100 Strangers: Main St., Downtown Houston, TX

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(Left)  "What am I thankful for? Hmmm that's a good question because I've started this list all month. Immediately the things that come to mind are (you know) family, my job, good friends, etc. But it's sometimes the little things that really resonate once you take a moment to really think about it. And sometimes it's just the opportunity to be the one crawling around the floor with my nieces and having them say 'you're a horsey Auntie Mae!'. It's little moments like that. Like those are the things I'm truly thankful for! Everybody says, family, health, prosperity, blah blah blah; but to me it's all about the those really small itty bitty things that matter most...

OH... and I'm thankful for this costume..."

(Right)

I play roller derby... so I'm thankful for roller derby!! (laughs)

100 Strangers: Metro Rail Downtown Houston, TX

Candace

"Most of the time when people look at me, they think I'm evil, rude and bitchy and I don't really know why. But I'm honestly not as hard as (I guess) I give off to other people. I think that I do kind of hide that little part inside of me because I don't like being vulnerable."

"I have zero positive relationships to look at and I think that's why I'm single. My dad had been married for 25 years and now they're getting a divorce. Like I haven't witness lasting Love before. My grandmother and grandfather, as far as I can remember, stayed in two different rooms in the house. My mom and dad broke up when I was 2 years old. They both remarried somebody. She (mom) got divorced during my sophomore  year in college. "

100 Strangers: Metro Station Downtown Houston, TX

Antoine

"I got a lot on my plate man. I go to school, I'm an entrepreneur, I work a 9 to 5, and I'm a father. I'm always moving man. You never know who you're going to run into so I try to stay as busy as possible.  Right now it's hard for me to focus on one thing, so I try to do A, B and C at one time to figure out which one works best for me..."

100 Strangers: Tout Suite, Downtown Houston, TX

Brandie

"I fear not realizing all my potential. Like that's seriously my biggest fear. Like the one thing that wakes me up and gets me off of my butt when I'm being lazy and not trying is me imagining laying on my deathbed asking myself, 'what if I would've have done this?'. That scares the heck out of me. It's definitely a fear of regret from not trying. Like right now at this very moment I don't have a fear because I'm actually living life. But years down the line, oh my God, I feel like I wouldn't be ready to die. So while I have this life and this ability to try, I have to get on it!"

100 Strangers: 600 Travis, Downtown Houston, TX

Ce'Mone

"It's crazy because I recently lost a baby but my mom just found out she's expecting again. I feel like that's God's way of saying I'm about to be a mother because my mom was never really a mother. 

 Me and my mother are finally getting real close but It wasn't always like that though. I use to despise my mother with a passion. My mother was physically there but was never really emotionally there. Like she didn't really raise me, you know? Like, how can you be there but let me get "assaulted". And my dad stays like 30-45 mins away calling and checking on me because he's getting bad feelings about my well-being. But she couldn't even tell when I was going through something when I was living with her. 

But regardless of all the sh** I went through and going through right now, I'm still planning for a brighter future."- Ce'Mone

100 Strangers: Hermann Park, Houston, TX

Alton

"Right now, I'm just networking with people and getting a better feel of Houston. As far as work, I'm doing designing such as logos, clothes, stuff like that. I've also done some modeling as well. 

I'm originally from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I left and moved to Houston to pursue my dreams as a music artist. The idea of pursuing music came from people like my mother, Michael Jackson and Beyonce. 

About two years ago, I had a friend that was telling me about the city and I'd been wanting to move out of Arkansas for a while now.  So one day I just made up my mind, got up and moved. Now I'm ready to take care of business.

The most valuable lesson I've learned from all of this is to not be scared..."- Alton

100 Strangers: Texas Ave., Downtown Houston, TX

Willie

"I'm just a homeless who just got off them drugs. Back in the day, I did it all. Cocaine, crack.. you name it.

I'm originally from Louisiana. My family was going to a family reunion. I had to work that day so I wasn't able to go with them. Anyway, it was 13 of them riding in a van. They ended up driving towards a bridge that I told them not to ride on because it was a very old bridge and I didn't trust it. They took the bridge anyway and it collapsed. Just like that, I lost my family. I can't tell you what happened years after that but I do know I ended up homeless eventually.

When you're homeless, you do what other homeless people do because the people who aren't homeless can't relate to you. So they don't want to have nothing to do with you. And all the homeless people did was drugs, so that's what I ended up doing." - Willie Green

100 Strangers: Texas Southern University, Houston, TX

Earlie Hudnall Jr

"I don't think money is the motive. We do things to survive. I've never had the intent of going into business or more less taking pictures for money to make it. I've been very fortunate to have had a job at TSU. My first job here was cleaning the paint room in the art department. Dr. John Biggers  gave me that job. Dr. Biggers and  Dr. Thomas F. Freeman are the reasons why I pursued photography. They allowed me the space, freedom and inspiration to do so. But money was never the motive for me. Documenting one's community was the motive and has become a great passion of mine from the beginning. 

You have to set your goals, you have to pursue them, then you have to put everything else secondary to that. But when you pursue them, you have to pursue them with a passion. And if you don't pursue it with a passion and if you don't Love what you do, well then again, you need to find something else to do. See when I get up and I come to TSU, whether I'm doing a picture for a student, or if I'm doing a picture for someone in the administration department, or whatever; I Love what I'm doing."- Earlie Hudnall Jr.

100 Strangers: Downtown Houston Metro Rail, Houston, TX

T.C.

"I'm actually on my way to work now. I work at Frank's pizza. You have to check it out. Some of the best pizza in Houston man.

I had a divorce 3 years ago. Me and her were together since high school. So it was definitely a turning point for me. It's all good though. It's a big world, ya know? I gotta stay busy man. I'm a 4.0 student working towards my masters degree and I'm going to do whatever it takes to provide for my son. It's like chess man. I'm not going to be too occupied in the moment and at the same time, I'm not going to look too far ahead of the future either. I just take things day by day as they come and I keep a long term plan. As long as keeping hitting the next plateau, that's all that matters. And that's the same thing with Love, you know? She's my ex wife, but I still Love her. If it's not meant to be then it's not meant to be, that's just how it is...

When it all comes down to it, the rent is still due on the first..." - T.C.

100 Strangers: Tout Suite, Houston, TX

Mary-Frances

"...I just got off from work. I work for a women's center and I'm a therapist there. So about half the time I'm counseling and the other half I'm on call. Whenever I get that call, I'm going to one of the medical centers to help someone who's been sexually abused.  I've been wanting to get certified as a sex therapist ever since I started college back in 2007. I really want to work with people and talk to them about sex just because. Many people think I want to do this because I have an obsession with sex. But it's not that at all. It's just that I'm not scared to talk about it. And in order to be a good sex therapist you have to be willing to not only be comfortable talking about the subject matter itself, but you also have to help other people with it as well. 

I believe Finland is the country that starts sex education at the age of 5 in the school system. And they start from day one. The children there know the correct anatomical names for their body parts. But the thing is, everything they teach has an element of Love to it. 

I personally don't think there's an age too young to talk about sex. Unfortunately here in America... the baby boomer generation... I think it was because of what they went through in Vietnam and the drug scare, etc. All of these things unfortunately created this element of fear. And what the older generation has to understand is that- whether it's drugs, sex, alcohol, or whatever; with young people, if we pretend like it doesn't exist, it makes them want to do it more. Even worse, they'll do it less informed and they'll make poorer decisions than they would if they were fully educated."- Mary-Francis

100 Strangers: Alabama St., Houston, TX

Al Saulso

"I've been successful for a while now. I started my own magazine recently... everyone faces obstacles. I was pretty much shut down by most of the art people in Houston. They said that I can't do this and I can't do that. But you can't let people say what you can't do. The second they say you can't do something is the moment you should do it as much as you can because that will be the one thing that makes you successful. So because I wasn't getting recognition from other magazines, I decided to create my own. Now it's growing not only here (U.S.) but in Paris as well."- Al Saulso

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Kristen

    "Some people want the house, the car, the lawn, the lawnmower but I don't want that. I want to travel!"  I always tell everyone this: When you start traveling,  your whole mind does a 180. You're not like 'this is my culture and this is where I need to be' because  you start realizing the world is so big and people are so diverse and everything is so beautiful. Why would I wanna stay in this little box?"- Kristen Curette

 

"Some people want the house, the car, the lawn, the lawnmower but I don't want that. I want to travel!"

I always tell everyone this: When you start traveling,  your whole mind does a 180. You're not like 'this is my culture and this is where I need to be' because  you start realizing the world is so big and people are so diverse and everything is so beautiful. Why would I wanna stay in this little box?"- Kristen Curette

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Victor

"In my daily affairs, I'm a firefighter. In my journey to become a Houston firefighter I was met with a resistance that I had not foreseen. I had been accustomed to jumping hurdles, because I create my own path in life, but this was different... What I noticed was that despite the fact that I had come to associate the fire service (Houston Fire Department specifically) with concepts like "service", "honor", and "dignity", it was up to me to bring those to work. They would not be plainly featured for me to partake of. I had to fight tooth and nail at some point during the process to keep my job because of the inability or unwillingness of part of my organization's "leadership" to embody those previously mentioned concepts. A sort of sh*&ty abandonment... 

After some reflection, I recognized that the beauty of having to supply yourself with morality, is that it feels so much more fulfilling when you succeed."- Victor Blanchard

 

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Jackie

"I'm a photographer so my dad always thought of it as a hobby. So my dad always looked at it as a hobby and never supported it as a career. So it eventually got to the point where I was like 'eff it'. You don't want to support it? Cool.  So I just used that as a motivation to keep going forward to achieve my goals..."- Jackie

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Janice

I'm originally from New York City and I've been living here in Houston for 8 years now. My family moved out here when I was in High School. I'll probably be one of the first to say this, but I definitely like Houston more than NYC. Houston is super chill with great vibes. I'm a photographer and I attend the Art Institute of Houston.

I'm the ultimate optimist. I like to think that everything in my life is going to go how I want it to go.

One of my greatest challenges was finding my freedom. I was in a 6 year relationship where I found myself stuck. So I had to be brave and be honest and decide to do what's best for me. I took a trip to Costa Rica where I participated in an  Ayahuasca Ceremony. It really changed my life and opened my mind to a lot of things. Mother Ayahuasca filled me with Love towards all living beings. She took away all my guilt and all my doubt. I felt reborn after that. I feel like a different person."- Janice Contreras

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Xavier

 "... I don't take pictures, but I do model. I'm also a musician. You probably saw me doing an open mic night at Avant Garden. I've been playing guitar for like 8 years now and singing for about 4 years. For the last two years I recently put a band together and started writing my own songs.   I didn't start listening to music until I was like 12 years old. I remember when I first listened, it was rock music. So I'm looking at all these rockstars doing all this cool sh*#  and I was like  'man, that looks really badass. I want to do that one day'. That's where my inspiration comes from. I want to be able to get on that level if not higher.    If you were to ask me what my mission statement would be as a musician, it would be to open people's minds and help them express their creativity freely. It's a lot of music out there that's kind of cookie cutter, ya know? Like it all has the same kind of formula.   I just thinks it's really cool whenever people can really express themselves however the hell they want and kind of get that experience and exposure to new things." - Xavier

"... I don't take pictures, but I do model. I'm also a musician. You probably saw me doing an open mic night at Avant Garden. I've been playing guitar for like 8 years now and singing for about 4 years. For the last two years I recently put a band together and started writing my own songs. 

I didn't start listening to music until I was like 12 years old. I remember when I first listened, it was rock music. So I'm looking at all these rockstars doing all this cool sh*#  and I was like 'man, that looks really badass. I want to do that one day'. That's where my inspiration comes from. I want to be able to get on that level if not higher. 

If you were to ask me what my mission statement would be as a musician, it would be to open people's minds and help them express their creativity freely. It's a lot of music out there that's kind of cookie cutter, ya know? Like it all has the same kind of formula.

I just thinks it's really cool whenever people can really express themselves however the hell they want and kind of get that experience and exposure to new things." - Xavier

100 Strangers: East End Studio Gallery, Houston, TX

Emma

 "I was born in Russia, raised in Washington D.C. and I've been living in Houston for the past 9 years.    I most optimistic about my stubbornness. I have long term goals on doing humanitarian work and I'm really expecting that in my lifetime I'll be able to accomplish something and change things. Seeing people getting hurt and mistreated is what motivated me to set these goals. I was seeing racism since I was little. I couldn't just sit back and watch anymore."- Emma Shahriari 

"I was born in Russia, raised in Washington D.C. and I've been living in Houston for the past 9 years.  

I most optimistic about my stubbornness. I have long term goals on doing humanitarian work and I'm really expecting that in my lifetime I'll be able to accomplish something and change things. Seeing people getting hurt and mistreated is what motivated me to set these goals. I was seeing racism since I was little. I couldn't just sit back and watch anymore."- Emma Shahriari 

100 Strangers: 3rd Ward Almeda Rd., Houston, TX

Steven

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"Since the 4th grade, I've always had a desire to paint. I think one of my first sketches was Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall".  But when I won the H.I.S.D. (Houston Independent School District) award in art, they presented to the Houston Museum of Fine Art and I won first place. After that, I just couldn't put the paint brush down. But then again I did. As a child, I kind of fluctuated with what I wanted to do in life. Then I came back to it strong in my adulthood and I haven't stopped since. 

Right now I'm just spreading love with my artwork. Eventually, I'll be getting into these art museums where my prices will increase massively. But right now, these are like Michael Jordan rookie cards that I'm selling. So I just want people to catch me while it's right now before it starts getting hotter.-" Shayne