My amazing husband Gabriel has found his calling making movies and is creating awesome behind the scenes videos of our journey!
Have you ever had a dream so big, so monumentally challenging that you not only knew you had to do it but also walked into it head first with absolutely no fear of not succeeding?
The no fear part is so unlike me. I fall asleep worried. I wake up worried. I watch my son trip, choke on a jelly bean, cough for no reason, get in the car….exist and im consumed with constant worry. I can’t fly without insane panic attacks. I freak out at the thought of saying hello to people I know. I have to fill my head with courage to answer phone calls. It’s safe to say I’m usually worried more of the day than not.
But here I am with a project that means more to me than anything ever has and I have goals for it that shouldn’t feel attainable in the slightest and yet as every single element of it comes to life, I haven’t had a single worry In the world that it won’t succeed.
It started with a story when I was giving up on myself. I had screwed up my life to the point of feeling completely lost. If I left my cave, it was with no direction and a tormenting level of fear of continuing to feel completely alone and as if my existence was pointless.
I don’t remember how I came across the book that would change my life, “This Book Will Change Your Life” but I know that change is exactly what it did.
Looking back on how the events unfolded now makes me believe it all happened as it was supposed to. There were some dark and hopeless times that I absolutely had to get through In order to appreciate where I am now. Everything happened just a few months before I met Gabe and before we had Jones, yet their roles in my project have been the most important roles of all as each step unfolds.
I think it’s important to mention this back story because essentially my project, Bunny Danger Awesome Slash Trouble is a documentary of my feelings at that time in my life though its impossible to know that simply from reading the story or looking at the images.
I was in a time of my life where everything I did and felt lacked substance. I had no idea that I was standing on the edge of creating the exact opposite for myself and giving my life something epic to live for. I’m glad I didn’t know it at the time because the pressure might have been more than I could handle.
My entire life I have wanted to write a children’s book that meant something to me. I have half written stories from the time I was 7 up to now. None of them ever felt finished and none of them ever felt right. But after diving into the adventures that This Book Will Change Your Life led me on, I sat down one afternoon and began to write. I spent every day writing for several days as my story just came to me, exactly as it was supposed to. When I was finished writing it, it felt perfect. I read it to loads of people and they all seemed to love it. I looked briefly into getting it published, but just didn’t feel the time was right to head in that direction. About four years later on a flight home from an epic adventure, Gabe and I decided we needed to spend the summer creating an art piece that would combine our love for collaborating with other people, make a documentary and create something we could be insanely proud of. By the time the plane landed, I had several sketches completed and knew without question, the project was going to be the next step of bringing Bunny Danger to life.
Why does all of this backstory matter? For me it is important as I have become part of a beautiful movement of artists in the fine art photography world where many of the people I love and admire are creating incredible images daily. They’re pumping them out at record speeds as if their minds can’t contain all of the wonder and creativity that lives inside of them. I admire that in many of the images I see….that ability to know what you want to produce and just go out and make it happen…quickly.
But I’m not quick and I’m not in a hurry. I can spend 6 months on one image and come back to it every day and feel stuck and unsure one moment and fall in love with it again the next. I’ve talked to a lot of photographers who feel down on themselves when they compare their outputting of new images to the artists who can produce loads of beautiful images in a small amount of time. They feel defeated, burnt out, doubt themselves as artists. I think I’ve let myself feel these things for brief moments as well, but then I go back and look at each finished piece of Bunny Danger so far and I am so absolutely in love with each and every one. It makes me realize that not being in a hurry means that I can spend as much time with an image as I need in order to nurture it into existence.
What do I want to come from this project? In my dream world, my 20 images will be complete and my book will be published. The images themselves will be displayed in art galleries and people will know the story as they get lost staring into each images. Someone, (secretly dreaming big that someone would be Moonbot Studios because William Joyce has always been my absolute hero when it comes to children’s books and I’ve always imagined him illustrating my story…and now I am absolutely mindblowingly enamored by what Bill and Brandon Oldenburg are doing with each film they complete.) would want to turn it into a movie and I could watch my story come to life in a vivid, lively way. I’m saying these things out loud because if I don’t, they definitely won’t happen. I have nothing to lose by dreaming.
In the same way that the story seemed to write itself when the time was right, the creation of the photographs themselves happened exactly when they were supposed to and each image that I’ve completed just came together when I let myself explore their possibilities.
The only thing I’ve been equipped with throughout this entire process is a dream. No budget, no experience, no fundamental ideas of how things should go. Just me and my dream. It’s amazing the resources that will open up for you when you let your dream consume you.
With no budget and no real plan other than knowing we were going to take a trip to Happy, Tx, the location where Bunny Danger takes place, we suddenly found ourselves lucky enough to have a student film maker, Jameson Young and his brother Zander who were completely willing to put their summers in the hands of a couple of lunatics who wanted to embark on a project that may or may not go anywhere in the end.
I’m thankful every day for the creative family I married into. It takes as little as mentioning an idea to get Gabe’s energy ignited and his talented younger brother Anthony is of the exact same mindset.
I can’t even imagine how different this project would feel if I hadn’t been fueled by their willingness to help me make this happen. Their enthusiasm helped my desire to make this journey unfold as big and beautifully as possible.
There’s a reason my story took place in Happy, TX. Several reasons really. By looking at Happy, TX from the outside, you see a pleasant little town that was once full of life but has since become a run down dilapidated place, seemingly void of life.This is exactly how I was feeling about my own life when I wrote my story. Many years ago, my friend Meredith and I drove through Happy and it left us in fits of hysteric laughter for many years. The town without a frown was known to us as The Town With No One Around. It always stuck with me as an important place where we discovered a lot about ourselves and our friendship and was the first place that came to my mind when I needed a location for Bunny.
In my story, Happy has lost it’s joy and Bunny Danger Awesome Slash Trouble goes on a quest to help Happy find its happy. When we started filming in the run down little town, the people who lived there (we were actually shocked to discover that people actually DO live there) came out to not only see what we were up to, but also to help collaborate with us. These beautiful people showed us that underneath the dust and rubble there truly did live a town full of life and wonder. The parallel between this reality, my story and my own personal feelings inside myself assured me that Happy, TX is exactly where my story was supposed to take place.
I’m in love with every moment of making my dream project come to life. If knowing that I dove into this with as few resources as possible inspires even just one other person to jump in and do something that feels impossible, then THAT is why I wrote this post.
Stay in touch with me to find out the breakdown of each of the images as they come out! PLEASE link YOUR dream projects in the comments! I would love to check them out!