On August 9th, 2013 I launched my official website along with Diamonds & Discoveries, my fashion and lifestyle blog. If you've followed me from the very beginning, you've seen my journey change over time as I've plunged into different areas of artistry, whether it be creating music, acting, writing, or producing video. The one thing I've learned, not only from a year of blogging, but throughout my life, is that I love creating art.
Having a blog is a lot like having a journal, you can document the highlights of your life, your inspirations and your evolving taste all in one digital space. Part of my duty as a fashion blogger is showcasing how to make everyday life feel more glamorous and full of joy. While some may write that off as fake and superficial, I actually think it's a positive way to live your life. Taking pictures, filming videos and writing about your life allows you to examine it more closely. When I'm feeling down, I can look at any of my previous blog posts and instantly transport myself to a point where I was experiencing joy. It allows you to look at the duality of your life (the happy and the sad) through a larger lens.
This year has been full of fun and rough moments that I captured here on Diamonds & Discoveries: the stress of finding an internship, the joy of discovering new cities, the loneliness of being single, the excitement of graduating, the power of having a voice, and even the thrill of being on local television. Of all the mediums of art that I've ventured through, it's oddly surprising to me that blogging about my real life (instead of stepping into a character through writing, singing and acting) is my favorite thing to do.
Join me in looking back at all of my favorite moments and content I've created here on Diamonds & Discoveries. I'm also having an informal Q&A on Twitter this weekend so feel free to shoot me a question (on anything about my blog, your own favorite posts or just a message saying hi) any time between today and tomorrow with the hashtag #JoesBlogTurns1
Some of my favorite posts I've made on this blog were on the fabulous destinations I had the opportunity to go to. I started with Las Vegas for my 21st birthday, New York for New Year's and San Francisco for Spring Break. It's too hard to even pick a favorite trip! Even my mini vacations in the Pacific Northwest have been fun, like my trip to the beach and to Vance Creek Bridge.
On Valentine's Day I opened up on my love life, or lack thereof, to The Gonzaga Bulletin in an article called "For some, love is a jar of Nutella." The subject is an area of fascination for some because the post exploded with views on Diamonds & Discoveries.
Seeing as this is primarily a fashion blog, there were a lot of great fashion moments for me this year. In fact, there are too many to highlight so I'll just chose a couple. Second to wearing Marc Jacobs from Barneys flagship store in New York, my most glamorous moment was being featured in Living High In-Style magazine back in April.
music, acting & writing
While music is my first love, I've slowed down on releasing music this year to redefine my sound. "Your World" is this year's pièce de résistance that premiered here on my 21st birthday. I also starred in a short film called "Words" and continue to update my online novel Prep Boy Secrets.
the gonzaga bulletin
Being the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Gonzaga Bulletin was full of challenges and rewards. I loved writing at least one article a week (each of which was shared on my blog), highlighting Gonzaga's artistic culture and occasionally pushing buttons like good journalists should. It was a great experience to strengthen my writing while celebrating what makes Gonzaga special. Two of my articles, "The good, the bad and the UGGly" and "Sweatpants, style and self-image," were met with equal parts praise and controversy. Those articles tested my willingness to stand up for what I believed in, a lesson I'll never forget.
The highlight of my college career was Z Life, Gonzaga's first online student fashion and lifestyle presence that I created. Using social media, GUTV, blogging, and my position at The Gonzaga Bulletin, I created a streamlined source of student style across multiple channels. Creating content for Z Life on Diamonds & Discoveries was a naturally perfect fit. This amazing project ended with a charity fashion show and an interview on KXLY 4 in Spokane.
As for what's in the future, I'm excited to announce I'll be re-branding myself and this website in the next couple of months. The blog will have a fresh design, new video content, high quality photography, new topics of conversation and interactive goodies for you all to enjoy. But not to worry, all of my old blog posts will still be available to view on the new website. I've learned a lot about blogging this past year and now I'm ready to take my brand to the next level. I'm excited to share this new adventure with you soon! As always, thank you for tuning in!