So, I'm sitting here at home after waking up at noon on a Monday because I don't have class today and I'm nursing a nasty cold I've had all weekend. I've had a Cake account for maybe 6 months now, but never posted anything due to insecurity, then forgetfulness, and maybe some laziness too. However, over the last several weeks I've become increasingly fed up with my existing social media, to the point where I seriously considered deactivating my Facebook account until I realized that I (unwisely) use it to log into several other sites and couldn't be bothered to figure out which ones and switch them to my email, so I remain trapped in that ecosystem.
However, today I remembered Cake, and figured I should post something - an introduction, at least! Apologies if my journey is a bit of a ramble.
Hi everyone! My name is Dallas, and I am a 31 year old photographer-turned-aspiring-fashion-designer living in Honolulu, Hawaii. I also draw/paint, play way too many video games, and had been known to cosplay before I went back to school for fashion design ten years after my first art degree. I am also very publicly a sufferer of general anxiety/depression, so I sometimes talk quite frankly about mental health and self care, the latter of which I still need to work on for myself.
Even though I still love photography, and it's my sole source of income when I occasionally get a gig, I've grown really frustrated with the homogenization of creativity that has happened with social media. I realized I was going out and making landscape images solely for likes rather than my own personal fulfillment, even though I never had the follower counts of some of my friends. Briefly, in 2015, I started posting some cosplay photos to my main Instagram account that had previously been mostly landscapes, and immediately lost ~400 followers. Now I have 5+ Instagram accounts for different topics - two are currently scheduled out for months through Buffer, and I have only shot new landscape photos one day in the last 6 months. Meh.
After I started feeling disinterested in what I'd been doing for years, I started shooting cosplay photos because though I was best known for my landscapes, my usual work was shooting for local fashion designers, and being a huge nerd among the fashionistas always left me feeling like an outsider. Cosplay seemed like the intersection of fashion, photography, and geek culture that was perfect for me - not as a career per say, but a place to be myself. Because I've always been crafty, it didn't take long for me to dive into making my own costumes, even though I had no idea what I was doing.
It was during late spring 2016 where I spent all my time making 4 costumes in two weeks and wasn't shooting photos for work or pleasure at all that my husband sat me down and said something along the lines of "You're drifting in life. Why don't you go back to school and learn how to actually sew?" I agreed to do so.
The Fall 2016 semester found me at Honolulu Community College's Fashion Technology department, which is just a 2 year Associate's Degree program, but has had three Project Runway finalists come out of that program, who were some of the best sewers on the show, so I figured that they must have learned something good while there. At first I only attended part time because I already had a bachelor's degree and didn't need another piece of paper, but after a year of school and still no growth in my photography career, I decided I wanted to finish the program with the goals of eventually starting my own geek fashion brand.
In all honesty, the top reason I want my own brand is so I can do my own fashion shoots. Maybe not the best business goal, but it is what it is.
And that brings me to today. I'm on my third year of the two year program since I had only been part time for the first year, but I'm on track to graduate next spring. I'm still not exactly sure what I'll be doing once that happens, but I'm currently working on expanding my textile pattern design repertoire since I have an illustration background. I've also been off my anti-anxiety/depression meds that I was on for the last four years, which has resulted in me having a lot more feelings, both good and bad, but I think more good overall. I am obsessed with the game Overwatch, which has become my first e-sports passion, but I am currently 100% sucked into Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and playing the strong female character Kassandra might be enough to get me to the gym. Maybe.
Anyway, that's my introduction. Hopefully I'll have something to contribute to the Cake community, because especially considering what a shallow, divisive society we find ourselves in today, I can fully appreciate the need for actual in-depth conversation, rather than drive-by likes and bot comments.
If you read through all of this, thank you! If not...
TL;DR - Hi, I like photography, fashion design, cosplay, and gaming. Sometimes I talk about anxiety/depression. I am awkward and weird, but I'm okay with it.