The story of Grace

Tell our readers about yourself.

I think the number one thing that people have told me is that I’m a connector. In any interaction I usually strive to understand someone on a deeper level so I can empathize and love better. It’s hard to tell if this is a nature or a nurture thing, but I feel like it might be both.

I was born in New York, NY and diagnosed with Rolandic Childhood epilepsy at age 3. We moved around about every two or three years and making friends was hard while on my anti-epilepsy medication. I’d often miss social cues because I was so exhausted, or I’d come across in ways I didn’t mean to. I think that pushed me to understand and be understood as I grew up. It is because connection was so difficult during those years I value it that much more and it’s something that really drives my work.

The quote “if you want to know what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph” – unknown certainly applies. I guess at this point, however, my understanding that everything is temporary allows me to photograph not out of fear but out of gratitude.

Eventually the things that used to make you scared become beautiful experiences, or they just don’t seem so scary over time.

How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired as a photographer?

I think the biggest thing is staying curious and teachable. I’m a firm believer that we will never know “enough”, there isn’t some great master-of-the-craft destination to strive for. It’s more of a constant discovery of ourselves, others, the mediums we work with.

What was the last time you were scared or nervous?

When I moved to LA, I was confronted with a lot of uncertainty and unknown situations. My roommate and I took a road trip from NYC to LA, and about 4 days after we got to LA our housing fell through. Since then I’ve been given a myriad of situations almost everyday where I am faced with the unknown, and the feelings that rise out of that. This isn’t really anything new or uncommon, however.

Throughout life I have found myself in situations where I am scared or nervous, I’ve had a lot of change to face. I don’t believe people can grow without confronting their fears. I am thankful for the discomfort. I believe it’s what we choose to do with fear that allows us to grow or shrink. A mentor of mine once said “You’re only nervous because it matters. Allow that nervousness to turn into joy.” and that really stuck with me. Using my nervousness or fear of the unknown as fuel, turning that anxiety from “What if this bad thing happens” into “I get to experience this new thing.” is really liberating. Eventually the things that used to make you scared become beautiful experiences, or they just don’t seem so scary over time.

What are your goals for this year’s, and how are you going to achieve them?

While I have some specific goals I’ll spare the details. My intention for this year is to gain more traction within my art, find more clarity and connectivity within the relationship of myself and what I create. I guess another way to say that is I want to be more fluent within the conversation between my art and me. I want to be able to reflect back and find joy.