I’m going to start this by acknowledging a few things: Firstly, I am a photographer, you can see my work on this site, it is often hot young men wearing little in the way of clothing. I am an older gay man, who likes younger gay men, usually defined as ‘twinks’. I go to the gym 5 days a week, and I enjoy it.
You might think: Who am I to write an article about being fashionably fit? Of course I like that. Of course I think a toned body is better than a not-toned body. I photograph them every month and then put them up for display on this website. But I also believe that looks, at least in terms of muscles and toned abs etc – aren’t everything.
A quick look around your local bookstore, or a browse on the internet will find you a plethora of how-to guides on getting thin, loosing weight, bulking up, getting in shape, or any number of other catchy ways to tell you that you’re too fat, and here’s how to fix it. Primarily I want to address some of these messages, their anti-messages, and the misconceptions that go along with them all.
Firstly: Body image is an important factor in one’s self-esteem. I think we can all remember that moment, for me it was in high-school when you realised that not being picked for the sport team, wasn’t just because you were uncool, it was also because you weren’t fit, or you were too fat to be considered sporty. I think most people, myself included would put how we consider the way we look to be a, if not the, major factor in whether we feel good about ourselves. There are two conflicting messages being sent about how we should look, and I think they are both as dangerous as each other. The first, we have been hearing for years and that is that thin is beautiful. If you’re thin, you’re hot. Magazines and catwalks have been toting it forever. If you’re a bit overweight, you’re somehow lesser than others. On the flip side, is a newer message, that big is beautiful. Being larger doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful or worthwhile – it’s just as beautiful as skinny! It’s a lifesaver – no matter where you find yourself, you’re beautiful – win! In my opinion (not a medical one – just my own experience) neither of these messages are healthy. First of all, the body size you have now, isn’t really related to your overall fitness. Just because someone is thin, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are fit and healthy, it just means they are thin. On the other hand, if you are more than a few kilos overweight, it’s very likely that you’re not fit and healthy – but you can be. What is more important than how big your body is, is if your body is healthy.
Secondly: Being fit is easier than you think. You don’t have to strap on the figure-hugging lycra and step into a room of sweaty strangers in order to be fit. All it takes is a little perseverance and time. Mostly, it takes changing a few things that you do, in order to have the greatest effect. For many people, going to the gym can be intimidating. When I lived in Australia, I went to a small suburban gym and being in a room filled with housewives trying to burn off the baby fat wasn’t all that bad. I went 5 days a week and I lifted weights, ran, stretched etc. I spent about an hour each time, and while I never got ripped or incredibly muscular, I felt good that I was doing something more than spend all day in front of a computer screen or behind the wheel of my car. Since I moved to Germany, the gym I go to is mostly frequented by large muscular men able to easily lift my body weight without blinking. They’re also much taller than me. Intimidation level = high. For a while, it put me off, so I stuck to doing a workout at home. Run around the block for 5kms, come home do a few situps and pushups and leave it at that. I have since returned to the gym, and I am now seeing some actual results. Results I am really excited about, and that help me want to go next time. Here’s a few things I have learned or realised since moving to Germany, and getting a body I can be really proud of.
Eat less, move more, isn’t entirely accurate. Sure if you’re eating the equivalent of a family of two’s intake for each meal, then perhaps cutting back is a good idea. But generally speaking, you’re not eating enough food now, and cutting back is probably a bad idea. You’ll never lose weight by eating less food. Your body needs energy to run itself, even if that is just sitting in front of a computer at work or uni. Breathing uses carbs. You need to eat them first. Having said that, you probably need to cut back on the crap food you’re eating and put better food into your mouths. If your idea of doing the dishes is throwing away the McDonald’s wrapper, I’m looking at you. Simply trading crappy take-out food for a healthier home-made alternative will make a massive difference in your weight-loss and fitness goals. In fact, what you eat accounts for up to 80% of the results you see when you work out. Yes, I know you’re busy, and perhaps don’t have time to cook every night, or maybe you’re not that good with a hob. Grab a basic cook book from your local store and start practicing. It’s fun and easy once you get into it, and you’ll start making the time to cook yourself a decent dinner each night. There’s also plenty of you-tube channels that can help you get started. Eating better doesn’t mean starving yourself, or not having the fun things – I can often be found enjoying a spoon-full (or seven) of Nutella, and I am quite partial to a snickers bar every few days. I admit, I don’t eat much fast food – more because it’s not available here – there’s only 4 McDonald’s stores in my town, and they’re the biggest chain. But I have found myself not wanting it because frankly, better things are available.
If you want to start working out to either bulk up or help lose weight (and no one is saying you need to) then before you simply sign up for a gym and pay for an expensive membership so that you can go along once a week and fool around a bit on the machines, go along for a trial session – most gyms and all the good ones should allow you at least one free workout before you sign up, and most of them have qualified personal trainers on staff that you can ask if you’re not sure how to use a machine. Doing an exercise wrong is worse than not doing it at all. Especially when you’re starting out – you can cause serious damage lifting something incorrectly. I highly recommend speaking with a personal trainer about what your goals are, and what to do to best achieve them. They should be able to give you a basic program to get you started that you should follow.
Determination is the next biggest thing you will need. Whether you’re bulking up, losing weight or just want to be fit, results take time. You’re not going to walk out the first day looking like the guys in the weights section who are nothing but muscle. They’ve been there since they could walk – it all takes time. It might be obvious, but the biggest thing that stops people is not getting results. I know, it has stopped me more than once. You’ll need to work out a system that suits you and your goals – it might be being able to run faster on the treadmill each week, maybe lifting an extra few kilos each month, perhaps losing a certain number of kilos or pant sizes each month. Whatever your goals, make sure they are realistic and trackable. My goals include losing the fat around my middle and increasing my muscles. I don’t have a goal concerning my weight because as I lose fat, I gain muscle which is heavier. Since starting my program 8 months ago I have lost 4 inches off my waist, but only 2 kilos off my overall weight. I decided that the best way to track my progress was to use progress photos. Personally, when I look into the mirror, I don’t see much difference from when I started. I still don’t. Even though I know that I have made major advances. I know that I have because I have photos from each week, and I can compare how I looked months ago, to how I look now. This works for me. It might for you, perhaps not – it is a personal thing. What I do know, is that tracking your progress needs to be done regularly, but not too frequently – especially at the start. Weekly is plenty, but perhaps fortnightly or monthly is best. The results you see will be more obvious over time than day to day.
Consider changing a few small habits for the better. When I moved to Germany, I moved to a town that was small enough to not need a car, so I bought a bike. I now ride to work each day, and if it’s snowing or particularly warm, I might walk instead. I spend very little time on public transport or driving. In fact, I rarely even get a ride with a friend unless it’s absolutely necessary. Changing a habit of driving everywhere, to walking when I could (there is an excellent transport system here – I don’t have to walk, I choose to) means that I am generally fitter, I get more fresh air and sunlight than I did in Australia tucked safely in my car (who’d have thought) and I spend much less time on Facebook because I need to give myself more time to get places.
There’s no ‘perfect’ body – just the body that’s perfect for you. While fashion magazines and fitness magazines tell you that thin is best, or having bulking muscles is better, it’s not always true. Love what you have and others will love you too. Whether you’re a skinny adorable twink or a cuddly muscle-daddy (or anything in between), love the skin you’re in. Life is long, and it’s more fun spent doing interesting things than cooped up inside a hospital room because you’re too unhealthy to do anything else. Look after your body, it’ll love you for it.
So, I managed to put the part onto the bike, and it even worked for a few weeks. It made a strange kind of clunking, and the chain would slip and make it difficult to ride. Eventually as I was riding along towards the gym, the chain snapped and that was that. Done and done. I had to walk it home again, and then yesterday I walked it back through the city to another bike shop that my friend recommended. They fixed it over night with a new chain and fixed the problem with the rear gear not changing. It still clicks a bit and the gears are a bit sticky, but it rides. Hopefully it only has to last a few more weeks until I can get a brand new bike – one that doesn’t clunk and fall apart and isn’t made from bastardised parts of other bikes. Anyway – there’s some interesting stuff in the works here, including working at a school teaching photography and running a photography club after school, and working in a bar that opens later this month taking photos. I’m looking forward to it, and as soon as there are more details to share, I will!
I know it’s probably not good form to blow one’s own horn, but some things just get me a little excitedly giddy. This is one of them. Recently I submitted some photos to DNA Magazine and they put them up on their blog website. This morning I received the weekly email that they send out, which is usually full of hot guys that have been sent in from various sources, some from their print magazine, others from photographers like me. I opened the email and lo! there was one of my pictures! So hopefully lots of people click the link and go take a look! I’m pretty chuffed really. It’s nice when your work is appreciated!
Here’s the email link:
I’ve entered my work in the online competition Exposure 2013 run by See.me. The grand prize is $30,000 in cash grants and an exhibition in New York city – it’d be amazing to win! There’s also a people’s choice award which you can vote for!
simply go to this link:
and vote for my profile! It’s that easy!! 🙂
I hope to get a lot of votes so please vote and share with your friends!
So the search continues to find a decent location to run a gallery here in Bremen. I found a nice little shop in a popular shopping/cafe area, and I worked myself into a bit of a tizzy before I called them – my German isn’t great and I was mostly worried that they wouldn’t quite understand what I wanted – but when I called, I got their answering machine, which told me that they were closed until 16:00 today, and only open 3 days a week anyway! That must be a fun life to have!! haha
Anyway, I left them a message in German (so I hope it made some sense) and I await their call back, maybe today, maybe in a few days… nothing seems to happen very quickly around here.
More to come…
I notice that every so often I think ‘oh, I should write something on my blog’. Then the next thought is usually ‘but, what??’ I don’t really have all that much to talk about – however I notice that doesn’t stop the teens on YouTube from posting videos about nothing each week. Anyway, I’m in Frankfurt at the moment. Waiting for my bus home to Bremen. It’s not for another two hours and I’m currently at an Irish pub across from the train station where my bus leaves from having a drink of cider (which it turns out, I don’t really like) and using their free wifi. Yay.
So, I guess I should update you right? So I finally went for my visa application for Germany and I almost have a visa. I have a thing called a fichtungsbeshinigung or something which says that I can stay until January or they make another decision. I have another appointment in the beginning of December at which time I am pretty certain I will get my shiny new visa in return for €100 or so. So yay for being almost legal right!??
In other news, after 10 months of trying to get the word out about. My photography school and tours etc, I signed on with Groupon and did a short deal for a couple of days and sold 103 vouchers. Way more than I thought I would sell. Incredible. I now have more students than I can see in a reasonable time, so it’s a good thing that the voucher is good for 6 months!! So things are starting to really happen on that front, but it hasn’t been without its setbacks. I’ve spent a lot of money on advertising for absolutely no return, and I spent nothing on Groupon and got an immeasurable increase in my sales and student numbers. I have another meeting with them on Thursday to create something for Christmas – so fingers crossed that goes just as well.
I’m also increasing the amount of shoots I’m doing for online LGBTIQ magazine out-spoken.org. I have a shoot lined up in London next month that I’m really looking forward to, I just wish I. Had more knowledge on how these things usually get put together. I’m thinking it actually would be easier to just buy the clothes I want to use for the shoot then return them afterwards. I wonder how many times you can get away with that though.
Anyway, some things are going really well, others are just starting out and some things have stalled a bit. For instance I am working on going to Eurovision again next year to report for 4zzz and I’m running a fundraiser to get a team over there for it (www.pozible.com/sonnyspells) and we got off to a good start, but it seems to have stalled and I’m struggling a bit to keep things going when I’m so far away from where most of the action is happening in Australia. (also I find myself having to motivate the main reporter on the team to do anything, which is a bit frustrating.)
Then there is my gallery. For those who don’t know, I want to open my own art gallery. I really want to make something huge that is totally different to anything that currently exists, but I don’t have the € or in Bremen, the space for such a thing. I have found a spot that would be good for a single room toned-down version but I have so far been unable to get any informant about it from the estate agent. Since they take a commission you would think that they would be really keen to get it rented but still. I’ve sent them a couple of emails now and I will be calling them on Tuesday when I get back to Bremen.
I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the bus ride home. 7 hours. 7. I intend to out my headphones on and go to sleep and stretch out a bit on the seat. I hope it’s not a full bus. Unless I get to sit next to someone who is really cute and gay. Or gayish. Probably it’d be better to have a spare seat next to me though.
I think that’s enough for now. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter – @adhollowayart or on Facebook
See you round kids!
If you have ever thought about being an “Art Collector”, here is a chance to do it. Become one of my Art Collectors.
The benefits are enormous.
The Art Collector Program is something you will find extremely valuable as time goes on. I guarantee it! The earlier and longer you are a member, the greater your rewards. My Art Collectors get very significant rewards and added value for their support of my work.
There is something special about having a collection of works that comes directly from one artist.
This is far better and very different from having bought the art from a middle-man (e.g. retail art gallery, store, auction house, or website). The key distinction is a personal connection to the artist. Oddly enough, this is something most art collectors never get from their art. It makes a big difference in how one can appreciate the art over time. This special relationship is very fulfilling for my collectors and for me.
Today, many people want to display a collection of photography in their homes or offices.
Fine Art Photography can be very appealing, creates a beautiful look for home or office and is more affordable than a large collection of original paintings. Images are available as prints which can be framed, or on ready-to-hang canvas.
What defines one of my Art Collectors? It is really very simple. A Collector is someone who purchases a group or custom set of my fine art photographs. The cost of the Collection is dependent on the size of the Collector’s desired set and the size of the printed images.
Here is your chance to become a true Collector of an individual artist. This special program is available to a select few who value the creativity of the artist (that’s me) and want to have a rewarding relationship with the artist. Collectors receive significant savings and value beyond what would be possible buying several items over time. Members of the Collector program have access to exclusive works, and the program is tailor-made to suit your tastes and preferred style. Collectors of my work will also receive exclusive offers and first-view of new works that complement their existing collection.
If you would like to learn more about becoming one of my Art Collectors, please send me an email so we can discuss it. I am sure you will find the opportunity stimulating and rewarding.
If you have ever thought about being a “Patron of the Arts,” here is a chance to do it. Become one of my Art Patrons.
The benefits are enormous. The Art Patron Program is something you will find extremely valuable as time goes on. I guarantee it! The earlier and longer you are a member, the greater your rewards. My Art Patrons get very significant rewards and added value for their support of my work.
Many years ago artists created their best work for their Patrons.
Today, professional artists are often creating works aimed at a Retail Art Galleries and a “commercial” or “retail” market.
In the renaissance era, artists had patrons who supplied the funds, accommodation or materials for the artist to create work. The artist was then able to focus their time and efforts on creating new work, often then given to the patron for their private collection, although sometimes the work was made for use in a public setting. Today, many professional artists rely on creating work for retail galleries in the hope they can make enough to cover their costs and expenses. This has the artists making art for the market, or what they think will give them the best chance to sell, rather than making work that is a true expression of their artistic vision.
Here is your chance to become a true Patron of an individual artist. This special program is available to a select few who value the creativity of the artist (that’s me) and want to have an exclusive and rewarding relationship with the artist. Members of the patron program have access to exclusive work, and the program is tailor-made to suit your tastes and preferred style. Patrons of my work will get more value from being a member of the program than their financial contribution to it.
If you would like to learn more about becoming one of my Art Patrons, please send me an email so we can discuss it. I am sure you will find the opportunity stimulating and rewarding. There is no tax deduction for this patronage. Instead, you may gain a very special place in Art History.
I’m running a photographic art school these school holidays in Bremen! Enrolments now open! course is in English, various dates available!
Thanks for donating!!!
Why This Fundraiser?
Unfortunately, these projects have come slower than I had anticipated, and my camera equipment needs an urgent upgrade. Due to limitations on my Visa for this country, I am unable to work outside being an artist or working with my camera. As my income here in Bremen has just begun, I no longer have the savings to purchase a new camera to work with. With no camera, there means no earnings at all!
I have managed to locate a second-hand D7000 for only 800 euro. It is good quality and less than one year old, and will allow me to work for another few years before requiring another upgrade to my equipment. This is where I need your help – my current income cannot cover the cost of a new camera, and I am unable to work without one. I am asking that you, my friend donate a few dollars towards my new camera, and I will be eternally grateful! In return, for every donation over 50 (Dollars or Euro) I will send you a poster print (50 x 70cm) of one of the photos shown below- simply add a note on your donation of which image you would like to have! You can donate easily via PayPal of if you prefer send me an email and I can send you bank details. 🙂 Donate Here
I will make note on here of each person who donates money as well as a post on my facebook pages and twitter – including a picture of me with a personal thank-you note! What could be better than that?!? Donate Here
so it’s been about 5 months since I moved to Germany with my boyfriend. Things are going really well for him – he’s on to running his third choir. On the other hand, I am struggling to earn more than 50 euro a week. I really am doing everything I can think of doing, I have applied for jobs tutoring english, I have applied to be an event photographer, I have started offering tours of the city and photography workshops, I’ve even started plans to open my own art gallery. I have started a lot of things, but right now, there’s nothing happening results wise. I’ve done 2 city tours, one workshop and I have two students to tutor. I just don’t know how much longer I can really go on like this, with nothing happening and nothing looking likely to happen. I really do hate to whinge and vent, but I don’t really have any friends here yet that I can talk to, so it’s all kind of bottling up inside. It could also be that the wet weather today is not helping with my mood – it’s really not pleasent when it rains. This may not even be the best place to vent, but it’s pretty much all I have. It just seems as though every move I make means making less money, spending more and haveing more of a struggle to get through life. Seems like I’m never going to be one of those people who get to talk about their big break, or having finally made it good. I’m just forever going to struggle through with everything, and nothing will ever get any better.
Hot teenage boys are in fashion!
It’s Thursday of week two at Eurovision 2011 and it’s the morning of the Second Semi Final. I can tell you it’s going to be a great evening, the rehearsal for tonight final went off with almost no hitches, and the singing was almost great by everyone. It will be interesting to see who has the steel rods to get through the nerves and belt out a winning performance tonight to make it through to Saturday.
So far the event has been fantastic. We arrived on Sunday and quickly got setup emailing delegates asking for interviews, a few of which have been answered and we have had some official interviews and some we have had to sneak in on whenever we’ve had a chance sighting.
My personal highlight is seeing Eric Saade from Sweden not only live on stage, but also live, in person about 5 meters away from me when he stepped out of his hotel, while I was waiting for another performer to interview. He was onto his bus and gone within seconds, but I got a good up-close look at the man, very much one of the prettiest boys on campus here at the 2011 Contest. If you don’t count the young and very cute Jedward that is.
Anyway, it’s been such a busy time here, with people to interview (or chase down trying to organise a time to interview) Endless emails and phone calls back and forth and ‘we’ll call you if we can meet you’ etc I haven’t even been able to finish this update! It’s now the final day, the finalists are all chosen, and are currently running through the third and final rehearsal before the event tonight. and we are still chasing down people to interview – hoping to catch Glen from Malta at his surprise birthday party this afternoon… though we are not sure we will make it there in time!
Well it’s going to be an exciting night, and if the rain goes away we should be able to get some interviews of people coming into the arena before it all starts!
I’ve also been heading out to some of the parties that have been happening around town, and getting lots of great photos – you can see them here: