The Skyline Destiny

Flying in, I could feel the electricity in the air, the constant state of unrest, and the love of productivity balanced with longing for the life of the party. Outside the small plane window, buildings so tall that they could scrape the underbelly of the plane were lit up, bright and perpetually awake. Everyone was out on the town from the paupers, to the wealthy, to the college kids, to the happy families from Brooklyn and Queens. New York City looked alive, as it did almost every night. From the moment we disembarked, the air was muggy and warm, even at that late hour.

The city of love welcomed us with open arms. That night, I too fell in love, not with a person, but rather, with New York City itself. It was that night when I finally felt everything that I had worked for truly come to fruition. All my work and long hours had led up to this trip, to this city.

You know how people say that they saw this one person, they locked eyes, and it was love at first sight? That’s exactly what I experienced that night. The moment I laid eyes on New York City, I fell instantly, completely, and hopelessly in love. I felt like I belonged there- like it was meant to be- like I was already at home in that beautifully-foreign oasis.

One of the best things about New York City is the incredible diversity of people, lives, landscapes, and personalities. Each street is a new neighborhood, each area full of a very different set of people. Every street is more glamourous and lovely than the last. But it is also as historic as any museum and as modern as the empire it represents. Everyone is so unique in New York, but many of them remind me of myself- dreaming always, working constantly, staying up late every single night, bitchy as ever on a regular basis, and opinionated about everything.

Maybe one day I’ll call New York home. And maybe one day I’ll get tired of all the hustle and bustle. But for today, that’s all still in the future. Today, all I can do is dream, work, and wait to see what my future holds. For now, I hope it’s a skyline destiny, and I think it will be. The city is as diverse as I am, and love is love. I made a promise to myself and the city that night that one day I would make it there and I will find it hard to renege on that. I belong in New York and I always have. One day at a time, one little step at a time, one day closer to my skyline destiny.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Life of the Designer

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I wake up, looking towards the deep blackness above me, my alarm blasting away in the night. It’s 5:35 AM which I state not as a malign reality, but simply as an assertion of fact. The arresting cold of the air outside the warm cocoon of my blankets is abrasive on my skin. But it is morning, and if nothing else, we can be sure of this. The day has begun, if not gracefully, at least assuredly. I turn on the desk light with a clack and boot up my computer, ready for whatever work the day has in store.

After a quick glance at my calendar and my inbox, I slip into the frosty dark of the hallway and scurry quickly into the bathroom where an encompassing, massaging, warm shower awaits. I dress in the clothes that have been so cautiously, delicately laid out the night before, style my hair, and apply the makeup that has been so neatly displayed beneath the big the big wood-frame mirror above my dresser.

Breakfast comes with toasty, cheddary, steaming eggs, a crispy piece of toast, and dark, rich, creamy coffee with sweet orange juice on the side.

It’s still dark outside as I sit down expectantly at my desk. I check the news briskly and then start the processes of work I know all too well. I sketch a little and then play a little and work on each minute task that is yet to be completed. Designing and sketching gives way to playing piano and arranging music and before I know it, it’s lunch time.

Lunch is spent on the couch of my studio answering emails and updating my calendar with a warm burrito and a chilling smoothie for comfort. I check Facebook and twitter while I’m at it, seeing if anything is new with the vast and diverse world outside of the luxuries of my office and studio.

Lunch passes on quickly and my afternoon is spent researching, reading, and writing away furiously. Hours upon hours of time wander by while my pen glides swiftly across the paper and my fingers race agilely around the keyboard. Words become sentences which in turn become pages upon pages of drafts in my notebook.

The sun has gone down by the time I emerge from my office to start cooking dinner.  Cooking a creamy pesto pasta with fresh herbs, tomato, mushrooms, and garlic chicken sounds like just the thing to take my mind off of work for a while; and the glass of merlot help too. I spend dinner watching TV and going through more emails and contacting clients before heading back to my studio to journal and read until it’s late in the night.

When one day turns to another, I move to my office where I finish up going through paperwork and typing and editing publication drafts. And when the clock lazily flips to 1 AM, finally my work is done and my restful night sleep can commence. My dreams are of designs and stories and music, that which is my greatest comfort and contentment in life. For tomorrow, the rollercoaster will begin anew, another day in the life of a designer.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Manage Your Life

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So much of managing life is about being able not only to focus well, but also to know how long everything takes. As a business owner, musician, writer, and designer, I constantly have to manage my time, not only in what I’m doing, but also in the breaks I take, my personal life, and in what is not getting done. Scheduling becomes a nightmare when personal life, professional life, and entrepreneurship are all put together. But when one adds in more layers of logistics such as travel time and other people’s schedules, dealing with one’s calendar turns into hell on earth. It is so key in life to be able to organize logistics and scheduling well.

When my business officially opened in October of 2013, it was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. But it was also the start of a major time-suck for me, even if I love what I am doing the majority of the time. I am now constantly updating my calendar and am somewhat of a scheduling junky. I don’t attach myself my calendar because I like being attached to a life plan, although I do, but because I realized that if I want my dreams to come true and my life to stay on track, I have  to be incredibly organized with everything I do.  Both time management and organization have become second nature to me because it was and is necessary for them to be.

So many people in this world lack the basic skills of time management and organization, and it is clear to me that we would all be in a much better place in our lives if planning were much more prevalent. One begins to wonder why it is that the most important and relevant people in our society are sometimes the least together ones.

But experience shows us that the most organized people are the ones who get ahead in life. The CEOs and millionaires of this world are the people who schedule in their every waking minute and communicate the best with their peers and coworkers.

So what should one take away from this- when life gives you work, have fun with it; when life gives you more work, get organized; and when life falls apart, schedule in time to fix it!

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

A Utopian Abstract

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The sun shone warm and bright as I walked down the mall in the middle of September. How charming it was with the golden leaves of fall strewn across its brick walkway, how handsome the men were, how elegant the women. Each shop I passed seemed to both beckon and repel me with equivalent force. Was it just me, or did the people seem happier here, the cars shinier, the landscape somehow more content? Maybe it was all just a façade, perhaps not.

I drove on to the house of my dreams, a villa among houses, a mansion to many. The road bent right and I turned slowly onto my drive, a gravel road that grew somehow more gorgeous with each consequent bend. The road ended seductively in front of a wall of windows, shining in the afternoon sun’s warm rays. Shutting off the engine of my hot pink 1959 Cadillac DeVille, there was only one thing I wanted to do: fall into the arms of the boy behind that dark front door. I wanted to sit willfully at my deep black grand piano and play as I gazed out over the orangy-yellow hills. I wanted to walk up that flight of stairs, into my office, and just sit and sketch, a million inspirations pressing me onward. I wanted to sit back on my deck chair, a glass of red wine in hand, and write, my ideas spilling onto the page like a rushing mountain stream.

Now, I can imagine that crisp air, that perfect house, that perfect lover, that perfect life. But now, I crumple over my notebook, not in that dream house, not with that dream boy. I haven’t just driven up in that impeccable car; I am not brimming with ideas in my perfectly designed office. I sit now, in my cozy room. No lover awaits me. No view seems to inspire my artist’s passion.

But I sit and write, not because my life is absolute Utopia, but because all I want is to express that perfection. My desire is to live in that splendid dream-world, but nothing changes quickly. And as I write these words now, the ink flying effortlessly across the page, all I can think is that I am living, now. I am loving and hoping and working, now.

I must look up. I must realize the almost implausible perfection and beauty of my meager office, my all too familiar, lonesome boudoir. I must learn to accept and live, looking forward, gazing through memories. I must maintain what undeniable animation seems to exist at this very palpably existent moment.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Time, Effortless but Everlasting

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The rains falls gently by my window, wetting the green earth. All is dark outside, covered in a blanket of darkness as secure as it is unforgiving. Inside my room, the reassuring lamp-light nourishes my hopes and dreams as I write on into the night. There is a feeling that comes with the rain. A desperate feeling of longing along with a calm serenity encase the world around me as the music plays on.

As I sit in my room, the minutes draw on, each one a little bit longer than the last. Time seems to both race on towards the perpetually life-less end and sit unyielding and still, trapped in the methodical moments of now. Each object in my bedroom seems plainly familiar, yet simply immaculate. With no effort but to move my pen across the paper, I merely exist. And for what? My work is done, the schoolbooks lie in an intemperate pile at the foot of my bed, a constant reminder of my imposed purpose. So many stories are written about purpose, but who among us can honestly say we can even begin to comprehend the meaning of purpose.

As I sat last night, the hours drawing on, I blearily jabbed at my computer keyboard. I sat there writing for a very different reason than I do today, although a considerably similar story is seeming to be told. Writing my own bio for my website at 2 AM- that’s living for you. Why was I alone in my bedroom at 2 AM indulgently writing about nothing more than Me, Myself, and I? Because somehow, as short as life is, it is not at all effortless. I was writing to manifest the essence of me to the world just one more time in the infinitely endless time that draws on. I was writing I think to provoke some conspicuously omniscient force that would suddenly reveal itself and enlighten me about the purpose of existence. But what I provoked instead, even if mistakenly, was an ambitious desire to do more. To not just wait for some apparently substantive being to just drop my purpose clumsily in my lap, but to work everyday towards some inextricably tangible goal. Through the tedious process of bio-writing, I realized that not only am I working towards a solely paramount goal, but I have an abundance of futures waiting for me.

From fashion design to interior design, from styling to piano to makeup design to blogging, I have an inconceivable plethora of passions, dreams, and futures waiting just for me. Sitting, writing bios at 2 A.M, I realized something crucial, that I also love writing deeply. I love talking almost as much as life itself, so I guess writing doesn’t seem so outlandish. But I think between all my passions, I have come to the revelation that I want to be an artist. Designer, composer, virtuoso, playwright, creator, musician, architect- call it what you will, but I want to do all of it. I want to represent, to inspire, to perform, to create.

As time draws on, purpose slowly divulges itself. Truths become evident, Lives move on effortlessly. Time changes all of us in its way. Time is endless yet sudden, effortless yet gripping and constraining. Time is irrelevant now, nothing but the pattering of the rain and the soothing envelope of my covers affixes itself to my mind as I drift lazily on into forever.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Thoughts on Life

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Recently I realized something while listening to someone attempt to improvise while playing a jazz piece. I realized the reason that so many people don’t like playing music, and for that matter, can’t play music well. The reason, I realized, is that people don’t think enough about being creative, don’t think enough about their real feelings and emotions. Doing anything creative like music or art or designing involves thinking and thought so much. But what do we really think about? Do we think about our lives, our friends, our journeys, the people we love, or simply about creating the piece of art? What I have found is that so much of making art, designing clothes, and playing music is about thinking beyond the the piece.

It’s about thinking about expressing your emotions and ideas through that piece. When I play music, I try to create a story with it. I try to tell about my life and soul and try to say something meaningful. When I design, I try to put a piece of me into each design. My emotions, my thoughts, my personality, they’re all there. When I write, I try to dig so deep within myself that I am completely connected to my work. And when I make art,  I make it mine, about my life, and the way that I see the world.

The way I look at life and love is the reason I am me. I think about life every day. I think about my dreams, my passions, the people I love, and the things that I love to do. I am artist because I love to express, I love to let everything go and just see what happens. Art isn’t about creating something for other people, it’s about letting your life and emotions out through the art.

I love to think about my dreams. I love to think about my life. I love to think about every person and thing that I have loved and miss so much now. The way I live is all about thoughts, it’s all about making life the way you want it, while still just letting go and seeing the incredible things that can happen. Life is about closing your eyes and just listening, feeling, and experiencing the world around you. Life is about putting in your ear-buds, and taking a walk, just to have time to think on everything that needs to be thought about.

I love to just sit without trying to think about anything. Just sitting there looking out over the world, your mind wanders to where it wants to go, where it needs to go. Your mind knows more than you do. You know deep down how you feel about people, how you feel about love, how you feel about life. But your mind already knew all of these things.

As I write today, I sit on the deck, looking out over the aspen grove in front of my house, the pea green meadow beside it, and the dark green mountain and blue sky above it. I see what I want to see, I love who I want to love, I think about whatever I want to. And what I see is beauty and light and warmth all around me. Whom I love is Ian and Max and Clay and Evan, and all my friends. What I  think about is the love I’ve lost, the places I dream about, and the world I want to lose myself completely in. That’s what I think about. I think about life: my life, my future, and my past.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Wide Open Spaces

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I have felt many things in my life: heartbreak, love, passion, desire, sadness, depression, inspiration. But never have I felt stronger about anything in my life than the incredible love,  inspiration, and heartbreak of the last couple of weeks. I have felt such strong feelings, and isn’t that what living is really about, embracing every single feeling equally, not just the good or the bad. I embrace all that comes my way, but because of it, I feel so lost sometimes that I don’t know what to do. But what I have found, is that the more lost I feel, the more I want to get lost. I just want to walk off to someplace very far away, with nothing but the wind and the golden sun to keep me company. I want to leave everything behind, everything but my mind and my soul. I want to cry just to let out all that I have held in, and laugh and sing and yell. I want to leave behind all the pain and the sorrow, and feel nothing but clarity and love and heartbreak. I almost want to never be found. I want to just let everything go and walk away from it all.

In my moments of desperation, I realize that love will always prevail, that life will always go on, that I am me and always will be, and others will always be themselves too.  I will always be the person I am  today. I will always remember my past and dream about the future. I will always live in  another time than my own. But maybe, just maybe I can learn to live in the now by losing everything but my mind and the world around me.

I live for the wide open spaces in this world, the never-ending meadows of green and blue and gold, the wispy orange-peel sky spreading out beyond the horizon for as far as the eye can see. I live for the beautiful rolling ocean stretching out into my endless dreams. I live life for the endless views from my windows, admiring the minute details of every inch of earth, the glistening waters, the shining lights and all-encasing darkness. I love the quiet seclusion of someplace lost and far away, but also the bustling city and the stone pillars of buildings soaring ever upward. Life is too short to not admire the beauty in everything around you.

Living for the wide open spaces for me is about loving the quiet simplicity of a far away place. It’s about loving just thinking about life and being alone with your thoughts. Wide open spaces are the places you can dream, the places you can love and lose, the places you can make the big mistake, and the places that you can cry for the sake of letting go. I design to let go, I write to remember, I play to express, I make art to live my life. I like to be the person who lives for every minute of their life, the ups and the downs. I live everyday the way I want to, not the way any one else wants me too. That’s my life, my way, wide open spaces galore.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

The Lovesick Blues

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As I wake this morning, I have no desire to move, for fear of forgetting love and losing what isn’t even mine. I fell so hard for Ian, yet I don’t even know his last name. He made me feel as special and loved as any guy ever has, and yet we were never even together. I cried for hours yesterday, not because I was lonely, but out of fear that I would never see Ian again. I miss him more than I can say. I feel like I am a unique person every day, but it’s rare that someone like Ian comes  along and makes me feel so special and beautiful and lovesick. My heart aches for him. I imagined myself falling in love with him so many times over the last week. I imagined the love we’d share and I imagined never letting him go. I could’ve spent the rest of my life deeply in love with him, I guess fate just isn’t on my side.

I spent the last week at Jazz Camp, the second year I’ve been there. I always get incredibly emotional while there, surrounded by the things I love, music, cute boys, and a common love for Jazz. I feel so special when I’m there playing music with people that love it just as much as I do. I love those people, because they get who I am. I love Ian because he loved me. I love him because he’s so sweet and cute and funny. I love him because I felt so at home with him. And now I feel like I’m loosing him.

Love touches us all in different ways. It makes us feel happy; It makes us feel lonesome; It makes us cry; It makes us feel completely passionate and involved with someone. That’s why I love love. I almost enjoyed crying yesterday. It made me feel that at least I loved someone so much that I had a reason to cry, a reason to live, a reason to keep on living and loving. I feel no reason to move on though. I almost want to continue feeling lost without Ian, just because it reminds me of him and all the feelings that I had for him. It reminds me of every minute I loved being with him. Maybe I hold on to long, maybe I move to fast, maybe I never forget. But all these things are me, the person I am and will always be.

Music holds a special place in my heart. It lets me feel; it lets me dream; it lets me hold on too long and love to much. Music lets me express that which cannot be expressed with words and lets me love every moment of every day. It lets me think of all the people I love, the places I remember so well, and the love that I can’t forget. I try to put love and rememberance like this into everything I do as an artist. I am an artist of music, of fashion, of design, of love. Love is my art.

I feel lovesick and lost, I just want some way to never forget Ian. I would give everything to spend the rest of my life with someone like Ian, someone who makes me feel so special and warm inside. I want someone to inspire, someone to be inspired by, someone to rest my head against and look out over the world with. I want someone like Ian. I want someone who loves every day of their lives, the tears and the laughter equally. I want someone who makes me want to smile and cry at the same time. I want someone who makes me fall in love with them more and more each day, just as Ian did. I fell in love with Ian, maybe too fast, but truly in love. I fell for that smile, that personality, that person. I fell in love so fast, but it felt so real and so right. That’s the way love should feel, right? Like crying and laughter and heartbreak every day. It should feel so right and yet so wrong. It should feel real and never ending. That’s what love feels like for me. That’s why I love the lovesick blues, it makes me feel what love truly is, and what it will be. I let out my love through the music and the art and the designing. Art and love and life are all one for me. I love Ian, and I always will. I love the lovesick blues. I love life, and I always will love it in some inexplicable way.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Dreamers, Always

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I have always considered myself a dreamer. I don’t just live for now, I live for the future and the past as well. I dream because I am happier in that perfect dream world, rather than the reality I live in. Dreaming inspires me to reach for the sky and challenge myself every day. When I dream, I’m inspired to get one step closer to my goals and make my own future possible. I am inspired to work as hard as I can to get what I want. When I dream, I am in love. Every person I am in love with loves me back. I am in my dream job, and I’m young and attractive, even in middle age. That’s my dream world.

I dream because in the roughest of times, dreaming and hope are all that get me through. I dream to be inspired, to be enlightened, to be loved, to feel hope. America is the land of dreamers, from the coasts of California, to the soaring skyscrapers of New York City. We dream because we want a better life. We want to have love, respect, joy, and fulfillment. The American Dream is about living the high life and making it big in the land of opportunity.

When I dream, I dream of New York City. I dream of the view from my downtown penthouse apartment window. I dream of meeting the love of my life, and spending every night wrapped in his arms. I can see the lights of the city and traffic far below my terrace. I can see the paparazzi following my every step and the legendary runway shows I am holding weekly. I can see my grand piano in the corner of my apartment, the golden lights hitting the top of it like glistening ice. I can see my design studio in the heart of New York, with my sewing machine and my sketch pad and a window overlooking Central Park. I can see the shiny hot pink limousine waiting outside the glass double-doors of my building just for me. I can envision the Broadway musicals I’d go to, the friends I’d meet, and the fame I would acquire. I can see my closet, as large as a small house, neatly organized and comfortable as a plush blanket. I can see my makeup, artfully arranged in the glass cabinet of my bathroom. And I can see the beautiful living room where I could sit with nothing but my gorgeous husband, and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

The reason I dream is to feel like I am weightless, without a worry in the world. I dream to envision what my perfect life is like, with the perfect guy, the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect life. I dream so that I have something to work towards, so that I have something to live for and to remember when all else in my life seems like an utter failure. I dream to design, to move on, to remember, to live. I dream because I feel that I lack so much in my life, that maybe, if I wish hard enough, it will all come true. Dreaming gives me the strength to live my life, to challenge myself, and to work so hard that every single part of my dream comes true. I will be a dreamer forever, always loving and hoping and living.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Risking it All

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Life lessons come along everyday for me. One of the most recent lessons revealed itself to me last night while I was journaling and watching TV. On the show I was watching, a woman said something that really stuck with me. She said that although you can cherish and appreciate the lessons and values your parents have given you, you are not your parents, you are you, something special. Now as cliche and overdone as that lesson may be, it for some reason stuck with me. I think it’s maybe because I have had somewhat of a struggle with my own parents. For all the love they give me, they also seem to hold me back because of the values they believe in. They want me in some ways to be like them and not be who I am. The truth is, I’m very different from my parents. I care much more about fashion and trends then they do. I’m not saying that I am simply superficial though, I’m not.  I do care about so many other important things in life, but fashion is a part of me. And to me fashion is not just something stupid and superficial.

Fashion is about expression and being a true example of me. It’s about being able to show off the person I want to be, and showing that I am unique and one of a kind. Yes I wear makeup and and feminine clothes, but it’s because that’s me, not anybody else. I am not who my parents are and I never will be. It’s not because I’m trying to rebel against them, but I am my own person which is very different from them.

And although my parents won’t ever realize this, its not like this has been easy for me either. The looks I get some times make me want to just evaporate into thin air. But I have made myself immune to what other people think of me, because I have realized that nothing is more important to me than retaining who I am and never backing down. Although most people don’t realize it, I am risking it all to be me. I risk being beat up in the streets every day. I risk being yelled at, hated against, and discriminated against for who I am. I risk not being able to work where I want to or live how I want to just because of who I am and what I look like. All I am saying is that it isn’t just my parents or friends or family who has to deal with me being gay, wearing what I want, and being who I am. I risk everything every day, because I will not be silenced. I will not look down or back away ever. I am so much stronger and more confident than almost anybody in this world. And I risk it all to be me, the gay fashionista, designer, and artist. Fashion is all about confidence and expression, and that is who I am and will always be. I will never be someone who I’m not for anybody in this world. Friends, family, boyfriends, nobody can push me to be someone I’m not. I risk it all because I believe in me and every single person in this world who is discriminated against for who they are. Risk it all, and never back down!

Love Ethan Brown Jones