The State of My World, December 2018: Balance

Some thoughts on the state of my  world/brain as a ‘nother year comes to a close..

 My photographic and musical journey began around the turn of the century (I love saying that, haha) nearly 20 years ago.  Like millions of my fellow artists in the world, I’ve spent much of the time since then creating works, navigating the medium(s), the business, the clients, the mission, and at times, my life.   When I can.  

 This year I knew it was time to simplify things and create more calm instead of more craziness. Its easy to get pulled in a kajillion directions especially when you practice more than one art form (fave quote that I often quote by Joseph Campbell:   “"the form is secondary, the message is whats important”) Before I knew it, I was randomly seeing whales on the East Coast and whales on the West Coast.  I randomly visited Salem in Massachusetts and then Salem in Oregon. I drove past “New” Salem in the Midwest.   All of this geographic symmetry happened naturally and unbeknownst to me at the start of the year, balance was/is the key.

(and apparently, Salem, haha…insert upside down emoji HERE)

 To celebrate this newfound state of equipoise, I photographed the sign at the 45th parallel near Salem, Oregon. 

SOMW Dec 2018_45th Parallel_Natasha Sanchez.jpg

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to photograph in Salem Proper, but true to World Tour form, I was drawn to a church.  At first because of its cool sign, but as I got closer there was something else that caught my attention. I had come to Salem to photograph balance (the 45th parallel sign) which I did, but I also found an off centered, unbalanced cross on the façade of the church and somehow everything just seemed right (aka balanced) b/c that’s just life.  Things can’t be  centered/balanced until you know that they aren’t.

SOMW_Dec2018_OffCenteredCross_Natasha Sanchez.jpg

When I think of the craziness I was trying to calm another fave quote by my fave fictional character, Sherlock Holmes comes to mind:  “You are too bound by forms, Watson”.   And coming back full circle to Campbell, I realize that balance, and calm, comes from focusing on the message rather than focusing on the craziness of the form, that’s true of any situation. Hoping to keep that mindset strong going forward.

 (Random fun fact: I just bought New Balance running shoes. That’s just irrelevant yet relevant lagniappe but I just realized that too, haha.) 

Anyhoo, tip of the hat to 2018, and looking forward to 2019, wherever the road leads and all the good books I shall read.  

Happy New Year.

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

The State of My World, October 2018: Heavy Metal

Halloween makes me think of Ozzy Osbourne, cuz, well ….Ozzy, and also because I saw him at Voodoo Fest a few years back so naturally I thought my October blog should be about Birmingham.    teehee.

So I read an article once  that said Birmingham (UK) was the birthplace of heavy metal because its where Ozzy is from. Ever since I read that, which may have been in the pre-historic World Tour era, I’ve wanted to go to Birmingham (AL)  and photograph heavy metal (on 35mm film, of course..metal…).  I finally got that chance last May when Laura DeFazio was kind enough to make Birmingham a pit stop on our Road Trip to Nowhere. 

We found this great alley in which to explore metal things and apparently, climb metal things. 

It was a happy surprise to come across the Birmingham Oddities. These kinds of things always have a way of working out on the World Tour that will Never End.   The store was closed (Laura may have scaled the wall, can’t remember..) but it was both a joy and an appropriate oddity to come across on the Road Trip to Nowhere with a slight Ozzy Osbourne angle that later included whales (thats just lagniappe for now)  

Anyhoo, have a spooky Halloween, stay tuned for upcoming photo excitement (PhotoNOLA is just around the corner!) Also if you haven’t seen my latest Sun Print Road Trip pics from Paris and Mexico, click HERE.

Here’s what’s coming up gig wise on Halloween and in November:

October 31st - World’s Spookiest Open Mic Buffas (1001 Esplanade) 7pm

November 7th - Crescent City Farmers Market at the French Market with Patrick Cooper 1:30-4:30

November 15th - Neutral Ground Coffeehouse (5510 Danneel) 8-9pm

November 18th - Songwriter Circle with Jean Bayou and Beth Patterson Buffas (1001 Esplanade) 4-7pm

all content (c) natasha sanchez 2018

The State of My World, September 2018: Sun, Sol, Soliel, Sonne

That’s right – the Sun!  This month my world has been all about the sun, searching for it, photographing it, making sun prints in it,  and getting ready for World Cyanotype Day this Saturday, September 29th! 

Collage of Cyanotypes from Around the World! Quebec (TX), Globe (AZ), & Mecca (CA)

Cyanotypes from Around the Globe, 2018

This Saturday 9/29 I’ll be leading a Cyanotype Workshop with Robert Schaefer and Jennifer Shaw at the New Orleans Healing Center.. ALL DAY LONG!  All are welcome and its FREE!   Drop by anytime from 10am to 4pm we have ready-to-print 12 inch pre-coated flags and materials for you to design and create your own little piece of the sun. Feel free to bring objects that you would like to use as well (think shapes..)  Robert will also be giving a presentation on the history of the cyanotype, one of the first photo processes developed in 1842.

the making of cyanotypes on the road

World Cyanotype Day began in 2015. From the website: “we wanted World Cyanotype Day to serve as a worldwide opportunity to create a work of art. We chose the idea of making prayer flags, or peace flags that resemble the Himalayan prayer flag strands.  Just as the flags are connected together, one to the next, so we hoped the project would connect people together, one to the next, around the world.”

When you participate you can choose to leave one of your flags at the Healing Center to be exhibited this December during PhotoNOLA, the New Orleans Photo Alliance’s annual gathering of photography in New Orleans.  

If you are reading this email then you are probably familiar with my lumen prints, another solar printing process. What I love about printing with the sun is that you are both documenting and creating your own world.  This year the creators of World Cyanotype want people to gather everywhere in, parking lots, parks, galleries, wherever to put your “World” in World Cyanotype Day! 

Oh, and no sun? No Problem! We’ll be like Vegas and make our own!

(ok, so the sun is real, the New York skyline is not..)

Haha, but true-ish…. we have several photographers ready & willing to donate UV light boxes in the event of rain/cloudy skies, so we will be printing Rain or Shine!

Hope to see y’all Saturday, September 29th!

More info :

New Orleans Healing Center | 2372 St Claude | 10-4pm

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Searching for the Sun

The State of my World, Summer 2018: space

Hellllooooo….I purposely put off posting The State of My World this summer because I had a feeling the months together would have more of a collective vibe…one long month with 3 very different, yet cohesive, parts.  I also wanted the opportunity to write “purposely put off posting” haha

So whats been up – Road Trippin to Nowhere which turned out to be Everywhere, 

(and saw whales)

Road Trippin to Antiquity, visiting what was once the largest city north of Mexico in pre- Columbian times,                         Cahokia in Southern Illinois.

And vacationing in & around Seattle

(and saw whales)

..not my photo b/c my pics are all of the sky..   photo ©San Juan Excursions

In between….there was a whole lot of cleaning/clearing out my apartment…to make space.

A tiny apartment that also serves as my studio can get super cluttered. My goal for the summer was to organize my prints/studio, but I quickly learned that to organize my prints I had to organize my apartment and in organizing my apartment I was unintentionally, unexpectedly but necessarily organizing my life, thus making space for what lies ahead.  This summer was given over to making the time to create the space to move forward. (insert snazzy sundial pic here, except that I already posted it so here's another one) So this blogs theme is space. (Or whales.)

And on that note … I have quite a few things coming up –

Saturday, August 11th Urbanism & EccentricitesWhere Y'art Gallery /1901 Royal/ a group show commemorating 300 years of NOLA juried by geographer Richard Campenella – my print “Passing Time” was chosen for this exhibtion

Monday, August 13th – Opening for the Coliseum Street Extras at Luckys /1625 St Charles/ 10-11pm

Thursday, August 16th – Solo at the Neutralground Coffeehouse /5510 Danneel/ 8-9pm

Sunday,  August 19thSongwriter Circle at Buffas /1001 Esplanade/ with Micah McKee & Tereson Dupuy

Saturday, August 25th – Renaissance Pere Marquette/817 Common/  with Patrick Cooper

What with my new found spacious space (not quite there yet, but better) I’ll also be spending the next few weeks getting ready for my September exhibition of lumen prints at the Ocshner Healing Arts Walk at Ocshner Hospital!!  I’m really looking forward to showing this work in this healing environment.   More on that later.

I’m still going through my 650,000,000 pictures I took over the summer. ...And the summer ain't over yet.  Hopefully soon I’ll be posting my pics of the birthplace of heavy metal  (insert intrigue here)

Til then ..

The State of My World, May 2018: Tiny Things

Yay,  I’m finally posting my monthly blog before the end of the month, (kinda.. it's only bout a week away..)

Inspired by the dreamy springtime blooms (now a thing of the past) and my love of tiny things, I hoped to capture the essence of Spring by printing tiny subjects on tiny negatives.  Keeping true to form, I procrastinated just enough to where there was hardly any sign of spring left to print. (Insert Upside Down Emoji) Luckily, my house had enough Ligustrum Litter in the backyard to scoop up a few tiny petals to make some lasting hypoallergenic images.

And then while strolling thru the Garden District with a group during my weekly photo workshop a few weeks ago,  I managed to capture the Very Last Ligustrum Bloom on this Very Large Ligustrum Hedge just for good measure. 

It has been a while since I’ve printed on negatives, and I admit to not being as emulsion savvy with the different films (yet) as I am with paper, so the purple hues were a welcome surprise. My first print was actually jasmine

and it did not disappoint.   Just like Everything Else I Do, this isn’t a series just about tiny springtime blooms.  It’s more about the idea of said tiny springtime blooms. The idea is that the Big Picture is nothing more than a series of tiny things, and its the tiny things that matter.

 I love the fragrance of spring with the jasmine and ligustrum in bloom (granted this year it came way early and normally I’d be looking forward to the jasmine blooms wafting through the air right about now rather than lamenting its ending).  I like the vibrancy of this jasmine image b/c it shows the  Power of the (seemingly) Tiny.   (Unsolicited PSA:  Wanna heal the world? ….Think kind single vote....) 

If not for all those tiny petals, where would that vernal aroma that envelops our neighborhoods each year be?! 

…. maybe hiding with this lizard? Note: This is the only jasmine print I have right now because the camera that I used to take jasmine pics with is currently vacationing with some witches in Massachusetts, buts that’s for another state of my world blog post.  Anyhoo, while we are on lizards, here’s a couple of tiny dinosaurs:

Just before I killed my lantana (it will be back) while on road trip to Massachusetts to drop said camera off at Witch Camp, I made a few lumen prints. They didn’t come out exactly as I envisioned, but I do like the circular pattern of this one.  

I thought it a nice ending for this post - may the circle of tiny things be create a  better state of our world...


Til next time..


all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

The State of My World: April 2018

Hello folks - well, I did it again, got this blog post in hours before the month of April ends. To top it all off..the theme of this months State of My World is....coming soon. haha..but true....

Enchanted and inspired by the lovely spring like weather this month, I aspired to capture its essence with some new lumen prints.  They are, as of now at 8:30pm, a work in progress, but i will have them ready for next months blog, and next month is tomorrow so that works out well..

                 new lumens coming soon!

April was a busy month with gigs in new venues, new songs about my recent adventures in L.A., fundraisers, photo workshops and exhibits. 

                Sunset in Venice, California, not Louisiana


April also saw the healing of Betty the Bullhorn, who underwent surgery for a fall last December and recovered in time to make it to the Musicians Mentors & Barroom Heroes fundraiser at Checkpoint Charlies - her first event since the fall!

Betty proudly shouting out for the CD fundraiser for the Musicians, Mentors & Barroom Heroes radio show on WHIV 102.3  at Checkpoint Charlies

So for now, tis all.. I suppose it is true that April showers bring May flowers.. so stay tuned!


all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

The State of My World, March 2018: Quinoa

I’m trying to get better about posting this blog at the beginning of the month, but every beginning has an end and here we are again at the end of the month...with 5-ish hours to spare!   ‘sall good though b/c I’ve had a few ideas of what to write about but ultimately  what got this month started was…quinoa.  

I’ve been cooking up a quinoa storm lately, casseroles, soups, salads even patties.  Unrelated to this recent cooking venture, three years ago I was able to visit the land of the quinoa itself, Peru (did not go there b/c of quinoa, but it is all I ate while there, thank you freakishly high altitude). I also realized I haven’t posted many pics from that trip so here are a few.

               Quinoa Field, Peru

Quinoa (keen-wah…as in “I’m so KEEN on Chickie WAH wah, haha) is known for being a versatile superfood packed with nutrients and proteins.   I s’pose my mind has been wandering to one in particular DELICiOUS quinoa soup that I had in Peru and have since tried to replicate it (read: tried) and that is maybe what launched my recent obsession.  Or maybe …it was the need to sustain versatility.  A full-time artist is a Creator, Creative Director, Business Manager, Accountant, Coordinator, Teacher, the list goes on … other words ….in order to Survive, an Artist has to be versatile, no matter where the strengths and weaknesses lie. So adding a versatile grain into my diet and contemplating said versatility rather than working on my taxes seems apropos at this time.

Yet I also think back to Peru itself.  There is no way to experience Peru and not include the word “versatile”. With a variety of topography and climates, being able to adapt to the 4-seasons-in-one-day is essential and lets not forget that pesky high altitude thing.  

So maybe the theme of this blog is not necessarily quinoa, but versatility, adaptability.  Yet somehow quinoa, Peru and a sun-god lizard relates.  In my photography classes I often repeat the phrase "everything is relative".  What works for one shot doesn't necessarily work for the next and the photographer is constantly adapting to the current and ever-changing conditions, scenes and subjects. Throw the business side into the mix and we are adapting all over the place.   Quinoa, in all its culinary versatility, Peru with its ever changing landscape and lizards with their righteous ability to adapt, reminds me that everything is connected and that the world is as large or as small as we want it to be, how we choose to perceive it, and adapt to it, is entirely up to us. 

Til next time....

** I do intend at some point to post my photos of Peru..stay tuned.. **



all content (c) Natasha Sanchez  2018

The State of My World, February 2018 : Dedication

I'm  often drawn to ancient sites, churches, cathedrals, places of reverence. Almost every World Tour photo shoot  included a church and the ancient mound sites were peppered throughout the route (which led to the Ancient World Tour, currently on hiatus but sure to resume in 2018)  The challenge is creating that reverent vibe in the real world, in every day life. Yet its not so challenging when we are open to seeing it in nature, in people, and all around. Yet again....these are trying times.. and when I need a more intensive weeks-long jolt of that vibe, I'm fortunate that every 12th Night, January 6th, the Carnival season begins.


For some Carnival will begin right after the season ends, plotting/planning costumes, themes, etc. For others it may begin in the summertime, in the fall, after Christmas, or as so often is the case with my costume, late night Lundi Gras..

I gotta say, I absolutely love Mardi Gras. Known for its revelry, there's much more going on in those early weeks of the New Year. I love the spirit that that time brings to the city, and maybe what i love most of all is the reasons for that vibe.  It's a time of dedication.   The day celebrated as a day to let loose before the season of Lent begins, comes about after sometimes months, sometimes days, hours or minutes of true focus and dedication.   Looking out at the sea of costumes exemplifies that vibe each and every year.

Mardi Gras isn't without its many issues, i know, and yes, there are MANY different ways to experience Mardi Gras and many more facets to explore if I were actually writing a blog on Mardi Gras and not ponder-blogging (new word?) on the concept of dedication. Its hard for me to not get caught up in the vibe of it when I live within its borders. Come Carnival time, my address is: 

Natasha Sanchez
Mardi Gras
New Orleans, Louisiana

 I have been thinking a lot about dedication in everyday life and where we put our focus. Just like going into a sacred site helps fill the soulful well, being around the dedication of Mardi Gras keeps me focused.

The dedication and focus isn't just about the costumes (who am I kidding... !)  It's about expression, its about joy, its therapy in a glue stick.  Its the satisfaction of all the pieces and parts combining to make the spectacular whole.

  (Ex.:  just how many more sparkles 'n things can i possibly hot glue onto this garage sale hat?...answer:  a lot.) 

  (throwback to 2008....last minute eyelashes to complete the costume...)

 At a time when it seems easier to fall down the well rather than fill it, Mardi Gras comes around and lets the self shine. 

Like this mime..(shout out, Esthrrr...throwback to 2007)

Each Mardi Gras experience is unique, but Its the individuals that make up the collective Mardi Gras experience.  Just like its the individuals that make the collective world experience. Maybe that's why I've been pondering on focus and dedication so much during these turbulent times. Its amazing what can happen when all those pieces and parts combine to create an expressive, peaceful & joyful world. 

Til next time..
all content (c) Natasha Sanchez 2018

The State of My World, January 2018 : Roots

With the New Year I am taking a new direction with my blog posts and newsletter.  I've been slacking on the posts, though I haven't been lacking for material or things to say.   2017 was an intense year.   I hunkered down and got some things DONE. One of those things was at long last I  finished my long awaited (...I've long been waiting for it..) book draft of the Louisiana World Tour.  After productively procrastinating for years on this project, I finally realized (admitted) that it was something I wanted to complete, but nothing ever happens by sitting around admitting that it was something I wanted to complete. After a chance meeting with a woman who creates wooden lizards (lagniappe) during my "Solo Pilgrimage", a journey across the Florida panhandle en route to St. Augustine, FL for a gig last summer, I came home and got serious about putting words to the page and images to the eye.

It took 6 months, or, if you count the years of exploring, photographing, writing, performing and exhibiting it - 6 years and 6 months - but finally I felt a sense of closure and accomplishment  (am now productively procrastinating in my search for a publisher, but thats a whole other story) and  feel free to write again. 

After 650,000 drafts (okay, like 3 or 4) I finally found the one I could connect with.  I wasn't satisfied with any draft, angle or format and I realized the only way to finish it was to scrap everything and go back to the beginning. Get back to the ROOT of why I began the World Tour in the first place, and then the answer was simple.  I started the World Tour because I wanted my world to be larger and that was the mindset in which to complete the project and move it into its next phase.   Why it took me so long to come up with this when that mission statement is plastered across every World Tour blog post and website description, I'll never know.  Okay. I do know.  Its because I was looking at the surface of the project, all that I had created, all the shows, exhibits, etc while overlooking the root, why I even embarked on the expedition to begin with,  as we are so often apt to do.  And thus "Roots" is the first theme of my new monthly blog series "The State of My World".


I think the world could benefit by focusing on the root of things right about now, but thats a whole other blog post. As for the World Tour book project,  I was avoiding getting to the root of the World Tour because I saw it as an obstacle on my path.   To write a book, photo essay, rather, on wanting my world to be larger implies that I thought my world small at the time and what was that about?

In can be a daunting experience, this digging deep, yet In the course of writing it the words came easy (cuz there aren't that many) because I realized my own perception of its origin had gotten skewed. I didn't think of myself or my world as small back then, but I did want to expand upon what I was doing.   Thus making my world larger, thus making my head hurt at how difficult I can make even the simplest of things be. haha. 

There are times when getting to the roots can be messy and chaotic, but its worth it, without the root, what is there to grow?

Then there are times when getting to root of things can be fun and light-hearted, like that time my Carrot Song was unintentionally presented as a piece of Live On Air Radio Carrot Performance Art....what? One of my git-er-done achievements of 2017 was getting back to my songwriter roots. I now play in my own songwriter circle and as it turns out, another chance meeting as a "plus one" at a Charlie Daniels show after Whale Fest last March enabled me to do just that (what did all that just say?!) It led to me being a frequent lurker/performer on Laura DeFazio's radio show on WHIV 102.3, an awesome community of Musicians, Mentors & Barroom Heroes, where I played The Carrot Song while Laura munched on a carrot (not nearly as thought out or as planned as it sounds, but hilarious, with lots of laughter and chatter about carrots and gas station snacks.)

 Of course, the song is not about  Carrots.  Its about being a photographer and trying to weed through the surface of the news and get to the root of world & daily life issues.   When all is said and read, what is true and was is important?  As a photographer, I rely on my own perception to understand the world and present my views, therefore I need carrots in my photographic kit, since they are good for your eyes and all, to really see the truth behind the surfaceTurns out, I needed Carrots to help me finish the World Tour. 

So thats the State of My World right now.  Roots, Carrots and I'm even sipping some ginger tea.  So what's happening next?  (stole that)  I'll have a new blog post on the State of My World in February and some upcoming gigs (Check the Calendar) For now, sit back, grab a carrot and listen to some lighthearted  carrot chatter.