I was born the winter after the 'Summer of Love', December 26, 1967. Hello world. Meet Helen Lucille Simmons-3 months old.
My grandmother, Hattie Simmons, brought me home at birth from New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital and raised me as her own daughter in Brooklyn, NY. Without her guidance, immense love and faith in me I would not be here. Period.
I attended Prince of Peace Lutheran Day School in Brooklyn, NY. By the time I was 10 years old I was drawing everyday and already editor of the classroom comic strip.
Hanging with some friends in the cafeteria at Brooklyn Technical High School, one of New York City's 3 specialized science high schools. Yeah. We had to take material science, foundry, chemistry, trigonometry and physics but we were some of the coolest machinists, chemists, industrial designers around.
In between sketches, working on theatrical shows and studying for costume design classes I managed to pretend I was a model...it lasted a day. I got hungry and I had homework.
Purchase College was the third university I attended. In May 1996 I graduated from the Professional Conservatory of Theatrical Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts costume design degree. I was working as a professional dresser on Broadway, a costume designer for theatre and wardrobe supervisor in film within a month of graduating. I haven't stopped yet.
I moved from Brooklyn, NY to Baltimore County in 2003. I was a costumer on the acclaimed HBO series 'The Wire'. Best Job Ever and Best Crew Ever!
In April 2008 I met my husband for the first time briefly (a 30 second greeting as we passed each other in a hallway). In June 2009 we met again and by July 2010 I was Mrs. Phil Collen We got the tattoos before we got married. They were his idea. It was a good idea.
A few years ago my husband suggested I submit photos to an exhibit held at a Rock Paper Photo gallery event in NYC. It was awesome. And yeah. I got bit by the 'photo gallery' bug so here I am.
Traveling with my husband is always an adventure and allows me to take some of the most breathtaking photos at some of the most insane locations in the world. We just breathe deep and take it all in. What a life...
(This photo was taken atop one of the Teotihuacán Temples in Mexico)
I'm loving this because I was loved....Rest In Peace, Mom. I love you. I miss you. We miss you...
(Hattie Simmons/August 12, 1919-March 4, 2015)
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Use without permission is expressly prohibited.