Reflections on 2015

In the spirit of remembering the best moments of 2015, I want to take the time, now in the last day of 2015, to reflect on what the old year proved and what the new year can bring.

2015 started so aggressively dynamic and I feel that only now I have the time and also perspective, to see objectively the beauty and progress of how things eventually unfolded. I started 2015 in a sort of continuation of 2014 with great projects at SCAD, and great desire to delve into what Sculpture can offer and how it can enrich my photographic and artistic practice. Getting acquainted with the expectations of writing a thesis paper for my M.F.A. program seemed perfect synchronized with discovering my passion for Sculpture. Being a peer tutor and teaching assistant helped me extend and apply further my passion, skills and creative energy to this artistic field. The internship with Atlanta Magazine that soon followed inspired and taught me how commercial magazines work and produce content every month, inspiring me later on to take the entrepreneurial leap with launching Florilegium magazine.

In between, I created so many new projects that helped in so many ways to refine my practice and inspiration. Even though time seemed to be my enemy, I feel so strongly that 2015 allowed me greatly to express myself creatively with so much potential in the shortest time frame I had on hand. Here, I can only remember that time when I had only seven days to create for the Huffington Post the video of Welcome to Braggsville and choose between this or going to New York City for a second interview with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for a photography internship position. Showcasing my work at Out to Launch was also an incredible experience, putting me in contact with so many great creative companies that had the chance to see and experience my artwork. With only few days before graduation, opening my thesis exhibition - Life from Light was the most accomplishing feeling an artist can experience. It represented the recognition of an extraordinary journey I started when I joined SCAD with a thesis project that meant so much to me.

The time when I graduated was extraordinary, encapsulating all these amazing experiences. Stepping on the stage to collect my degree, witnessing the inspirational lecture of John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, as the distinguished guest speaker, and experiencing the closing show, made me feel accomplished and extremely proud of myself of graduating a master that I long dreamed for.

Hilton Head Island brought to me equal joy, with new exciting projects related to videography, design and portraiture, and unlimited access to the Atlantic Ocean. Discovering and experiencing the island motivated me to use it as a subject matter in order to further extend my practice. Thus, now in the eve of a new year, you can all still enjoy my time there with these short creative films.

Creating cinematographic motion experiences means so much to me because it is not only encapsulating the memory of a special time, but it also brings with it an excellent subject matter to artistically explore. The island has been the inspirational background where I created and designed my amazing 18-page long project for Up by Forbes and the inception of Florilegium, the magazine. And this brings me closer to today, when recently I launched the art and culture publication Florilegium, available only in print with an amazing interactive design and inspirational artwork. I see Florilegium as a new chapter in my creative practice, which fully reflects my evolution, interests and practice. As a new chapter is closing, other follows and opens, bringing with it new expectations, challenges and accomplishments. We all have to allow ourselves to grow, refine and enjoy each stage through which we pass. And this is my wish for 2016, to continue this exciting exploration and experimentation of art and keep having the courage to risk and always fall in love with the beauty of the simple things around us. Happy New Year!

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Sweet and Salty Summer Costini for Atlanta Magazine

"The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is." Marcel Proust

Between March and May, between SCAD, my thesis and my exhibition, I was interning for Atlanta Magazine. I have spend a nice time working on the magazine, assisting at photo-shoots and shooting, mapping eventually my interest for food photography with a last assignment. A summer inspiration recipe that one could enjoy at breakfast or served as appetizer at a dinner party. I love crostini because they are quick to make and always tasteful. Paired with tea in the morning or white wine at dinner, they are snack-perfect!

These crostini have the right amount of sweet and salty. The Kalamata olives are a wonderful pairing with the creamy cheese, since their meaty texture is unexpected with every bite. This is a very simple, yet tasteful dish, and a crusty baguette with soft and chewy crumb is ideal to complete this feast of flavors!

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SCAD Recap and Atlanta Magazine Internship

My SCAD grad duties haven't really allowed me to keep up with the writing on the blog. But, now I'm back with a very exciting recap of everything that has been going on in the past months. I have graduated with honors, presented my thesis paper and exhibition, but until I speak about all that, let's rewind to what happened before all this.

What has excited me the most about SCAD's MFA program was the opportunity to experience two quarters in a real-life experience kind of situation before graduating. Being interested in sharing my skills and gaining new ones, I started off 2015 with a teaching internship and a peer tutor position at SCAD. I wanted to be exposed to the teaching environment from the professor's perspective. Being exposed to different educational systems and cultures throughout my entire education, made me approach this teaching internship with a creative mindset. At the same time, through the peer tutor position I offered personalized attention to students in one-to-one sessions to help them work out an assignment, a new technique in Adobe Suite, or go around a creative block. It was challenging to juggle with being the student and the tutor, but I fully appreciate this dual perspective that not many students get to see. During this experience, it was critical that the students receive from me a constructive feedback and develop their communication skills, whether in form of expressing a creative project or speaking about it. I wanted students to develop a realistic self-confidence about their work and be able to see and understand diverse points of view and techniques.

Like in a roller coaster, a new experience was waiting out for me in my next internship with Atlanta Magazine. Here, I had the opportunity to see and understand what are the mechanisms of producing a monthly publication. This internship has consolidated my awareness of the editorial world and has gave me a more clear perspective on the deadlines and tasks that go into producing and publishing a magazine.

Having What Liberty Ate Magazine, it was very helpful to see Atlanta Magazine’s process of getting in touch with agencies or PR representatives to acquire art to be published in its issues, collaborating with artists, photographers, editors and writers. Assisting on the major photo-shoots that the magazine had scheduled for its future issues, also made me aware of the work that goes into scheduling, coordinating and researching the best photographer to shoot a conventional or more abstract editorial story. It has been very motivating to meet and see how Atlanta photographers work on assignments.

Moreover, I gained a great insight into the workflow of the Photography Department by getting involved with the editing of the photos that were published in the magazine, requesting art to be published in the magazine, shooting products for the The Love List section of the magazine issues, documenting Thrift with Tyler, a design event for Atlanta Magazine's Home publication, and cooking and shooting a summer recipe for the website's food section.

This internship has been a very positive experience, since both the Director of Photography and the Senior Art Director have assigned to me relevant tasks and opportunities for performing well. I was truly excited to be part of this fast paced environment and get a chance to apply my passion and skills to an industry magazine.

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