Kicking It Alone by Kenneth Dixon

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“You spent your birthday alone?!”

“You seem like such a personable human being.” 

I’m actually quite the opposite. As social as photographers are proclaimed to be, I often find solace and peace just shooting alone. The space between my eye, the lens and the subject are along a very fine line. Their distance is crucial, not only in regards to the mechanics of photography but in an atmospherical sense too. The energy between two beings, shared in one space to create, is the essence of what portrait photography is —But when a subject is an object or even space, the dynamic of the photograph changes, immensely.  

Here are a series of photographs I captured of two famous structures designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright - The Rookery and Robie House. The last few images are pictures of the Harper Center, located directly across the street from the Robie House. Its exterior is a nod to Wright's architectural prowess and inspiration. 

My Sit Down with a Creative in Portland by Kenneth Dixon

Inspiration can come from near or far, but for some creatives, it takes patience, divine timing, and an arduous curriculum. This can come from a mentor or teacher to help with creating consistency and precision. For Australian designer Vince Lebon, it took all of those things. However, one can argue the most valuable prerequisite is experience and a solid body of work to show from it.

After packing up his home & family in Melbourne, he decided to further his career in sneaker design in the U.S. There, Lebon accepted a spot in Pensole’s Footwear Design Academy Master Class of 2016. Additionally, a partnership with global sneaker retailer Foot Locker (“Fueling the Future of Footwear”) accompanied one of these programs.  As part of the program, Lebon and American shoe designer, Brady Corum, partnered up with Asics to launch their very own Asics Gel 180 colorway.

Since designing his sneaker collaboration with Footlocker and Asics, Lebon has been working on his own brand and inspiring big-name designers such as adidas VP Marc Dolce. He also landed a role as a full-time creative consultant and designer for the Three Stripes Brand.

I was able to sit down with Lebon during a creative boot camp at Pensole Academy. While there, we were able to get some insight on Lebon’s creative process, and what life’s been like since completing his education at the academy. Check out the full interview above to hear more from footwear designer and creative Vince Lebon.

Breaking Chains Afterthought by Kenneth Dixon

Sept. 2016

It's funny how life works...in this moment I'm feeling an immense amount of pain, in an emotional sense. It feels like my life's work has been erased from me. My uninsured camera that was just purchased months ago, new mac book and 2 hard drives were stolen from me, right from underneath my nose. I could blame myself for leaving my things in the car somewhat exposed but if they hadn't been showing i may have lost something else in another form. Ironically enough i was just mentioning how diverse and extensive my portfolio was and now it's been taken away from me. My world had literally crumbled when i saw my bag was no longer where i left. I asked myself a why was this happening to me? What had i done to deserve this? In the same breath i had remained calm and thought to myself, this is the start to a new awakening, and growth in my life. Those items were taken away from me to open up the door for other necessities. I won't stay down nor beat myself up about what is now in the past. It's now time to be more creative.  I have nothing to lose at this point. My material items were stolen but not my ideas, creativity, and will to continue to pursue my passions. 

Oct. 8th '17, 2017

A year ago today I curated and featured my art in my debut solo exhibition Breaking Chains. Twelve months prior to today, I was breaking the omnipresent chains of fear, insecurity, and doubt, that were in my life at the time. Though some of those same demons haunt me from time to time, I've had time to deprogram and develop new meditation habits that rid me of those inhibitions. I sit back reflecting on the year and I'm forever grateful for all that I've accomplished and overcome. Since losing my equipment and hosting my exhibition a year ago, I've learned to shoot with new video equipment, began teaching myself how to edit video, studied and learned intricate photoshop editing techniques, shot parts of a documentary in Jamaica, covered the 2017 NCAA Final Four tournament, created my own blog, and long list of other things I'm proud of and want to show gratitude for. 

I remember writing this list of affirmations some days before my show to help ease all of the anxiety I was overwhelmed with. Assessing the list now and reflecting on the show I realize how I forgot to do one of the most important tasks on the list, "Always remember to have fun." The experience was awesome. I can recall learning so much from curating my show, like how to get the proper measurements of the room and hanging every piece to have equal amount spacing between each piece, and different supplies needed to preserve my prints to name a few. What I don't have any recollection of is truly enjoying the occasion, basking in it and sharing that beautiful moment with everyone who came to support me. I remember being more concerned with working my own event, making sure everyone was sharp on the tasks I had delegated to them, and overseeing everything so that my guests were having a good time. If I could take any one thing from that night, it's that I should have put more of myself first and had fun. In any project that you've created, that's your baby, you should reap the benefits of your labor. When your job becomes work, you've then removed all of the love and liberation from your art.

My exhibition did inspire at least one person. The prints for the show were stunning. I was happy with the way my notes were displayed around the gallery space and how it showcased my transitioning throughout my adventure in Europe. I gave a speech at the end of the evening that I totally wasn't prepared for. I was a wreck honestly and nervous but I was proud that I overcame that fear of public speaking in that moment. Mishaps did occur, but I wasn't surprised by them and I handled them with an open and optimistic mind. Discerning life's happenstances are still how I create and are a big part of my inspiration.

Happy one year anniversary Breaking Chains! Huge thanks to everyone who was involved. 

Exhibition Affirmations 

"Your exhibition is going to inspire at least one person in an exorbitant amount

Your prints are going to come out wonderfully 

Your words will be illustrated in a way that you'll be proud of

Your comfort zone will be breached but you shall grow from it

Remain optimistic but be ready for mishaps 

Always remember to have fun 

Listen to life...express from it"

The collection of images and video clip displayed above were shot in different parts of Europe on my iphone.