“Go to school, graduate, get a job, work your way up, and maybe one day you’ll start your own business”… these seemed like the most logical and viable steps to take through life. Up until 2020, everything was going to plan; I had good job offers lined up for once I graduated from Parsons School of Design. I felt confident I was on the right path, to one day, having gained enough experience and some courage, to potentially start my own brand.
I was a lonely kid. I remember in the early 80s turning the key to my mom's front door and wishing I’d open it to find a house full of people. But it was just me in the afternoons. I had no siblings, my parents were divorced, and my mom worked a corporate job to support us. I spent after school watching cartoons or playing video games alone.
With the amount of Vitamin D I’ve consumed in the past year, I should have gotten stock for it. Prevention, pain relief, these are the basics tenets of any product out on the market. Not getting enough Sun? Go for a walk. Can’t go out due to pandemic? 1000mg of Vitamin D, stat. Art is my vitamin/drug of choice. I’m a pusher of picturesque portrait pleasure.
I've always been fascinated by people and their unique narratives. I am dangerously curious and want to try everything. We only have so many years on this planet, so it's impossible to try everything unless you are lucky enough to experience a slice of life through candid conversations daily. I've hosted for The Travel Channel, NowThis, and Thrillist and fell in love with energetic interactions and the wealth of knowledge you can gain in just a few minutes from interviewing someone.
We tend to be addicted to phones and technology. During the lockdown, when you cannot socialize in an ordinary way, the news, social media, and your phone become your means of communication with the outside world. I see much danger and risk in that. Smartphones are meant to be addictive, and that can become what you are holding on to mentally. When you are able to cut those, then you are left with yourself...
Arrogance is underrated. Period. It takes something to make your way out to New York, let alone be an artist out here. I'm in love with New York. I've dreamt of New York since I was a teen, even though Chicago will always be home. I've always had confidence border lining arrogance, or so I've been told. This city kind of pushes you over that line, and for good reason. You are a speck in a sea of voices within a small sliver of an island of the world that is called, Manhattan.
This is the time of year when we all attempt to clean up our acts, create new habits and lose those extra holiday pounds. As a health coach this tends to be a pretty busy time of year for me but 2021 is feeling a bit different. While there are still people looking to lose that extra holiday weight, there is also the fun new addition of pandemic weight (thank you 2020!), and for the first time there seems to be a bit more intention behind it.
Nate Patten: Full disclosure: I’m not a writer. I work on Broadway so, let’s be honest, it’s only by the grace of God I can read. What I am, however, is a gay, progressive-curious, moderate who graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Spanish who has spent the last 14 years working as a Music Director on The Great White Way but now gives piano lessons to 4 year olds.
Follow Confucius, slow down on Sisyphus. I've always had mixed feelings on New Years. On the one hand it's a day or two to reflect on the past year, and it's events and accomplishments, (although, with this past year who knows if you'll really wish to reflect), followed by new year's resolutions and actions which I abhor. So much pressure on the New Year...
I am by no means a "newborn photographer", however I have photographed my fair share of toddlers, tots and tykes. A portrait is a portrait regardless of age, and what lights me up is capturing that innocence. Coming up on a year of Covid, I'm receiving an influx of calls for holiday gifts of maternity and soon to be newborn shoots in the New Year.