I’ve been hiding under construction mode for the last five months. As you can see, here’s the reason why – TA-DAH!
This is a soft launch, in conjunction with a featured guest post on the Blog Society. Thank you so much Jaclyn Carlson, Alexandra Hendriksen and Jessica Hack over there in TBS for the feature! I’m so honoured you included my piece in your gorgeous community hub of bloggers and entrepreneurs! Please go over there and read essay when you get a moment.
And when you’re done with that, and you have another few minutes to spare, I want to share this little awesome gem of a photoessay I did during my workshop in New York with the amazing David Turnley five years ago. FIVE. It seems like it was yesterday. But as such, with most circumstances happening to me lately, the past keeps popping up — from the wonderful times I’ve had as well as the less than favourable experiences in my youth that I seem to have a hard time distancing myself from. But I digress…
Here’s a look back at Kate | Katya in 2011:
She lives in Astoria with her Colombian roommate who has become her best friend. She takes the train into Manhattan for work. She had been working as a model in New York. She had recently quit modeling because she gained thirty-seven lbs. She’s 5’8″. She now thinks of herself as “a really large girl who wouldn’t be able to get another modeling gig”. She relays some of the horror stories some models go through, but she says she has managed to fight most of it off and survive. She parties like a rockstar at night and works long (sometimes double) shifts at a Mexican restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. She recently fell in her bathroom and sprained her shoulder badly. She was in a lot of pain but didn’t want to take some time off work because she didn’t want to be without pay.
She only wears black, adores Alexander McQueen and was in tears when she saw the McQueen exhibit at the MET this month. She duplicates the McQueen look as best she can with H&M prices. She claims she’s now more conscientious with her money, and rarely splurges on brand names.
She turns 24 in July 2011 and wants to be a Forensic Psychiatrist but doesn’t know how to get into a school without proper documentation. She tells me she is happy with her life in New York, but she also tells me that she hasn’t allowed herself to shed a tear in four years.
She moved to New York City from Moscow when she turned 20, fresh out of University with a degree in English and German. She hasn’t seen her mother in four years other than via Skype. I have a hard time not seeing my sister who lives in Texas in the flesh for six months, let alone four years. Katya seems to manage just fine, or so she tells me.
Her student working visa expired and she can’t leave for Moscow to renew it since she has long graduated. She also doesn’t want to leave because she won’t be able to come back into the country. She has friends who work in various industries who give her discounts to help her out. When I met her, she was coming from an acupuncture appointment and instead of $150.00, her friend only charged her $60.00. She doesn’t want to mingle with any other Russian immigrants/community. She doesn’t even try to speak the language unless she is talking to her family on Skype. She misses her family but she couldn’t see herself living anywhere else but New York City. She’s made friends in the last four years whom she now considers her family.
She is looking to get married to get a green card – love would be a bonus, but necessity takes precedence.
She turns 24 in July 2011 and wants to be a Forensic Psychiatrist but doesn’t know how to get into a school without proper documentation. She tells me she is happy with her life in America, but she also tells me that she hasn’t allowed herself to shed a tear in four years.
Featuring Kate V /Katya V
New York City, NY
Photography by: Aggie Armstrong
Music and Lyrics by: Coldplay, Everything’s Not Lost
Modelling photography by (as it appears): Wendell Levi Teodoro, Devon Wilson, Christine Westergaard