Beneath Your Beautiful Sep Oct 2023

Page 1

SEP | OCT 2023 ISSUE 11




At Beneath Your Beautiful, we are commited to spreading positivity and hope + improving lives through raw and compassionate storytelling. If you, or someone you know, has a story to share, please reach out to

BeneathYourBeautiful org


STYLIST Chelsey McKee



MODELS Julie Watts


2 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
rights reserved. Contents of Beneath Your Beautiful, including articles and artwork/photography. may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the express consent of Beneath Your Beautiful
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 3 100 116 117 104 114 110 108 4 28 29 18 12 30 58 64 34 55 52 38 72 98 80 92 86

Nick’s Valley

Watercolor on paper. 18" x 27"

I met Nick at an art fair His face, his intensity, power, yet peacefulness caught my attention. The universality of his character, his look, appealed to me.

4 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine



Heather’s Memory

Watercolor on paper. 11" x 14"

I found Heather’s face mysterious – something I often look for in a model. Curious as to who she is, what she is thinking, graceful, beautiful, slightly sad. Positioning her face properly within the quiet empty space was very important.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 5

San Marco Rain (Venice Italy)

Egg tempera on panel. 31" x 21"

II love Venice, Italy, and have painted there many times. This is San Marco square in the evening, people wandering after the rain had stopped. Venice is a timeless city: no cars, stop lights, neon signs, sirens… just the sound of people walking, talking and the sound of a few boats on the water. So beautiful and peaceful.

6 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
ARTIST Stan Miller

French Window Flowers

Egg tempera on panel. 32" x 22"

I’ve painted in France a number of times. This painting is consummately French, based partly on a study I did while there, partly on one of my photographs. I love the character, texture, history, complexity, yet simplicity and the contrast between the flowers and the aged building. The lighting, the design, every part of this painting for me is interesting.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 7
8 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Reclaiming beauty THROUGH COMMUNITY

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 9

dom+bomb is a Black-woman and queer-woman-owned fashion brand with headquarters in Spokane, Washington.


Steven Axtell, Jr.

Ryan Irons

Alethea Sharea Dumas

Andrea Parrish

Sadie Baker

Kiara White

Joy Robinson

AJ Duke


Hara Allison

10 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Nine fashion models of different sizes, shapes, ages, genders, and skin colors posed in front of the camera and waited behind the scenes for their turn on the shot list. It was 100 degrees outside and even hotter upstairs with no air conditioning in the studio we’d rented at the top floor of a historic building. Busily changing clothes, perfecting makeup, laughing, dancing and exchanging Instagram handles, everyone did their best to ignore their discomfort.

When my business partner, Delena Mobley, and I started dom+bomb three years ago, we decided we wanted to reclaim beauty and we would do it through community.

Being “plus-size” our whole lives, we were tired of not being able to find cute clothes that matched our personalities, so we decided to start our own fashion brand. With no zero experience. In our 40s. During a pandemic.

As we conceptualized our business, we thought why stop at size inclusivity? Why place any limits at all on expression? Why not be a leader in our space and challenge the absurd colonial construct of gender? Indigenous cultures throughout the world had expansive views on gender, and it wasn’t until colonizers came and saw these views as a threat to the white church that the gender binary was violently enforced.

Fashion devotees are often seen as superficial, but to paraphrase Shakalia Forbes-Bell in Big Dress Energy, how can it be trivial if everyone does it? How can it be trivial if we experience so much joy when we wear what we love, and so much pain when we can’t? It’s past time for change.

Delena and I knew we wanted to create a space for anyone who wanted to wear our clothes, so we began with a search for fit

models to test our designs. The once-strangers who answered the call are now family, and we consider our relationship with each of them the most beautiful part of our journey. Every one of our 70 or more fit models has shared their stories with us – of transition, aging, trauma-induced shopping, fashion design dreams, divorce and more.

Along with designing our own fashion, we heard from our community that tailoring and styling were a huge need, so we added them as gender-affirming services (you tell us your goals, we help you express who you are). Tailoring and styling helps people keep their clothes longer so they don’t end up in landfills. Sustainability is a priority for us, as fashion is one of the most damaging industries on the planet and seems to have a never-ending appetite for worker abuse. In our effort to reduce harm, we work with small brands on collaborations and sourcing wholesale, preferably BIPOC or queer (or a combination), and carefully vet everyone we work with to make sure workers are receiving fair wages and competitive benefits.

Three years in we’re going strong. Our fit models have become our biggest champions and often will drop everything to help us, even if it means modeling in 100+ degree heat. Our photographer for this photo session, Hara Allison, captured their essence beautifully! It’s hard to put the spirit of the shoot and our community into words, but the pictures speak for themselves. Queer joy in all its splendor!

We all deserve to celebrate ourselves in this world. Another model said it best as we were hugging goodbye after the shoot: “I expect more from people and don’t let them treat me badly. Because you taught me, I’m worth it.” «

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 11
“I want to live in the world you are creating,” said the model standing behind me as we concentrated on the scene in front of us.

The pursuit of beauty

addiction was to the pursuit of beauty. Like most in this country, I was raised within a culture that bombarded me with images of visual perfection. Adults told me I was cute, handsome, beautiful. While I now see this as an expression of love, as a child, I associated this adoration of my superficial appearance with approval and acceptance. If I looked good, people would like me. I was well liked.

I have little to complain about. I am deeply grateful for the love and comfortable life my parents provided in the suburbs of Detroit. In many ways, it was a charmed and privileged childhood. The problem was that my pursuit of beauty and superficial perfection became a primary focus for how I moved through the world. I realize now that I cared way too much about how I looked instead of how I made people feel through my actions.

When I went off to college, I learned to get very good at appearing as though I did not care about how I looked. Even dressing like I did not care was in fact carefully considered. Still, my guiding concern was still how others perceived my appearance. Experiences of love, service, study, awe, or failure offered me windows into something deeper within myself. Fleeting glimpses of my soul or my true nature.

Discovering anti-establishment poetry and literature, I began to understand the cultural conditioning that had shaped me. It was not easy to honestly confront who I was in the world and my priorities. The search for

alternative ways to live in and think about mainstream culture was still a form of posing and not an authentic reflection of who I was. It became a different form of vanity. It was still empty and lacked real meaning.

When I was 35, I stumbled into service as a hospice volunteer. Initially, training to become an end-of-life caregiver was an intellectual pursuit. I wanted to better understand death and address a long-held fear of hospitals and disease. When I began, I had no idea how profoundly the work would change me.

I served as a volunteer caregiver for 13 years before moving into the field professionally. Sitting at the bedside of persons living the final days, hours and moments of their life opened my heart. Not only did I learn how to show up fully and compassionately for strangers, but I learned how to express compassion to myself. I could see I was no different from those whom I served and witnessed. In each person I companioned, I could see myself. They mirrored back to me my own vulnerability and essential humanness. The reality that someday I too would die was unavoidable.

I am grateful to the many teachers who received my presence at the end of their life. One of the most impactful experiences I’ve had in hospice was with Mira. Several days before her death, she expressed to me her fear and sadness as I held her gently in my arms. Having lost so much of her body weight, she was skeletal. In those moments of intimacy, I experienced a beauty that transcended appearance. The connection between us was timeless and profound. I witnessed in her

12 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
I would describe myself as a recovering addict. My

an essence that had nothing to do with the stories of who we were, or how we appeared to each other. The experience of deep human connection was beautiful in a new and different way from how I had previously known beauty. Although the connection was shared between the two of us, it extended to all space and time.

I have moved beyond conventional ways of defining beauty. I have come to realize that

love, self-worth, and meaning are shaped by deep connection with other beings. Deep connection is cultivated by meeting our own and others’ imperfection and vulnerability with presence and an open heart. Beauty is this quality of deep connection where appearances are of little importance. As my body grows older and begins to lose its vitality, and as I move closer to my own death it is this authentic beauty that I pursue. «

Roy Remer lives in Alameda, CA with his wife and mostly Akita companion, Louie. He is the Executive Director of Zen Caregiving Project. He has been an end-of-life caregiver and educator since 1997. A dedicated practitioner in Soto Zen tradition, Roy is a student at the San Francisco Zen Center. He is certified by the Stanford University School of Medicine, Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), and the Compassion Institute as a Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT©) instructor. Roy also guides wildernessbased rites of passage programs in partnership with EarthWaysLLC of Sebastopol, CA.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 13
Photo by Annie Spratt

Travis Laurence Naught is a writer who happens to be quadriplegic. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from and completed graduate work in sports psychology at Eastern Washington University. The Virgin Journals (2012, ASD Publishing) and Joyride (2016, Black Rose Writing) are full-length paperbacks by Travis that are widely available. Many of his poems, stories, and articles have been individually published in print and online.

14 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Don’t Compare

A very famous comedian sat next to me last night for a few minutes for a very brief “catch up” session before the doors opened for the audience to be seated for his 7pm performance. David Koechner has previously performed at the Spokane Comedy Club for a round of dates in 2019 and 2022. I had purchased 13 tickets to one of the shows in 2019. All of them were spoken for. My friend group is spectacular, and I was thrilled

to introduce many of them to the comedy of a man who holds the keys to my laughter engine. He and I had never met at that point. We very nearly did not meet then, either. I ended up being hospitalized 72 hours prior to the date. My oxygen levels had dropped to 64. I blacked out on the bed while they were running tests on me. I woke up intubated several hours later.

I have spinal muscular atrophy, one of the dozens of varieties of muscular dystrophy. Neurons to my skeletal muscles do not function correctly. It is a degenerative disorder. I was diagnosed at 16 months. I got my first electric wheelchair at two years old. I was never able to take a free step. There have been a number of negative milestones in my life: the last time I was able to raise my hand in class, the last time I was able to feed myself or hold the phone to my ear, the last time I was able to sign my name, the last time I was able to place my hand on the control of my wheelchair without assistance… Eventually I will require total assistance for every physical movement. That is a daunting idea because I already require near total assistance for every physical movement. People have to feed me, bathe me, assist me with moving from room to room, changing the TV channels, dress me, and all of the other fine points in taking care of myself in life. These are the realities that I deal with on a constant basis.

Many people use the dreaded “i” word

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 15

or tracheostomy.

when they see the way I continue through life in the face of these realities. I have never once intended to be inspiring. My only desire in life is to be more fulfilled today than I was yesterday, tomorrow more than today. Bumps along the road are all too common. Thankfully not many of those bumps have been as drastic as my nearly 36 hours without the ability to speak because a tube was forcing air in and out of my lungs while protruding from my mouth ostensibly keeping me from being able to even mouth my needs silently to the family, friends, and healthcare workers who surrounded me a month before my 36th birthday. My first order of business when able to speak again was to make sure that the tickets were used. People had planned on coming from out of town to laugh with me that night. I did not want my misery to affect them. It did, of course, but they acquiesced to my desires and went to the show.

Death or tracheostomy. That was the option that was given to me post-intubation. Perhaps my hesitancy to immediately answer “life” was the reason the hospital staff allowed me to have a visitor at 10pm. And not just one visitor, but an entire room full. My friends spoke with the comedy club staff, who in turn went to David and spoke with him. He came in and gave me an eight-minute bedside routine. He gave his time, his spirit, for someone he had never met before. That was inspiring. That was more than I could have ever imagined happening. That is one of the (several) reasons that I ultimately agreed to having a new hole put in my neck.

The tracheostomy allows for air to go directly into my lungs, bypassing the upper cavities. A speaking valve placed over the tracheostomy allows me to have my voice again. Without the valve, the air goes out the same hole that I breathe in, avoiding my vocal cords, and I am rendered speechless. My voice is a very big deal to me. I cannot act physically otherwise. I rely on my voice to relay my needs to others to assist me. Life without my voice would mean constant guesswork by others. Life without my voice would ultimately mean further mercy to the whims of whomever I was around. Life with my voice allows me some control over my situation. I am able to convince, and sometimes coerce, others regarding how I could be better served toward fulfilling life experiences. Doctors were not able to assure me with any certainty prior to the tracheostomy procedure that I would ever have my voice again. They did, however, humanely encourage me that my will to speak again would likely mean that it would happen. I combined that conversation with the other reasons to continue on and prepared for a difficult experience I never really wanted to go through.

My voice was given back to me one week after surgery. The first words I spoke in eight days were “Thank you, Mike.” He was the speech therapist who worked with me during the in-between times. I was one of the faster recoveries he had ever encountered. There have been ups and downs in the times since then, but for the most part my voice has been with me. A couple of times the valve has popped off without assistance. When that happens, I rely on somebody else being there to place it back over the tracheostomy. Thankfully that has not happened while I am on my own because I would be incapable of

16 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
That was the option that was given to me post-intubation.

calling out for help. A couple of times, more emergency situations, the upper airways have been blocked while I am wearing the valve. This renders me unable to breathe out. Let me tell you, it is as important to be able to exhale as it is to inhale! Thankfully this has not happened while I am on my own either, because that would probably mean death. Hopefully, by this point, you realize that death is not something I am running toward, metaphorically or literally speaking.

There are too many experiences in life that I have yet to undertake for me to give up. That is how I want others to experience their lives as well. Three years after my hospitalization, which ended up being 27 days total, David Koechner came back to Spokane. I bought 22 tickets for one of his 2022 shows at the Spokane Comedy Club. It was a glorious gathering in celebration of life. All of the friends that went to the first show were there, alongside several other individuals who were not going to be at the first event even if I had been there. We all laughed together at the show and then the majority of us went out afterward for drinks and continued fellowship. My friend group is spectacular.

Fast-forward another 18 months to last night. A dear friend of mine was planning on going with me to see one of the 2023 appearances by David in Spokane. I didn’t want it to be a big deal. I wanted to spend the night out with a buddy, laugh, commiserate about the tough parts of life, and maybe let something of a famous friend know that my life had settled into normalcy again.

I received a phone call 10 minutes prior to being dropped off at the comedy club. My friend had collapsed at work. The person who had hired him heard I would need notified because my friend would no longer be able to make it to the show. Terrified does not begin to describe my feelings regarding his situation.

He and I have known each other for nearly 20 years. He is one of the healthiest humans I know. We had plans to be there for each other as good friends, just hanging out as “guys.” That wasn’t going to happen, so I had to call an audible.

Being alone is not necessarily safe for me. I cannot evacuate in the case of an emergency. I proceeded to call no less than 10 people for a last-minute date. My friend group is spectacular was completely unavailable. I had to make the decision whether or not to go alone or to abort. I am not much on giving up, which I hope apparent.

I went. I was deeply rewarded for going when the staff at the club recognized my need for assistance and allowed me in early to get situated. David had just finished an early show and was wandering through the room to stretch his legs before the doors opened. He saw me from across the way and boisterously shouted, “Every fucking time!” That moment is etched forever on the highlight reel of my days. To be seen and known by someone I admire and respect – that is life.

What means so much to me is that someone in the middle of their professional life still takes time for me. I would wager a guess that if you think back on a day when you’re feeling down, going through whatever shit is miring you in defeat – because we all have those things – you will be able to find a moment in that day that shines through. The worst days of my life have had them. Yesterday was a case in point, but it reminds me of so many other similar days in my life. Every one of those broken spins of the earth have had a smooth second or two, whether that be a friend who took the time to be real with me and check in, or a celebrity with millions of fans around the world who came over, clapped me on the back, took a picture with me, and told me “God bless.” «

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 17
20 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 21
22 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 23
24 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 25
26 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
ARTIST Helen Parsons
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 27
28 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
PHOTOGRAPHER Marina Androsova

PHOTOGRAPHER Anastasia Delfin

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 29
30 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Working as an interior designer for over 30 years has influenced my love of color. My studies of art history, especially the art of Henri Matisse and Joan Mitchell, brought me to enjoy painting in expressive and abstract styles. For me, the act of painting is joyful, and my intention as an artist is to communicate that sense of joy through bold colors, strong brush strokes, and a quirky perspective on everyday objects. Therefore the paint itself is more important to me than the particular subject matter.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 31

32 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 33
34 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Mitch Miller is a photographer and psychotherapist from New Jersey.

Mitch combines images using only an iPhone for the past 5 years. In his opinion, camera phones are less intimidating for models when shooting candid work. With no background in photography, Mitch creates beautiful and only black and white photographs and believes that “photography has to excite or tension you in some way. Like music, it has to touch your soul.”

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 35
36 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 37

Writer, Director and Editor Misty Shipman is an enrolled member of the Shoalwater Bay Tribe of Indians and a descendent of the Chinook Indian Tribe. She is a prolific Pacific Northwestern filmmaker intent on sharing a femme, American Indian gaze that shifts the lens of power and frees the viewer from the reservation of the mind. Through visual sovereignty, she strives to create a space for authentic representation. Misty holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho and a PhD in Native American Literature with a concentration in Film Studies from Washington State University.


Written by Misty Shipman

Story by Misty Shipman and Santiago Derquin and Claire Milligan


Shoshanna parks.

1 Wide shots establish a truck driving down a road.


bleeding into dawn with all the colors of the worl

pound to accept The pound dial-sound

God-painted portraits in the sky. All the beauty o

in lavender and gold. And a phone call. ROBOVOICE Inmate 320120 is calling. Press





Oh, wow, hey! What’s up?


What?! Wow! Hah! YES.

Uh, not much, but I wanted you to

know I’m getting out tomorrow.




Yeah, so, are you around?

Yeah! I mean, I have plans this

weekend, but, if you wanna come..


Yeah! Can Lola come too?


Lola? Cue in on the kids. 21. Lola’s feet on the dash Jethro with

his head out the window like a golden retriever. Shoshanna

the dashboard EXT. CAMP - PARKING LOT - MORNING 2

driving, looking at them both. A picture of a baby pasted to

38 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Production Assisant Teo Elliot Damitio

Hara Allison is a graphic designer, photographer, podcaster and publisher + designer of Beneath Your Beautiful magazine. She has won many design and photography awards and her podcast, Beneath Your Beautiful, won first place in Self Help and Health & Wellness in the 2022 International Positive Change Podcast Awards and 2023 Publisher Podcast Awards nominee in Health & Wellbeing.

attending a week-long film camp hosted by Mermaid Motel Media and Twinlow Retreat Center, I have a newfound and profound appreciation for what it takes to create a film.

Assisting with the behind-the-scenes photography on set, I watched as the talented actors breathed life into their characters and spoke their lines in a way that displayed depth and nuance. I was blown away as they did retakes, bringing the same, raw emotion needed each time. And I was impressed by the long hours and dedication from the entire cast and crew. Writer, Director and Editor Misty Shipman and Director of Photography Trevin Spencer were both thoughtful with their time and generous with their knowledge.

Good Behavior is a film about three sometimes-friends finding themselves at intersecting crossroads of their lives, wretched with wasted time, who, reeling from loss, seek a path forward to find hope, happiness, and fulfillment. It stars Maesie Kost (Vancouver BC), Santiago Derquin (New York City), and Claire Milligan (Los Angeles).

The film reflects on themes of grace, tenderness, and forgiveness. Its central characters, tormented by vestiges from the past, and strange figures in the present, seek hardwon respite in nature and in each other. Misty says, “ Behavior is a quintessentially girlish film with a distinct and watchful femme gaze. It’s made for women who want to see their lived experiences, their desire for softness, compassion, and care, reflected on screen. The horror and action elements are just for fun.”

Misty continues, “It was an honor to work with Twinlow to create a film camp that brought newcomers into the fold and offered vitally important on-set experience. My hope for the future of filmmaking in Spokane is that many women will be empowered to create and direct, and take on crew positions, that young people will be inspired to express themselves creatively through film, and that our beautiful, terrible, amazing, thrilling, gutting practice will be picked up by many more who use this narrative lens to tell stories that mean something to them.” continued on page 50

I read the script for Good Behavior heartedly, if I’m honest. And I admit, at first, I missed the beauty of it.
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 39
1 A day ld. Stunning f the world

Portraits and behind-the-scenes photography

Hara Allison

40 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Maesie Kost (Shoshanna Bieler) Claire Milligan (Lola) Pearl Wollenhaupt (Mirie Bieler)
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 41
Maesie Kost (Shoshanna Bieler) and Santiago Derquin (Jethro Flores)

Acting was my first love as a kid. My first play was the Sound of Music, where I played Gretl, and my sisters played Marta and Brigitta.

The people I’m working with are one of the things I cherish most in a project, which I think was influenced by that first experience.

My favourite thing about the art is being vulnerable and connecting with my scene partner, creating something that only exists in that moment.

I had such an incredible time working on Good Behavior with all the cast. Misty is such an amazing director, and I love working with her and being a part of her stories. She works with the same crew on each of her projects, which makes being on set wonderful. They are all so efficient, patient and kind to one another. The environment facilitates feeling safe and allows me to take risks as an actor, while still having fun.

I’m excited to see this film come to life and hope to work with everyone again in the future!


42 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Maesie Kost (Shoshanna Bieler)
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 43

I first fell in love with acting after watching Viggo Mortensen play Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings and knew that’s what I wanted to do. I was always a very quiet kid so I never pursued it until I was in high school and I did my first play. For me acting has always been a way to express myself in ways I don’t normally in my daily life. I love to tell stories through the characters I play. I’m so thankful for every opportunity I’ve been given and can’t wait for the next.


44 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Santiago Derquin (Jethro Flores)
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 45

I used to spend hours alone in my room as a child playing pretend. My daydreams were always more real to me than life itself and I would be swept away in the stories.

I love acting because I feel in touch with that same spirit I felt as a child.

I appreciate working with passionate and proficient directors like Misty, as they allow me to fully embrace my imagination and experience. Together, we form a community of those who believe in the magic of it and I am no longer just a kid playing alone inher room.

46 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Claire Milligan (Lola)
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 47
48 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 49

continued from page 39

My time at film camp was topped off by assisting on a secondary movie set, #TalithaKoum

In addition to the behind-the-scenes photography, I was honored to design the movie poster using one of my photographs. See facing page.

Maesie Kost and Santiago Derquin are also featured in #TalithaKoum along with Michael Schmidt and Bee Aaron. An ensemble film based on a real-life experience, the film is about a young mother whose child has suddenly passed away and who seeks a miracle from God.

#TalithaKoum honors the screen-writer’s own past experiences with radical Pentecostal Christianity, and the complicated feelings she has about radical religious communities. Feelings of safety and inclusion are juxtaposed with extreme and exclusionary beliefs, a penchant for lawlessness to follow God’s law above all else, and faith that borders on, and frequently transgresses into delusion.

Misty is intrigued by the notion that we can show love to God and to each other through secular means of community care, mutual aid, friendship, and forgiveness. «

Santiago Derquin (Jonah Saint John) #TalithaKoum cast

Maesie Kost Santiago Derquin Michael Schmidt Bee Aaron


smart HEart

I have a Smart Heart. We all do. If only we would listen to our Hearts, we would find the home within ourselves we have been longing for our whole lives. I am trying to patiently listen. Reverb and super sonic echos tell me I have been plugging my ears for far too long.

That is why I started painting again after decades of ignoring my heart and my art. I have always wanted to share this gift with others, to paint and draw together. I am not the most skilled or always the most dedicated; however, I am the one who cares to believe in You as I believe in myself. We were all made from and given the gift of creative energy. I found this energy to be a healing factor in my life from the early age of 15. A car accident, a halo brace and an eventual surgery slowed me down, showed me I already knew the path to creative healing.

This path has sustained me and at times recreated me. Recreation and Creation are so much fun while also being nerve racking and reaction causing. This why I avoided it for so long. I was able to ignore the need to change my life while not making art. As soon as I started again, It lite the fire within and I wanted more, Art and Change. I reMemembered the missing parts and holographic pieces of Self within the Collective and made Connection important again. In my circles, I create a space that is safe to allow your inner artist out to play! That Amazing Child within who always wanted to splash the paint and make a beautiful mess is welcome.

I came to Spokane, WA from my humble

Thompson Falls, MT to become an art teacher. I had no clue the world of art, religion and 90’s culture was going to open my mind up like it did. I am glad I decided to pursue my own path of learning and style of teaching that promotes art as a healing modality. I am grateful for the opportunities I had as a young person that molded the mostly sheltered, shell-shocked 17 year old who made her way to Gonzaga in the fall of ’92. Many years of working behind the scenes helping artists and picture framers, serving the public has given me an insider’s eye. It has also left me on the sidelines. I decided to join the game while helping my folks this past year. I Learned when I returned to my childhood home! Emotions are there to help us grow. Wow. Art helped me through losing my brother 11 years ago. Now his bedroom is my studio in Montana. Emotions help us Grow..

Energy never dies. That is why Creation is so powerful. There is a legend of a Red Thread that connects us to those who we are supposed to meet in this life. It also protects us. The people I have helped over the years have always remembered me and were happy to see me again. My Circle Grows. My Heart Grows. My Smart Heart seeks Healing. Smart Heart Art is to be shared, made Intentionally with Love. All people have access to Creativity and it’s healing powers. May the field of my energy reach your Smart Heart and warm your Spirit. Please consider joining me in Creative Connection!

52 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 53
54 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
ARTIST Robin Dyer

MODEL Takwa Mbarki


Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 55

STUDIO H creative is an award-winning design firm. After 32 years in business, we’ve done it all. Annual reports, event collateral, magazines, logos, packaging, social media graphics, photography, brochures, flyers, posters, menus, web and editorial design – including Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine!

56 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 57

I grew up between Chicago and Detroit. My first solo exhibition was at the Panopoulas in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1969. I have been exhibiting my work regularly since then. I attended Kendall School of Art and Design on a talent scholarship, majoring in Illustration, Graphic Design and Advertising. After that time, my art education and subsequent art career has been largely due to hard work and experience.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 59
“I enjoy great fantasy and freedom of expression with a heavy dose of reality on the side, with a chaser.” E.L.Stewart
ARTIST E.L.Stewart
60 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 61
62 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 63
64 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 65 everyday
66 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 67
68 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 69

PHOTOGRAPHER Crystal Toreson-Kern

Crystal Toreson-Kern began capturing the surrounding world at 12 years old, using a 110mm camera given to her by her grandmother.

A curious artist, Crystal is compelled to connect and learn about the people in her images.

In addition to partnering with several local philanthropical organizations, Crystal’s work has been featured in Spokane’s CDA Living magazine, local art galas, private art galleries and Terrain, Spokane.

70 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 71
72 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Galichnik Wedding Festival

A Timeless Celebration of Macedonian Culture and Tradition

As the scorching sun beat down relentlessly, the sweltering heat seemed unbearable. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead and the oppressive air clung to my skin. Overshadowing the stifling weather was an irresistible desire stirring within me—the longing to be a part of, and witness, the Galichnik Wedding. The allure of this grand celebration was stronger than anything else, beckoning to me like a siren’s call, pulling me towards a journey through time.

Galichnik, Macedona, with its aweinspiring landscapes, vibrant traditions, and captivating Galichnik Wedding Festival, stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of community and the enduring value of cultural heritage. The village and its people have fostered an exceptional environment that honors their roots, while warmly welcoming visitors to witness and appreciate their cultural legacy.

The wedding festivities span several days, with participants dressed in magnificent

traditional folk attire, the finest in the Balkans. The elaborate wedding customs and rituals performed exclusively within Galichnik reflect the village’s distinct cultural identity; each element of the celebration, from the mesmerizing performance of the traditional dance called Teshkoto by the bridegroom’s mother to the symbolic shaving of the groom and the lively shepherd’s folk dance, carries deep cultural significance.

Remarkably, throughout the entire wedding celebration, only two instruments accompany the joyous festivities. This intentional choice creates an intimate and authentic ambiance, allowing the traditions to resonate more powerfully.

In a world constantly evolving, the Galichnik Wedding Festival allows us to step into a time machine, transporting us to a bygone era, reminding us of the importance of preserving and cherishing our collective heritage. The Galichnik wedding reminds us of the beauty and significance of cultural traditions and their ability to transcend time and generations.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 73
74 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 75
76 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 77
78 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Biljana Jurukovskiis is an acclaimed Macedonian Australian photographer whose artistic journey has taken her on an aweinspiring exploration.

Her deep passion for capturing the essence of humanity has led her to document the often overlooked lives, cultures, and traditions less explored.

Biljana’s talent and dedication have earned her global recognition. Her photographs have graced galleries and festivals in the United Arab Emirates, Paris, New York, Berlin, Barcelona, and her homeland, Macedonia. Her impactful work has garnered numerous awards, solidifying her position as an award-winning photographer.

Her captivating images have found their place in renowned photobooks, such as

“Portraits of Humanity” by 1854 Media and “The Talents of The Year 2019 Photobook” by The Independent Photographer.

Biljana’s striking portraits have graced the pages of esteemed magazines and newspapers worldwide, including The Guardian, Silvershotz Magazine, Lens Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, and many others.

Through her lens, she unveils the shared humanity that binds us all, inspiring countless individuals to view the world with greater empathy and understanding. Her work continues to forge a global impression, leaving an enduring legacy in the world of photography and beyond.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 79
PHOTOGRAPHER Biljana Jurukovski
80 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine


Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 81
82 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 83

In the captivating journey of “MESMERIZE: Love Unveiled,” we witness the undeniable truth that love is love, transcending boundaries, defying expectations, and embracing diversity. This short documentary serves as a powerful reminder that the most extraordinary love stories are the ones that ignore societal expectations and celebrate the unique essence of every individual.

Love is love, and in its purest form has the power to transform lives and inspire change. Let us spread love’s enchantment wherever we go and remember that love knows no limits, labels, nor prejudice. It’s a force that has the power to heal, inspire, and unite us all.

Love is a universal language, capable of bridging divides and forging connections, where acceptance and understanding prevail. BIBI


MODEL Firozrashy






84 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 85

CONNECTED through the wind

The Good Mom

I had my first daughter at the young age of nineteen – I was so inexperienced, and didn’t know what I was doing, but I followed the examples of my mother and grandmother when I went to the hospital for her birth.

I understood basically how my body was supposed to work during childbirth, and I

knew every contraction got me one step closer to seeing my baby. After my daughter was born, the nurses encouraged me to give her sugar water, but I knew I needed to nurse her if I my milk was to come in, so I hid the bottle as soon as they left the room and went to work.

During those first years as a single mom, I had to make compromises in my daughter’s

86 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Transcribed by Elin Adcock Darius

care – she was in 7 day cares during her first few years of life. I wasn’t satisfied with just making it, and I didn’t want to be the loser teen mom. I really wanted to get married and be the good mom and the good wife.

I soon found myself in love, and before long was standing in the Mormon temple in Portland about to be married. There is so much tradition to the ceremony – my mom and my gramma couldn’t go inside the Temple for the wedding, and I was all alone. I panicked, thinking it all felt so wrong; I wanted nothing but to pick up my daughter and flee. But I went through with the marriage, and made peace with it, telling myself it didn’t matter who you married, it was how you treated them that would make the marriage work. Vowing to be the best wife possible, striving to be the best mother possible, I pushed forward. I thought I was going to do EVERYTHING RIGHT. 17 years later, I realized that hadn’t worked out the way I’d expected.


In 1977 I got pregnant again, and pretty quickly decided I would have a home birth –no more hospitals for me. I had already begun following a healthy lifestyle with whole foods, daily exercise and frequent meditations. That lifestyle carried me through four home births with no complications, no antibiotics or pain medications during my pregnancies or deliveries.

My second child was Darius. All of my children were relatively healthy, but Darius from a young age exhibited some tics and stutters. He had some challenges growing up,

and the building stress in my marriage didn’t help with any of them. He was about thirteen when we divorced, and I worried about him more than I did my daughters –he was having a difficult time adjusting to the changes. I decided it would be good for Darius to spend time with his dad being the only boy and needing his father’s guidance during this confusing time. What I didn’t realize was that his dad was so angry with me, he was filling Darius’ head with all kinds of sordid stories. My husband wasn’t taking the divorce well, and my son believed the things he was being told. My husband’s mood and his feelings around the divorce became more and more twisted.

In September of 2013 his dad, in anguish and addicted to pain killers, burned our house down. He’d texted me some vague plans that morning about wanting to get all the girls together. I’m not sure exactly what his plans were or what could have happened, but luckily that never came to fruition, and nobody was in the house when he set it on fire. My husband went to jail for six months, convicted of arson, and I got a 40-year no contact order.

After the house burned down, my son didn’t want to live with me, believing all the twisted things his dad had told him. Luckily, I had a good friend that Darius trusted, so she

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 87
I walked into the bathroom and saw Darius lying face up on the bathroom floor, his eyes closed and his head lying in a pool of blood that was just starting to dry around the edges.

took him in and got him therapy. After about a year, he came back to live with me and our relationship healed. We didn’t have a lot of money during that time. Keeping a roof over our heads was a struggle, but I found a place, very small and with only one bedroom. It was tough with all five of us staying there, but we all made it through the next six years relatively unscathed.

Darius’ 19th birthday was June 23, 2016. He had just graduated from high school and was enrolled and ready to attend Eastern Washington University the next semester. He was just such a great kid. I don’t think his feelings or needs really got met, because girls are loud! I leaned on him a great deal to help care for the girls after the divorce, probably more than I should have.

A couple of days after his birthday, on the morning of June 25, Darius and I were hanging out in the living room, where he put on a cassette tape of Tony Bennett. We laughed and we danced, it was just a fun time. A short while later, he took me to go pick up my car from a friend’s house, and he and I stopped off at the farmer’s market for a lunch burrito – something we often did together. Later that afternoon, Darius left for a planned camping trip with his best friend. They didn’t stay long, for whatever reason, deciding to come back home around dinner time. I had been out with the younger girls all day and was sitting at

a pizza parlor, feeling hungry and tired, when he called. I could hear in his voice how sad he was – something wasn’t right. But hungry and tired as I was and in a hurry to get the pizza and get home, I was impatient with him, cutting him off and telling him I’d have to talk with him when I got home. It was the first time I didn’t end a conversation with “I love you.”

When we got home, my daughter and granddaughter ran to the bathroom. After a minute or two, one of them came back out and said, “Hey, Mom, Darius is on the floor, and he’s not moving.” I instantly knew that something was very wrong – I’d never seen my son drunk or passed out or anything like that, so I knew it had to be bad. I walked into the bathroom and saw Darius lying face up on the bathroom floor, his eyes closed and his head lying in a pool of blood that was just starting to dry around the edges. My first thought was, “How horrible that these little girls had to be the ones to find him,” and then I just started screaming, and screaming, not knowing what to do.

Luckily, God has placed some wonderful people in our lives, and I was able to tell the girls to go to Miss Lexi, a neighbor and assistant manager of the complex where we lived at the time. She was luckily at home, having changed plans to go out for the evening at the last minute. She cared for the girls and helped us call the police. I am so grateful she was there to help us when we needed help the most.

Darius had committed suicide with my gun, which I bought to protect us after the divorce. I found out later, during that terrible time just before our divorce, his mentally

88 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
The sun is shining, we’re at the park and maybe in five minutes we may want to cry again, but then we can be happy again. You never have to feel that you can’t be happy.

ill father had taken him and Elena into the bedroom and instructed them both on the proper way to shoot themselves, or someone else, if they wanted to kill them, aiming for the brain stem from the side, not from the mouth, to ensure success.

The next day, the girls and I went out to a local park. One of my daughters turned to me and asked, “So, when do we get to be happy again, Mom?” I turned to her and said, “Well, we can be happy right now. The sun is shining, we’re at the park and maybe in five minutes we may want to cry again, but then we can be happy again. You never have to feel that you can’t be happy. There never should be a day that goes by that there aren’t moments of happiness.”

I know plenty of people who’ve lost their children and they are stuck 5 years later, ten years later. So, my first words to myself were, “My son is dead, and it’s okay. He’s dead, and it’s okay.” Instinctively, I knew that’s what I had to do to begin to program my brain to survive this.

I know I’m supposed to be sad. Some people feel guilty being happy. I say, be sad when you

Cyndi Rai is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner at Happiness Hives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She is a mother of 5, a grandmother of 3, a beekeeper, a forest bather and an energy Healer.

Cyndi’s mission in life is to help people break free of toxic systems and habits by showing people how to use food as medicine, meditation as medication and the local farmers’ market as a pharmacy. Cyndi hopes all can discover the highest level of health and happiness every day.

need to be, but you can allow yourself to come back out of that sadness. It’s ok to have your feelings; it’s not a crime to be happy.

We Are Still Connected

There is a friend I met after Darius’s passing, who connects with people who have passed. She came to me just the other day, embarrassed and humble, to tell me

“Your son wants me to talk with you. He just wants me to tell you to find him in the wind.” She told me this on Friday morning, June 23rd, Darius’ birthday. The very next day we did family pictures, outside in beautiful weather, when all of a sudden the wind comes up and it was like Darius was with us. The next day we went on a boat and the same thing happened. And then today, we did a little ceremony for my daughter, who is going to California to begin a new job. We went out front to do this ceremony to affirm her and her journey, and once again, the wind comes up, blows around a bit, and then after it was perfect weather again. We’re still connected. I still very connected to my son.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 89



90 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Bethany Burrow is not to be underestimated.

Though she is a newcomer to the art scene, she is not a newcomer to art, and is making waves with her unconventional, unapologetic, and bold expressions.

A body painter, photographer, and stylist, Bethany has crafted a subtle, yet powerful entrance onto the world stage, and intends on making it her canvas.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 91


My name is Star. I am the owner of a small business located in Spokane, known as Star Belina Ryan Art and Design. With a degree in Fashion Arts and knowledge in business and graphic design, I bring a unique blend of creativity and expertise to my work

Until the age of 11, I lived on a tiny, isolated island in Canada, inhabited only by my family. This remote landscape is nestled approximately 25 miles off the west coast of British Columbia and stretches about 20 miles in length. Amidst an intensely painful upbringing, where I

was constantly broken down; nature became my solace and ingrained so deeply into my soul, it permeated every facet of my being.

I’ve been drawing portraits and writing poetry ever since I could grip a crayon in my chubby little palm. I spent a lot of time boating beyond the rocky shores, exploring the vast evergreen forest, and gardening the deep, dark soil. These experiences have greatly influenced my artwork, often inspired by nature.

I work in various mediums such as oils, watercolor, gouache, markers, acrylic,

digital and graphite. I am passionate about creating portraits and nature-inspired pieces with surrealistic elements.

It is important for me to represent the diversity of human nature with a golden array of experiences and elements in my artwork. It is my passion to inspire healing and growth through my paintings by putting a piece of my own heart and journey into every piece that I create.

I want to encourage the world to dream deeper, love truer and find hope in the beauty of creation.

92 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 93
94 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Star Belina Ryan
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 95
PHOTOGRAPHER Marina Androsova 96 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 97

Photography has become so much more than a hobby for me – it has become my sanctuary, a pathway to tranquility and peace of mind. In a world filled with chaos and noise, the act of clicking photos becomes a form of meditation, allowing me to immerse myself in the present moment and find solace within the frame.

It’s remarkable how photography has become my personal form of meditation—a practice that brings me peace, clarity, and a sense of purpose. When I raise my camera to my eye, the world fades away, and I find myself fully present in the moment, attuned to the subtle nuances of light, composition, and subject. In those stolen moments, time stands still, and I am in perfect harmony with my surroundings. I love to click portraits, streets, weddings.

98 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 99 PHOTOGRAPHER Himanshu dutta
100 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine


MODEL/STYLIST Cassandra KC Carpenter


Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 101

MODEL/STYLIST Naughtia Stanko


102 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 103


104 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

Life is an Adventure

The natural beauty of the world

The ongoing drama of everyday life

Colored in whimsy by my fingers and brushes

The all-powerful mundane!

The electricity and tides of relationships

The clashing of personalities

The ongoing struggle for freedom and security

And the battles fought within.

Working against the pressures of social and self-imposed expectations

To get back to a place of joyfulness

Hoping that nature is allowed to remain untouched and beautiful Even if that means letting the flaws shine.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 105
106 Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine

Robin Milligan has lived all over the west coast, settling in Spokane in 2004. Although she spends most of her time at home with her kids and in her studio, she also loves to travel to see nature in all of its glory.

The process of art making is meditation for Robin. She feels all the chaos of life combines to make each piece personal. Every work is a transmutation of her experiences, storage space for what has been that creates the capacity for new explorations.

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 107 ARTIST +
WRITER Robin Milligan
108 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

MODEL Gabriel Toapanta

PHOTOGRAPHY Agenda tu Sesión

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 109
110 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 111
112 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine


PHOTOGRAPHER Polza Mikhalionak

Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 113


114 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine

MODEL/MUA Ryan Irons

STYLIST Chelsey McKee


Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 115
116 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine
MODEL Safronov Alexander PHOTOGRAPHER Natali Safronova

souls & shadows

PHOTOGRAPHER Nicolas Achillexandrou
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 117
118 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine Strengthening Relationships, One Coffee at a Time Create sensory-rich nature play for ALL kids JESSICA BONAR INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER Book Jessica for your corporate conference , leadership training , team building or motivational event !
Hara loves Phillip
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 119 Podcast: Print-on-demand: Online: Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.