In the 4 years I’ve been doing photography I’ve always wanted to do a Sugar Skull portrait but somehow I always put it away or got to busy or simply forgot. So this year as soon as October started, I got to it. My creative process sometimes can turn into a love and hate relationship. The first self portrait I took as a Sugar skull I started creating it right after I put the kids to bed on a Friday night. I knew it would take time, but I don’t think I was ready for how long it was gonna get and how stubborn I get to get the things exactly how they are on my head. I ended up making a huge make up mess everywhere but I got the colors I wanted and they blended perfectly. But then, I was just done with the makeup and I still had to clean up the mess I made, take the picture, and apply pixie dust on Photoshop. That’s when I realized my sleeping patterns are way different from what they used to be years before. If I miss a few hours of sleep, the next day my body and my baby will remind me. But it’s all for the sake of art.
I was happy with the portrait and the makeup but I wanted more, and since I love to punish myself with my crazy ideas, I decided to take another Sugar Skull self portrait, but this time, instead of makeup, I was gonna use beads to make the design. Sounds so artsy and creative, right? I applied while makeup all over my face, black around my eyes the I started applying the beads one by one… Just when I had a few on I told myself “what the hell did I get myself into?” but I had to keep going. I found patience I didn’t know I had, and after many many hours I did it, all by myself and I was pleased and tired and my body was in pain for sitting in the same position for too long. It was just a couple of days before I did the first sugar skull make up and it took forever and I seemed to forget so fast so easily and went ahead for a more difficult one. Yes, that’s part of the brain telling me it’s hard and it takes time and blah blah blah and the other part is telling me this is so awesome and fun and somehow therapeutic. And that’s what photography and self portraiture is about to me. It’s my therapy, it’s when I find the silence in the middle of the chaos, it’s when I cannot listen to anybody but myself. That self that need to be heard, that we fail to listen because we loose ourselves in an external world, in society, and what’s supposed to be, but probably is not. It’s only when you do what you love that you find yourself. And it’s addictive. What I create with my photography, wether it’s a self portrait, a composite based of my kid’s ideas, a portrait of anybody, a long exposure, whatever it is, it’s my passion and it makes me extremely happy and it makes me find inner peace, regardless of how many likes it gets, or how many times it was shared. What it matters to me it’s what photography does to me as an individual and what I get out of it internally. So who cares if it took me 4 hours to stick beads on my face. They were 4 hours of happiness doing what I love.