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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Fall in Prague, a Pizza Recipe and Webstock Awards 2015 and IPA 2015

Everything about fall is wonderful: the yellow ochre foliage, the air that starts to crisp, the wind and calm of all changing nature around. I couldn't be happier to enjoy all this beauty fall is offering to us, where else than in Prague. Roaming around Prague' streets couldn't be more romantic than in fall. The way this city embraces its fairy-tale look with the magic of the season can melt anyone's heart. I love how calm fall seems to be, with its short days that leave one alone in their thoughts to daydream, to recharge as the seasons change.

Fall came not only with its charismatic looks, but also with some nice accolades for my work. Thus, I was happy to find out that my blog has been awarded for best use of photography at Webstock Awards 2015 with a second prize, and at the International Photography Awards 2015 I was awarded two honorable mentions in fine art - still-life and abstract category, for my thesis project "Life from Light". From 17832 of submissions, I couldn't be happier to find my project this year as well among the selections of the jury.

And as the seasons change, I started working on new projects for the upcoming year, projects that have been on hold for a while due to my other priorities at SCAD. I needed time to get caught on these ideas and start execute them, reason why this blog has been updated sporadically. However, just because I am working on a different range of photographic projects doesn't mean that I will not come back here to write and share my stories with you. In fact, as many of you might have noticed, this place is growing up alongside me, is changing, incorporating more of my current interests and experimentation in the field of arts. And I really needed it to reflect my current artistic persona, and the way this is progressing and getting better. For instance, you will see more and more of my videography projects and equally food, but it is not that type of blog that focuses only on what's happening in the kitchen. From its beginnings this blog has been setting new trends giving voice to my artistic ideas and sharing them with the world.

Food represents the subject matter that has government my artistic practice in the past years, and it is still informing it in a big way, however, there are so many other things that spark my interest and need my attention to make them happen. They say that an artist needs to be curious enough to continuously find new ways to express creativity, and I am so ready to experiment and create new perspectives on what I think it resonates best to me. But until I can effectively share more of that with you, I can visually lead you into my fall journey this year, with this autumnal pizza that has the best of harvest in it: walnuts, beetroots, zucchini to keep boosting your energy even on cold weather.

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Contemplating Hilton Head Island

“People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I began this summer by exploring coastal South Carolina's natural wonders, having a deep desire to capture artistically the energy and wonderfulness of what this new place was for me. To head to the great beaches of Hilton Head Island, catch a sunrise over the Atlantic, and get up close with nature, was like a summer escape to me. I enjoyed the tropical humid breeze of the Atlantic, the melting sun and the shade and unique vegetation that inhabits here.

I feel far away from the presence of things I knew, however I am discovering so much character and life in these new territories. And as I am continuing my quest for finding the meaning of what is the expression of contentment, I find myself still madly in love with everything that is alive around and inside us. The beautiful, unusual, expected and unexpected natural world offers us the joy of living and settles our restlessness.

Here, I took a step back and looked at how nature can seduce our senses and makes us long for closeness with it. On the island, nature is redefining our senses of seeing, hearing and feeling. It is a different reality, that triggers new mechanisms of joy for life and creates better understandings of the world, and implicitly us. It gives the opportunity for more celebration and gratitude to life, and a change of mind, where you don't know necessarily what's going to be next, because anything worthwhile will take a long time.

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