Archive for the ‘PHOTOGRAPHY’ Category

CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Mutagenic Studios in 2012

Published by cctadmin on August 6th, 2015

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Once upon a time CC Trubiak appeared as a character in a graphic novel.  The year: 2012.  The graphic novel: Ascension by Ottawa’s very own Mutagenic Studios Interactive.

Mutagenic Studios Interactive was originally formed in 2006 by Timothy Bacon and Paul Green, two talented guys who had worked as writers and creative directors for almost three decades in broadcast media, interactive media and advertising.  They optioned numerous screenplays and original television series also served as lead writers at Fuel Industries, an advanced interactive agency (not to mention one of the worlds largest advergame developers) where they developed their skills and creativity.

At the time they formed Mutagenic Studios Interactive, they wanted to explore photography and art that would allow them to go beyond the written word  and push the boundaries of their storytelling.Their work had appeared in various publications however they embarked on this vision and continue to do so today with great success. Currently they are in production on a number of original properties for digital, print and film that combine their unique brand of writing, photography and art.

I met Timothy and Paul through mutual friends of ours in Ottawa, where I’d been living and working at the time; these friends had appeared as characters in their graphic novel project Babylon Smith. They recommended we collaborate ourselves and being the curious adventurer I am I thought it would be an interesting creative experience. I was also craving opportunities to collaborate with folks who think outside the box and these guys certainly fit the bill.

We set up time for me to come over to the studio and shoot – they’d communicated to me that they wanted someone to play the main character of Ascension, a “dystopian tale of horror and revenge”. That was all I needed to know – the rest I figured I would learn as I went along!  My recollection of the shoot itself makes me smile – the studio’s wall-to-wall art impressed me a lot.  As a kid who grew up loving comics (both Marvel and Archie) and horror movies (Friday the 13th, Alien, Carrie etc) as well as making up my own drawings/comics I was couldn’t help but marvel (there’s that word again!) at their talent, creativity and their tenacity.  Their photography impressed me with its grit, colour; a bit provocative and certainly striking. I took notice of all the characters and the models representing these creations – each person was unique and I couldn’t help but want to be up there on that wall with them.  A part of that brilliant world.

The shoot came and went; I completely trusted their vision and eventually Ascension was released to the public.  It was the kind of experience I would have been open to exploring even more had I not left Ottawa however, that said I still follow their work and remain in touch with Timothy from time to time.  Thank you guys so much for the experience; proud to keep this little memory tucked away in the vaults of my mind.  Rock on and keep  entertaining and inspiring the world!

Here’s the link to Ascension on the Blog: http://mutagenicinteractive.blogspot.ca/p/comic-ascension.html

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CC CHRONICLES: Thick Skin & Lookin’ Within

Published by cctadmin on July 30th, 2015

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I was walking home along the boardwalk yesterday; enjoying the sun on my face and in particular, time to think about and reflect on what it means to have ‘thick skin’. I’ve heard it said that to have thick skin is a ‘gift from God’; that it takes time and learning to acquire it, and finally, that in order to face life’s rejections, haters and obstacles, it’s all but essential to have it. The very definition of ‘thick-skinned’ is “insensitive to criticism or insults“.

Why the contemplation? Well, I can identify things I want in my life; like strong family connections, a healthy relationship with my partner, financial security, education, a home and a fulfillment from music. The list goes on. I’ve never expected any one of those things to come easy; and in fact, they never have. I continue putting time and effort into my life’s ambitions with a quiet confidence that there’s worth in that patience and dedication.  Hopefully that worth is the joy experienced along the way.

On the other hand, within our passioned pursuits there is also much opportunity for disappointment; the ‘nothing comes easy’ part existing in the form of obstacles like a door-slam to the face, criticisms or the many hoops we often have to jump through in order to succeed in our goals. There’s always an opportunity to give up. Rationally, I understand that ‘nothing comes easy’; stumbling blocks are a given; and it’s with this I contemplate how to acquire a hardened sense of logic.

I recall how scary it was in my youth when I was just forging out on my own and having to establish security; similarly, going to University in my 20’s and facing all sorts of intellectual pressures. Being an independent artist without management or a band to my credit also beholds tests of my inner strength. Given this and more I can acknowledge the ‘thick skin’ I had to personally attain in the face of these things yet, on my walk home, I still couldn’t help but feel briefly overwhelmed at the realization that ‘thick skin’ is not only a goal in itself; it’s an on-going process.  There is no end.   I may have some of it, and I’ve strengthened over the years but I could use some toughening up even still.

It can be discouraging; I certainly began that walk feeling daunted about some of my musical pursuits in particular. In fact I felt downright deflated; but it only took some time and reflection on route home to consider that like anything else worth having, I was, and I am going to have to remain patient; I’m going to have to keep my head up and trust in the process of my future pursuits. Regardless of weather things in our lives turn out exactly as we want them to or not, I’d really rather keep trying, keep getting back up on the horse and giving it another go – than opting to fall to my knees in defeat. With that in mind I found a way to turn around my inner doubts and see them all as part of this process. It didn’t necessarily take away all my discouragement however it did just enough to have me feeling less defeated.

What do you guys think about the thickness of your own skin?

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CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Weekends with Dad circa 1991

Published by cctadmin on July 23rd, 2015

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Once upon a time CC Trubiak spent every weekend with his dad. My parents were divorced by the time I was approaching Kindergarten and it became regular routine to have dad pick us kids up after school on Fridays. We’d usually spend both Friday and Saturday nights with him before heading on back home to mom’s house where we’d live and go to school throughout the week.

There’s nothing quite like the memories I have of those weekends; they were some of the best days of my youth and I don’t believe that’s nostalgia talking. Very fond recollections of grocery shopping after school at Eddie’s IGA and getting all the goods for the weekend ahead; dad would make a pit-stop at Candy Bar so he could pick up a pack of cigarettes and the Reminder (which back then came with the television schedule in every Friday issue) and allow me to select an Archie comic or two.  Maybe up to Rex Video where we could rent a Betamax tape too.  Up at dad’s place itself I was usually busy drawing pictures and writing stories inside or climbing rocks and making forts, skipping stones down by the water and generally killing hours upon hours at play. Dad could be found inside the garage tinkering on an art project (usually involving a buzz saw) with CFAR radio full blast, a cracked-open beer and a half-finished cigarette sitting on the ashtray. It’s easy to remember the sun shining and the feeling of dirt on my skin after a full day, and the comfort of knowing this was my weekend home.

Pictured here I stand with dad, circa 1991. I would have been around 12 years old, right about to embark on those God-awful pubescent years. Oh the emotional turmoil and insecurities that were about to transition youthful days into adulthood as I would come to know it. I remember standing there by dad’s car for this photo, the wind blowing. Dad’s gone now but I need look at the picture for only a moment to recollect many life details of those days gone by. The dreamer in me sometimes imagines what it would be like if we could time-travel; oh the options of where we could go again… I know that I would certainly want the chance to be in that moment again just to take comfort. Here’s to our youthful pasts.

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CC CHRONICLES: Roots on rock / Camping @ Wekusko Falls

Published by cctadmin on July 19th, 2015

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We came.  We set up.  It rained.  It rained some more.  It rained even more.  We went home.

However in a short space when the rain lightened to a mist I did get a few pics of the impressive greenery all around me.  The sights and sounds were beautiful, and I was especially drawn to the roots on rock all along the pathways.

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CC CHRONICLES: Family Matters

Published by cctadmin on July 13th, 2015

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CC CHRONICLES: Throwback Thursday / Elmdale House Tavern 2011

Published by cctadmin on July 9th, 2015

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Once upon a time Ottawa’s Elmdale House Tavern hosted a launch party for They Say I’m Different. The launch itself took place on July 26th, 2011 and it marked one of my first ‘real’ live performances as a singer/songwriter.

As someone who grew up paralyzed whenever faced with singing in front of people, everything leading up to this milestone was pretty scary; and in a city like Ottawa, which is just bursting with professional musicians, it was even more so. The seeker of growth and change within myself however, compelled me to face my fears. What better occasion to start doing that than having your first independently recorded project to promote?

They Say I’m Different is a little folky album that was recorded over 2010 and I had assembled back up support from friends and fellow artists Danniel Oickle (piano, backup) and Olexandra Pruchnicky who were there with me that night at Elmdale House Tavern. I frequented the tavern myself for years and watched a lot of great performers do their thing there – so I was pretty excited at the thought of launching the album there. To this day I still get nervous standing in front of a crowd, and on this occasion I was especially anxious – all the generated interest in the album and the launch had me fearful I wouldn’t live up to the hype. Yet, there I stood, arms open.

A couple of things stand out in my memory; one being that my sister Ebony and her partner James actually came to Ottawa and saw the show. That brought a comfort to me, an element of home – and I still remember her crying from her table, embracing me afterwards. It affirmed for me that I was facing my fears with good reason; because behind my fears was the real me, and that’s what people were gonna get from my shows. From that day forward.

The other standout about this memory was feeling a great sense of love from the crowd; comprised of familiar Ottawa faces and a lot of strangers. To this day I’m thankful for the opportunity, to the Elmdale House Tavern, Danniel and Olex for being a part of something very special to me. THANK YOU! Here’s to conquoring fears!

Photograph courtesy of Bonnie Findley.

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CC CHRONICLES: Thank you for the music

Published by cctadmin on June 25th, 2015

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Thank you for the music.  I sometimes think to myself that I’m lucky to have music in my life, as a way to express things inside.  In actuality I have the hardest time telling people how I feel, particularly if how I feel includes anger or confusion or resentment.  Pain.  Its easy as one-two-three for me to listen.  But to share myself honestly all the time?  It can be a difficult thing to do, and perhaps especially for those of us who are very sensitive people to begin with.

That’s why I love coming home and picking up my guitar, weather I’m just fiddling around or seriously working on songs.  I write from a very personal place but I also love story-telling.  It helps me to focus on melodies or create them along with  the words inside that get otherwise very scrambled up in my head whenever I’m faced with opportunities to actually say them in life.  There are many times I go through writers block, which gets irritating when you might have a slew of thoughts inside that are all cluttered up but you’re incapable of speaking.  Even just humming along with my guitar gives me an anchor and an appreciated feeling of comfort.  I’m also very excited about a batch of songs I’m working on;   and I’m proud to say I have some very special people in my life who I’ve been collaborating with more, as a way to share and make some hopefully stellar music in the collective process.  I think there are going to be some special things ahead.

Special thanks to my Dad for buying me this guitar last Christmas and to my sister Ebony for helping him with the big surprise.  I’ll always cherish this guitar.

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CC CHRONICLES: Roots and rocks…

Published by cctadmin on June 19th, 2015

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Whenever I think of my dad, I can’t help but associate him with the rocks on which he lived most of his life.  His childhood home was also my childhood home, and these days I guess I am very drawn to them rocks once again.  Dad is gone, but I  need only return there to those rocks and climb around a little, like I did when I was just a kid and find comfort.  Those boulders are nice and private, so I can climb, sit, think, sing out loud or search without a soul around to see or hear me.  Everything is just peaceful and calming on those rocks.    A person can stop.  Breathe.  Take it in and let it out.  And like I said, its as if he’s there somehow; no denying.

I have started rock hunting on these visits because I’m on a mission so to speak.  I search for rocks that I can put in my garden back home.  Not just any rocks I guess, because as we know there are a  lot to choose from up in these parts and that leaves things wide open.  I gather rocks that are small enough that I can carry but big enough and ‘special’ enough,  in say, colour or texture that I just know them when I see them.  I bring them home and place them just so in my garden, around my flowers and tree stumps.  Not only do they ‘dress’ it up a bit but they are peaceful to look at and I think of dad – so its just a win-win situation.  Makes the search funner.  I’ve got cool rocks at this point.  Not gonna go overboard. though!!!!   :-)

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CC CHRONICLES: In Memory of Dad / June 13th 2015

Published by cctadmin on June 14th, 2015

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Yesterday was the celebration of life for our dad; it was a small but loving gathering.  I’m sitting here trying to think of the next thing to say; there are a million things I want to, yet words don’t come easy.

Thank you to everyone who came out; dad’s neighbours and closest friends.  His little home holds so much love; it did back in my childhood and it sure existed yesterday.  I could feel all your love for him.  Music was playing and people were together.

Thank you to my family; I love you.

I miss you dad. In so many many ways….  I sat out on the rocks for a long time; flashback to summers circa 1987 when I floated and hopped around those very rocks with the assurance that you were right back up at home.  Inside or more than likely tinkering in the garage on one of your projects, radio on and a brewskie…. Memories.  I sure wish I could hold you today…  but  I know where to go when I need to be wrapped in you.  I found a place where I can go when I’ll want to be with you. And I’ll need it .  I’ll always be proud of you.

DAD

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CC CHRONICLES: Why I’ve Kiboshed My ‘Rolling Stone’ Magazine Cover Dream

Published by cctadmin on May 21st, 2015

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Back in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s, I poured over Rolling Stone Magazine. Didn’t a lot of music lovers?  The articles and interviews were pure escapism, but I especially loved the cover photography; often capturing many of my musical idols in their glory. It seemed  there were a lot of great entertainers; and in my mind, to really make the ‘Rock and Roll dream’  come true, as I naively perceived it, you had to land ‘on the cover of the Rolling Stone’.  I enjoyed that misperception.

My impression then was, to even have the chance of getting on Rolling Stone one had to come equipped with an exceptional talent; for not everyone in music got exposure.  Thousands of prolific songwriters, musicians and vocalists never received that prestigious distinction.   You had to have that edge, that ‘thing’, if you were to realize the dream.  I still remember discovering the 1974 issue with Tanya Tucker, which headlined: “Hi I’m Tanya Tucker. I’m Fifteen.  You’re Gonna Hear from Me.” It was like “Whoa!”  My mind was blown that someone so young could go there based on their vocal talent… It inspired.  The years gave amazing covers, featuring The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young – the list goes on and on and on.   Annie Leibovitz in particular, shot a lot of my favourites; with assignments like the John and Yoko cover, or Bette Midler or Steve Martin…. Various images became a youthful ideal for what rock and roll was; to me it incorporated the ability to write and perform entertainment (music, acting, comedy) in such a way that the ‘high-ups’ at Rolling Stone even deemed you ‘worthy’.  Ha!

Back then of course, we did not have the internet; so I’d wait patiently for bi-weekly issues; combing through each one from front cover to back. If the cover art appealed to my ideal, I’d keep it tucked away on my bookshelf along with any others. Still have a lot of them today. Why I keep them still? Nostalgia.

I loved singing and writing, and because I was a loner who spent a majority of time doing these very things (including much daydreaming); I too, fantasized of what it might be like to live life creating music.  Being on the road.  I wondered how I might one day get that cover shot on Rolling Stone.  By the Annie Liebovitz.   What would that look, sound and feel like? Maybe this dream was the same fantasy of thousands of kids across the world?

As time went on though, I became less and less dedicated to following the musical and political publication; I think primarily because I also began to a) grow up and chase life instead of dream about it and b) lose interest in whatever was going on in ‘mainstream’ pop culture as I cultivated my own pathway.  They say  in life you have to stay true to yourself, whatever that means to each of us. There is no offence to the artistry out there today per se, but even now I can’t appreciate the featured artists or the cover photography itself, not as I did back then.  Who was it recently used the word ‘reductive’?    Along with that loss of appreciation of the art of Rolling Stone – I have also long since put away those daydreams.  Too busy writing – trying!

In the late 90′s I used to work at a Winnipeg Blockbuster Video  (an experience in itself) – I’d see the issues coming in over time, more and more featuring Brittany Spears and X-tina, or Backstreet Boys.  Less and less did things hold my interest; girls and boys of all sorts just standing purposefully naked with breasts and bums tooched out so unnaturally.  I mean, I suppose it was ‘sexy’; and sex sells, which I really could appreciate, from an aesthetic and horny perspecitive .   However it registered that you didn’t really have to be all that prolific; you didn’t even have to have anything interesting to say about your music.  It appeared however, have to turn people on.  Make money.  ‘Edge’ as I was familiar, was replaced with sex appeal, in my mind; which is absolutely fine.  I just no longer subscribed to it, pun intended.

Why do I choose to write about this today?  The old dream re-occurred to me recently – that reverie of my Liebovitz cover shot and the accompanying story of my aspirations and schemes of artistry and success.  I had to smile; the youthful self and my previous conceptions verses my own current views on entertainment, media and Rolling Stone Magazine itself.  Fame.

In the end I think that Rolling Stone Magazine is forging on as it should; representing what is trending in music, as it likely did since its birth in 1967.  I don’t know exactly what has changed or what is even important to the mass public.  Perception has evolved.  Oh, I still dream and I still desire recognition if I’m being totally honest.  I remain a dreamer!  Maybe the difference is – I’m grateful enough today;  just knowing that I can sing and write and perform.  That I’ve experienced it and continue to.  Music is my first love.  The recognition and the ‘Rolling Stone Cover’ aspiration itself, no longer holds weight; nor does my attraction to ‘fame’, as I understood it to be.  I don’t need Rolling Stone or stardom to write and sing or do whatever it is I do.  I want to say what’s real to me weather its sexy or appealing to the mass public or not.  Regardless I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do.

The nostalgic in me will still keep those old issues though.  :-)  Props to the past!

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