Rebekka Seale is an artist, illustrator, photographer, blogger, maker of jams, baker of pies…and just the sort of person who makes me glad the internet exists. I would not know her without it.
I first came to know her work through these commissioned house portraits (don’t ask – she’s booked through the end of the year!) but what I have come to love is her blog. It is extraordinary. The chronicle of a creative life well lived. Her photos of everyday occurrences are uncommonly interesting and her words fall out in the most delicious way. I feel like if Eudora Welty and Jack Kérouac had a baby together, she would live and make and write and observe just like Rebekka Seale.
Did I mention I’m a fan? I’m a fan.
Rebekka started this series on her blog back in January – portraits. Fifty-two portraits, to be specific. She takes photos of people in her life and writes a blurb as to why they are significant. As a reader, it’s been wonderful to follow this adventure all year, not only because it tells the story of oodles of people who I will never know, it tells her story by proximity. By painting a portrait of those in her heart, readers like me are allowed to see her – the artist – as a whole. It’s an unintentional self portrait (which, if you ask me, is the best kind of all).
My grandnanna liked to say, “You are only as good as the company you keep.” and I always thought that was a real bitter and judgmental thing to say…until I started following this portrait series. If
Rebekka Seale is as good as the company she keeps, I suspect she has got it pretty good.
Likewise, and this is the weird part, following this series has made me examine people in my own life. People I know and/or love and/or see on a daily basis. People who make me wonder; If I was to take their picture and write about them, what would I say?
…This. Hooooooo – This. This has raised some fascinating answers. As of recently, people who I so often take for granted now seem rather extraordinary, while others…well, there are some others that I need to examine further. Seeing everyday friends and family members in an objective light, and not just the warm glow of familiarity, can be difficult (we have talked about this before). Considerations like this have been a great exercise in observation for me as a person, as a friend, as a professional, as a creative type in general. We are all magnificent creatures… we just don’t know it yet. Nobody tells us. And if somebody was to tell us why we are so gosh-darn magnificent, what would that do to us? Would it change how we think and feel and treat those of us who share our space?
Welp. It sure is something to think about. I don’t see myself starting this sort of series anytime soon, but I’m just happy watching Rebbekka’s adventure unfold week-by-week. I think you will like it too. Check it out.