The Sartorialist

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The Sartorialist is my favorite fashion blog to visit on a regular basis. I first heard about the “Sartorialist” blog through a NY Times article, which praised fashion photographer Scott Schumann for creating the popular blog which has won numerous praise from prominent fashion critics. Schumann has been a successful fashion photographer for decades with his work being featured in a magazines such as Vogue, GQ, and Interview, and has created fashion campaigns for some of the hottest names around such as Gap, Crate and Barrel, and Burberry. After quitting his job in 2005, Schumann began walking around the city sidewalks in New York City with his camera taking photos everywhere he went. Schumann began posting these photos on his blog and quickly began to attract the attention of fashion admirers.

Some of his subjects includes famous models, fashion photographers, musicians, or other celebrities but most of the photos are of regular people.  All the photos have this causal essence, as if Schumann just ran into someone in the middle of the sidewalk and simply asked for a photograph. This is what I love about the Sartorialist and why it is such an inspirational fashion blog for me, because I feel it is easy to connect to the fashion through his photographs which seem so effortless and simple both artistically and fashionably. When I look through Schumann’s blog I always get inspired and think that it would be so simple to recreate the looks his models present – and that’s what fashion is about right? Style choices that are attainable and pleasing to the eye. Schumann achieves this perfectly and is why his blog has remained relevant for so long. 

 

Writing Strategy

Most of my writing up until high school did not require much strategy. In high school I was forced to draft outlines and turn them along with my final essays. Sometimes if a teacher really motivated me with an engaging essay topic, I would additionally write maybe one draft essay that was more than an outline and closer to the final version of the essay. It was not until I started speech and debate team and saw how public speaking required an outline written prior in order to logically present an idea. Writing academically is very similar to the structure taught in speech and debate, and as a result it had influenced my writing strategies and my use of outlines. This is what my strategy is if I am writing academically, however if I am writing more freely in a creative manner than I have a different strategy completely. When writing creatively I have the strategy of writing down my thoughts. When doing this I like to have a endless streaming flow of thoughts translate into pen and paper by rapidly writing down every single thing I am thinking and realizing. This is a strategy I have adopted since I was young because this has been the best way for me to express my emotions. It feels cathartic and more genuine if I honestly and openly write the all of the thoughts in my head and do not censor or edit them as they come. This is another strategy that helps me in my writing Penguins

Why Do I Write?

Before reading George Orwell’s and John Didion’s “Why I Write”, I had never questioned my motivations for choosing to write. Often I am writing in order to fulfill a class required assignment which I would never have been writing if it weren’t for the assignment. Sometimes I write out of boredom and because I have nothing better to do, but this rarely happens since I am regularly preoccupied with work, school, and extra curricular activities. There are sometimes when I write because I am trying to clarify something in my head and I am writing simply to get ideas out of my head and onto paper in a logical manner. Even more rare are the times when I write for pleasure simply because I feel passionate about expressing an idea that I have or expressing an idea that I find interesting. I often feel apprehensive to write because I feel as though I will not be able to thoroughly describe what I am trying to explain and instead become more frustrated in the process. That is partly the reason for taking this course, because I want to learn how to more accurately and efficiently express myself in writing, because I feel that is a useful skill to have.

I related to George Orwell’s belief regarding the motives that encourage writers to write. The idea that writers write simply to fulfill their ego and use writing as a platform to express their hard held opinions and beliefs is a motive that I similarly hold. Writers “desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death…” (Orwell) and use writing as a way to convince the world that their words and ideas matter. This is often the case when I write and something that I want to work on. Didion echoes this claim in his essay in which he states that he also believes writers are writing as a way to gain public praise. The act of writing is inherently a selfish act in which the writer believes his opinion, thoughts, and ideas are worthy of being listened to and honored. “In many ways writing is the act of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind.” (Didion)

Through the course of this class I hope my writing style matures and instead of writing to receive personal praise, and instead learn to think, process, extract meaning, and explain thoroughly my thoughts and opinions and improve my overall writing style.

 

“YOLO”

The blogs that I enjoy the most are the ones that provide me with a new insight into an area which I have not previously considered, and inspires me to think about an unknown subject in a new way. The beauty of the internet, is that individuals can easily connect to a myriad of different ideas, cultures, philosophies, opinions, and styles, which can offer a new enlightenment and understanding of life. This is why I frequently read the University of Michigan student-run art blog, “Arts Ink” where students post about topics relating to art events on and around campus. After I transferred to UM this past winter term, I began to regularly read the articles on “Arts Ink” as a way not only to discover the vast array of student organizations and events on campus, but also as a way to read about other students’ dilemmas and observations on campus and connect with my fellow classmates.

The most significant blog post that I read was titled “Two Words, Jackass: YOLO: “Vlogtrobber” and “Poetry” of Youtube” and introduces the internet’s newest star, Steve Rogenbuck, who is transforming and modernizing the poetry world. Roggenbuck, a native Michigander, can be described as a sort of modern “beatnick” who ignores all the rules of traditional poetry and instead relies on technology and freeform verse when writing poetry. Roggenbuck’s poetry centers around the impacts of internet culture and also utilizes the internet as primary medium for distributing his poetry, which is targeted and made accessible to the general public. At only 23 years young, Roggenbuck is changing the definitions of poetry and challenging social norms, which is definitely inspiring to me.

The original blog post in “Arts Ink” introduced me to Steve Roggennbuck by providing a brief introduction about the poet, and then a link to one of his most popular video poem, which was enough to get me absolutely hooked on his poetry style, his ideas, and his art. I hope through this blog post that you are intrigued enough by what I am talking about to click on the link below, which will redirect you to Roggenbuck’s most popular poem, and hopefully inspire you and your life the same way it inspired mine.

Make Something Beautiful Before You’re Dead