In its inaugural year, SOMOS attracted 25,000 attendees to the heart of Downtown Albuquerque. The first festival of its kind in ABQ, SOMOS 's aspiration is to unite everything special about Albuquerque, showcasing community, artists, musicians, small businesses, NGO's and non-for-profits, innovators, and everyone else contributing to the growth of the city. With the intention to stimulate Albuquerque’s economy while giving the community a space to truly come together, SOMOS is vying to become the festival that illuminates the very best of Albuquerque's present, and it's future.
In anticipation of their second year, SOMOS ABQ brought me onto their team as a freelance creative to further define a visual identity and thereafter oversee all visual and creative content produced for the festival's branding, social, promotions, information, and day-of materials.
The Lobo Life began as a proposal to The University of New Mexico ‘s Communications & Marketing department to prove this state and this institution’s worth as an adventure destination through creative and collaborative content produced by students and engaged with online. The Lobo Life was later launched as a marketing initiative in October of 2016. Since then it has grown to be one of the University’s flagship marketing projects, the spark of countless new partnerships between UNM and businesses across the state, and a chartered student organization with over 100 active members embarking on dozens of trips around New Mexico each semester.
Since my second semester at The University of New Mexico I worked with the University Communications and Marketing Department, starting as a photographer, with the role extending to include project lead of The Lobo Life, video work, and other contributions. I am the only student employee at the university to have been given a raise and in 2018 I was honored as being one of the Student Employees of the year.
I lead an effort between The University of New Mexico’s Communications & Marketing Dept., Student Special Events, Storylab Interactive, Audio Excellence, and UNM’s Media Art’s lab to create an unforgettable event for students as my final project for UNM. In collaboration with these groups, Silent Lights 2018 saw thousands of students enjoy an immersive experience featuring Bluetooth headsets linking to three separate DJ’s playing simultaneously (with students tuning in and out of each at will), as well as interactive motion sensitive art instillations create by student animators in conjunction with Storylab Interactive. Over the course of the three hour event, every one of the 1,500 headsets was in use from half an hour in through to the event’s conclusion. As part of UNM’s homecoming week, Silent Lights turned the expectations of a homecoming dance on it’s head.
"Displacement doesn't happen to people... it happens to a system."
With this thinking at the projects heart, Outside The Margins was a multi-year effort to make accessible the otherwise incomprehensible problem of the global displacement crisis by a group of students at The University of New Mexico belonging to International Business Students Global, an accomplished student organization and 501(c)(3). Using the Syrian Refugee crisis as an example, the book first examines the myriad of facts and non-linear consequences of displacement crises, proceeds to state outright the countless philosophical questions such insights bear asking, and finally suggests a framework for any educational system taking in displaced or refugee children to adopt the logic and practice of artistic expression as a way of returning ownership to their story and their own cultural preservation. In the over 2.5 years it took from pitch to print, I served as a research assistant, co-author, lead designer, and finally as project manager. The book, published in February of 2018 by The Anderson School of Management, has been adopted by several NGO’s and non-profits working with refugees around the world and is inspiring art-based refugee curriculums in countless communities, including our own local community in Albuquerque.
When Alaska Airlines launched a campaign sourcing imagery from photographers in each of their destination markets, their team approached me to create a portfolio of images showcasing New Mexico’s magic. Specific requests asked that images be in line with their brand’s photographic aesthetics and colors as well as including several drone images.
Whenever I went to a party in college, I brought my camera. Chaotic photojournalistic images resulted from each night out, but beyond the context of a fine art classroom I was hesitant to share those photographs, despite the degree to which the subject matter interested me visually and philosophically. In time, I found myself photographing all of the ways my peers were breaking out of the house-party scene and creating their own space to let loose in the wilderness of the desert. With these increasingly interesting images, my want to share them grew, and in late 2017 I was presented with a mechanism to do so: by fictionalizing and abstracting the story, keeping the images, and framing the combination as an issue of the most iconic magazine in the world. The resulting Fictional Demographic November 2017 Special Issue: The Youth Now featured in an art exhibition titled Pavlov’s Dogs at CFA Downtown, Albuquerque, New Mexico from November through December in 2017. The magazine is available for purchase below.
Scribendi is a nonprofit, annual print publication that publishes creative work from undergraduate Honors students from more than 200 institutions across the U.S.A.
Having had my works published in the 2016 and 2017 editions, I joined their 2018 staff and contributed to everything from selecting works to designing the cover.
A collection of passion projects and other commissions, here are a few stories made in motion.
Welcome to Qworks - it’s how your city works! A community-based vision, experience, and vigor for tomorrow's Albuquerque - Qworks is an entirely volunteer-based collective of creatives working to foster civic engagement through informative and accessible content. As election season approached, I worked with the Qworks team to produce a series of 60 second videos on how voting works, the importance of voting, and how to get involved beyond just casting a vote.
Simply Social is an incredible company making waves in the emerging social media economy. I have worked with them in various capacities including as an influencer and a freelance photographer as well as partnering with them to showcase events around New Mexico through my lens on any one of their several social platforms.
International Business Students Global is a group of global and international professionals comprised students at the University of New Mexico interested in questions of international management, social entrepreneurship, and the role of business in the global political economy. A not-for-profit organization who provides services purely for educational purposes, interested in generating world-class opportunities for our students, IBSG’s mission is to serve local and global communities through intellectual and social contributions. In my time at University I served as IBSG’s Creative Director from 2016-18, Project Manager of Outside the Margins, contributor to several other projects, and director of the World Folk Art Movement documentary on an exploratory trip to South Korea.
From my first trip to Taos, New Mexico, I fell in love with the place. I’ve been fortunate to work with Visit Taos Tourism on several occasions as an influencer, photographer, videographer, and in partnership with The Lobo Life.
In a partnership fostered between The University of New Mexico and The New Mexico Tourism Department fostered by the work I did with The Lobo Life, a body of my images and copywriting was re-purposed for co-branding efforts in promotions on digital platforms, airport ads, and social media pushes. The push was focused on showcasing UNM as an academic hub in a land of adventure.
I discovered my love of writing at a very young age, while photography came slightly later as an eleven-year-old. In the fine art space, I found myself continually creating work that incorporated the act of writing with the images I made. I became interested in what meanings, stories, or imaginings other people might be finding in my images, and so I endeavored to find out as literally as I could.
Working with 13”x19” luster photo paper, I would show people (from family members to complete strangers) a photograph digitally and ask them to fill the paper with whatever came to mind. After they put down their pen, I would print the image over their work, working the settings to a point where their initial penmanship shone through. These are the resulting works.
The WWK company is up-and-coming New Mexico business founded by two sisters dedicated to natural cures for modern ailments through ethical production and community-serving commerce. I was contracted to produce their company logo and am currently working with them on a comprehensive brand identity and visual direction.
Back to Earth
Funded by a bitcoin crowd-sourcing campaign, Back To Earth is a groundbreaking story experience developing a web series, animated graphic novel, interactive experience, and its own block-chain currency “Starcredits.” The brain child of Clay Space, a 22-year-old Albuquerque native, I served as the BTS photographer & videographer during the production of the Web Series.