Acentric Magazine | Issue 5 – Pale Waves

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founder & editor in chief ANGELICA NICOLLE ABALOS



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CONTACT Acentric Magazine encourages submissions of any kind. If you are interested in contributing to the magazine and would like to interview, review, write or photograph for us, please send a general inquiries email with “Join Acentric” in the subject line.

SPECIAL THANKS PALE WAVES Joshua Hammond & James Steers Press Here Publicity JESSICA CHILDRESS Felecia Bearden The Purple Agency


general inquiries

Kristin Juel Juel Concepts

press inquiries

FEATURED GUESTS Jen Appel, The Catalyst Publicity Group Hannah Davis, BANGS Shoes Monique Doron Rashel Fitchett, Pacific Crest Silver Rebecca Seals Isha Shah Lhoycel Marie Teope

ACENTRIC MAGAZINE | JUNE 2018 | ISSUE 5 Acentric Magazine is a print and web based publication where you can discover and keep up with established and emerging creatives, across all industries and from all corners of the world. At its core, Acentric Magazine is dedicated to sharing our passions, building a community of innovators, and encouraging others to do the same.

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Acentric Magazine stems from the love of music, artful storytelling and creative collaboration. We are a group of dedicated individuals with a focus on elevating visionaries in the areas of art, entertainment and pop culture. Every artist has a story to tell. We’re here to amplify their voices and make their stories known.

cover photo JORDYN BESCHEL

Published quarterly. Printed in USA. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. All rights reserved on entire contents. Acentric Magazine would like to thank everyone who has furnished information and materials for this issue. Unless otherwise noted, artists featured in Acentric Magazine retain copyright to their work. Every effort has been made to reach copyright owners or their representatives.


04 MONIQUE DORON Designer + Illustrator




14 RASHEL FITCHETT of Pacific Crest Silver


Music Photographer

22 REBECCA SEALS Make Up Artist




Music + Fashion + Portrait Photographer


of The Catalyst Publicity Group


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Originally born in the Philippines, Monique Doron moved to the United States with her family at a young age. From there began her journey to becoming a now Chicago-based graphic designer. Doron’s career in the music industry has been fruitful, to say the least, and has brought her many fulfilling opportunities. We had the chance to speak with Doron about her early life, career, inspirations and next steps. Acentric Magazine: How did you get into design and illustration? Monique Doron: It feels kind of lame to say, “I’ve always been artistic since I was younger,” but that’s really how it is. Whether it be watercolors, paint, crayons, markers, I was always making or drawing something. Making art has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember. It’s just always naturally been there, I guess.

How did you find your style? I grew up watching a lot of cartoons and anime, so that definitely helped steer my drawing style growing up. The more I drew and created, the more I realized the things I liked and kept on refining it down that path. Stylistically, I’ve always had a soft spot for colors and funky patterns, but I think that comes from having such a fashionable mother and also coming from a place in the Philippines that’s pretty vibrant on its own.

words ASHTON GARNER portraits AMANDA HUERTA photos courtesy of MONIQUE DORON


Who are some influences?




Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein are definitely some big ones. When I was a kid I just really liked the way their art looked. The thick lines and bright colors were things I gravitated towards. The full portfolio of Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films, too, I’d say. I remember watching “Castle in the Sky” for the first time and being absolutely floored by the colors, animation and drawing style. Micah Lidberg is an amazing illustrator with some wild color palettes and I love looking at his artwork. What’s your typical workflow when designing for a project? Do you have any routines?

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First and foremost, I find a playlist, album or artist that fits the feel of the project. I can’t start until I find music that gets me motivated, although sometimes I end up down a music rabbit hole. After finding music, I create a mood board of some sort, whether it be a Pinterest board or just multiple tabs open in my browser. I look at drawing styles, patterns, palettes, anything that can help steer me in some

MAKING ART HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF ME FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. IT’S JUST ALWAYS NATURALLY BEEN THERE. sort of direction I like. From the mood board, I move on to the sketching and then final creation, but finding music to listen to is totally my step one. Whose music have you been listening to and inspired by lately? Oh man, there are a few! The Wonder Years’s Sister Cities. The Wonder Years are my favorite band and I think this newest record is such an important turn in their career. All of the imagery they have with it is absolutely stunning. Bazzi’s

COSMIC. Widely known by the single “Mine,” but I really hope everyone listens to the rest of that album because it’s all so good. “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” and “Bad News” by Leon Bridges. These two new singles have me HYPED for the upcoming release. Verse by Really From. I love me a trumpet. How did you get into designing for the music industry? What propelled you to work in music? My start in the music industry sort of felt natural, in a way. I loved the way album covers and gig posters looked. In high school, I started drawing flyers for local bands, but I didn’t really get into it until I started putting my artwork online and people would reach out to me about it. I created a lot of artwork based on lyrics and songs and bands that I loved. At the time, I didn’t really think that it’s be something I could create a career out of; it was just something I did for fun. Working in music has become so fulfilling for me. People keep wristbands, ticket stubs, gig posters and shirts of their favorite bands and festivals for years, and to have a part in those sort of memories is really humbling.

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What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on in the past? What made them special or unique? Oh wow, I’ve worked on some pretty cool stuff in the past couple of years. I remember the first real “album cover” I drew. It was for a band in New Jersey and I stayed up all night drawing it. It was like this chicken coop with legs and someone sitting in the tree or something like that. But they were so happy about it and it’s still one of the sentimental things I’m pretty proud about. Another cool project was branding our oncampus arts festival in college. I got to craft the whole visual identity and all the assets for it. It helped me realize that maybe designing for festivals - not necessarily in music - was a possibility as a career for me. Not to mention, it was pretty cool having my parents walk around on campus with me and see how it all turned out. You’re originally from the Philippines, how often do you visit your home in the Philippines? When I was growing up we used to visit almost every two years, but now that I’m an adult with a big-girl job that requires a lot of my time and attention, I haven’t really

THERE’S SOMETHING PRETTY COOL ABOUT BRINGING A BRAND TO LIFE AND HAVING IT CONNECT WITH AN AUDIENCE. had a schedule for it. Last year in 2017, was the first time I had been back in about eight years. How did Inday’s Place come to fruition? Can you give a backstory about its mission? Inday’s Place has been something in the back of my mind for a couple of years now. Early childhood education, accessibility and literacy have always been really important to me. My parents raised me with the belief that even just learning how to read and write can open so many doors. Having access to opportunities that help with that - and even just having school supplies - is so vital, especially in other countries. Inday’s place is still just getting started, but it’s really just a name for me raising money to bring supplies to towns

and schools in the Philippines. Last year in my hometown, I was able to give over 500 students between Pre-K and sixth grade school supplies. I hope to do more with it in the coming year and bring more supplies and other programs in the future. The ultimate goal is to eventually build a learning center that can hold tutoring lessons, a small library and maybe other events. Anything cool you’ve been working on lately? I’ve been working on a couple cool things. My day-job at Riot Fest always keeps me on my toes, so they’re always up to something. But as of recently, I’ve been working more in designing activation spaces like pop-up shops and other interactive events like that. What’s the next step in your career? Thinking of next steps is kind of terrifying, but I think moving forward creatively, I really want to start working on more activations and interactive marketing sort of stuff. There’s something pretty cool about bringing a brand to life and having it connect with an audience.


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With a heart of soul, singer Jessica Childress is a breath of fresh air to modern music. The voice and musical fluency of Jessica Childress leaves no other label to the mind, beside “artist.” But the singer-songwriter says she never considered herself one. Even through writing her own songs in high school and studying classical voice in college, the Los Angeles-native still didn’t think music was her future. But regardless of career plans or self-given labels, she needed music. Before Childress competed on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2013, before her debut album Days was released in late February — Childress would do anything to get her fingers on a piano. Baked goods in-hand, the then-college sophomore living in New York would bribe hotel staff to let her play their piano for just half an hour. Her other option was going to a small piano bar before opening hours and playing until customers arrived.

LISTEN, YOU’RE EITHER GONNA BE SCARED SINKING OR YOU’RE GONNA BE SCARED SWIMMING. AND YOU MIGHT AS WELL SWIM. Years later, that insatiable need to create sound and musical art is evident — her songs are filled with a variety of instruments and rhythms, reminiscent of old jazz and soul.

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The singer is infectiously bubbly. She laughs easily and smiles earnestly while talking about her craft. It’s no surprise that before music, her primary career was public relations. But after a seven-year stint in PR, the artist quit her job and decided to give full-time music a shot. “Listen, you’re either gonna be scared sinking or you’re gonna be scared swimming. And you might as well swim,” Childress says.

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The jump landed her on season four of “The Voice” on Usher’s team, which she labels as her “first musical thing of life.” Being on the show, Childress points back to a motivating piece of advice celebrity guest Pharrell gave her. “It’s about the people that are going listen to the music, and if you’re honest and authentic with your voice, with your songs, with your sound, with your personality, that’s going resonate,” Childress says, adding, “but just stay in that authentic space and it’ll be a matter of time.” Childress didn’t leave the show with a record deal, but she was committed to taking her music forward. She gathered acquaintances, started a band and started a show at Hotel Cafe on Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood. From that stage is where Childress celebrated the release of her 10song album this past February. “It’s really a chronology of all of the major points in my life,” she says about Days, adding, “The album is not necessarily a

theme, but it’s more like an introduction to who I really am.” The album-hit “Far Away” tells the story of Childress needing to leave her career in PR, the rest of the songs follow suit — telling stories about a toxic relationship and conflict in a close relationship. The album is simple, not dressed up “in a bunch of shit.”

“I’ve decided that if you touch my hair, I’m just gonna start caressing your face in an awkward way.” Empowering women is just one way that Childress lives out her life motto — living in your passion. The music industry isn’t about living a certain lifestyle or not working hard, Childress shares to anyone trying to break into the industry.

“The lyrics are how I talk, how I see the world. The lyrics are just a completely unvarnished look into my brain,” the singer says.

“Do it for the right reasons, then surround yourself with a good network and be prepared to work your ass off and to do it with joy,” Childress says.

When Childress isn’t writing lyrics, she’s writing direct messages to fans to talk about hair, she says. Empowering black women to feel comfortable rocking their natural hair is a side project on social media for the singer. Coming from a corporate background, Childress felt her hair was political, and it’s a topic she now ties into her music and her discussions with fans. And her own way to combat wandering hands?

Now that Days has introduced Childress to the world, she’s ready to keep up the relationship. As soon as the first album was finished, the singer-songwriter was on to the next. The next album is already close to being finished, Childress says, teasing that it will be an experiment of different genres and collaborations, while maintaining its roots in soul and storytelling — the heart of who Jessica Childress is.

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photos courtesy of HANNAH & MOLLY DAVIS

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BANGS shoes is a company that produces adventure inspired footwear in order to make the world a better place. An entrepreneur, yoga enthusiast and lover of the outdoors, Hannah Davis founded the company at the age of 22 after being inspired from a work boot style she discovered while teaching English in China. Currently based in Austin, Texas, Davis, and her sister, Molly, work together to run the online company. With a passion for helping others, Davis knew she wanted to find a way to give back in her career. “The shoe itself was actually more of an afterthought, which is probably not the best thing to say as the founder of a shoe company, but the company was more about the social mission for me. I graduated and really wanted to help people and I was inspired by companies like Toms and Patagonia, and other brands that were leveraging their businesses as a tool to impact social change, and I wanted to do that. Shoes just became the vehicle to get to that end goal.”

Originally founding the company herself and then being joined by her sister after talking to Molly’s college class, the two have worked hard in order to achieve the recognition BANGS has today. “I came and spoke at her college and I’ll never forget, I watched her face change and she was like ‘That’s what you’re doing?! That’s so cool!’ and she was one of the most impactful brand ambassadors we’ve ever had. She was a criminal justice major and was applying for the FBI when I recruited her. I was like, ‘Molly, I need a little more help with BANGS, it’s growing and I could use a little more support.’ She was like ‘Fine, only for a couple of hours’ and then a couple of hours eventually turned into two or three years.” Investing in thousands of entrepreneurs with the purchase of each shoe, BANGS has not only helped others, but it has also built a community of supportive people who uplift and sustain the impact. The company runs an ambassador program that, within three years, went from 20 ambassadors to 2,300. Enjoying the free flowing lifestyle of working without an office, and having the ability to roam as she pleases, Davis described what it is like to work online and the many pros of the absence of an office. “You know, when I first started, there was a lot of ego involved when doing

PUT DOWN WHAT YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO DO, AND JUST DO IT. something like this. You see people doing stuff and you’re like I wish I had this, or I wish I had that, and for a long time I was actually kind of embarrassed that we didn’t have an office,” Davis shared. “Now it’s kind of shifted into such a luxury. I might clock a 15-hour day, but it doesn’t feel as restrictive.” As BANGS continues to grow Davis concluded the interview with this advice: “Put down what you think you’re going to do and just do it. This quote is my favorite. The founder of LinkedIn said this, ‘If you are not horribly completely embarrassed by the first generation of your product or service or business, then you waited too long.’ I would agree with this. If I look at the first line of shoes that we put out, I can’t look at them. I think the lessons you learn from action are so much more valuable. Get as many experiences as you can. If I am going to hire somebody, I am going to value the person who has been working for five years over the person who has been in school for five years, any day of the week no questions asked.”

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photos courtesy of ABBIE KUNCH & RASHEL FITCHETT

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For the last three years, Washington-based Rashel Fitchett has created baubles worth drooling over. Her business Pacific Crest Silver is best known for her trademark statement rings that are made to last a lifetime. In this interview, Fitchett speaks on her start in the industry, shares some advice on silversmithing and her hopes for the future. Acentric Magazine: Tell us about yourself, including what you do and how you got there. Rashel Fitchett: I am the creator behind Pacific Crest Silver, a jewelry business that budded from the dusty boot path of the Pacific Crest Trail. In 2015, I found two garnets while hiking a 100-mile section of that laborious trail. From these two little red rocks, the desire to silversmith was set ablaze and, within a month, I had learned the basics of silversmithing and opened my shop. Three years later, my work has grown and I have settled into my niche: making knuckle-busting sterling silver rings that boast boldly unique gemstones.

What sets Pacific Crest Silver apart from other jewelry companies? Pacific Crest Silver clients repeatedly tell me that their connection with me brings them back to see what I am creating. I spend a solid chunk of time each day reaching out to as many of them as possible to just ask them about the unique stories of their lives. We often end up creating special pieces of jewelry that symbolize these important facets: anniversary rings, rings that symbolize a family unit, pendants to commemorate a loved one who has passed. They also tell me that the jewelry I build is the most heavy duty they have encountered and the craftsmanship is top-notch. This aspect of my making is extremely important to me. I just want someone’s grandchild to hold a ring that I have built in their hand, see that ring’s stamped birth date on the backplate and cherish the memory of who gave it to them.

MY MUSE IS MYSTERIOUS. What is your muse when creating your jewelry? My muse is mysterious. First she came in a dream prior to my hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, told me to bury all of my rings in the dirt and a beanstalk would grow. Shortly thereafter, I found a sterling silver boat charm with my lucky number, 21, on its sail at my doorstep. My paper lady - a crinkly old lady with long white hair - told me it wasn’t hers, that it had come to me for a reason and it was mine now. Then I found the garnets, bumped into a silversmith and learned the craft.


My creative growth was doing okay, but then another dream came. This time my friend, Helen, who had died when we were young, took my hand, pulled me across a grassy knoll and pointed to a rainbow. She told me without words that I had created the rainbow and it was by business now. We laid back in its warm glow and I knew my journey would be prosperous. After that dream I hiked again into the Pacific Crest Trail wilderness. My dog stopped us, three days deep into our journey and started digging – and she never digs. I looked around, realized this was the spot I had found the garnets in 2015. I dropped to my knees, dug with her and found 400 more garnets. When I returned from my trip, I knew the magic was real. I went to my design board, pulled the rainbow from my dream and began making my jewelry in color families. Each day, I gather stones of one fabulous color, arrange them, design with them, match them with other inspiring colorful works of art and present these collages to the world via social media. Colors are now my daily ritual and I connect with


What is the best piece of advice anyone has given you on running your own business?

What is your thought process like when coming up with new jewelry designs?

To keep the main thing, the main thing. Don’t get caught up in the daily highs and lows, detach from drama experienced in the social media world, and keep working and working and working. And while everyone else is spinning circles around the latest worrisome rumor about a social media platform, or how some other maker copied x, y, or z... I just keep my nose down toward my work.

When I sit down to create a piece of jewelry, I have usually chosen stones that boast strong earthy colors, which I have seen in artwork or photography of natural landscapes. Then I study each stone’s shape and unique pattern to choose which sterling silver details to place where. When do you determine a piece is finished and ready to be sent out?


When one of my pieces is beautiful enough to be published in a photograph, it is ready to head to its home. That usually includes the perfect color combination of stones, just the right silver details, a specific shade of oxidation on the silver that complements that stone’s color family and that perfected silver is buffed to a shine.


What is your favorite type of stone or other material to work with?


I love working with turquoise because my parents lived the biker lifestyle when I was growing up. Turquoise adorned all the hands that frequented our busy home.

CREATING. DON’T STOP. Acentric Magazine


photographers, artists, fashion designers and other influencers to enliven the flame inside me.

Do you have any advice for those who are interested in silversmithing or jewelry making? Just start. And every single day create your art. And keep on creating. Don’t stop. Let yourself make bad art. Then just keep making. Where do you hope Pacific Crest Silver will be in the future? I hope I will be able to lead others in silversmithing and small business development. I just started an online silversmithing course on Vimeo - you can read more about this project in progress at I want to teach and lead and make more beautiful hand art.


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Isha Shah is an up and coming music photographer based in London. She is most commonly linked with shooting for Interscope and her works with Jack Garratt as well as spearheading two publications, New Roots and Roots Creative. Shah was kind enough to answer some questions about how she got started as a photographer, some of her experiences so far and how she doesn’t fit into some of the music scenes in London, but has found where she is most comfortable. Shah provideds honest insight on how she stays inspired and shares some advice to aspiring music photographers looking to get into the scene. Acentric Magazine: Do you remember when you first had the urge to pick up a camera? When did you realize that music or concert photography was what you wanted to do? Isha Shah: Yes, I was studying media at A-level and, prior to that, I’d always take my digital camera to shows and take snaps and just really enjoyed doing that. My A-level course was music focused, so we had to make a music magazine, then a music video and it really got me into that world. I loved it so much because I couldn’t afford a new camera so they basically let me borrow it for two years. Did you find it difficult to develop or establish your own personal style? What do you think your style consists of? To begin with, yes, it was rather hard. I was always a fan of darker, grungy, grain and shadow-like photos and that did reflect in my early work. I do think it’s taken some time now, but I don’t have a particular style because I like to match the edit to the band or artist’s sound. I do use a lot of experimental techniques like double exposure and prisms, which I would say defines me more, and I love making wacky things that are a bit different. How is the music scene in London? Was it difficult getting a start in the music community or scene? It’s a hit-and-miss really and it all depends on genres, I guess. I’ve kind of hopped around from the local scenes a lot kind of trying them out and seeing if I liked them

I LOVE THE SHOWS, THE PEOPLE AND HOW THEY OPERATE or “fit in” and, honestly, after like three years I don’t. But I’m okay with that. There are some amazing people in each scene, but I do really find the rock-alt side is very hostile and not welcoming unless you’re a cis, white male. I’ve met some amazing people, but there is such a lack of support over here that was apparent when I went to New York to meet up with some creatives. Everyone over there seems super supportive and knows each other in a friendly, open manner. Here it seems like everyone is too good to help or share or support each other and it sucks. Like I said, it does depend on scenes and

words SALMA BUSTOS photos courtesy of ISHA SHAH now I’ve found myself shooting more mainstream, hip-hop, R&B, grime shows and the community is super welcoming. I love the shows, the people and how they operate, so I guess I’ve finally found a scene where I do relate more and it’s great! Do you feel that living in a bigger city where artists come through often has helped keep you inspired? A hundred percent! I studied in Southampton for three years and it still had an amazing music scene, but not a lot of big artists would come through often. It was still great because I got immersed into that scene and met some real great people and local venues like The Joiners. It was a nice stepping stone to when I’d


move back to London and be bombarded with bigger shows and how to deal with them. It does get too much at times being in London and seeing all these shows happen and then the clashes like you feel like you have to go to all of them. It does keep me inspired and striving to work hard and get approved for them. Do you have any tips and tricks you’d like to share with photographers who feel uninspired or unmotivated to keep shooting?

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It’s my second year doing the 365 photo challenge, where you post a photo you’ve taken everyday to kinda get you thinking about the mundane things in life and capturing them at different angles. That has helped me a lot in terms of looking at things with another perspective and actually making the effort in taking more photos. Meeting up with other photographers also helps a bunch! Watching and talking to them about their own process helps you think more about your own. And the more

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THIS INDUSTRY IS NEARLY ALL BASED ON LUCK SO IF YOU’RE ALWAYS SNAPPING THEN YOU INCREASE THAT CHANCE OF LUCK. obvious one is YouTube! You can learn so much just sitting at home! What advice would you give aspiring music photographers that are just getting started? So it’s the hard truth of things, but you most likely won’t get paid for shooting gigs in the first few years or so - don’t let [the money] be the drive. I was shooting gig for two years before I actually got paid and that was lucky because most people still don’t. Music photography is super hard and the best thing to do is shoot your local shows, bands, promoters, venues. Create

a name for yourself in your hometown or local scene because it can lead to bigger opportunities. This industry is nearly all based on luck so if you’re always snapping, then you increase that chance of luck. So get yourself working for publications because they have the access and contacts to get larger barrier shows that can be the next step for you! Who are your main photography inspirations? In what ways do they inspire you? I have so many photographers that inspire me on the daily and I’d be here forever if I was to make a list, but just a few I feel deserve a mention are Sara Feigin, Johnny Fonseca, Adele Sakey, Corey Eyre, Spencer Miller and Cina. Just seeing their work and what they create is always great! We all have different styles, but I would say the whole experimental side of what we all do inspires me to try new things and realize you can never go too wrong in the creative world. I also get inspired by any

form of art, like music or paintings and trying to incorporate that into photography is always fun. Fast forward to five years from now. When you look back on your career, what are a few things you hope to accomplish in that time frame? In five years time, I really, really hope that I’d be financially stable to be doing this full-time. Earning enough to have moved out and gotten my own place. I see myself working with a large record label or management team on the creative director side. Possibly even growing my own creative hub, Roots Creative, so that it’s a proper business that supports creatives all over the world and also has the funds to pay them for their work. Honestly, I just want to be touring loads, traveling even more and having fun. Just as long as I’m happy and supporting myself anything along those lines would make me satisfied.


words JAY MENDEZ photos courtesy of REBECCA SEALS

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Coming From Naples, Florida, Rebecca Seals has grown into a well-known and notably talented photographer and makeup artist. Her art has grown through the years with trial and error and has led her to many great opportunities, from YouTube features to traveling the world. We got to chat with Seals as she shared her story and gave us some quick tips and tricks, and gives some insight on her plans for the future.

Acentric Magazine: You originally started off in photography and eventually got into makeup. When did you have your “This is what I want to do” moment with makeup? When did you know that being a makeup artist was working for you and that you were essentially “making it”? Rebecca Seals: I originally got into makeup artistry because I couldn’t find any local MUA’s who were interested in fun editorial makeup. I slowly began to expand my makeup collection with my clientele and models in mind - and to be honest, I’ve always loved makeup so I was here for any excuse to buy more! As time went on I realized the aftershoot highs I was experiencing started to come more so from the makeup aspect rather than my photography. It was a really natural transition and I was really thankful I could

still incorporate my love for photography in there somewhere. As for the “I made it moment”, I really don’t think I could chalk it up to just one thing. I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities that whenever something amazing happens I feel like I get to relive that feeling all over again. That’ll always be what I cherish most about what I do. As a self taught makeup artist, where did you get your tips and tricks and gain your skills and techniques? Lots of trial and error, like a lot. I feel like nobody ever really touches on that. It was a lot of late nights and makeup wipes for me. The only way to truly learn and understand your craft is to fail - to understand how and why your idea didn’t pan out as planned, and to grasp what needs to be done next time to make that concept really come to life.

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What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to makeup users?

IT’S A SAFE PLACE FOR CREATIVITY. Which makeup artist inspired you to get into this industry? What about the artist motivated you to finally pursue your own career? Pat McGrath is hands down the woman who lit the fire in my soul. Her 2009 collaboration with Dior was most inspiring to me at the time - there was something about their work together that just felt right and assured me that working outside the lines led to beautiful things. I’m so thankful for her creativity and her lasting impact on our industry. How long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get your start in the industry? I believe I started doing set makeup around 2012, but I started posting my looks to Instagram around 2015. Instagram is the place that really let me be myself and gave me a platform to get my work out there. It was pretty much the start of everything. How would you describe your look and what would you say about your style that sets you apart from other makeup artist? I guess I’d describe my style as somewhat “bold/edgy”. I love bright colors, patterns and shapes. I think incorporating things into my work sets me apart from the average smokey eye - I like to see how far I can take a concept and what can be built off of that. What do you love most about the makeup industry? That there’s room for everyone here, anything and everything. Every style, every skin tone, it’s a safe place for creativity.

Never neglect your skincare routine! Your makeup will only look as good as the canvas underneath it all. A good skincare regime is something you’ll never regret and is surely something you can thank yourself for later. Do you see yourself uploading more content to YouTube and making it one of your main media platforms?

How do you keep up to date with the current trends? I stay active in supporting other creators most definitely - I feel like we’re always onto the next best thing. I love scrolling through my timeline to see what’s been inspiring everyone else and seeing how I can put my own twist on something. Whether it be fashion, graphic design, makeup artistry or even home decor. There’s common ground to be found everywhere. What is your favorite makeup item? (Mascara, lipstick, concealer, etc.) I don’t think I could live without mascara. Lashes are truly everything in a look. What is your favorite makeup brand? There’s no way on earth I could pick just one brand for everything. I have favorites for different categories, but even then there could never be just one! Do you have a “go to” makeup look? For everyday purposes, I’m a total skin junkie! I’m a die hard for a good youthful and dewy complexion, bold brows and long lashes. (of course)

Oh most definitely! I practically live on YouTube already so I’m excited to join and be a part of such an awesome community. What is something you enjoy outside of makeup? Do you have any other unique hobbies or hidden talents? I actually really love gaming! I used to be big into reading and now the only stories I make time for are the ones I can participate in first hand. Video games, as a medium, offer a unique space where storytelling, visual art and immersive audio all come together to form an experience unlike any other. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career thus far? Never tell anyone your next move. What lesson or piece of advice would you pass along to others just getting started in the field? Put the hours in and stay passionate. Any last words for our readers? How can we keep up with your art and career? You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @rebeccaseals, as well as subscribe to my YouTube channel!


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Eccentric, compelling and highly-devoted to their craft, Pale Waves are totally unstoppable— and they’re just getting started. Dark-indie-rock. Sparklegoth-pop. Trust me, we’ve seen it all. Classify them as you will, but Pale Waves has no bounds, both with their music and their captivating aesthetic. It’s only a matter of time before the British four-piece becomes a household name, as they’ve already been the talk of the industry since signing to Dirty Hit Records and playing with renowned acts, like their label-mates The 1975. On their most recent North American headline tour this spring, dates were sold out far in advance and venues had fans stationed in line well before doors were even open. Though this may not come as much a surprise to other established bands with dedicated fandoms in this day and age, Pale Waves is still new enough to the game that such idolization may not feel commonplace just yet – but the band is more than ready for it.


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Starting from a young age and inspired by her father, there was never a doubt in vocalist/guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie’s mind that music wasn’t exactly what she wanted. Now fronting a band of her own with drummer Ciara Doran, bassist Charlie Wood and guitarist Hugo Silvani, BaronGracie is watching the future of Pale Waves unfold rapidly before her very eyes. “We put out a few tracks and everyone just sort of instantly really connected with them and, I guess, now that [there’s] just so much hype and talk about us, there’s a demand for our album to come out so soon… We just really want to get it right.”


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It’s quite clear that Pale Waves is certainly doing something right. Between their cathartic yet danceable pop songs and alluringly occult-like appearance, it makes perfect sense that their fan base has grown exponentially in what may feel like the blink of an eye. “[A] lot of people really sort of get attracted to [our image] and intrigues them a lot. So a lot of people do mention our fashion sense to me quite a lot,” which makes sense in an industry that often seems to fixate on image. However, knowing that the music is what always comes first, Baron-Gracie’s found that their eccentric style has actually been helpful in creating a connection to their fans, especially their female fans.

“[A] lot of fans come up to us and they express their love towards me and Ciara for inspiring them with our fashion sense. A lot of fans have said to us that they felt not embarrassed, but uncomfortable with wearing what they actually wanted to wear, and so they saw me and Ciara walking out in whatever we were wearing... It’s really great that we can inspire them musically and with our fashion sense.” With the release of All The Things I Never Said - EP this past February, headlining shows across multiple countries and a burgeoning fanbase behind them, Pale Waves is constantly working hard at their craft to keep up with the demand. “There

is a lot of pressure because everyone’s listening to what you have to say over time and I don’t want to say the wrong thing or upset anyone.” With a band as young and thriving as they are, there is always going to be more to say, see and do in the eyes of critics. “I think we are all our worst enemies because, like I said, we are very new to this and we just want to get everything right.” Despite the internal struggles that may come up along the way, Baron-Gracie sounds more than confident with the direction of the band. Writing and recording their debut fulllength album has been at the forefront of their mind for quite some time now.

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The band has been working diligently behind the scenes alongside all of their other ventures. “I think yesterday was the first time that I really got to relax and not stress as much because I can see [the album] slowly coming together. It’s gonna be a great album,” she shares. “I’m still sort of writing the album right now, but I guess that’s all part of it… I’m just gonna try and write as much as I can and just pick the best songs in the end.” Though we’re all desperate to grab ahold of new Pale Waves material, BaronGracie is more eager to hit the road again. “I’m so excited to go on our album tour because that’s just going to be so great,”


I’M MOST NERVOUS AND EXCITED TO SEE HOW PEOPLE REACT TO THE ALBUM AND TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT. she shares with her spirited voice lighting up on the other end of the phone. “The studio is so stressful. You have to think about every little detail and, when we’re touring, you just get up and play so many great shows and meet so many people and see so many places that when I’m in the studio, it makes me miss tour that much more. But we’re gonna be on tour for so long, so maybe I should just enjoy being in the same room for a bit.” As the band continues to steadily rise and talks of the album becomes more and more prominent, the spotlight is shining brighter on them than ever before. With it being their full-length debut, there is both the creative freedom for it to be whatever they want it to be and, naturally, fear of the unknown. “I’m most nervous and excited to see how people react to the album and to see what they have to say about it,” she states. “Most of the songs on the EP we wrote a while ago, like a few years ago, but the songs that are going on the album now, they’re so fresh and so new.”

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The momentum behind the album continues to build and it is easy for any artist to feel scrutinized by the expectations of fans, the media and, sometimes, even themselves. Despite the uncertainty of what’s to come, Baron-Gracie is far more equipped now as the next era of Pale Waves revs its engine. “I guess that I’ve learned that pressure is good. You know, I can feel the pressure now and that’s encouraging me to write as much as I can. Usually sometimes pressure really scares me and makes me not want to do the things that I should do, but this time around, I’m sort of expecting that pressure is good.”

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In a largely male-dominated industry, Orange County photographer Lhoycel Marie Teope distinguishes herself from a blurring crowd. Her inventive artistry and positive attitude endow a breath of fresh air to the saturated market. Teope risked the “safe” path to pursue a profession as a photographer, despite the instability of being a freelancing artist. In the face of setbacks and unfavorable societal norms, she persevered to make it happen. Crushing obstacles one step at a time, dynamic women such as herself are paving the future for female creatives. Acentric had the opportunity to chat with Teope about her life as a multifaceted photographer, her creative vision and her future aspirations.

Acentric Magazine: Hi Lhoycel! Thanks for taking a moment to chat with Acentric. We’re so excited to have you! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself? Lhoycel Marie Teope: Hey everyone! Big thanks to Acentric for having me! My name is Lhoycel Marie Teope. I’m a 26-yearold female photographer from Orange County, California. I have my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Photography from Cal State University Long Beach - Go Beach! I operate my own photography business and my photography work consists of portraiture, music and fashion. How did you get started in photography? How did you to get where you are today? My interest in photography started in 2009, which was my senior year of high school. I took an Intro to Photography class - shout out to Mr. McIlwee for being such an inspiring teacher. This was the first time I took photography seriously. Then after high school, there was college and I had to put my creative ventures behind me. I had a set plan with my parents that I’d go to school for nursing, but in my heart I wasn’t happy. I ended up switching my major three times in college. Third times the charm is so true! The second major I switched to was music. Music was a big part of my life growing up as well. Singing, playing guitar and going to a lot of shows and concerts was all I

words BRITTANY ISAACSON portraits SALMA BUSTOS photos courtesy of LHOYCEL TEOPE

I HAD TO PUT MY CREATIVE VENTURES BEHIND ME. I HAD A SET PLAN... BUT IN MY HEART I WASN’T HAPPY. did in my teen years. I decided to switch my major one last time because I didn’t want to teach music, but I wanted to be immersed in it somehow, like working for the music industry. This is how I got into photography. After photographing my friends and family for a period of time, I built up a solid portfolio. I would send this portfolio to local magazines and music publications hoping to shoot for them. It just grew from there. Once I was accepted as a staff photographer for a publication, I was able to work with YouTubers, bands, public figures, etc. Working for a publication is a great networking tool. I’ve continued to work with clients I’ve met on publication shoots. After graduating from college, I started my photography business.


Have you experienced any roadblocks in your career and, if so, how did you overcome them? This can happen from time to time. There will be a lot of highs and a lot of lows as well. Photography isn’t a typical career that people pursue - it’s definitely the life of an artist. There’s a lot instability especially if you’re freelancing. Mistakes will happen, but you learn from it. Usually what I do is take a step back and assess what the roadblock is - whether it’s creatively or business related - and go forward from there. It’s good to try to keep a positive mindset when shit happens. Sometimes roadblocks are out of our control. Try to go with the flow and not against it. How has living in Orange County influenced your photography career? Living in Orange County has been beneficial, especially for publication work. When the publication I shoot for needs a photographer, they would contact me specifically to shoot Orange County locations. Most of the publication’s photographers are based in Los Angeles. It’s helped me connect, network, and discover new bands, public figures and brands I’ve never heard of before and who are locally based in my area. It’s taught me that I don’t need to live in a big city, that I can start off in the suburbs and expand my career from there.

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You have a lot of impressive accomplishments under your belt, including features in PhotoVogue, Local Wolves and Buzznet. What has been your most meaningful achievement in your career thus far? It’s difficult to exactly pick one achievement because I’m so grateful for all the opportunities and people I’ve been able to meet and work for. I also believe

IT’S GOOD TO TRY TO KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET WHEN SHIT HAPPENS. SOMETIMES ROADBLOCKS ARE OUT OF OUR CONTROL. TRY TO GO WITH THE FLOW AND NOT AGAINST IT. I’m still not “there yet”. There’s more to accomplish and to work for. I think my biggest achievement is to be able to share my imagery with everyone. I truly love what I do. Photography is my life and passion. I wish I could do shoots for free all the time, but that’s in my utopic world. Each moment and achievement is memorable and I cherish each and every one of them. I noticed that your images contain a lot of vibrant colors, creative elements and experimentation. Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating and composing your images? When I first started out in photography, I was really into photographers such as Brooke Shaden, Bella Kotak and Kirsty

Mitchell. Their works are very whimsical, vibrant and have a DIY approach to it. Not only did they photograph their images, but they created new worlds, costumes, props, etc. I loved the hands on approach - it wasn’t just taking a photo, it was truly creating art. They inspired me to start creating my own props and experiment with materials not usually used in photography. As a creative, do you ever have times when you feel uninspired or like you’re in a rut? If so, how do you break out of these ruts and redraw your artistic vision? Yes, definitely. There are moments when I don’t want to create anything, especially with how social media is today. We’re constantly in the need to post something new on our feeds that it’s so hard to keep up nowadays. I’ve learned to balance this out. If these ruts spring up, I usually disconnect from social media. I turn to nature, books, movies, music and spending time with friends and family to help me be inspired again. Also a good tip is to keep a journal. I have a journal where I keep all my photo shoot ideas and concepts in. It’s a great tool to let your mind wander and create again. Your portfolio spans a diverse range of photography, from music to fashion to portrait work. Do you prefer shooting one over the others? I do prefer some photography genres over the others. My first love will always be portrait photography. I love portrait

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I LOVE GETTING TO KNOW MY SUBJECT, BUILD TRUST BETWEEN MY SUBJECT AND I, AND SPENDING TIME GETTING A GENUINE PHOTOGRAPH. photography because of the human connection. I love getting to know my subject, build trust between my subject and I, and spending time getting a genuine photograph. What has been your favorite shoot you’ve ever done? Ahhh, this is so difficult. I love all my shoots. I really do. If I had to choose one it would be a band promotional photo shoot with Armors (@armorsmusic). It was a very spontaneous photo shoot. The only thing we planned was to spend the entire day in L.A. We did end up picking a few pinpoint locations later on and would just see what would happen. We ended up shooting at a couple cool spots like a panaderia in Echo Park and an overpass bridge in Pasadena. Of course the shoot had to end by spontaneously going to a Clippers game. I’ve never had a shoot end up at a basketball game, it was quite memorable.

One of your projects, Obscura, really caught my eye. Can you explain a little bit about this series? What does each character represent? So the project Obscura tends to lean more toward my fine art work. It was the project I submitted for the BFA program at CSULB. It’s a series of silver gelatin prints incorporated with a handmade gatefold book and accordion style popup pages. Obscura is an exploration of identity, masking and the obscuring of human facial features. I’m known for being a portrait photographer and I wanted to know what my outcome would be by taking portraits of these faceless beings. The three characters are broken down into three separate case studies. Each character had a handmade mask created for their study. As the project progressed, I found that each character is in the

process of searching for their purpose on earth and their meaning in life. Obscura was an early period of the project so information of the characters weren’t fully developed yet. It’s purely for one’s own interpretation, which is why I don’t name them. Instead, I call them by their case number. I want the viewer to interpret their ideas of who these characters are. What do you hope to achieve with your photography in the next few years? I hope to continue to create, evolve and also step out of my comfort zone. Now that I’ve started the business side of photography, I’d also love to grow my business. Hopefully a studio in the future as well as more editorial and published pieces. Lastly, to work with new and familiar faces.

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words & photos IDORA YASIN

37 Issue 5

Publicist. Professor. Business Owner. These are just a few of the hats that Jen Appel wears. For the past decade, she’s made a name for herself propelling the careers of musicians to new heights. Since the inception of her boutique PR firm The Catalyst Publicity Group in 2012, Appel and her team have established a platform that encourages artists to be courageous and take their careers to the next level. Appel’s tireless devotion to the world of music and art dates back to her high school days. As a student at American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida she was able to select a focus for her high school career. She had always been fascinated by the community aspect of music, so she chose to take on the music and arts academic track that was offered. Appel wanted to take her love for music and art one step further, so when she sought admission at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, she also applied for their arts program. She wasn’t accepted.

Rather than take this as a loss, she sought to discover ways she could learn more about how she could give back to the music world. In an event that she marks down in her life as unexpected, Appel received advice that gave her the fuel she needed to keep her wheels turning. One of her English professors commented on her exemplary skill with public speaking and positioned to her an idea - Why doesn’t she go into communications? “I ended up finding the right professors who guided me in the right direction to lead me into the world of public relations,” said Appel. She didn’t know what she was getting into, but she knew that she would take the opportunity to do something to help people. After getting her Bachelors at Indiana University and her Masters at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, she started working as the Social Media Marketing Manager for Chase Marketing Group, Inc. With this company, she organized communications for non-profit events and worked with the company’s clientele to upkeep their social media accounts. Despite this jump start into her Marketing career, Appel still wondered, “What about music?” She began to work as a Publicity

Manager for First Class Alliance, assisting with up and coming urban, hip hop, R&B and rap artists. In between these positions, her morality kept nagging at her. While she enjoyed the opportunity of moving musicians forward with their careers, she wanted to put more truth into the developmental process. “This place had a ‘do whatever you have to make them big’ attitude and there wasn’t really a solid why behind the work you do,” said Appel. Many days, Appel would ask herself, “Why am I thinking differently?” The morals of the companies that she worked under misaligned with where her morals stood and it would eat away at her. These thoughts would continue to disturb her until one day, she had an epiphany. “I may have known differently,” said Appel. What if the reason she was plagued with the differences of her feelings was because deep down, she had the right idea? From here, she began to process how she could start her own firm, but there were parts that troubled her. She had never gone to business school and she didn’t see herself as someone with any business know how. Despite this, in 2012 she launched The Catalyst Publicity Group.

JEN APPEL With her firm, she wanted to do things different. She wanted authenticity to be the foundation of her business. Rather than feed her clients glimmering falsifications, she chose to be as real as possible. If an artist came to her with only $300, rather than turn them away she would advise on what they needed to work on in order for her to be able to establish a full working relationship with them. “Why would I leave people hanging? You have to help people, you have to guide them. It’s a community,” said Appel.

YOU HAVE TO HELP PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO GUIDE THEM. IT’S A COMMUNITY. The authenticity that is the groundwork of Catalyst stems from Appel’s desire to push people forward and her understanding of having to build from the ground up. Her company has experienced close to seven years of success with nearly 400 clients on its resume, but that success didn’t bloom overnight. Catalyst was created whilst Appel was working in between companies. In its early days, her firm had no money. “The first few months were rough. Some months, we made $100, other months, $1000. Finances weren’t the only bump in the road that Appel met with in the early days of Catalyst. Six months into working with Catalyst, Appel was able to sign one of her favorite bands that she grew up loving. This band came to her with hopes of doing “over the moon press” according to Appel. Appel and her team worked as hard as they could to deliver the publicity that they promised, by any means possible. “I was trying to deliver things I didn’t even know about.” Despite their attempts to deliver the requests of this band, Catalyst was fired.

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Where some could have taken an experience like this and given up, Appel chose to move forward. She took the loss of getting fired as experience to help her change what was wrong in the past in order to do better for her clients in the future.

Today, Catalyst continues to thrive through Appel’s wisdom and authenticity. As a publicist, she stays as honest as possible with her clients in order for them to reach their coveted level of success. “I could pat you on the back and tell you you’re doing great, or I could lay reality as it is for you so we can help you reach your vision,” said Appel.

“The conversations can be a bit awkward because creatives have sensitive personalities, but if you’re not happy with your contract, let’s talk about it,” said Appel.

Appel’s journey in finding the right process as a publicist has been a journey for her that she consistently is learning from. Her experiences with in the dog-eat-dog world of the music industry have taught her to really emphasize the value of authenticity and showing that you care.

“It’s glamorous on the outside, but it’s a struggle having people understanding that despite doing something that I love so much, I don’t just sit around. I work three jobs! It’s the only way I can survive,” Appel said.

Having built a name for herself in the music industry for the past ten years, Appel is quite the authority on how the business works.

What this meant for Appel was getting comfortable with things that made her uncomfortable, like confrontation. “I used to tell clients, ‘If you don’t like me, you can just leave your contract,’ but where did that get either of us?” recalled Appel.

For the past three years, Appel has split her time between Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida and Johnson and Wales University in North Miami Beach as a professor and Graduate Faculty Advisor. For her, it has been the most gratifying thing she has been able to do.

Rather than sit placid and let her clients dismiss themselves from their contracts if there was a disagreement, Appel has grown to learn how to look at disagreements as a way to sort things out rather than cut ties.

“To be able to really tell my students the reality of what it is like means so much to me. It’s not a straight path. I was nontraditional and I don’t want them to be afraid to be non-traditional, but to just

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know that it’s important for them to find their foundation and find something that will give them a platform to work off of,” said Appel. Although her career has come with many uplifting moments, she has experienced situations that have made her consider packing up and heading home. “Musicians are going to think and feel the way they think and feel, its our job to give them that foundation to do whatever they want. As professionals, it’s our job to guide them in the right direction. If they don’t want to follow, then you have to let go,” said Appel.


There have been times where she’s looked at everything and thought, “What is it worth?” There have been days where she’s decided to call it quits because either she had a feeling she would get yelled at for something, or she wouldn’t make the money she deserved.

“You have to go back to that feeling that you’re doing it for the right reasons,” said Appel.

Even though all the signs feel like they point for her to exit the music industry some days, Appel still finds the will to move forward.

In the past year, Appel has taken her life and given it a complete 360°. When she turned 30 last June, she told herself that she was going to “change her whole life.”


Weekends never used to be something she’d experienced, unless it meant working all weekend. She’d survive off of a heavy diet of junk food in the past and what people said about her stayed at the forefront of her mind. These days, Appel is thriving in life. Gone are the days of working on the weekends, eating poorly and caring about what other people thought of her. “You just have to step back and ask yourself, what am I doing for me?” said Appel. Appel continues to seek out the best life she can in this world and is at peace with the journey that she’s been on. “If there is a day that Catalyst is over, then I can at least say I woke up every morning doing what I loved,” said Appel. Having worked from the ground up to get to where she is in public relations, she continues to wake up every morning, excited about finding a new way to educate those around her about how they can give back to the world.


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photo credit JESS WILLIAMS

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photo credit ALEX LISCIO

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photo credit KEELY CAULDER

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photo credit ASHTON GARNER


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photo credit JORDYN BESCHEL

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photo credit ALEX LISCIO


photo credit ASHTON GARNER



photo credit JESS WILLIAMS

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47 Issue 5




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