PART I – The Light Years Project: Tales from the Tuk Tuk
Photos & Text by William Jerard Coleman
YOU are invited into the journey…
Dear Travel Diary,
I am writing you from the beautifully ornate lake city of Udaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan, India. Here, in the thought inducing landscape, I cannot help but to reflect on my path here, to this place, both externally and internally.
My decision to walk away from a successful career in corporate America has been filled with amazing discovery, shadows of doubt and delight filled relief. The past eight years of global travel and art/volunteer fueled networking has yielded results that I could have never imagined. With friendships and family all over the globe, the scope of possibility for my life has widened beyond any measurement I can fathom. This is what I wish for every person, unlimited possibility. In these moments, I find confidence in my decision to co-found The Light Years Project and give up all my worldly possessions in an effort to explore as much of the globe as humanly possible, while sharing my perspective, through word and photo, with those back home.
It is also in these moments, that I shove all my fears into the bottom of my backpack and face forward into the awe-inspiring open road. With my uncertainties behind me and my curiosity as my compass, I dive head first into the dark pool of discovery. With every new city comes new realizations of an old truth, this planet and its inhabitants are amazing!
With every realization of this old truth comes more assurance that I must show my friends and family back in Lake County the labyrinth of inspiration that is waiting for them in their home, on their planet. Although I miss them very dearly with every extended excursion, the common terms of relativity known as aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, sister, mother and father, seems to extend to the new people I meet and reminds me of them daily.
Oh diary, I am so excited to recap with you these past eight years of inspiring experiences. I want to relive all of it: touring the street wares of Mexico City, shopping in the jade markets of Hong Kong, dancing with friends in enchanting streets of Havana, getting lost in the art galleries of Tian Zi Fung in Shanghai, being inspired by the aesthetic of springtime in Paris falling in love with the village children of India, swimming in lakes at the foothills of the Himalayas in Pokhara, Nepal & bathing in waterfalls of Malaysia. Who knows what’s waiting for me as I continue on my journey? One thing is for sure, you are coming with me, every step of the way!
William Jerard Coleman, co-founder of The Light Years Project, is a freelance artist and global nomad. In 2012, after ten successful years in the corporate sector, he presented his first exhibition “Recondite Mechanics” in the loft venue of Space1858 in Chicago.
Having established a firm grip on his dedication to artistry, he moved to Paris to further develop himself and evolve his approach to poetic influence, form & technique. After a spring in Paris, he then traveled to India where he spent time focusing purely on photography while volunteering in local orphanages and schools in the area. After developing The Light Years Project alongside Gemma Kiddy of London, he headed back to India to spend a year presenting his work through pop-up exhibitions in the streets of Fort Kochi, Kerala, India.
He volunteered for the Vikram Sarabhai Science Foundation in the local Indian village of Perumbavoor where he was commissioned to develop an exhibition for the boutique homestay, Niyati, of Southern India. In 2015, he returned home where he produced and presented his first documentary “BLACK – (N) (V) (ADJ)” while completing an artist residency in the historic Karcher Art Lofts of Waukegan.
Coleman is currently traveling around India & South East Asia, promoting The Light Years Project and adding to his expanding portfolio of artistic works. For information about The Light Years Project visit https://www.facebook.com/TheLightYearsProject/timeline.