Dear Friends of Jano,
Damn its that time of year again. Time for that nigger heat, the heat that oppressed my ancestors my ancestors in the times of slavery.
So this issue is a lengthy one. Longer than the mermaid saga. This saga started September 2017 and ended June 2018.
So we are gonna skip how I don’t know how I feel about the series finale of Game of Thrones. Thats who rules over Westeros?? Never would have thought, even though apparently there were signs according to all the recent theories Google feels the need to suggest to me.
Anyway, make sure your wifi is on for this. It is a whole anime arc.
The saga of the summer projects ended, and the feeling was comparable to how the calm after big anime boss battles. Need examples that put your favorite heroes through hell, sure. Togoru, Sensui, Freeza, Majin Buu, The Dark Moon Clan, Lady Debonair, Mistress 9, Doflamingo, Apocalypse, Thanos, The Night King,Shredder (Not the 1990’s cartoon one, he was a joke), need I go on.
Niggas were exhausted, more so mentally than physically. I was over the whole model search and legit just wanted to chill, finish act 2 of my book series, play video games and beat my meat in bliss. Ya know simple shit.
That legit didn’t last long.
At some point in September a friend I use to pick cotton with at my least favorite plantation, (Ikea for those who don’t know my life), hit me up. He told me about a girl that he thought would be a good model for me. He sent me her IG profile and I agreed.
Honestly at this point in time I had no idea what I wanted to bring to life, legit didn’t. The only thing saw artistically was inking act 2 of Azure Ascendance, nothing else mattered. Never the less I messaged her and tried to think of a concept and a possible location.
I didn’t have shit. None, No such shit existed.
I would scroll on my IG timelines and would lean toward flowery and Japanese themes. At some point I even went to Plato’s Closet to browse for possible things I may want to use. We would communicate during this process, I know this sounds vague in contrast to my usual vivid details but this part of the saga is a blur to me. Maybe it was because I didn’t have clue where the fuck I was going, or maybe it was because the job I just started after not working for 9 weeks was having me wake up early as fuck to set up for halloween fuckery.
But one day I found a path to follow, and man it was a fucking path that will probably take a few hours to type. First google The Black Tape Project, go ahead I’ll wait.
This project has actually been in existence since 2013. When I saw it years ago I thought the concept was pretty kool and wanted to do something similar to it. Legit forgot all about it until one September day when I saw something pop on IG. In that moment abstract ideas I previously had amalgamated into one grand idea.
And when it did she stopped replying to my messages. Of course.
Jano, did you chase her down for this idea?
Nigga fuck no. After the war of summer 2017 my spirit no longer has no urge to chase people down who don’t want to be part of my life or art journey. She got one email to see if she was still down but after that, nah bruh.
So here I was with this idea with no one to shoot it with. Sadly even though I have mostly female friends, I’m pretty sure none of them would be down for me to cover their bodies in ribbons while being naked in front of me. Spoiler Alert, I’m the cutest loser you will ever meet.
So off to craigslist I go.
I knew what I wanted I wanted a brown, dark skin girl with natural hair. Usually I don’t have a preferred genotype for the ideas I’ve done but this time I did. Replies were scarce as fuck. But before we continue can someone tell me why this white woman replied when I clearly stated that I desire the opposite of her. I even had a picture as an example. NIGGGAAAA!!!!
Dear White People, when I say I want a brown skin female you don’t meet the requirements. Your basic Becky aesthetic can be taken elsewhere.
Anyway at some point that fall I considered one of my coworkers for the part since met the criteria. Since I got a possible model for this project I started the how the fuck am I going to pull this off part, because ya know that is important. First, my homegirl who I shot in the park, let me borrow her eldest daughters cotton candy machine. I actually didn’t use since the shoot took longer to do than expected, and I didn’t want stop her from making cotton candy. Second, since my mermaid cosplay friend, knows the way of cosplay culture I asked her what can I use to adhere ribbons to the skin that won’t cause any type of discomfort. She told me of a spray that I found in hobby lobby one day post cotton field. I tried it on myself while shopping, yea that shit stuck.
I had told my coworker that I needed to get her measurements and I needed to test the spray on her. We attempted to make plans for this to happen, did it tho? Nah, not at all. After several attempts I said fuck it, especially since she told me she had gotten a second job, and ironically the days we planned on something came up.
Spoiler Alert, I’m so over that happening in all avenues of my life.
At this point it is December 2017, and the idea of shooting someone outside who was only ribbon cladded was as dead as the flowers I hoped to capture as a backdrop in this saga. Plus not gonna lie I’m not a cold weather person, not all….unless I’m getting paid. So figured I’d aim to do the shoot in the spring.
The way my life goes it would probably be spring when I found someone.
The search continued. I thought I found a potential one but of course she fizzled out of existence too, honestly there isn’t a point in bringing her up. Another friend who I met during the the mermaid saga, was interested but decided against it for reasons I’m not mad at.
If you give me a legit reason why you don’t want to do a shoot, opposed to just vanishing out of my life after saying you were down I won’t cast stones. Its only when you ghost me do I throw stones, salt, shade and sarcasm. All the painful S’s. Especially if you don’t reply to my message but like my fucking post on social media.
Fast forward to March 2018. One of my homegirls who I shucked and jived with at the plantation wanted to get dinner, we met at Zoe’s Kitchen and talked about how our lives were going. I told her about the shoot I was trying to do, and asked did she have any friends that I may want to shoot for it. She pulled out her phone and showed me her coworker…OMG.
Nigga, I was floored. She was gorgeous, I told her I want her for my bday (no literally my bday was coming up soon) she would be a great gift so I could end this search. She told me she would ask her and man this mystic hybrid was hopeful as fuck. The next time I saw her was at my bday party the following week, and her friend was down.
Blessed Be!! Hail to the guardians of the watch tower.
I got her contact info, and we set up a meeting sometime during the following week.
Real Shit she was kool as fuck. I told her the whole project and was excited. She told me she never modeled before aside from this one thing at college where she was essentially the token black person on the college brochure. I took her measurements, and told her as it warmed up we could start thinking about a date. In the meantime I asked what her favorite type of candy was and liquor choices. She told me gummy bears and was down for any type of spirit consumption. As spring approached I bought a candy dish and a fan off Amazon. In May we met at Hobby Lobby one day post cotton field to see if the ribbons I wanted to use would be a good contrast on her. They won’t. The original intent was pastel colors but they appeared more sheer than anything. I chose 2 variations of the pink and purple I desired.
Side note, I like how after I actual found someone who I wanted and they solidified that they were down things flowed effortlessly.
When we got in the parking lot we talked about a date. She had told me that every Saturday in June she would be off in addition to the Tuesdays she is normally allotted off. We picked the Tuesday the 3rd week of June, and that Saturday as the back up date. In the meantime, my jobs project had ended and I began my 4 months of unemployment.
Not gonna lie,I legit kinda miss being unemployed. All I did was draw, chase my art dreams, eat and sleep in late. Sucks I couldn’t afford to turn on my a/c but I survived….somehow.
Anyway, at some point I fashioned a floral crown from supplies from Party City and Dollar Tree. Yay for the crown making experience points I gained during the mermaid epic. But the cape was a whole different thing. Spoiler alert, I don’t know how to sew, at all. Yay for my homegirls who told me about Hem tape and my cosplay friend who told me about chiffon because my cape may have not existed at all. Rigging the ornament of the cape was the hardest part. As the date came closer she bought a pair of shoes that were way better than anything I could have imagined.
The week came of the shoot FINALLY. OMFG, this took forever. If you think reading this was arduous try living it. That Monday I had called Mcgill Rose Garden to see that there were no events occurring the following day. This garden is legit kool as shit, however it is only open for a few hours a day and it is a popular place people like to have events. The last thing I need is for the background to be loaded with gawking people. That is way more editing than I prefer to do.
They told me no, so the rest of the day I spent buying gummy bears, making a new version of Jano Juice, buying a glass royalty would use and image training on how I wanted the shoot to go and hoped the awkward loss of words that occurred a few weeks prior wouldn’t repeat itself. At some point that night she called me to tell me that we couldn’t do the shoot the next day for a very good reason, her period came.
But Jano why does that matter?
Spoiler Alert, she is going to only be wearing ribbons. Only Ribbons. Pretty sure a females menstrual cycle involves light and heavy blood flow. And from what I heard the first few days are the heaviest, and the last thing that is desired is blood oozing from her while shooting. That is a whole lot of discomfort for her that can be avoided if we rescheduled. So we did for that Saturday. What is a few days compared to several months?
The day before I walked the venue again since I haven’t been there in months, and did the whole visualization thing. My only other hope was that the cops wouldn’t be called on us, that was def a thing last summer. Black people were getting the policed called on them for simple things like living, pretty sure someone would do it if they saw a black girl wearing only ribbons being shot by black photographer with a Black Dynamite Afro for following his dreams if they had the chance. On god my anxiety was high as fuck the night before.
Anyway, the morning came and I did not hear anything from her around the time we were supposed to meet up. My mind started to swell with fear and a million thoughts raced through my head. Was all this for nothing? Would she vanish on me like other models have the past few months? Fuck am I just trash to be thrown away so easily after all?
And those were only the nice thoughts.
I was having another existential crisis similar to what I had the past few months while trying to do other photoshoots, that to this day I still haven’t done 2 of the desired ones. Nigga its June 2019 still have yet to be done, the two aforementioned shoots were conceived October 2017 and January 2018. NIGGA!! A myriad of thoughts clenched my throat leaving me grasping for air, hoping to not drown in an ocean of depression again.
Yea I’m real fucked up and have a trash complex. Yay for conditioning.
Hold on, Let me breath.
I texted her hoping she had just overslept for good reason, and that was the case. The deepest sigh of relief came from me. But we only a had a few hours that the garden would be open. The goal was to be there by the time it opened, mainly to avoid human background traffic. Plus it would be less hot as fuck earlier in the morning, it would still be hot as fuck but not less as fuck. The place opened at 10, and that is when she got to my house around that time. She got to my place, stripped and I applied the ribbons as hastily as I could. There wasn’t any major issues, other than the adhesive getting stuck to me sometimes. I stuck to my design as much as I could, the application wasn’t as neat as desired but I knew I could fix it in photoshop. We got to the venue around 12ish, the place closes at 3.
Luckily barely anyone was there, the few that were there observed proper etiquette of staying the fuck out of our way. I poured her Jano Juice Volume 3 for effect, nice to know I can make good mixed drinks. If this art journey fails maybe I’ll be a bartender. I told her to channel the royal, bad and boujee side she keeps locked away. And she did successfully and elegantly. For someone who never modeled before she did a legit good job. It was worth the wait, of course I would prefer if my ideas didn’t take months to fucking flourish but whatever.
Anyway to see the culmination of my 10 month journey, go here.
That is the end of this epic, I would say saga but I feel epic is more appropriate given the length of time it took to do this. It damn near equated to a whole school year. Since this ribbon concept worked, hopefully I can do it again in another shoot. But will I? No seriously, I have no idea. I def want to but these model searches are so fucking taxing. If you are interested email me, with photos of yourself and please be in Charlotte, N.C.
Moral of the story; keep in touch with your friends from the cotton field they may help you follow your dreams.
Or something, infer what you want from this. Or not. I don’t care.
Thats it for now, I’m going to do something that doesn’t involve typing a narrative for 4 hours, like rewatch Durarara for the fourth time and getting for ConCarolinas.
Yea, I told you this was an epic.