About and FAQ
The following questions have been asked of me across the limited social media platforms I have had in cyberspace, so I will answer them here in case you were wondering something similar:
“Who are you?”
- I was born in 1989.
- I’m a Taurus Sun, Aquarius Moon, and Cancer Rising. Can’t say I’m convinced it fits me well.
- I live on the coast of Oregon, USA right now. But I’ve lived around Europe (Russia, Serbia, Czechia, Germany) and the US (California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon).
- I love to learn languages. Listed from most to least fluent, I can speak: English, Russian, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Czech, and Gàidhlig. I’d like to learn Welsh.
- I am married. My spouse is the handsome fella you’ll see in a lot of my photos.
- We share our home with 3 animals: a corgi/aussie mix named Lucy, a tuxedo cat named Veles, and a dachshund/norfolk terrier mix named Arthur.
- I’m a huge fan of postcrossing and have been doing it since 2014.
- Bats are my favourite animal, but I love all animals–even the weird ones (especially those ones maybe).
- J.G. Ballard, Terry Pratchett, and Fiona Macleod are my favourite authors, and I just discovered Holly Black and she is quickly climbing the ranks.
- My favourite musicians: The Beatles, Noel Gallagher, Joy Division/New Order, David Bowie, Кино, Молчат Дома, and Слава КПСС
- I love to visit cemeteries in every country I go to.
- I have many tattoos. Who knows how many? And I need more.
“Why don’t you post pictures of your face? Just some bird or the moon.”
Because I wouldn’t want a bunch of strangers saying rude things about me.
“Why do you upload bad photographs? Clearly you must be good at Photoshop and not photography since all your film photos suck.”
This is a series of questions the internet has asked me multiple times before believe it or not. So I’ll start here.
First of all, thank you for thinking I’m good at Photoshop! I’ve fooled you because I don’t even have that sacred program. As for my film photos, I view each camera as having a different artistic capability. The first few rolls are taken just to get used to a camera. Since I only develop my film a couple times per year, sometimes I’ll take multiple rolls with a camera because I’m excited about it, but will have no idea how they’re going to come out.
Some of my film cameras have light leaks; some have deceiving ‘working’ meters; some have shutters slowed by age; and others don’t even have a rangefinder and focusing them is done by guessing! When I develop the rolls, I can see what I need to fix inside the machine and get to know what kind of artistic expression is available to me through that specific media. I love the look of imperfect film photography. I think it looks beautiful when things are kind of grainy or hazy. There’s a whole movement for that called lomography, by the way. I really like the photos that come out of these rolls. Oh, and let’s not forget that I also like to use expired film that I buy cheap in thrift stores and elsewhere. It’s a complete surprise what will come from that, and I share that surprise.
As for why I upload so many of the ill-focused and ‘bad’ photos: well, this is my website. I want to come back here and look through what I have done and keep it organised. The only ones I don’t put up are the totally wasted frames and photos of people who would prefer not to be put on the internet for whatever reason.
But, yes, I do take much crisper, cleaner, and more colourful photographs with my DSLR than any film camera. I have an entire website dedicated to my digital photography. Here, I wanted to share my film.
“Which is the oldest camera you have?”
I have a Kodak Brownie No.3 from I think 1906. It does still work!
“How many film cameras do you have?”
Somewhere around 75.
“Which was the first camera you ever got?”
My first serious camera (not a cartoon point-and-shoot) was a Vivitar XV-3 that my father bought new in the 1970s and gifted to me when I was 15 and decided I wanted to be a photographer.
My first digital camera was a Pentax *ist DL. I still miss it.
“Which film do you use?”
I buy all sorts of expired film, but I generally buy Kodak Gold for new colour 35mm film (or Fujifilm if it’s on sale); and I like Ilford black and whites. 120 film, I like Kodak Porta and TMX. But I’ll try and use anything.
“Who is your favourite photographer?”
Linda McCartney. The McCartney duo were the inspiration for most things in my formative years of life.
“Why are you vegan?”
I am vegan because I do not wish to harm animals, and I am in a position where I do not need to do that. Yes, I have eaten meat before–I grew up eating it–and yes, it tastes good; but that still doesn’t make it okay to me.
“Is your family vegan too?”
Everyone I live with is vegan.
“Why do your recipes say ‘sesame free?’ Is there something wrong with sesame? Is it the new gluten?”
The reason my recipes are sesame free is because I am allergic to sesame (among other things). There’s nothing wrong with it, I think it tastes amazing. I do miss hummus.
“You spelled ‘health’ wrong.”
It’s supposed to hearth, like the big flat bit of floor on which one would build a fire to heat their cauldron and living space. It’s supposed to represent the heart of the home.
“Are you really a witch?”
I like to call myself a pagan witch because it sounds ancient and earthy. In my house, we celebrate the changing seasons or the turning of the wheel of the year if you will. I am not Wiccan, and I do not follow any deity (though I adore reading about them and making art of them). I call the days of celebrations “sabbats” and label them mostly by their ancient-celtic-revival sort of names (i.e. ‘Imbolc,’ ‘Lughnasadh,’ ‘Mabon’ and so forth) because it’s much easier to do it that way when speaking English. However, my practice is my own and doesn’t follow the rules that one might find in the more religious witchcraft practices.
“You know magic isn’t real right?”
I believe in symbolism, energy, psychology, and ritual. This is how I choose to make those things work for me. Nothing is real–money, your name, lines between territories–and yet all are forces with immense power. All we can do is be kind and have fun while we navigate the dimension we’re born in to. I’m not hurting you.
“What do you grow in your garden?”
So many things! I had a goal to grow 75% of my family’s food. So far, it’s at about 1%, but I am going to keep trying.
Aside from edible plants, I also grow a lot of flowering plants. Those are much more successful. I try to grow pretty much anything. But I need to reorganise my garden to utilise the space better. It isn’t the largest garden, but I’m trying to make it work.
My favourite plants, though, are my trees. I have a whole grove of baby trees giving their all to get bigger. My Redwood is perhaps my dearest. I’ve been growing her since 2019 and she’s already about 4 feet tall.
“Doing x, y, and z isn’t very eco friendly or vegan, don’t you care about the planet?”
I try so hard to respect the planet we live on, but I don’t know everything about everything and probably never will. I am always learning and growing. It’s all I can do.
“X, y, z isn’t proper witchcraft! You’re not doing it right!”
There is no “right” way to make magic. If I’m sharing something here, it’s my personal way of doing things and needs not to be graded.
“What made you start using fountain pens?”
When I lived in Prague, there was an art supply shop nearby my apartment that sold fountain pen inks. Specifically, Rohrer&Klingner. While I was browsing the shop for watercolour, I stumbled upon it and was really interested with the word “Schreibtinte.” Writing ink. I assumed it was for dip pens–which I’d used only with India Ink before–but then I learned it was fountain pen friendly. I just had to give it a try and I loved it. Honestly, my love for fountain pens is 60% cool ink colours and the rest is in the nibs.
“Do you think gold nibs are better than steel nibs?”
Well, any nerd will tell you that it’s all about the tipping of the nib and not the nib itself. I think gold nibs are nice and that they’re attractive. Vintage gold nibs soften in to some of the best flex, though. Like a Waterman 52.
“How many fountain pens do you have?”
I’m not sure. More than 50, though.
“What do you write?”
I keep a journal; I write fiction, postcards, and letters; and I use these pens for drawing.
“Do you trace?”
I always simply said “no” to this, but I have changed my tune. I got a lightbox specifically so I could do my ink drawings without mixing graphite in to the art, thus changing the ink. So I put my graphite drawing underneath, then trace it with straight ink. So I guess I do now!
“Why can’t I buy prints?”
If I had enough people actually interested in doing so, I’d gladly figure out a way to sell them. I sell a lot of them as stickers through Redbubble, though. The option to buy prints is always there.
“Where did you learn to draw?”
I’ve just always done it. I took art classes in school like anyone else, except I also chose them as electives because I love it so much. I did half a semester in university as an art major, but I can promise that didn’t help any. Just constant drawing for 30 years, that’ll do it.
“What’s your favourite medium?”
I cannot decide! I love the ritual of oil painting, but it is such a long process that I do it rarely. Digital art I do often because it’s easy to start and you can change things very quickly. Ink is the prettiest, I think. But good old pencil and sketchbook is my most frequently used media.
“What does adze mean?”
An adze is an ancient woodworking tool. The mother of all construction, one may say.
“Where do you get your wood?”
I got a lot of it from a few trees that fell on my property (Sitka Spruce and Alder); and I’m always collecting fell branches from the areas around me. Sometimes someone will gift me nice blanks for my lathe, though. Other than that, I disassemble a lot of thrifted items for wood or find discarded bits here and there.
“What does aureole mean?”
It’s a word like ‘aura.’ For poetry, aesthetic, and compositions.
“Your poetry isn’t very good.”
Sorry. I like it.
“Which camera do you use?”
For all my digital photos, I use a Nikon D750 and occasionally my phone.
“How do you film your writing?”
I have a tripod with a removable centre piece. It can be set up to view directly down. Takes a bit of getting used to, but it works.
“On what do you do your digital art?”
I have an ipad with an apple pencil and Procreate. I love it.
“Which lathe do you have?”
I upgraded to a variable speed Jet lathe. It is so incredibly worth it to not have to disassemble the machine in order to change the speed.