Ashley Holstein

Inspiration - August 2019 by Louis Holstein

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Today I wanted to highlight some of the biggest sources of inspiration for me as of late. I have often said to stay off the internet and television if you want to be inspired. “Go visit a museum if you want to be truly impacted,” I’ve shouted. But the lack of ability to venture to a museum recently has left me with the internet and television. I still think it’s important to get out into the world to be inspired, but for this moment in time the internet works too.


Woah. This video by Joan Bosch has really transformed what a home-movie is and could be. You better believe I will be intentional about capturing video footage during our upcoming trip to Ohio.


I’m not a fan of New Orleans jazz music. Delta Blues is also not my thing. Sue me. So, to know one’s surprise, when it was announced that Hadestown was coming to Broadway (I had heard of the production before and knew the genre of music it was - Jazz/Delta Blues) I was less than enthused. Over time, however, I would hear bits and pieces of the score and started to get interested. After 8 Tony wins, including Best Musical, and a show-stopping performance, I was very interested. The full soundtrack was released last month, and let me tell you: I’m here for it. What a sweeping score and heartfelt story! I’ve been entranced and inspired ever since. Check out some highlights below.


Ashley Holstein Photography will always be one of my biggest sources of inspirations. I’m sure you are thinking, “yeah, yeah, it’s your wife- you’re required to say that,” but honestly, even if she wasn’t my wife, I would still be inspired by the way she captures people. She captures them as they really are. She knows how to wait for a moment before taking the image. She is patient until she gets what she is looking for. I’ve been helping her blog some recent shoots and below are some of my favorite images that I’ve had the privilege to help curate.


I was recently told about this film by a friend and was skeptical (this seems to be a recurrence for me). He pitched it as one of the greatest films of all time- a title I never give to any film (or piece of art for that matter). I didn’t listen to my initial skepticism and watched it. 8 1/2. This little 1963 Italian film is a genuine work of art from the first frame to the last. I was absolutely blown away by the timelessness of the entire thing. There were moments that I can say I have never witnessed on film before, and it’s 2019! Every film connoisseur should see this film. It slid right into my personal top films of all time.


This website is the greatest color schemes generator I’ve ever used. Not only is it fast and efficient, but it even provides already set pallets if needed. I like to play around on here not only to pass time, but also to get my brain going.

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What’s been inspiriting you lately? Let me know in the comments below!

Social Media is A Lie (and Other Reasons I hate Social Media) by Louis Holstein

[Warning: This post is one of my most informal rants ever. I apologize & you have been warned]

I’ve been off and on with social media like an unhealthy high school relationship.

A Brief History

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I have three social media accounts currently: Facebook, Instagram and Linked-In. I first got a Facebook account in High School, but after three years I had enough and deactivated it. Flash forward six years and I was required to get it again so I could manage multiple pages for my current job. I was able to stay under the radar. No one knew I had an account, so no “friends” to accept or deny. But Ashley began tagging me in pictures, and the friend requests started coming. I’ll delete it the second I am able to. I first got an Instagram account while in college in 2011. It was a new app at the time and Ashley was the only one I knew who had it. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. It didn’t take long for Facebook to see the potential of the app and acquire it. It’s never been the same. I’ve been off the platform for as short as a month and long as a year over the last 8 years. I’ve never deleted it. I had a Twitter for several years through college and a bit after, but got sick of it and got off. There isn’t much to say about my Linked-In page except, do I look hire-able?

A 3-Point Rant

One of the most annoying things about Social Media is that strangers (acquaintances) are required to do absolutely no work to know (virtually everything) about our personal lives. Because of this, I have made a constant effort to make my accounts less and less personal. I know too many people for every one of those people to have the same amount of access into my life with little to no work. (Yes, clicking on my profile and scrolling through is no work).

Another annoying thing has more to do with me than social media, but I find it frustrating how much I compare myself to others. How can one blame them though? People put their highlight reel and at times my highlight reel (yes, highlight reel) doesn’t seem to measure up. Another reason why I work to depersonalize my accounts, I don’t want people comparing themselves to me. I’m not perfect. I don’t have a perfect life, and I want to do my best to not give off that vibe. 

Also, isn’t social media supposed to be social? Maybe it’s because of my 20 followers or whatever, but I never find a good conversation on social media. I love to hear different ideas and opinions, but when they’re poorly laid out in the comments, I’m left with more dissolution than any kind of fullness I would otherwise have in a face to face encounter. I’ll post opinions on Facebook and Instagram only to hear the sound of crickets, but then again this could be my fault because of my lack of friends. Whatever. 

Conclusion

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All this ranting to say, don’t delete your social media accounts. Or, do delete them, it doesn’t really effect me. What I do want to encourage you to do is not take them too seriously. In 2018 I came to the realization that most of social media is a lie. It’s a hard truth, but truth nonetheless. Whatever you do, don’t tell us you’re “taking a break” (as if anyone really cares) and then come back in a week. Did you really take a break? Did you? 

So why do I stay on? Not sure. I’d have to go deep down to find the answer (sad). I guess I think it will be some value to me down the road. (You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to let go of my perfect @louisholstein twitter handle). The main platform i use is Instagram and instead of updates on my life, it is now where I showcase my art musings thematically, three frames at a time. I try not to get on the app unless I’m posting or have something to say. That may sound narssasistic, but I just don’t get inspired by the various accounts available anymore. Inspiration for me is found in Gods presence, nature, people (face to face conversations), art museums, my wife, and music. 

I don’t know how long this social media wave will last but I’m thinking it’s here to stay. People want meaning and they will turn to the dumbest things to find it, social media just so happens to be one of those things right now.

- Louis