Sunday, March 10, 2013

Featured Photographer: Julieanna Davis Jablonski

Julieanna Davis Jablonski

By Dana McClellan

A little bit about my friend Julieanna, I've only known her for about a year and during that time I've noticed that she is NEVER without her camera, it's an extension of her body like an arm or a leg. I think it's obvious to everyone around her that she doesn't ever want to miss a photo opportunity. When you look at her work, you'll notice right away she is extremely talented at identifying what will make an interesting or beautiful picture. She has the ability to thrive under a variety of conditions and displays an impressive versatility in her work. She is truly an artist with that camera of hers.

As a person, Julieanna is a gentle, sweet and soft-spoken woman with a heart of gold. She goes out of her way to make people feel comfortable and welcome. Her and I co-organize a Meetup group called the "Beer Lovers of Fort Collins" and it was our love for handcrafted ales that initially brought us together as friends.

Here's a picture I took of her and her husband at a Beer Lovers event:
Julieanna and Jay

In Julieanna's Words

Over 25 years of photo taking experience. I absolutely love photography. It's been a passion of mine all my life. My Grandmother gave me my first camera, a Kodak 110, on my 9th birthday. In my teenage years I took thousands of pictures with 35mm point and shoots. I finally got a "real" camera, a film SLR, in my 20's. I began dabbling in digital photography in 1999. I now use Nikon DSLRs.

Photography isn't what I do as much as it's who I am, it's one of my great passions in life. I see pictures everywhere. I even take pictures in my dreams.

I specialize in action & portraits with a creative Photojournalistic/Creative editorial approach. I strive to capture emotion and meaning. I would be happy to cover your wedding, pregnancy, birth, birthday parties, reunion, charity, or other event. Portraits; including senior, family, head shots, pet and horse photos. Commercial; including but not limited to cars, real estate, auction, Ebay & Etsy photos. Action photos; Any Sport, kids sports, roller derby, horse riding, snowboarding, etc. I can follow you on my own snowboard, or wait for you next to a jump. I especially enjoy photographing medieval re-enactments.

Photos of mine were recently published in Dave Graham's Battle Gaming: The New American Sport, available on Amazon.

My kit includes a Nikon D700 & D300s, two external flash units, many different lenses, diffusers, and filters, low apertures for shallow depth of field, tools for artistic shots; Lensbaby, Fisheye, and colored gels. 

Links to Julieanna's Sites and Social Networks:

Okay, Lets See Some Pictures Already!

It was super hard to choose among the many beautiful photos in her portfolios, so what I did was try to pick some that represented different categories and circumstances. 

Please click on the pictures to enlarge into a photo album
I happen to know she snapped this when President Obama visisted Colorado State University,
while she was shaking his hand.

Wedding Photos

Julieanna is offering a special on wedding packages! Go to her Facebook page for more info:

Or contact her via email:

Links Again:


Thank you Julieanna, for giving me the opportunity to feature your work!

Love ya!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Featured Musician: Michael Olivieri of Leatherwolf/MOB

Michael Olivieri

By Dana McClellan

I've been really looking forward to featuring my good friend Michael Olivieri, because he has such great talent and our friendship stretches back about thirty years. Did I just say that? Thirty years? Yikes! The weird thing about Michael is, he doesn't appear to age like the rest of us! WTH? AND of all the musician friends I've had over the years, coming out of the Orange County/Hollywood metal scene in southern California, Michael is among the minority who tenaciously stuck it out and is successful in his craft to this day.

Back in the Day 

Leatherwolf (Michael Olivieri middle)

We're going to start off by taking a musical journey back into the 1980's. The days when we all use to hang out and party together; so heavily steeped into the "Heavy Metal, Glam, Hair-Band" scene. The days of spandex, aqua-net and Hollywood Blvd. What fun we all had! Michael--was/is the singer in a very well-known band called Leatherwolf, which not only had quite a bit of air play on MTV and radio, but also shared the bill with some other very famous bands in some very large venues. Rather than go into a long history of the band, I'm just going to post a couple of links here so you can check them out for yourself.

Discography and some videos you may or may not have seen on MTV 

New World Asylum (NIL8, 2008) 
World Asylum (NIL8 / Massacre / King / Dynamo Prod., 2006) 
Wide Open (Leatherwolf Music / King, 1999) 
Street Ready (Island, 1989) 
Leatherwolf (Island, 1987) 
Leatherwolf, aka Endangered Species (Enigma / SPV / HM America, 1985) 
Leatherwolf EP (Tropical/Enigma, 1984)

MTV Videos
The Calling


By the way, Leatherwolf will be touring this year (2013)  in support of their upcoming Unchained  album (not yet released at the time of this post). had this to say about the upcoming shows:

LEATHERWOLF, hailing from Huntington Beach, CA, have announced tour dates in support of their forthcoming live album,Unchained. The lineup consist of original members vocalist/guitarist Michael Olivieri and drummer Dean Roberts, friend and bassist Patrick Guyton, and guitarists Rob Math and Greg Erba.

Olivieri states: “We are all excited about this new constellation and the possibilities it holds. More than anything, we’re looking forward to getting out there and really kicking some ass on stage. I think live is where it’s always been at for us and this group of guys can definitely deliver the goods!” Unchained was mixed by musician and producer, Roy Z, whose credits include JUDAS PRIEST, SEPULTURA, HALFORD, BRUCE DICKINSON and many others.

Tour Dates listed here:

More recent photos of the band taken from their website: 


Leatherwolf's official Facebook page:

Michael Olivieri Band (MOB)

Michael approaches his music with a level of professionalism that conveys confidence and an undaunted creativity. He has always written, sung, played, exactly what he wanted, and in his latest band MOB (Michael Olivieri Band) he seems to have taken a different course altogether. This time delving into more of a fun southern rock sound. Most of the songs I heard are catchy and upbeat and if you aren't at the very least tapping your toes--you must be dead.

When I asked Michael where he felt his inspiration came from he had this to say:

My inspiration, I guess that would be split into 2 parts, musical & lyrical.
Musically, I get it from all around me.. I can hear a riff in a certain style of music and apply it into my style.
Lyrically I write about relationships a lot. May it be with a lover or with God. Many times it will come from something I see that inspires a song.
Or it maybe placing myself in someone else's shoes and try to get in their head and get a different perspective.

An Interview with Mike:

Michael Olivieri Band (MOB) Videos:


Dead Man Crawl

More Than I Do

Broken Glass

The One

Michael's sites and pages:

Love ya Mike! Can't wait to see the show here in Colorado on 4/20 ;-)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Am: The Observer Behind Thought

By Dana McClellan

Who am "I?" Undeniably the most persistent question we ask ourselves throughout the course of our lives. We all have glimpses at certain times where we realize we are far more than our thoughts. Moments where life becomes crystal clear with the revelation that the essence of us is something much bigger than our physical bodies could possibly contain. It's something that continuously lingers in the back of the mind of humanity. Individually, we go through phases where we are more tapped into that feeling of "knowing" than at other times. Although, some may try to resist or deny it.

The Observer

For most of my life, I've been a very vivid dreamer. I went through a phase at around age thirty, where I kept a journal beside my bed, so when I awoke from a dream, I could immediately jot everything down before the details disintegrated from my memory. I wouldn't always remember everything of course, but at one point I was so into dream-journaling, I had the ability to be consciously present while in the dream. I had trained myself to where I could be inside the dream and would make it a point to remember little details of the environment I was in; like what time it was, what it felt like, who was present, what they looked like--all the way down to what jewelry they were wearing. I would purposefully remember these details, just so I could write them down when I came out of the dream. I was inside the dream, knowing I was dreaming. It was pretty crazy.

One thing I remember about all of my dreams, there was always another consciousness present, one I could never identify. I didn't actually see another person, but it was definitely another consciousness that felt VERY familiar. That's the only way I can describe it. Now I know who that consciousness was. It was me! The REAL me. The awareness observing all of my thoughts. It use to really bug me that I couldn't figure out who this other entity was, because it felt much more than just familiar. It never said or did anything, nor did it give me a good or bad feeling; it was always just there "observing." I didn't put two and two together until I went to write this post, then for some reason I remembered.

We all have that--ALL of the time. We may not be consciously aware of it, but the observer is always with us. It is the "I" in us which has the ability to view our individual thought-life from a objective point of view. It is the true essence of us that is at one with what I call the Holy Spirit. Others may call it consciousness, the universe, enlightenment, etc...

What is Thought?

One very important thing we all need to realize, is that our thoughts do not determine who we are. Initially, our thoughts are an unconscious physiological activity similar to breathing or digestion. We have no control over this unconscious thought-process. I don't know about you, but when I realized that it was quite a relief! We aren't completely off the hook though, we do have control over what we do with those thoughts and that's what determines the quality of our lives. If we are able to view these thoughts from the observer's perspective, we will be much more effective at taking our thoughts captive and bringing them to the obedience of God in us. The God in us is not selfish and fearful, and there is no ego. It wants the best for everyone and loves unconditionally. It is the spiritual root for our purpose on this earth and will not lead us astray.

Again, we all have this in us and it can be tapped into at any given moment. There is nothing in the world of form that will make us feel as content as tapping into the force and "content" is such a lowly word for what I am trying to describe here. We all have the power of the universe at our fingertips. We all were created in the image of God. I for one, have only begun to understand what that means.
I do know this, I've never felt the peace I do now as an adult, and I know it's only going to get better. Knowing I have the ability to look at those negative, self-sabotaging thoughts from an objective perspective makes all the difference in the world. I know it's all conditioned thinking. I have the power to capture these thoughts and re-wire my own brain. That changes everything.

Changing the Physical Realm

#1 most effective way is by practicing mindfulness, which is to say, the act of being fully present in the moment and truly appreciating it. Not looking to the future for happiness or contentment, but grateful for everything you are now. When we are fully present in the moment, we become the conduit for which the Holy Spirit flows through and we see negative thoughts for what they really are--petty and meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

#2 Visualize positive action. Practice it in your mind over and over again to re-wire the brain. It may take some time to develop this muscle, but if you come at it from a conscious perspective, it will help immensely.

If you want to know more about re-wiring the brain, read my post on "Neuroplasticity": 

You May Be Addicted to Your Emotions! Learn About Neuroplasticity

The Internal Observer

Things to Meditate on When Life Gets a Little Crazy:

  • There is a stillness which permeates everything and was there before anything.
  • I am at one with this stillness, therefore I am at one with everything.
  • I am eternal life. My body may pass away, but "I" will remain.
  • God is always in the present moment, where time does not exist.
  • I am at one with God, I have the Holy Spirit residing in me.
  • "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"Stillness is the Move" by the Dirty Projectors
"Stillness Is The Move"

When the child was just a child
It did not know what it was
Like a child it had no habits
No opinion about anything

Maybe I will get a job
Get a job as a waitress
Maybe waiting tables in a diner
In some remote city down the highway

After all that we've been through
I know we'll make it after the wait
The question is a truth
There is nothing we can't do
I'll see you along the way baby
The stillness is the move

On top of every mountain 
There was a great longing
For another even higher mountain
In each city longing for a bigger city

After all that we've been through
I know that I will always love you
From now until forever baby
I can't imagine anything better

Isn't life under the sun just a crazy, crazy, crazy dream?
Isn't life just a mirage of the world before the world, before the world?
Why am I here and not over, over, over there?
Where did time begin
Where does space end
Where do you and I, where do you and I begin?

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”
~ Howard Thurman 
See more inspirational quotes at: 

1 LOVE!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Featured Artist: Ray Ferrer (Spray Paint & Stencil Artist)

"Closure" by Ray Ferrer

By Dana McClellan

My Two Cents

As a novice appreciator of art, without knowledge of art-world lingo, I have only the ability to write what I experience in my own words as best I can. I first sit with the art images without labeling them to see what descriptives I come up with on my own, and then go to see what other people "in the know" have to say about the work.

When I initially viewed the creations of Ray Ferrer, the first thoughts that came to mind were: natural, soulful, emotional, pure, and timeless. His work is always done in black and white, and where I would normally view a black and white photo as dramatic and a little edgy, Ferrer's pieces have a soft, spiritual quality to them. His use of white creates an illumination that feels other-worldly to me. It is evident that while engaged in the process of creating, Ferrer has a conscious awareness which gives him the ability to draw out the soul of his subjects or perhaps the potential consciousness of humanity.


Ray Ferrer

In his own words,

 I am an East Coast based artist who, through my work, seeks to utilize various harmonies and ideas to visually engage the audience. I also use my art as an opportunity to experiment with the range of possibilities allowed through my choice of materials, spray paint and hand cut stencils.

My work captures spaces of partial or full illumination between the perfect shadows on all sides of a person or an object. The artwork conveys the real beauty of the subject. The viewer is able to appreciate the simplicity, splendor and exquisiteness of my work and the subject. The work is raw, it’s stripped back, it’s honest.

I am vehemently opposed to using art as a means to rely on overly-complex theories or ideas to prop up mediocre images. I believe that the quality of the actual work is what is paramount.

His Inspiration

My inspiration comes from my environment, childhood memories and/or manifestations of everyday life. Each piece of mine is connected to me through some instance or emotion or place in time from my life.  I am constantly inspired to create new pieces when I have a thought or hear a song that brings back a memory or something significant in my life.

Artist Statement: I'm from NY born and raised. I was in the Army for 6 years. I have my MBA from Auburn University and was a management consultant and business strategist for many years. I've traded it all in for a paint can and love what I do.  I make very unique and custom artwork for people and businesses all around the world by hand cutting stencils and painting them onto canvas and onto large walls. I travel to client sites for larger murals and mail out smaller pieces. I will go anywhere to do a mural! My artwork is inspired by wanting to see things I absolutely love in a different light.

To Set the Mood

I created an Old School Jazz playlist for the art you are about to view. 
I believe the music enhances the nostalgic urban vibe of the art.

Please hit the forward button in the YouTube video before proceeding to the art.

Click on Images to Enlarge

Living2inspire.com_Featured_ Artist_Ray_Ferrer






"Smokin' Lady"

"Statue of Liberty"










For more info about this artist visit: