2018 was a year of returns and resurrections.
Every time I reconnected with a long-lost friend, returned to an meaningful place, or even revisited a favorite artist in concert, I had a distinct feeling that loose ends were being tied up, things were being brought to a close, and everything was coming full circle so that I could better move forward into a new phase of my life. And it felt really good.
I was shocked at how many people from my past 2018 returned to me, including dear friends from my Costa Rica days, childhood, and my second life in Russia—not to mention recent Minnesota friends I got to visit in their new places of residence.
Revisiting and rediscovering places I hadn’t been to for a while—whether for a year or for a decade—was heartening. In 2018, I went back to Los Angeles, Michigan, Chicago, Russia, the East Coast, and the North Shore. But I also got to visit some places in my home state I had never been to: St. Joseph, Red Wing, and Lanesboro—which felt like completing some kind of circle.
I took charge of not only my physical health but also my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. After months of battling fatigue, weird sleep problems, and tonsils rapidly increasing in size, I started going to an integrative health clinic. Some other health firsts include getting an IUD, integrating essential oils into my life, visiting a psychic, doing a reiki session, and starting acupuncture. I’m determined to continue connecting the dots between all these realms to become the healthiest version of myself.
Artistically, it was a year of growth. Having always loved books, I came full circle with a new passion for making photo books, thanks to an incredibly intense yet rewarding MCAD undergrad class during which I made five books in four months. I was part of two group exhibitions—one at my alma mater, St. Thomas, and one at my workplace, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. And I was commissioned to photograph some of my favorite people, including the fantastic band Holy Hive, with whom I also recorded some vocals. I sang at the EP release show of another great band, Summer Carols, and saw the music video release (courtesy of Foodist Films) to my song with Limozine Group (see below).
2018 was full of many shows that kept me curious and inspired: My favorite performances were from Lana Del Rey, Kimbra, Feist, Erykah Badu, Greycoats, and Teju Cole, and my favorite exhibitions were from Paula McCartney, Allen Ruppersberg, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty), Siah Armajani, and Sophia Heymans.
A few last closed circles: completely moving everything out of my parents’ house, which was sold; buying a friend’s electric guitar I had been babysitting for the last four years; and finally putting the Polaroid camera I received two years ago to good use.
I experimented with shooting Polaroids, expired 35mm film, and medium format film largely for the first time in 2018, so here are some of my favorites. Here’s to 2019 and new beginnings!