getofftheroad-dontsuckmybreath said: Your portraits are incredible. Would you mind telling me the story behind 'wade and esmond looking sad'?
Here’s the story.
I started university very far away from home at a school called McGill up in Montreal, in Canada.
Montreal was very different from anywhere I had ever been. The people were different, the language was different, and I really loved the excitement. But the best thing about McGill for me was my band. I was in a band called Esmond on Clarinet (you can watch videos of us playing here.) In my band were Katrina, Misia, these two, and myself.
I really liked it but in February of 2013 a lot of bad stuff happened and I got super depressed and I decided to apply to transfer to engineering school (I live in North Carolina now).
I mean, that spring I lost my spirit. I thought I would never make art again. I thought that the self-confidence and motivation to create was gone forever from me. I was just… dead.
This photo was taken in early May of 2013. School had ended for all of us, and the dorms had closed, but my flight out of the country wasn’t for another two weeks so I stayed on the floor in Wade’s crappy basement apartment. It was so poorly illuminated and lifeless and dreary that it gave them long-term clinical depression, if that means anything to you.
anyway it wasn’t quite spring yet, the snow was still melting, which was very surreal for me, having grown up in a place where May means “sweat your clothes off.” It was chilly and not green anywhere yet, and Esmond was getting ready to move back to the UK and I was getting ready to try starting over at a new school, and nobody had anything to do but everyone wished there was more time to do it in. I remember really wanting to take pictures of the witch house next door (I never did.)
Katrina moved into Wade’s living room for the summer, the desk and the plastic dinosaur collection on the left of the frame are hers, she and I were literally on a pile of blankets on a thin carpet on a concrete basement floor for a while. It was like a weird, weird sleepover.
The band decided to try and churn out some nice recordings with our last bit of time together. We used garage band and it was hard and nothing sounded right. The recording process stressed us out a lot, especially Esmond. He would sit in the living room going over and over his clarinet part. We had just really gotten settled into our musicianship as a group and we weren’t quite up to serious recording. That was the group activity on the night this was taken.
I guess I’m just trying to say that we were all feeling a little strange and sad and anticipatory, because a really nice situation was being pulled apart, like our comfiest sweater got caught on some cold wintry tree branches and the yarn was just coming off and the whole thing was shortening faster than we could react. The band wasn’t a band anymore, some of us had started dating, the dynamic had shifted, we were all more open about being unhappy for our own complicated reasons, and everything was going to stop.
Maybe Wade and Esmond were quarreling or something, I don’t remember exactly, but for me this picture represents those two strange, empty-but-important weeks of grey Canadian spring, trying to throw together something that we wished never had to end.
I still care a whole awful lot about those people.