Growing up in the 70s, Rockaway Beach lost much of its summer seaside getaway panache peppered with quaint bungalows decades before. The community became the forgotten New York through its urban decay. My grandparents retired in one of the impersonal apartment towers along the shoreline. I never thought much of the area making the long ride on the A train, but the Atlantic Ocean big waves always made up for Rockaway's desolate burnt out landscape.
Be A Super-encounterer
I’ve always been a day-tripper or encounterer, meandering from home without a specific purpose in mind waiting for an experience to catch my eye. With camera in hand my only goal is to wait for my local landscape to envelope me. Mentally taking notes and observing color, marks, texture, details and mannerisms has fueled many of my ideas in fashion. This is true for creatives capturing serendipitous inspiration wherever they are brewing future themes.
A recent New York Times article “How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity” by Pagan Kennedy voiced my favorite creative activity. The piece discusses the surprises and solutions found in creative play such as by inventor Steve Hollinger who crafted the Squito. His throwable 360o panoramic camera was a result of tossing around a digital camera and realizing the unusual creative possibilities that the frames recorded.
Kennedy continues by sharing research by Dr. Sanda Erdelez identifying different levels of individuals who are open to chance and discovery. They are grouped as non-encounterers who keep to a specific task, occasional encounterers who may not look for experiences but are open to the possibilities and super-encounterers that constantly record their discovery enjoy their serendipity moments.
These posted images is just one example of my encounters. In the Bushwick warehouse neighborhood of Brooklyn, I was struck by the trompe l’oeil cathedral style mural by artist Beau Stanton. Serendipitously equipped with my wide angle lens, I snapped a frame of the hand painted masterpiece and collaborated with my partner Christopher Musci to quickly create a surface pattern from the image and then digitally printed on linen. The exercise meant only for classroom demonstration illustrates the immediacy of technology allowing to swiftly create ideas from an encounter and to quickly translate them.