Travel Chronicles is an editorial feature for wejetset’s online magazine. Through an open and casual conversation it highlights how travel has shaped the talents, perspectives and experiences of creative and business professionals worldwide. This edition features Suzette Lee.
Suzette is a 23 year old native of San Francisco, currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She believes that combining the three elements of culture, travel, and art can produce a serious storm of goodness. She enjoys being mobile and rides her bike almost everywhere. Suzette is also a photographer, but does not like to limit her creativity and often translates her ideas across many different, yet cohesive, mediums. We spoke with her about her spontaneous move to New York City, her photographic process, and a recent accident she endured while biking on one of New York’s busiest thoroughfares. Click Read More for the interview.
I moved to New York when I was nineteen or twenty on a whim. I moved with $300 in my pocket, no stable place to live, two suitcases, four boxes of photos and all of my camera equipment, and I had my bike. That was it.
I decided to just come out here and try it. I fell in love, came back a week later, then a month later, and then finally the third time I stayed. It made me happy, and the fast paced city was very inspiring to me… the idea of motion and movement and constantly doing something was what I really needed in my life at the time.
I started shooting photographs when my grandpa passed away. He handed his old Minolta camera down to me. Once I was given that, I looked at it as a way of seeing life from a whole different perspective.
Recently I’ve been using the concept of being grounded versus motion and movement to inspire my work. I recently made an installation for an art show at the Puffin Room Gallery, and the concept was leaving your inner childhood and emerging into your adulthood. I used photographs of movement, transportation, and a tee-pee sculpture. It is six feet wide by eight feet tall, and each panel has an inverted black and white photograph of a method of transportation. It’s symbolic of me moving to New York, not having a place to live, making my own home and grounding it all somehow—even though I’m still moving with it.
I was in an accident this past Labor Day weekend. I hit a pothole while coming home from an art show. I didn’t see the pothole and my face slammed on the stem of my bike—splitting my tongue open and knocking teeth out.
I don’t know why but I felt like I needed to get back on that bike. I don’t know what was the driving force but I felt like it would make me feel a lot better. There’s something that I was told when I was younger, and it was to always have perseverance. If you love something, go with it, because passion is the best thing that can keep you going. I felt like I couldn’t fear something that I really love, and if I feared it, then I would never get back to it. And I wouldn’t want to see myself step out of something that I love so much because of one pitfall, you know?