August 30, 2010

more fotos.

i just got around to getting more pictures uploaded and edited from seattle. quite the process when you use film. enjoy.
coffee girl.
mt. rainier.

August 29, 2010

the manliest manny.

ahh + jpm

this, my darlings, is a very important boy. he is john murnane, the manliest manny you know. he also happens to be one of the dearest people in my life, near or far. he likes to keep under the radar so it is quite impressive that he would let me do this little write-up. but i believe he is a story to be told... 
q: where are you currently living? and why?

a: i am living in torino, italy. it is in the northeast corner of italy. i am a member of the C.I.A. and i work as a spy, watching over italian and russian relations {he is also totally lying}. in the mean time i am living with a family and helping them with english. i do various household activities like ironing and making beds. in addition, i also give private english lessons. in short, i am a manny. but the manliest manny you've ever met. i love to chop wood, work on cars, and do landscaping.
john and maghi
q: how did this come about for you?

a: well, i was in my senior year of college and had little to no direction about what was next for me. i knew i wanted to travel, whether it be in the U.S. or Europe. but for a twenty-two year old philosophy student with student loans, dead presidents were the issue. i had my dreams, but i felt practicality poisoning my brain. thank the good Lord I was contacted by a great friend, one whom I have known for a long time, who was living with this same family as i am now. she asked me if i was interested in taking her place when her year with them was up. it was quite a long process, there were a lot of questions on both ends. one such question was that within the family the children are two young girls. thus, it did not shock me that there would be some hesitation to have a twenty-something american guy live with their fifteen and eleven year old daughters. on my end i questioned if as a youngest child, i haven't lived in close quarters for a while and wasn't really sure about the whole situation. all that to say the decision was finalized after some debate last july and i came here in october 2009.
john likes practice jerseys and hikes in italy.
q: where all have you traveled in europe since you moved to italy?

a: in italy: bolzano, lecco, ivrea, trento, rome, champoluc, pisa, lerici, porto venere, sorrento, pompeii, tuscany, florence, lake garda, venice, milan, and sardegna; in europe: barcelona, amsterdam and london
it has been pretty spread out for the most part, but this summer i was out and about for a little more than two months. probably one of the most incredible experiences of my life. everything was new and fresh. i got to meet incredible people, and also go to do some traveling with friends. it was beautiful.
he is a mystery mannny.
note: all photographs, besides the few that john is present in, were taken by this fine fellow. he has become quite the artist, don't you think?
q: what do you think is the greatest lesson you have learned since living in italy?

a: lessons... lessons are funny. in all honesty, that's a hard question to answer. i think i have just evolved a lot as a person. i've learned lessons in all areas of my life. being here, and frankly being quite alone, strips you of a lot of things. at first it seems to be sort of a novelty, then when life sets in all the normal things you have that help you out of the hole of loneliness and solitude for the most part are gone. i don't live in a wood hut, i have a computer and things but it's not on my time. everything i do regarding people at home is on their time for the most part. in summation, i could say being self-less and dealing with solitude have had the greatest impact on me. i am no master at either. here i am in the position and have the time to work on these things and all the strings attached {mainly discipline and love}. i have gotten to focus on what i want to be important in my life, and what was important in my life prior {that's a hard thing to realize}. like i said, when you are alone those things become blatantly obvious because you have nothing else to blame it on or hide behind. it's not fun, but at the same time those things aren't going to go anywhere. they will look you in the face everyday. also, never let go of your dreams. never, ever.
crazy boy frolicking in sardegna.
q: what are you most looking forward to about returning to the states {besides ansleyhayden, duh}? or what are you not looking forward to?

a: i am very excited to be with family, friends, and my dog{bella}. that really is the biggest thing. let's get realistic, i could eat, drink, travel and people watch the rest of my life here. i have no problem with any of those things. but i hate the feeling of missing out, my mom could vouch for me. i know everyone says, "you're not missing anything." in my opinion, that's exactly what i'm missing. we are all creatures of comfort to some degree, and i miss those comfort things. i am also excited to share some of the things i've learned, many having to do with the kitchen. as for what i am not looking forward to- responsibility. that is a very immature answer, but it's the truth. i do have a significant responsibility here. there are two girls who i have to look after and who i would do anything for. but being here has allowed me to be very comfortable with letting go of those self-made responsibilities. i don't have a cell phone with people always calling, asking to do this and to do that. in short, i am allowed to be quite selfish. i have the things i must do, but when i finish all i have to do is what i want to do. i don't think it will be a while after this that i have the ability to travel for a month, or hop around to different ancient towns on the weekends. it is a great feeling, but also it's a responsibility of a different kind. if you aren't doing what you want or you are unhappy the only person you can blame is yourself.
gq boy in roma. 
where there is love {near or far}, there is art.

August 28, 2010


"Maybe our friends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with." -Carrie Bradshaw, "Sex in the City"
you like the top of rachelann's head.
i'm one of those types of people that let just about anyone into my life if they will let me into their's. you know the type? but it is said there are people {the dearest of friends} that let you into your own life. rachelann and anneelizabeth are those people for me. it's definitely not because of how much we have in common. each of us is completely unique to the other. despite the common eye rolls {particularly between me and anneelizabeth} we never doubt for a second how much we love each other- mutually. but that's the beauty of it, having people in your life that let you be you and love you all the while. you would think that after all these years friendship would run it's course and life would cause us to drift apart. no, not us. 
senior year of high school.
lake martin/high school bodies. 
sophomore year of college.
circa 2005... what is this outfit i'm wearing?
friday after work rachelann drove from montgomery to meet us in birmingham for sushi. maybe we have more in common than we thought because we all ordered the same roll. after dinner we went out for yogurt. in typical fashion anneelizabeth made friends with a few local gentlemen {ages 3 and 4}. we then spent the remainder of the evening pilled in bed together, drinking wine, telling stories of boyfriends past and funny memories. followed by a stroll this morning to the local bakery for croissants and coffee. 
when rachelann was a brunette. 
the older i get the more refreshed i am by the friends, that knew you when... anne and rachel have known me all the while. 
where there is love {beyond difference}, there is art.
christmas 2009. sorry anne, you got cut?
p.s.- these two think it's funny to play the game where you place a phrase in this blank... "where there is love ______, there is art"... i personally think they just want to be me. it's whatever. 

August 27, 2010

the lottery

the value, in my opinion, of a documentary is that oftentimes when the credits begin to roll you can't stop your brain fast enough to even read words on the screen. at least this has been my most typical experience. last night i went to a local screening of the film the lottery. this film highlights a heated national debate over charter schools. i have my opinions on the matter, but i know enough to know my opinions are not infallible {nor do i think charter schools are infallible}. i simply encourage regardless of feelings or personal agenda that every person becomes more educated on the brutal social sorting of public education, perhaps starting with watching this film. good schooling should be more than just a matter of chance. 
it isn't a secret that i am passionate about education reform. i don't go to class on a friday night for nothing, you know? fortunately for me i had countless people throughout my lifetime work tirelessly to ensure i had the best education possible. however, i am aware that not everyone has people that go to battle for them on this end. i am also aware of the phrase "life is not fair." but i don't believe that should apply to education. education should be fair. it seems negligent for me to not fight for the rights of every child to receive a free and quality education, because in the same breath i believe that education is the key to systemic change on most every level. while i don't work to push one political agenda, i will push for education reform. i don't have the keys to this reformation, but i know of some people that seem to be pretty close {the controversial moskowitz being one of them}. 
what a teacher pose this is! crouching down, naturally.
here are a few facts about american education: 

  1. the average black or latino 12th grader reads at the same level as the average white 8th grader.
  2. 50% of children in low-income families will not graduate from high school by the time they are 18. 
  3. 58% of black 4th graders are functionally illiterate.
  4. the achievement gap between low-income students the their high-income peers costs the United States $500 billion/year.
  5. only 10% of Americans living under the poverty line ever make it to college.
make this a daily read for updates on education in america:
where there is love {and a fight of equal opportunity}, 
there is art.

August 25, 2010

so complicated.

i have a love/hate relationship with film. i can only post a few pictures from seattle up for the time being. but be on the look out, because there is much more where these came from. have i said that i love seattle yet?
speaks for itself. 
space needle.
standing outside the original starbucks.
the most beautiful flowers you've ever seen were at this market. 

a peace person.

i really believe in peace. i know that sounds so "21st century hippie" of me. but i am being completely serious. peace of mind. peace of heart. maybe i am the only person that ever gets caught up in life {or the opposite of}and loses peace, but i honestly don't think i'm alone in this. so hopefully this will resonate somewhere with you...
taken in one of the most peaceful parks i know in san francisco, ca. 
yesterday was a day of anxiety for me. some past ghosts of mine came out to play and i got totally caught up. it was just a mess. the best way i know to deal with anxiety is to talk about it, talk through it. but even for me, one of the most openly expressive people you might know, when i am in my darkest of places opening up is hard. and honestly, sometimes it just feels embarrassing. like why would anyone want to hear or know how crazy i am? do you know that feeling? luckily, i have some pretty amazing people in my life- many of whom have been featured on here. so yesterday right before bed i decided to open up to one of my favorite people on the planet more or less because i could not sleep if i didn't. i said, "i am walking with a ghost... i know i just threw a lot out at you. i hope my mess doesn't totally freak you out!" for a lot of people i am sure my mess would make them run in the opposite direction. in fact, i have had people that have done just that. even people that supposedly love(d) me. but this dear person {who will remain nameless because i know without a shadow a doubt he would not want his name used and this was a very personal moment} responded with a ton of love and encouragement and then proceeded to say, "Little in this world will freak me out.  Things concerning you never will.  They only make me think and hope more." and then the peace came. i woke up this morning to that and realized: i may be cracked, but i am not broken. i hope you find peace on this day, whoever and wherever you find it. 
where there is love {and a sanctuary}, there is art. 

August 24, 2010

seattle day 4.

this post will be short for several reasons: 1. i am sad enough that i don't feel like i have much to say. 2. i will be "waking up" in a mere 4 hours to begin my voyage back to the home state.
i could not be more unhappy about leaving washington state. to be perfectly honest, if i knew that the weather was always this lovely i would leave it all behind {job, school, friends, etc.} and stay here in hopes that the rest would work itself out. but, unfortunately, it is not that easy. i hear the weather isn't always so lovely and i have a lot of responsibility that i love and am dedicated to. so, in case you were wondering, i will be back in birmingham tomorrow afternoon. 
today was basically filled with a hike looking straight at mount rainier. it looks as though it glows because of the sun's reflection off the snow. be looking for a million pictures to be posted of this beauty as soon as i return "home." i look forward to my next visit to seattle or anywhere in this beautiful state. washingtonians, be proud, you live in a beautiful place. maybe i will one day be a washingtonian too?
where there is love, there is art. 

August 23, 2010

seattle day 3.

it's a stretch for me to feel comfortable with saying anything negative right now, simply because i am so happy. seattle is lovely. what is this i hear about rain? i know no such thing. the weather is perfect. every view i've seen is breathtaking. like i said, i'm in love
photo taken at dinner with my iPhone. no lie. 
today i began my day with brunch atop the seattle space needle. initially i declined this idea thinking it was probably a tourist trap. but after being encouraged by a friend of mine that is from the area, i decided maybe the view of seattle would be worth the fanny-pack brigade. it was totally worth it. the dining experience was top notch. brunch at the view from the top is a three-course brunch- no messing around. the service was fabulous. and then there is the view. i became immediately content. after brunch i took a walk up to 5th Avenue to visit my new friends. yes, i have made friends in seattle already. the girls working at anthropologie and i swapped life stories yesterday and now have established friendship. undoubtedly, if ever i do move to seattle {new thought, new possibility} anthropologie will be my first thought for meeting new folks. who needs the neighborhood bar when you have anthropologie, eh? after galavanting around downtown seattle i found myself back bayside sipping a summertime lemonade {just say muddled berries and i'm all yours...} for the second day in a row. i don't know if i will be able to part from this afternoon beverage when i return to bama {must i?} after a chill afternoon dinner was served at the lobster shop. divine honey almond prawns for me. what a full day... after which i feel like i could be appropriately labeled an All-American glutton {how repulsively satisfied i feel}. tomorrow is another day...
where there is love {that is flavorful}, there is art. 

August 22, 2010

seattle day 1 and 2.

so are you familiar with the term little monster? well, i came to seattle and became such a thing. by definition a little monster is: glitter, bows, wigs, breaking boundaries, and all things gaga. here is the example to which all little monsters find their greatest inspiration, from the cover of this month's vanity fair, lady gaga:
she honestly is one of the most creative persons i've ever witnessed. i saw her years ago in california when she was just making her breakthrough. but to see her after seven top charted hits and a variety of music awards in seattle, washington {actually tacoma, to be precise} with a mass of 20,000 people is pretty incredible. this wasn't exactly in the plan. in fact, my family and our close family friend walker left for dinner this evening with no plans of seeing the lady. then it hit... the itch for something spontaneous. i grabbed my little brother and walker {the ring leader of this adventure, at the ripe age of... can i tell you? it's a secret, kind of... forty-eight} and to the tacoma dome we went in search for gaga tickets. walker happened to find the most amazing tickets for us and two new friends that we met on the spot {yes, he is a generous soul and made the night a good bit brighter for two tacoma citizens/little monsters}. i still don't think i have quite grasped what happened in those couple of hours. but it was memorable. controversial. intriguing. inspiring. though i never would have pinned myself as the lady gaga type... i am now okay with the label of little monster.
a shot from tonight's show. when you think gaga do you think angel?

this is only a snippet of seattle thus far. here is the list version {because we all know i LOVE lists} of the rest:
  •  a brief hour in the forbidden city of minneapolis. said i would never go there... i did.
  • discovering the beauty of washington state. 
  • 60 degree temperatures- right up my alley. 
  • real mexican food... in a state that borders Canada?
  • pike place market- which includes the most beautiful produce and flowers i have ever seen!
  • the best anthropologie known to man. true tale. 
  • the original starbucks.
  • an oversized-collar leather jacket. even rihanna would turn green with envy. 
  • salmon and chips
  • the process of keeping my little brother fresh with some crisp nike. 
  • the most brilliant combination of toppings on a honey wheat pizza
  • oh... and the space needle in the distance. 
sorry for the shadows. chillin' by the bay. 
i'm in love... with seattle. 
where there is love {and dreams of moving to seattle}, there is art. 

August 19, 2010

art is love.

one of the better aspects of growing up is watching people of your "village" change the world- in ways both big and small. i have always looked up to meagan and her talent since studying art with her growing up. now to see her using art as a catalyst for change it altogether inspiring. meagan vucovich lives a life that makes an obvious connect between art and love. she makes this connection gracefully balanced, not one side stronger than the other. meagan is employed with VSA Alabama, an affiliate of the international nonprofit that serves children and adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities through the arts. this organization does amazing work through a myriad of programs. she is also an artist in her own right. the interview below will showcase meagan's effervescence for the connection between love and art. i am proud to know her. 
q: what inspires you most?
a: there's life simple treasures like: my nephew's laugh, a long road trip, the Low-country {specifically Charleston}, my job at VSA, my wonderful family, incredible friends, Jeremiah 29:11, i could go on for days... but most recently i added to the list a painting by Kathelma Williams (see photo). i curated a show by this remarkable woman earlier this year and immediately fell in love with this piece {which i now own}. she attends the mccoy day center where we have an art therapy program from seniors. her story is profound. she is an Alabama native, and against all odds at her time, she studied dance at julliard. she dabbled in painting throughout her lifetime, but it wasn't until recently that Allison DeCamillis, our Art Therapist, guided Kathelma's art to another level. this painting remind me daily to never let anything stand in the way of my dreams. the morning of the gallery opening, kathelma was taken to the hospital due to some complications. she begged the doctors to release her- she was determined to make it to her first gallery opening. low and behold, she made it. at one point, she looked at me square in the eyes and said, you doing this means the world to me. god bless." proof of this beautiful woman's authenticity and the substance her few words have. she had tears of joy in her eyes the entire evening. oh! and then there's music. "when my time comes" by dawes {they will be playing at bottletree oct. 29}and "zebra" by beach house. both songs are reminiscent of recent moments with those i cherish. 

q: fill in the blank. i love to paint ________.
a:portraits. i only wish i could be as skillful at it as my mother, Diddy Vucovish. she has a wonderful gift with portraits- an ability to truly capture her subject's personality and sparkle. 

q: fill in the blank. i love ________.
a: my grandmother. she was born and raised in straubing, germany. she raised seven children. she's a classically trained pianist and a gifted writer. she became an American citizen in the 1970s. she is honestly the most intelligent and beautiful woman i'll ever know. she is awe-inspiring. 

q: what is your favorite aspect of working at VSA of Alabama? 
a:i'm fortunate to say that i get goosebumps daily. tears occasionally- joyful tears. now that i have entered and rooted myself into this "arts in healthcare" world, i haven't merely gained familiarity with medical terms but moreover i have established a profound admiration for our artists. when i began working with VSA, i was amazed at how our clients' and their families were some of the happiest people i had ever met. earlier this year i was installing an art exhibit at children's hospital in birmingham, as i was madly making an effort to fit nearly 125 works of art {all of which were created by students and were amazing}, a family walked behind me with nurses and a doctor. you could see the little patient, hear her ventilator and see copious tubes and wires entwined across her tiny body- it was clear this little angel had been through a significant accident. i gave the family a quick smile as they walked along the gallery wall. come to find out this was the first time this little girl had been out of her hospital room in four months. then, the little girl gave a huge smile when she saw a painting of her funny, bright pink flamingo that i had just hung. that was the first smile this family had seen this little girl give since before her accident. and THAT is when it hit me- my job touches people in way i never knew were possible. the family, nurses, doctors, and i were all in tears. i am so lucky to be surrounded by such overpowering joy and constant appreciation- i like to think it's our daily reminder of the Lord's unending love for us. 

q: what is your vision/dream/goal for what is to come {as far as art is concerned} for you? 
a:my personal dream is for art to become accessible to all. at VSA, that is what we strive for- and ultimately, this has become a personal goal of mine. whether it is a child who isn't offered art at his or her school, or a person with a disability who has been told over and over that they cannot be an artist, it is imperative for the world to know that there is an artist within every being. 
where there is love, there is art {and vice versa}.

August 18, 2010

we used to wait.

not anymore. dearest oliviaann left on a big jet plane today. moving to her new home of honolulu, hawaii {the home of our President}. i'm not really sure what to do with my emotions. excited. sad. excited. sad... repeat x a million plus. nevertheless, i am proud of her for challenging comfort and seeking adventure. just going after it. whatever it is?
traveling woman at dinner. 
this weekend was not a "g word" {starts with a "good", ends with a "bye"} occasion. instead, it was a celebration of our friendship. magical. i traveled to nashville on friday and when i first arrived that afternoon we began by purchasing an iPhone 4 so we can "face time" in the future, duh. this was followed by a secret mission {again, i love secrets...}. once the mission was accomplished we went to dinner at the fabulous suzy wong's house of yum. i could not recommend another nashville restaurant more highly than this one. the entire experience was extraordinary. we ordered most everything on the menu- from basil mojito's to curry queso to a maki roll straight from heaven to martini's that resembled kombucha {i'm sure they were totally healthy}. we took our time... and were entranced by our flamboyant waitor with a "catpower" {named for the amazing musician} tattoo. after dinner we met up with a couple friends at fido. and then, a late night showing {and the pinnacle of the evening} Eat, Pray, Love. yes, I loved it, to answer your question but i refuse to get into it now... because now you must go see it before i become a spoiler.
thank you, house of yum.
the next morning i woke up feeling really tough. no tears were going to be shed. after all, i don't really cry anymore {ask anyone... it's strange. not even at times when crying is most appropriate}. but alas... fail. one thing i know for certain: there is a trip to hawaii in my future.
when i was still feeling strong. 
so in honor of oliviaann i present our favorite song of the moment: gonna take her on a ride on a big jet plane, gonna take her on a ride on a big jet plane, gonna take her on a ride on a big jet plane, gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane. hey hey....

Angus & Julia Stone - Big Jet Plane from TSL on Vimeo.
where there is love {and a sense of adventure},
there is art. 
p.s.- we love you, o. {sarahmo is a creative genius. maybe i should do a post on mongy love?}

August 17, 2010

travel update.

two dear friends of mine have recently returned home- or stateside. they traveled to two distinctly different parts of the world, one to asia and the other to central america, learning more about themselves and varying cultures than can be put to words. but what they could put to words i will share with you... now... 
photo by taylor gunter, taken in honduras. 
the words of rachel beers:
q: recap... where is it that you went? 
a: Hong Kong (a magnificent fusion of the west and east) and Vientiane, Laos (known as "the jewel of mekong"). i didn't know i would love Asia or could love Asia as much as I do now. 
q: what is it that you did there that you did NOT anticipate doing?
a:eating crickets, chicken testicals and other things that crawl {don't kitties were harmed}. On a more serious note, I didn't expect to face some of the challenges I faced leading a team. The position of leadership leaves you exposed and your shortcomings shine a little brighter, but it was so good to learn things about myself, see the world from another perspective and see what God is doing in Asia- which is another story in itself. 

q: in reflection, what was the greatest lesson you have found that you learned? 
a: still processing and will be for awhile, but one thing has been if you seek to understand people you cannot fail to love them
the words of taylor gunter:
Recap: I went to a little town called Comayaguela in the mountains on Honduras, about two hours away from Tegucigalpa, the capitol. I worked at Orphanage Emmanuel which is one of the biggest orphanages in all of Honduras, and also all of Central America. 

What did I do that I did not anticipate doing: When I got to the orphanage, we had our orientation meeting. They mentioned that the older girls/boys were a little harder to get in with, due to either their extreme circumstances, or the grand lack of consistency in their lives- them having been there their entire life and having constant groups in and out of their lives. Trust isn't something they give freely if at all. The next day when we recieved our jobs, I got... older girls kitchen. I was a little discouraged having just heard the difficulty of them letting me in, but the Lord quickly reminded me His power is perfectly manifested in my weakness. After meeting the girls, I knew it wasn't  going to be the easiest thing in the world- given the language barrier, the fact that I was working in the ktichen & am not a cook, the insane amount of manual labor, and the pure fact that they didn't really care if I was there or not. I came in thinking I was just going to play with kids and have a grand ole time- which I did, but the Lord had much more in store for me. He was going to strecth me more than I could have ever imagined, and strip me ALL of my comfort zones, so that I would solely depend upon Him. It's crazy what happens when that takes place.
What I learned: When I literally gave everything about these relationships with these girls to the Lord, amazing things started happening. One of the staff actually said to me, "this whole bond you have with the older girls is funny. They love you & it certainly doesn't make sense."  I remember walking away from that conversation crying. It didn't make sense. Why did they chose to let me in? I thank the Lord everyday He allowed that to happen. They taught me more than I could have ever imagined. They are the epitome of strength & grace. They walk in faith, literally, because they have nothing else other than the Lord. It's beautiful. Post-trip I've learned that the Lord is the same here & there, always and forever. The God I saw show up in huge ways in Honduras can do the same thing right here. I've learned I must be expectant for that. Trusting Him to provide. My comfort is in Him alone, things may change, but He never does. I must abide constantly in Him, for apart from Him I am nothing.
where there is love {in asia or central america or in your own backyard), 
there is art. 

August 16, 2010

ian keaggy of hot chelle rae.

one morning not too long ago i was going through the morning ritual- sitting on my bed, drying my hair, getting ready for the work day, watching my MTV morning videos. suddenly i see a familiar face {it wasn't the one above...}. then another familiar face {still not the one above}. then i saw the face of my friend Ian Keaggy. it was the strangest feeling. i've been waiting for the day when this might happen for quite some time. Ian is in the band Hot Chelle Rae. amazingly talented and destined for greatness. i look forward to seeing this face on my MTV many, many more times. immediately following this wonderfully strange moment i got in contact with Ian to 1. tell him how proud of him i was. 2. to ask him a few questions {like any good past journalism student would...}. here is what mr. keaggy had to say:
q: what is the story? how did the "music thing" happen for you personally? 
a:Well I started playing the piano when I was around twelve, a couple years later I picked up the guitar. I basically taught myself both instruments minus about 3 weeks of piano lessons where I learned how to play the "Titanic theme song." But I just didn't really do well with lessons, I wanted to play what I wanted to play, you know? So over the next several years I nurtured my desire to learn both instruments. When I was sixteen I started writing songs, it just sort of happened. I didn't know what I was doing, didn't have a plan or a structure. I would write songs with 4 verses and no chorus, or a long musical piece with a single chorus just dropped into the end of it. I had no boundaries and I really loved that. It allowed me to grow in a very independent way. Eventually I finished high school, moved to Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, for a couple months with no idea really what I was doing. But knew I needed to get out. I needed to grow, or "find myself," if you will. I had the time of my life there, such a brilliant experience, so rich with happiness and growth. I came back to the states ready for something to happen... and long story short, the band happened. We weren't called Hot Chelle Rae at the time, but they had been going through many bass players with no luck of a good fit. I had been friends with Nash and Ryan already, but hadn't even thought of joining up with them. I went to a show where they had a hired gun and I said to Nash after... "if 'he' can play bass, so can I." So i learned a few songs, rehearsed a couple times with them. I actually wrote some songs with the guys before I had even joined the band. It was such a perfect fit that it all fell into place. And so here I am today- 5 years later with my band Hot Chelle Rae and loving every minute of it. 
q: what provides you with the greatest inspiration? 
a:Honestly... happiness. When I find myself in an undeniable state of joy, creativity and ideas just come pouring out of me. It can be a result of several things: traveling, solitude, new music, experience, friends. So many things can contribute to it. 
q: what project (musically) are you most proud of ?
a:Well, we released our debut album "Lovesick Electric" in October 2009. The recording process was insane, it was magnificent. The opportunity to work with the brilliant minds of our producers {Eric Valentine, Butch Walker, Matt Radosevich} and then to see our finished product in my hands months later was unreal. It was a dream come true. It's packed with real feelings, real experience, and also songs simply just meant to make you dance. 
q: what is it about music that you love
a:The addiction. If it's me creating it, it gives me a high. I literally feel a rush when I'm playing my guitar, or the piano, and singing. Even if I'm by myself. Its so fulfilling. And then there's performing for people, real fans, people that love your music. Sharing your music is something I absolutely love- watching it effect them the same way it does you, right in front of your eyes. Nothing like it. 
q: what are you most looking forward to (professionally)? 
 a:Seeing more of the world! I just got done touring in Australia and it was the best experience of my life. The people, the culture, the fans! Whoa. Just wicked. I am looking forward to getting to feel that all over the globe! Can't wait. 
check out Ian and Hot Chelle Rae at: and

upcoming tour dates {check them out if you're in the area...}:
Wednesday, August 18: San Antonio, Texas @ Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Thursday, August 19: Arlington, Texas @ Six Flags Over Texas
Saturday, August 21: Atlanta, Georgia @ Six Flags Over Georgia

p.s.- ian is also an unbelievably talented photographer. as if he wasn't talented enough... 
where there is love {of music like a drug- ke$ha?}, 
there is art.