In the fall of 2013, I enrolled in MiraCosta's Landarts class, and I have to say it was the most spot on decision I have ever made.

This class was unlike any other in terms of educational, mental, and spiritual form. I encountered experiences and situations forever engraved into my mind and heart. The class is simply set; discovering yourself as an artist. The question we were all asked was "What is art?" At first I was most perplexed at this concept. I didn't know whether it was the process, the final result, or the documentation. As a photographer we are always taught that the final result is the final art work. Here I was at a total disadvantage, never before asking myself this simple question.

Throughout the class I found it difficult to define what my concept was and how the word "concept" differentiated from being an idea. To me those were the same thing. Little did I know they were far from each other.


There were many things I tried differently. For one, I decided to include many photographs of myself but at the same time I wanted to step out of that boundary and experience something different and new. I wanted to incorporate photography in my art or otherwise create entirely new art without photography.


Again this was a challenge since everything I have been taught and learned was so different to these new concepts and ideas I stumbled upon.




It is rare to be involved in a class such as this one. Not only was the class fully engaged but so was the professor. There were many occasions where one person fell short in equipment, food, shelter, etc., where others stepped in to offer help (given that at the time we were all strangers). There was nothing worth gaining other than the satisfaction of helping one another which is a concept that I have grown fond of as a child only to slowly start forgetting it as I saw less of this type of human interaction occur as I got older.

This truly brought back to me many memories that I had long forgotten, and many values that I have treasured.




The teacher Yoshi acted as the ideal archetype I look for in a teacher and more. Not only was he a teacher, a mentor, and a guide, but also an inspiration, motivator, and a great role model as a person. He is one of the teachers I will truly remember, teaching me to love everything I do and to create the amazing out of the ordinary whether it is viewing things in a new light or questioning the old methods of thinking we have solidified in our minds. No stone was left unturned, quite literally.



Through all this I wanted to figure out why I am where I am today and why I am the person I am. I realize that there is an important person I met my first college year in La Verne. She goes by the name Tatiana. Although she may not have helped build me up to who I am now she was the final key (metaphorically speaking) to unlocking the last lock to the developed person I am today. I first started photography because she convinced me to do so (by persuading me to chase my dreams and to do what I love most, despite what anyone else may say) and from then on I am thankful she did as it became the catalyst for the first step in many, leading me to where I am today.

Through this experience, I have become closer with many previous friends as well as making many new friends whom I will treasure greatly. These new and old friends have taught me many things. For example; from Dara I have learned to accept fear yet to not fear it, in addition to taking more risks than needed to. The saying is "New things are scary, like broccoli, or leaving home for the first time. But it gets easier." Although a good longtime friend, it goes to show that I still have much more to learn from those around me. Another example would be Brian, who even though faced many stresses and challenges, he doesn't let that get to him or anyone else around him, and in that he looks to make his pain a gain, becoming stronger with each step. In addition, Jose has also taught me to embrace my own talents, and share them with others, being one that was a driving force to help us and many others accomplish projects with the talents we already carried, finding new means to incorporate them with other situations new to us. I can and will go on about everyone in the group, but that is for another project.


 These experiences both in the artistic and personal aspect are what life is all about; motivating and inspiring others for the greater good. As cheesy as it sounds, that is what it is. I look forward to learning more from them and working with them in the near future.





The following slideshows (after the links below) depict our trip to Anza Borrego as well as Agua Caliente respectively. I look forward to sharing many great adventures and future memories with the friends I have made here, as well as continuing my projects I started here in this class.



Full galleries of each trip are provided as follows.

Anza Borrego


Agua Caliente