My name is Sam Mondello, and I will be your humble guide for the course of this adventure. I am an artist, of course, but for this semester, I am also a nomad. I was sworn to wander the hallowed grounds of the UNC campus, but during our modern days of plague I will travel home, experiencing the adventure among the pine trees and sandy beaches of Wilmington, NC. I’ve lived in Wilmington most of my life, and always on the water. My family consists of myself (20F), Max (17M), Mom, Dad, and Comet Cupid (14 dog). Sometimes one of my cousins will spend a few months here, and my brother’s best friend Gage is a semi-permanent resident, the twin Max never had. As a family we go on mountain-biking centric vacations, and we often drag the boat along if the destination is on the coast or near a lake.
Something I always do when out on the boat, driving around town, or walking the dog is to take pictures of the sky, and sunsets are my favorite sky to capture. One might think taking photos of sunset would be hard to do on the east coast, but I like to think of it as my personal challenge. Below is a sunset from my December 24th, 2016 photoset, taken from the dock in my neighborhood after an evening on the boat. To see more, check out my photography blog– though I admit I take more pictures than I can post, and am a few years behind on uploading.
But what else am I? I am a junior this year, working on an English major, and a double minor of Philosophy and Studio Arts. My English major is concentrated in Social Justice, as I am very much concerned with the ways our justice system works- especially how it harms people. I plan to go to Law School next, to follow in the footsteps of my mother and become an attorney. But that’s just the academic stuff. My true passions follow the laws of creativity.
Baking, cooking, knitting, crocheting, modifying clothes, forming dice molds from silicon and pouring dice made of resin, sculpting horns and creating makeup-looks for cosplay, engaging in collaborative storytelling through roleplaying and D&D, and of course drawing are all part of my creativity. My rule of thumb is: if you have the materials available, theres no reason to not try! My creative projects might not look the best or have the most talent, but I have fun doing them, and take pleasure in pointing at something and saying “I made that. I spent the time and the effort, and this thing is mine”. Fantasy is my favorite genre because it encourages such an outpouring of creativity. It gives you the freedom to take more ridiculous liberties than might be otherwise allowed. Thats why I love D&D so much, as the role-playing adventure game inspires creativity in so many forms.
As you can see from the painting above (and my earlier drawings), fantastical creatures are a favorite subject of mine. I’m hoping to expand my drawing/painting range by getting more in touch with nature throughout this course. I won’t be doing this alone though. My trusty dog, Comet Cupid Mondello, will be right by my side! He’s a 14 year old rat terrier, a dog who shook off cancer, a toe amputation, and falling out of/getting hit by a golf-cart. He is a bit rebellious, but the best partner an adventurer could ask for.