Creative Work

Fragile Things: Part Three - A Broken Egg by Leslie Fandrich

Part Three of my Fragile Things series is here!  Part One is herePart Two is here. This is the final part of the series featuring my photographs of fragile things, with hand-lettered text from Neil Gaiman's book of short stories, Fragile Things, overlaid on top. Working on this project has been enlightening and I really appreciate these final thoughts about the nature of fragile things.

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Fragile Things: Part Two - A Heart by Leslie Fandrich

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Part Two of my Fragile Things series is here!  Part One is here. This is a three part series featuring photographs of fragile things, with hand-lettered text from Neil Gaiman's book of short stories, Fragile Things, overlaid on top. These photo illustrations explore the nature of fragile things. I myself am going through a fragile time right now, my Mom is dying of cancer, and I have found working on this project to be a great way to meditate on what I am going through and what it all means.

From the Introduction:

Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill.

From the story Strange Little GIrls:

The view changes from where you are standing. Words can wound, and wounds can heal. All of these things are true.

From the story How To Talk To Girls At Parties:

We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable.

Hearts may break, but they are tough. It's something I need to remember right now. Resilience, perspective and a legacy. That is what Neil Gaiman's words mean to me. It's why I write and make art. Writing and making art make me stronger, give me perspective and hopefully, it will build up into a legacy that I can leave to my family.

Part Three is coming in the following weeks! Stay tuned for that.

Fragile Things: Part One - Feathers by Leslie Fandrich

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A few months ago I was inspired to photograph objects that are considered fragile. As I was working on the shots, I remembered that Neil Gaiman published a collection of short stories called Fragile Things. It was a book I didn't remember reading, so I picked it up from the library and I found that I was familiar with many of the stories from other sources. There are some good ones in there. Some of them are creepy, but still so good. Gaiman is such an amazing story teller.

I came across so many great quotes that I decided to hand letter the ones that were specifically related to fragile things and overlay the illustrated text onto the images. This is the first image of a three part series and I'll post the next two separately in the following weeks. 

From the story Strange Little Girls:

She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon.
You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood.
She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.

From the story Instructions:

Do not lose hope—what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts.
Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn.
Trust dreams.
Trust your heart, and trust your story. 

I've really enjoyed working on this project and it's given me new insights into fragile things. I love these sentiments about identity and trust. You need focus and passion. You need to trust dreams, hearts and stories. It's about knowing and trusting yourself. And above all, do not lose hope. Ever. What you seek will be found. For a seeker like me, that statement makes me feel so good. It assures me to just keep at it. I will get there eventually, I will find what I am looking for.

The short story Instructions, became a lovely book of it's own illustrated by Charles Vess. I bought it for my kids and this story/poem is pure magic. It's all the best advice from fairy tales. Your kid's adventures and imaginations will most surely be inspired by reading it.

What is your favorite fragile thing or fairy tale?

Part Two - A Heart is here.

Lighting a Candle by Leslie Fandrich

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I got myself back into the studio yesterday and the first thing I did was light a candle. It sets the mood and scents the room and I love the idea of a candle burning while I am working. It helps me focus and direct my creativity.

I love to use these Fortune Matches that I picked up in Chinatown years ago. It gives the act of lighting the candle just a little more meaning. Today I chose Wisdom. The candle smells delicious and it was a gift from Greenmarket Purveying Co.

Getting back to work amidst uncertainty and stress seems to be good for me. It's distracting and rewarding, but I am doing only what feels good and not putting too much pressure on myself to meet any kind of expectations. Unfortunately, with that comes a little less blogging, but I hope you understand. Now is the time for a little more quiet and reflection. I'm turning inward a little, but I want you to know that I am coping as well as I can, and this is just me taking care of myself. (Wondering what the hell I am talking about? See this: One Thousand Goodbyes)

I'm excited to be working on illustrations for a friend's book proposal and I'm in the middle of a personal art project based on Neil Gaiman's book Fragile Things. It's going to be really cool and I can't wait to show you when it's done.

If there is one thing to look forward to, it's the wisdom, depth and experience that you gain when going through something difficult and traumatic. I know that I will come out on the other side of this with a deeper understanding of life and death, and for that I am truly grateful.

New Prints & My Art Featured at Inward Facing Girl by Leslie Fandrich

Melanie at Inward Facing Girl is featuring my photography and studio in her Art I Heart series today and I couldn't be more flattered and honored. 

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The turquoise supplies were photographed at Uppercase Magazine while I was visiting last summer. The office is so lovely that I didn't move a thing when I was taking pictures. Although Janine did "tszuj" a little as I was shooting. See more pictures from the visit.

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The dripped coffee was shot last spring at the Blue Bottle Coffee stand on the High Line in New York City. Isn't the swan neck kettle gorgeous? The High Line is one of my favorite places to visit in the city. I took this picture at the end of a wonderful day of street photography with Sandra.

From the interview with Melanie:

I'm a very intuitive worker. I try not to plan too much and I let my mood and circumstances tell me what I should be working on. Sometimes it's just about sorting through a box of old things.
I have a list of ideas and concepts that I revisit constantly to see if anything stands out to me or feels like I have more to add to it.
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Read more over at Inward Facing Girl and get a peek at the first photos of my newly organized studio! I've been working on cleaning up my space for MONTHS and it's finally starting to come together. If there is anything you would like to know about my creative process or my studio, ask questions in the comments and I would be happy to answer them! Here's one secret, while the pictures show a perfectly arranged studio, behind the camera and just out of frame is a complete disaster of everything ELSE. It's true. Remember: Nothing is perfect.