For years I’ve awakened to the soft neon glow of this particular alarm clock.
This photo gives you a personal, yet very misleading look into my life. It says a lot about my daily sleeping habits. You see, some days this is when I wake up, while on other days this is when I go to sleep. There are many causes for such a sporadic pattern of sleep, mostly work, which I’m certain other creative individuals can absolutely relate to.
Having an active mind full of ideas can keep you up all night, cause you to wake up early in the morning, or disrupt you at any moment in between. It’s this same creative surge that can fuel your passion, while also draining your spirit. Being an artist of any kind is never easy. It can be a constant battle within yourself to outwardly express what you see and feel inside. Creativity can cause you to become a habitual dreamer incapable of manifesting ideas into reality, living totally inside your own mind. Or it can cause you insomnia from constantly trying to artistically execute your thoughts in your physical life. This never ending traffic of mind games is mentally exhausting! If you’re like me, and have been battling your entire life, you already know that eventually it will catch up to you physically.
This is where I currently stand. Growing older and finding it increasingly difficult to find ways to win these internal battles. To find a steady balance. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being an artist! I love being someone who can see things that others cannot. I love having the ability to create something out of nothing. Or being able to take something that exists and provide a unique re-interpetation from my own perspective. I truly believe it is a gift from God. I just wish that this gift didn’t have to come with burden of this curse wrapped around it.
A late night portrait of a fireman as he and his crew prepare to deal with an electrical fire. Taken in my neighborhood at around 1:30am.
Last weekend I spent some time with my younger brother walking and taking photos in Atlanta. The weather was freezing cold and I loved it! It really reminded me of home with it’s strong crisp wind and moody overcast skylines. The only thing missing was the downpour of snow that’s usually taking place up North this time of year. Surprisingly I didn’t shoot as many images as I would have liked, but I’ve really scaled back on the amount of images I shoot lately. Anyway, here are a few of the shots I liked. I believe I saw some more that I might add to this post later? I really love posting but I’ve been trying to be good and go to bed at a reasonable time. In fact, I’m sleepy right now so…good night everyone!
(As always, please click each image for a larger view)
Holiday lights from the street.
On our last day in Las Vegas my family and I had to stop in to see “The World’s Largest Gift Shop” for ourselves. It was very nice and very overwhelming! My kids were particularly interested in all of the wonderful handmade Native American souvenirs available. I personally loved the big bold signs outside that completely draw you in, even from far down the street. As I walked around the store the experience was bitter sweet because, I knew it was my last day in this beautiful, chaotic city. Las Vegas did leave an major impression on me. I enjoyed myself so much that now I’ve even added Vegas to my short list of places I’d like to move to. To be totally honest, I really hate I have to go back to my boring reality…I pray that I can make a move very soon because, there is so much more in this world to be explored and enjoyed! This trip reinforced that belief. Until then…
A homeless woman sells her handmade jewelry on the night streets to earn money in order to survive.
Taking my daughter to the bus everyday at 6am. Unfortunately being the true night owl that I am I usually go to bed on average between 3am-5am. Now do the math. Needles to say, I’m always very tired! It’s way too early to be up….but it’s for my baby.
I captured my nephew late one night during my last visit when he should have been in bed sleeping. Instead he was very much up and intensely playing his video game. The light from his cool red controller lit the entire room, painting him in a bright red glow. This photo takes me back to my childhood when his father and I use to do the same thing. He looks and certainly reminds me of his father in this picture!
Happy New Year to you all!!!
I hope that everyone enjoyed their holiday season?
It’s hard to believe but, we’re already 10 days into the new year! Personally I’ve been taking a much needed break from everything for the past month. I decided to go back home to Illinois to spend time with my family, specifically my youngest brother Antonio, as well visit our old neighborhoods. Of course one thing I never take a break from is photography so naturally my brother and I have been shooting plenty of pictures. Chicago is very cold but so beautiful this time of year. The snow blankets the city and everyone seems to slow down a bit to appreciate the world around them. I really needed this! I needed to be here to breathe in this cold, crisp air. I needed to reconnect with my roots and revisit my past to better appreciate how far I’ve come. Coming back is always hard to do because, I always contemplate staying. Although I’m confident that I can go just about anywhere in this world and make it, this is my home. The sights, the sounds, the people, the food, everything reminded me that no matter where I go I’ll always be a Northerner, and I’m fine with that. This trip is recharging my mental battery. I feel strong again, like I’m ready to take on my next set of life’s challenges. My mind feels clearer and I’m more focused. My creativity is slowly coming back. Honestly, you can’t help but be inspired when you’re in a place like this. I feel the energy of the city, and the joy from my family has given me an extra boost of confidence to carry on and push forward. I’m at a point in my life where I need to make some very difficult decisions about where I’ll end up living next, but being home is helping give me a better perspective on which direction to take. Now like I said before, I have a collection of new photos that I will be sharing here on my blog within the coming days, I just need some time to try and organize them all. I hope that you enjoy them, and I hope they can give you a small sense of what it’s like to walk the streets of both Chicago and Joliet Illinois in the winter time.
Finally, with this being the start of a new year I’d like to thank everyone who has supported my blog and my work in 2014 and years prior. I’d also like to welcome back all of my original followers as well as any new friends who’d like to come join me for what I hope will be an even better 2015. Let’s make this a good one!!!
Peace & Love! RNJ
It’s that time of the year again already! Fall means the county fair, and I love going! I try to take my kids every time it’s in town and this past weekend we were able to go once again. The weather was nice and we had a really good time. Below are a few of the many pictures I took while there.
Raindrops, lights and colors.
Good evening! It’s been a while since I’ve added anything new but, that’s because I’ve been quite busy lately. Right now I’d like to share just a few random images from some of my outings during the end of last month up until recently. Included is everything from, the out of the ordinary snowstorm that hit Georgia, to an older man who looks like a motorcycle rider preparing to surf in the cold river, to my photo excursion with my Aunt Robin, my son sleeping, and my neighbor walking her dogs. I have lots of new pictures that I’ve been working on very hard to share with everyone. I hope to have them up soon. Until then, I hope you enjoy!