Many years ago, in a holler deep, deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, I had an epiphany that changed my life. You see, I wasn't happy with my life. I suffered from depression. I didn't care if I woke up or not. Everyday I simply existed. I was miserable.
But why? By anyone's estimation, I had little to be unhappy about. I had food and shelter. Friends and family who loved me. So why was I so miserable? Despite searching through my life for the joy-sucking culprit with an objective lens, I found nothing. Then, one day, it hit me.
Like all great ideas, it came from seemingly nowhere, silently, but with the ferocity of Thor's hammer upside your head; Life is short, and I was wasting time.
That day I decided to stop living the life that was expected of me, and begin living a life that made me happy.
I pursued my passions: Art, photography, writing. Pursued them with a freedom I never had before. It was exhilarating and terrifying all at once. The need to pay bills is an incredible motivator. I worked 100+ hours a week for just enough pay to get by. Somedays I didn't even go to bed, but kept working on through the morning. I could've made more money doing far easier work, but that wasn't the point. As long as the lights stayed on, I didn't care about money. I cared about truly living my life. I have a limited time on this planet. I'm not going to waste a single second of it.
This website is my outlet for these passions to be shared with the world. My work has received numerous awards, publications, and gallery showings. I'm honored that people thought so highly of my work to shine a spotlight on it, but that's not why I do what I do. I don't need validation from anyone but myself. You won't find any stuffy lists of accomplishments here. I want you to experience my work and be inspired without the influence of flashy First Place ribbons hanging from it. My work stands on its own.
March 9, 2014, I met a cute girl with a camera (hubba hubba!) while I was out shooting. I married her a little over a year later. Cassandra is the love of my life and my muse. She fully supports the pursuit of my passions, and encourages me to keep going when it becomes difficult. My wife is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also incredibly talented. I've made space on my website for some of her creations. You'll find them under the Cassandra Lea Designs tab above.
While we work towards a life of travel, we're currently residing (i.e., trapped) in my hometown of Deep Gap, North Carolina in a house ruled by two terrible but lovable cats called Nikola Carpathia Tesla Ellison and Missy Misdemeanor Green Eyes Ellison, or Damn It and Don't Eat That, respectively.