A Ten Year Journey of Self-Discovery
Let’s start at the beginning, and hopefully, by the time we reach the end, you can have a better idea about how this collection eventually came to the Metaverse.
It all started with the idea of becoming a film director.
The year was 2010. I was in my third year of business school. I felt lost with no sense of direction and walking a path I’m sure many have walked before. My studies, which had once consumed my adolescence, were nothing but a mere gas station snack at this point, choosing my interests at random. The “aha” moment came when I finally went to class for the first time four weeks into the semester, and the teacher stopped to ask, “Who the hell are you?”.
It was at that moment I realized maybe this wasn’t for me. So, I did what any 20-year-old kid would do. I went to the library, sat in a cubicle, and took a long, hard, crucial look at myself:
I had always been a great student, even in high school. Homework was never a problem, and tests came easy. I did well on my state exams and graduated near the top of my class, earning a scholarship with plenty of schools at my fingertips.
Fast forward a few years, and everything seemed according to plan. But suddenly, it hit me: If I’m skipping classes now, what would that look like ten years down the road?
So, I dropped out of business school and moved 3,000 miles away to start my first year of film school in Northern California.
I was never really creative in high school, and I was always the shy kid in the group. But, I always loved movies. I figured, if anyone can learn to be creative, why not me?
The first day of class is always the most nerve-racking. And moving to a new city with no family or prior friends was a bold choice. But at the end of the day, if we’re not here to follow our gut, then what are we doing? I read once, “All great things lie on the other side of fear”. So, I took a chance on myself for the very first time. This is where the story begins…
Film school is an incredible place. It was the first time I felt surrounded by boundless creative people. As great as that is, you quickly learn where you fall on the totem pole of creativity. From day one, you discover everyone in the room is either trying to be an actor, a director, or a DP, so I chose editing. I loved the idea of sitting in a room with AC and discovering how a story unfolds. How the audio, visuals, sequences, transitions, and everything in between, are displayed on a timeline — how the pacing can affect a story. I had entered a world I never knew existed and was immediately hooked.
On the first day, my professor said, “A movie isn’t made until it’s edited.” That power of having the final cut spoke to me. I thought back to all those moments with my Dad, watching profound movies at the age of three and seeing patterns develop with each new film. I had no idea that this was the foundation of my love for filmmaking.
Everything was going better than I imagined until my roommate suddenly decided to move back to Florida.
At the time, I was naive to the harsh reality of apartment hunting, making it one of the darkest and most depressing periods of my life. But, after a few months of couch surfing, staying in random motels, working full-time, and shooting projects, I was finally able to get back on my feet. It was during this time of uncertainty that I discovered a love for photography through a hobby known as urban exploration.
Urbex was not only a gateway to the city, but it helped jumpstart my creativity and self-expression.
If I wasn’t in school or working my nine to five at Best Buy, I was out looking for the best spots in the city to make photos. Between the explorers that I met along the way and the near-death experiences I encountered, Qwestside was born. I continued to use this identity throughout my time living in California. It wasn’t until I moved back to my hometown of Miami that I decided to change my name to Huemankind. But that is a story for another day.
I believe that my time in San Francisco shaped me into the creative person you see today, which is why I’m dedicating this first collection to those early years. Some of these photos are over a decade old, hibernating in a dusty old hard drive, waiting for the light of day.
As creators, we are automatically judged by the last project we put out.
I decided to adjust that narrative and give the audience a glimpse into my origin story. I figured if you like me in the earlier stages of my creativity, then perhaps you will eventually learn to love me as a full-time content creator.
I hope you see the makings of a young photographer in what is the earliest work I have ever put out. I have grown immensely since then, both as an artist and a person, which is why I’m entering the Metaverse from the very beginning of my journey — A true genesis collection.
I want to continue improving in this space to help fund future projects and inspire other creatives to join Web3. I also have plans to add utility, charitable contributions, and unique collaborations along the way.
And this, as they say, is just the beginning.
For more on my first NFT collection, head over to qwestside by huemankind