All of the entities in the universe are spherical, round, or spiral” Jarmusch explains, tracing the edges of his empty plate. “It’s a natural thing”. Circles are so crucial to the film that Jarmusch’s script was originally threaded with quotes from Rumi, a dervish dancer, about waterwheels and turning. “It seemed a bit pretentious”, he quickly admits, aware that his work is beloved for being inviting but seldom transparent.

I tell Jarmusch that his concentric vision of genre reminds me of Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death, a psychological text from 1973 founded upon the idea that the fundamental purpose of human civilization is to systematically deceive ourselves to the idea of our own mortality. I remember that I first encountered Becker’s work through reading about one of Jarmusch’s films, though I can’t recall which. He reliably smiles at my references, which range from Beethoven to Chris Marker, far more interested in where his movies had lead me than if I had enjoyed them. Rumi, Fibonacci, Einstein, Wanda Jackson… locating the beating heart of Only Lovers Left Alive would be as difficult as identifying the first patient of a plague.

I ask if vampires are the perfect subject for him, if not having a death to deny allows them a more lucid perspective of human culture. Jarmusch’s response is the only thing he says to me that feels pat and practiced, likely workshopped over a dozen festival Q&As: “Vampires aren’t really undead, you know? They’re transformed humans, which is different from zombies. Vampires’ consciousness is always intact, even Nosferatu is sophisticated in some way. He’s not a lumbering monster. In our film, if they’re metaphorical of anything it’s of humans. And they are humans, just transformed humans.” His unhelpful answer inspires me to jettison a volley of follow-up questions and instead pursue a percolating idea that vampirism has allowed Jarmusch a degree of candid self-reflection that his previous movies made impossible. Only Lovers Left Alive might as well have been born from the moment in The Limits of Control when a character remarks that “Among us, there are those who are not among us.” It’s the vampire mythos distilled into a single soundbite, and looking across the table at a filmmaker whose face may be more recognizable than any of his films, it feels applicable to celebrity as well.

The endlessly versatile Tom Hiddleston is reborn into the role as a lost goth god, an outcast cursed to an eternity of effortless beauty, but beneath the thick tresses of glam black hair and the disaffected gloom that clouds over him, it’s hard not to see the theatrically suicidal Adam as Jarmusch in disguise, the director’s neuroses in almost human form. For one thing, both of them love Tilda Swinton. “It’s everything about her”, Jarmusch explains, his eyes lost in nothing in particular over my shoulder. “It’s her physicality, the way that she moves… I love this thing where she’s walking in Tangiers in slow motion, she’s like a vestigial predator, like a wolf.”

There’s certainly a feral element to Eve’s appearance, Swinton’s piercing intelligence taming the wild mop of blonde yak hair she wears as a wig so that the character comes off as a Nobel laureate raised by wild animals. When I ask him to explain Swinton’s appeal as an actress, he ignores the craft and instead responds that “She has an ability to prioritize what’s really important in life. Once I was listening to her, I think we were at lunch with Patti Smith, and I thought ‘Oh boy, if all culture breaks down, I’m following them. They’re my leaders, the women are the way to go.’” It’s worth noting that Jim Jarmusch could casually mention having tea with God and it still wouldn’t sound like name-dropping.   

I try to ask about Swinton’s wardrobe in the film, a Pangea of fashion that assimilates Ray-Bans and renaissance flair into a mid-60s rock foundation, but Jarmusch isn’t ready to move on. “One of the great moments in my life”, he says, his eyes narrowing on me as if hoping to see his favorite memory reflected on my face and enjoy it again, “was when we were shooting The Limits of Control, and we finished a take and I said ‘Oh Tilda, that was so beautiful, will you marry me?” And she replied ‘Oh darling, we already are.’ I could have died.” 

Adam’s problem, on the contrary, is that he can’t. Of course, he doesn’t really want to. Like his creator (Jarmusch, not God – the character names aren’t Biblical, they’re Twain), he’s not suicidal, he’s simply tormented by the nauseating sense that culture has run its course. Convinced that humans, whom he refers to as zombies, are rotting the world, he’s the Platonic Ideal of a hipster – how can you think anything is cool when you’ve lived for enough centuries to know that coolness isn’t real? There’s jaded, and then there’s flippantly dismissing your old friends as "Shelley, Byron, and those French assholes I used to hang around with”. As they have for Jarmusch, icons of civilization have become so accessible for Adam that culture seems to stand still – how can you appreciate the cycle of culture when everything is so personal, when your wife’s best friend is Christopher Marlowe? “I don’t have any heroes,” Adam scoffs. “I’m sick of it – these zombies, what they’ve done to the world, their fear of their own imaginations." 

Rather than engaging with the world, Adam lives like a hermit, creating ambient drone music in his decrepit house on the edge of town (naturally, the music belongs to Jarmusch himself, the songs performed by his band SQURL).Adam vehemently insists that the music never leaves his house, and is livid to learn that Eve’s younger sister Eva (Mia Wasikowska) anonymously played one of his tracks in a Los Angeles club. Like so many hipsters, Adam hardly understands his favorite credo: he can recite the Theory of Entanglement verbatim, but he struggles to embrace it. He thinks he can go it alone, but through Eve he’s inextricably tied up in all things.

What Adam learns, and what Jarmusch understands, is that there’s no upside to stepping out of the circle. Survival is an instinct, and for some it’s the only option. Artists need to steal, and vampires need to feed. What Adam perceives as entropy, Eve recognizes as hunger. Inevitably, she leads the way forward. This seems like the right time to ask Jarmusch an inevitable question: Would want to live forever? “I wouldn’t mind living to be maybe 300 years old, but eternally? Oh man, there’s something about the cycle of life that’s very important, and to have that removed would be a burden.” 

Adam, it seems, isn’t Jarmusch’s proxy so much as he’s the filmmaker’s pale shadow, lacking only the most essential things that prevent Jarmusch from succumbing to his own intractable sense of cool. Adam may not have any heroes but Jarmusch never stops looking for new ones.  His movies are so different because they treat everything the same. Everything is bursting with the potential to become a part of something else. It might seem like a throwaway gag when Eve drives by the childhood home of a local Detroit legend and exclaims, without a hint of sarcasm, "I love Jack White!” In fact, the praise of a 3,000-year-old vampire is the ultimate artistic validation. “I believe her when she says she loves Jack White”, Jarmusch confirms. “I despise hierarchical evaluation of culture. I go nuts when you say ‘crime fiction is not an academically valid literature, or pop music vs. classical music or whatever.’" 

Unsurprisingly, Jarmusch has a problem with auteur theory and the idea that his films begin and end in his own head. “I put ‘A film by’ as a protection of my rights, but I don’t really believe it. It’s important for me to have final cut, and I do for every film. So I’m in the editing room every day, I’m the navigator of the ship, but I’m not the captain, I can’t do it without everyone’s equally valuable input. For me it’s phases where I’m very solitary writing, and then I’m preparing and getting the money and all that, and then I’m with the crew and on a ship and it’s amazing and exhausting and exhilarating, and then I’m alone with the editor again… I’ve said it before, it’s like seduction, wild sex, and then pregnancy in the editing room. That’s how it feels for me.”

I tell Jarmusch that I always likened the process to preparing a meal, instead. I see pre-production as listing the required ingredients, production as shopping for them, and the pivotal step of post-production as the actual cooking. Jarmusch thinks this over for a moment, his eyes falling back to his empty plate and his fingers absently running along the black leather of his iPhone case. A moment of silence quickly blossoms into an eternity of my own, in which I have thousands of years to be become mortified at the thought of insisting that an icon of independent cinema listen to my baseless (and pathetically prude) analogy for the process that has defined the better part of his working life. 

Jarmusch abruptly ambles to his feed and extends a big hand beneath a bigger smile: “Cooking is good too, but I prefer sex.”

In the digital age, the rise of selfies parallels the rise of memoir and autobiography. Controlling one’s image has gone from unspoken desire to unapologetic profession, with everyone from your best friend to your favorite celebrity laboring to control every word, every pixel of himself or herself that enters the world. Self-portraiture is one aspect of a larger project to manage our reputations.
—  In Praise of Selfies, by Casey N. Cep
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Sorry for being so absent, I’ve been out of sorts and discouraged but I’d love to keep up with your portraits. Keep tagging me in photos or drop an ask in my box if you’d like a portrait. I’m even up for discussing what you want it to look like (medium, style, etc). If you asked about one before and I didn’t get back to you, message me again! I got back to everyone but my responses frequently get cut off or don’t send. I love you all dearly <3 

Hi! I’m Sandra, an 18-year-old photographer, currently living in Germany.

My interest with photography began about five years ago and I got my current camera the Nikon D5000 four years ago. I’ve experimented with lots of different photography styles, but ultimately it all led to portraiture. Ever since I got my 50mm 1.8 lens no other subject really interests me.

I use my blog primarily as a portfolio, but also as a diary. This year I went to my home country, the Ukraine, for example where I took lots of analog pictures. Analog photography is also a big passion of mine.

Here’s also a link to my instagram and my flickr

Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God. Imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in his holiness. Was he zealous for his Master? So be you; ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted: it is too precious. Was he self-denying, never looking to his own interest? Be the same. Was he devout? Be you fervent in your prayers. Had he deference to his Father’s will? So submit yourselves to him. Was he patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as he did; and let those sublime words of your Master, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your foe by your kindness to him. Good for evil, recollect, is godlike. Be godlike, then; and in all ways and by all means, so live that all may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” —  Charles Spurgeon

Hey trans* friends: If you’re interested in a drawing of you being done, I want to draw you if you want me to!

I realized that I hadn’t attempted to draw myself at all since I came out (which was actually kind of a while ago at this point), and always felt hella strange about the ways in which I was drawn before that–and honestly, never really did any self-portraiture at all, and shied away from images of my face the same way I shied away from mirrors and photographs of myself. If I wasn’t shying away from those things, I was neurotically diving into their scrutinies, trying to pick apart how my structures worked, and split myself into enough pieces that I could start to sew some kind of cohesive narrative of my body together.
It’s been a long time coming since I let myself think about my face and my body slowly enough to draw it: so, if you’re in a similar boat, please send me any reference pictures that you have and I’ll draw you. Please specify in your contacting me if you don’t want any images I make posted online; otherwise I’ll post it on my facebook art page (http://facebook.com/noellelonghaulart) and to my tumblr (http://laughingloone.tumblr.com). I can’t promise I’ll get to every request, but I’ll try my hardest!
xo
N