Loco Motive!


Picking up where I left off, with the question of “how on earth do I document over 60 villages?!” when I’d thought it was going to be 15, when I’ve got a full time job and other projects on top of that? How to make this happen when I’ve got a fully scheduled life happening already and hadn’t worked into my 2014-15 calendar “photo document people from here to Oaxacan kingdom come “?

Well the answer is actually quite simple.  When the task before you makes total sense no matter how you slice it, you find the time. And that’s how I see this project. I find it to be profoundly inspiring, meaningful, important, challenging and fascinating. And in the long run it might even feed me. So I’ve hired people to do most of my day job; great people to guide the tours I was to guide; an excellent manager for my tour company who does the job WAY better than I ever did.

And then, tighten the belt a bit and go to work. And while I’ve had no clear map at all as to how I’d get from point A to B on this project, nor even point A to A.1, the vision has been enough…more than enough…it has felt like a locomotive inside of me pushing me forward.

Loco motive! And it has brought me a long ways.

Indeed, this month marks the one year anniversary of the first photos created for Living Threads. It has been a year of immense creativity, tremendous journeys into the fabulous corners of Oaxaca, lots of being exhaustion and the making real of a day dream built on the dangled carrot of  “would you like to write a book on Oaxacan textiles?”.

As of today I have worked in 35 villages, photographing some 130 beautiful woman and men. And in one hour from now we head out again for another 7-day field trip. We are headed to the upper Mixteca to visit a handful of villages out there where there might or might not still be living textiles. In my upcoming blog posts I’ll share tales from the road…from this trip about to unfold, as well as from other trips from this past year and upcoming weeks.  I’ll give you a peek behind the scenes and I’ll even share some of the finished work with you.

Join me for the journey, and tell your friends. It’s not every day we get to take a trip like this!


5 thoughts on “Loco Motive!

  1. HI Eric,

    I was on your textile trip in March 2013 that started in Huatulco. So glad I found your new blog and didn’t realize you’ve been doing the work for a year already. What a great project! Really excited to see your pictures. If you need editing (not so much for the photos) or other help along the way, let me know. As a TSA member, I’m still waiting for your fall silk talk to come out in their “proceedings.”

    Marsha Heiman


    • Hi Marsha, I remember! Nice to hear from you. I will take you up on your offer to edit, sending you blogposts pre-publication. I’m a horrible editor! Photos I’ll take care of though :). Dunno about the silk talk via TSA, their were serious technical problems during my talk so things got a bit chopped up. Might be why they haven’t posted. Thanks for writing. -Eric


  2. OH, I’m so envious. I remember driving back roads forty years ago all over Mexico. It was and is the highlight of my life! THANK YOU for documenting all this. Somehow you WILL get from Point A to Z.
    Wish National Geographic of Smithsonian or someone like that was documenting your trip…….it won’t be long and so much of that will be gone.
    A group of women who are the purple dye weavers are in San Miguel this week! How wonderful to meet them again……….


  3. The backroads are all still out here…different to be sure from 40 years ago…and yet in many ways still the same. But yes, much of this, the older ways, won’t be around much longer, the flood tide of hurried change finds its way everywhere out here…the concrete-rebar-polyester revolution is in full swing it would seem. How cool that the purple dye weavers are there…I am guessing you mean those from Pinotepa de Don Luis? We were there 3 weeks ago photgraphing.


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