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CANVAS ISSUE 6

the truth set free


CANVAS P

Editor in Chief Patrick Kiel

P Head Writer Precious Kirby

M Art Director Michelle Lorduy

Website canvasmagazine.co tumblr canvasmagazine instagram canvas.magazine 2

Special thanks for making this issue possible: Ben Willingdorf, Austin Plaine, Danny Morreale, Bailey Jennings, James Watts, Siiri V채is채nen, Briana Mason, Claudia Mesa, Danny Kataw, and Angel Bui.


photo by Danny Morreale/ @danny.mo


contents

4 by Danny Morreale/ @danny.mo photo


5.

Call For Courage

6.

Truths

8.

The Truth about Being Black

10.

My Truth

11.

The Truth About Summer Love

13.

The Truth About Heartbreak

14.

The Truth About Tragedies

16.

Austin Plaine

20.

Capturing Nature

32.

Ben Willingdorf

36.

Siiri V채is채nen

43.

Feature: Claudia Mesa photographs Danny Kataw

49.

Issue 6 Playlist


4 by Danny Morreale/ @danny.mo photo


Call for Courage Bailee Jennings

There's a beating in the pale, ivory lookout, where the ruby watchman waits. The storm of anxiety thunders outside. The world and downpour weighing against him, he stares into the pessimistic sky. The moment arrives, calling Heart's name. He steps outside into uncertainty, braving earth with no shame.


TRUTH SET FR

6


HS REE

The Truth About Being Black by Precious Kirby My Truth by Briana Mason The Truth About Summer Love The Truth About Heartbreak The Truth About Tragedies by Angel Bui


The Truth About Being BLACK Precious Kirby 8


As February came to a close, the time of the

People also took to social media to show their

year was over when schools forced me to re-

support. One of the more popular move-

flect on my blackness. It’s back to an all white

ments surrounding the death of Mike Brown,

history, in a white dominated country. But

famously killed in Ferguson, Mo, “IfThey-

let’s reverse, let’s talk about how it feels to be

GunnedMeDown”. This particular hashtag was

black. As a black female in the 21st Century,

propaganda that showed how Trayvon was

I can say that being black is much easier now

bashed in the media using pictures with nega-

than what it was when Martin Luther King

tive intent. The media was corrupt and many

was alive. However, I have a whole new set

people were tired, it was time for change. If

of struggles. I am often asked how I feel as a

only we knew that Trayvon was just the begin-

black female in 2016, and the only response

ning of many unreasonable deaths of blacks.

I can elicit is that I feel tired. I am tired of

hearing stories of unarmed black men being

world was Sandra Bland. Sandra was a young

killed. I am tired of hearing that white privi-

woman in Texas who was arrested after being

lege doesn’t exist. I am tired of hearing Tamir

pulled over, two days later she was found

Rice deserved it. I am tired of hearing Sandra

dead in her cell. The police station ruled it as

Bland killed herself. So what is the truth in

a suicide, saying she hung herself. However

being black ? It’s being tired, underestimated

questions started to arise. How is it that San-

and misrepresented.

dra Bland hung herself when it would’ve been

A more recent case that shook the

virtually impossible due to her tall stature (she Now do not get me wrong, I love my black-

was about six feet) ? Also, why would she kill

ness. I love my wide hips, big lips and mela-

herself, what would drive a passionate activist

nin. However, the struggles I face, ones that

to kill themselves in a jail cell ? It didn’t add

you can only understand once you experience

up and people were not buying it. To some

them yourself, shake my confidence. One

Sandra Bland was another person that killed

thing I remember is the case of Trayvon Mar-

themselves in jail, however to many people in

tin, the case that shook the world. Trayvon

the black community she was one of the many

was a young man in Florida that was walking

blacks murdered in the past three years.

home with a black hoodie on, carrying an Arizona and skittles. George Zimmerman, a

Once again many people took to social media

200-pound Florida native shot Trayvon in his

to express their outrage, starting the hashtag

chest, killing him. Trayvon was 17 years old on

“SayHerName”. This hashtag was one of out-

that fateful day. The world watched the trial

rage, people wanted answers and no one was

and watched how the media portrayed Tray-

willing to help. To this day we do not know

von as a thug who deserved to be shot.

what happened to Sandra Bland in those two

The world was disgusted, the black commu-

days she was in jail. It is sad that yet another

nity had had enough. This is when the uprise

black life was lost, their voice forgotten and

started, this is when we began to take a clear

their life cut short. So as a black person I not

look at the place we called home. We still were

only celebrated Black History month as a

misrepresented, we still were neglected and

time to reflect on the past but also reflect on

we were still treated as second class citizens.

the present. There was still more to fight for,

Many Americans made it their job to support

there were still questions to be answered. It is

Trayvon Martin’s family; most showed sup-

up to a person like me and you to stop unjust

port by wearing a black hoodie.

killings of blacks.


my truth Briana Mason

They warned me about the men in the shadows who preyed on weak women. I was never weak, and I knew where I stood. They never mentioned weakness was for men and women, weakness in love, in having affection for another. I never got too attached. Whenever they asked where I came from, what I was like - I lied. Not a lot, but enough. Enough that I never gave too much of myself to any one person. I never let them know who I was underneath. Just a type of cosplay that changed based on the day, who I was in the moment. It didn’t bother me, but it should’ve. Your words you spoke, so eloquently, they were the first words I believed as true. Of all the people who flooded in, but never stayed, yours were the ones I didn’t just hear; I felt. The kind that shook me up; centrifuged my mind, had me spinning. The ecstasy of your intelligence and wit and the words you spoke. I was drunk on the truth you spoke. What made your words real? They were the same nouns and verbs connected by weak adjectives and occasional adverbs. Nothing that I hadn’t heard whispered from harassing voices many times before. Somehow they took on a halo, a glow that warmed me and trust surged through my toes. It didn’t want to escape, nor could it have. Truth isn’t always reality. It's not white. It's not clean. It doesn’t wash its hand in a sink, and if it were to, it would be filled with the grime of life. Truth is saying “I love you” while in the arms of another. Any words you say, if you believe hard enough, if you wish hard enough, can be true. It only has to be your truth. But it's not the same as the cold, hard grounding facts. I never blamed you for your truth, I wished so hard that it sprouted anew as my own truth. It can’t be false if it makes you happy.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT SUMMER LOVE

AND OTHER TRAGEDIES

Part One by Angel Bui


W

e met in the midst of summer. In between the hot summer days, crowded beaches, over excited tourists and beaming sun was our summer love story. I remember at first the only interaction we had with each other were secret glances and shy smiles. But then you finally gathered enough courage to walk up to me, and so began our epic summer. Soon enough the nervous small talk faded into the shadows, and deep riveting conversations came into light. As the days progressed, we became more and more inseparable. It wasn’t long before we fell for each other effortlessly. Our days were spent on the sandy beaches and the crowded boardwalk. Every night we laid on the sand talking about anything and everything. I remember this one night when reality had finally caught up to us. I was laying on your chest and you a blanket, and I could tell you were thinking because of how quiet you were. “Why are you so quiet?” I recall asking you. You looked down to me, and with a shy smile you began to say “What do you think will happen to us once summer ends?” And with that I remember having to look away from you because I couldn’t bare to face the truth. “Well… I guess when summer is over… I guess we are too.” It wasn’t long after that conversation that everything for us went downhill. Out of fear of becoming hurt once summer was over, we both began to push each other away. Our deep conversations manifested into idiotic arguments. I remember it was the beginning of my last week there. I forgot what we were even arguing about, but I remember out of frustration I walked out. This was the night that I realized I never wanted to let you go. I was halfway down the street when you grabbed my hand and pulled me into your chest. With that swift motion, I broke down. We both knew we weren’t truly upset about what we fought about. We

were upset that everything was coming to an end. I remember in between my hitched breaths you whispered in my ear “Please don’t leave me.”

The day had approached and I was packing up my vacation home. It had looked so barren. I was sitting on my bed looking at pictures of me and you when my mom walked in and told me that it was almost time to go. I remember the exact words she said to me “It’s time to say your goodbyes.” You were sitting on the beach alone when I found you. You were wearing the same things you wore the day before. I walked up behind you and I remember apologizing for startling you. I sat next to you on the hot sand and you refused to look at me, but I didn’t blame you. I broke the silence with “I’m leaving soon.” “I know” you said, still refusing to look at me. I tried my best to meet your eyes but it was no use “I just wanted to say goodbye.” “Bye” I remember you saying so bluntly… so emotionlessly. And with that, I got up and walked away thinking it was no use pulling a decent response out of you. Just as I was halfway up the beach, you grabbed my hand and pulled me into you just like you did nights before and we stood there for what seemed like an eternity just holding onto each other. The truth is our love story was a summer love story and like all summers, it had to come to an end. Maybe we weren’t meant to last forever but I know our story was meant to last a lifetime. In reality you were the moon and I was the sea, every night you kissed me and everyone else stood in awe of the beauty we radiated. But the moon only kissed the sea once before it had to illuminate the night sky. The truth is I realized you came into my life and you taught me how to love by loving me.


The Truth About Heartbreak It’s going to hurt. As blunt as that sounds, it will. It is not going to be easy in any way, shape or form. There will be nights when the time ceases to matter, and the pain becomes unbearable. There will be nights where you will put your hand over your mouth to stop yourself from screaming because the air refuses to make its way to your lungs. There will be days when you won’t get out of bed. There will be mornings where you will get out of bed just to collapse two feet away. A heartbreak is as much of an internal pain as an external one. But as the days progress, maybe even months, things will soon become easier. The thought of him won’t make your heart drop to your feet. The sight of him won’t make your knees go weak.

There will come a point in time when you begin recovery. Like any other recovery, you must be patient and determined. Based on how extensive the damage was, you may have to relearn new things. You may have to relearn how to let someone else in, how to love someone, how to trust someone; in time, you will. The truth is, heartbreak isn’t beautiful, but it’s not so tragic either. Yes, you were hurt in the beginning, but is that such a bad thing? “It’s better to have love and loss than to have never loved at all”. Be glad that at one point that you were hurt. It meant that you had something you loved, something you cared deeply about. You had something you had the fear of losing, you had something, someone… special. Some people go their entire lives without ever possessing something worth the fear of losing. But you did.


The Truth About Tragedies By Angel Bui 14


We need to stop romanticizing things that are not romantic nor beautiful. Stop romanticizing heartbreak. It's not a girl in the corner of her bedroom holding her knees with perfectly symmetrical tear stained cheeks or a boy with his head in his hands yearning for her back. It's a girl in her bedroom with her hand over her mouth trying not to wake anyone, screaming in pain because she can no longer breathe. It's a boy with bleeding fists and shallow breaths from punching the wall so many times, wishing as if he were the wall. Stop romanticizing eating disorders. Anorexia is not just some "thin girl" that skips a meal or two because she wants to be just a little skinnier. It's a girl, that although she can hear her own bones creak, she refuses to love what she sees in that mirror. Bulimia is not a cute girl in an oversized sweatshirt and perfect make up bent over a toilet. It's a girl bent over a toilet crying while wishing she could just do it once more, just to lose that extra pound.

She has more shame than feeling and the burning of her throat and the rotting of her teeth will not stop her. Stop romanticizing mental disorders. Depression is not a sad girl crying in her bed. It is a girl that gets out of bed only wishing to get back in. It is a girl that, although her life might seem full, is as hollow as a knot-hole. It is not a cute boy that's more "in touch with his sensitive side." It is a boy that wakes up and already wishes he didn't. It is a boy so broken that the seas of the world still couldn't fill the cracks within him. Anxiety is not some shy girl that gets just a little antsy. It is a girl that no longer feels comfortable in her skin and wishes to pick it apart just to escape. We as a society must stop simplifying serious matters just because we cannot see it does not mean we can dictate how someone is to feel based on our own simple minded understanding. Do not let your eyes deceive what you cannot see.


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Austin Plaine


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Austin Plaine has been playing guitar since the age of 13, now at 23 years-old he has perfected his musical talent into a new, promising career.

With music characterized as inspiring folk songs, listeners’ sense of adventure is awoken. Songs inspired by musicians such as Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan, and Ryan Adams convey a mixture of nostalgic folk and mindfulness of the world’s beauty. His songs hearten a love for exploration, not only through trips and experience, but through deep thinking. The self-made Minneapolis musician sparked an unexpected profession that not only comes naturally, but has provided opportunities of astounding travel and new experiences. Austin’s music style can be classified as a blend of new-folk with honest lyrics about hardships, change, and desire to explore one’s soul through travel and progress. As a singer-songwriter, Austin expresses his adventurous and daring personality. The songs are described as ways of embracing the “yearning to travel” and “make you want to go somewhere and just drive.” Some of the songs tell personal stories with wanderlust lyrics and serene background music, while others speak to all with broad, reflective themes. The simplicity of the instruments along with the smooth lyrics, it allows the listener to feel the words. The debut album includes songs that cover a variety of topics that explore his musical style. “Never Come Back Again” is a wistful tune that speaks to the inner traveler in the listener, with lyrics like “I wanna feel the waves crashing down on heartache.” The song acts as if the world is calling for the listener to explore and find love for his or herself. His album closer, “ Beautiful” explores the virtue of change of soul and that “in time we will all be born again.” Another song, “Hard Days”, describes the life of American struggle and

“trying hard to survive” in the world today. His songs appeal to a vast audience with relatable and sincere topics. “Never Come Back Again” even inspired a five day road trip from Minnesota to California for a music video, which Plaine describes as “super bizarre but still one of the coolest places I’ve been to” and “one of the highlights of the year.” As for how unexpected music career success has inspired personal growth, Austin claims that, “ my team has allowed me to work on getting better...and... everyone grows in their own way and help from my team has allowed for major development in my career.” Song inspiration comes from “a lot of thinking and reflecting” along with “nature, the road, and time.” On these long road trips, Austin indulges in some of his hobbies including reading a few classics, being an “avid Netflix user”, and spending time with family help ignite ideas for new songs. Austin Plaine’s career has brought many unexpected take offs and opportunities for the new musician, including a signing with Washington Square, which is “a perfect fit” and he is “blessed to be working with such a great team” in the developing occupation. What started out as merely a hobby became a life path, putting off previous plans of enrolling in law school. His “heart’s in music” and the musician’s current plan is “to tour right now and get the idea out to people”. Continuing to write new songs and play shows, he states “I just want to focus on my debut and hit the road.” All in all, “the road is getting addicting” and the music is beginning to become his life. -bailey jennings


Capturing Nature an interview with James Watts by Patrick Kiel

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James Watts is a photographer from California who returned to photography after feeling a creative blockade in his professional film editing career. In an age of digital arts, Watts returns to photography’s earlier medium, medium format film, to capture the natural world. There is something beautiful in knowing that a natural film process captured the natural world, bringing truth to an age where digital art destroys our perception of nature.

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1) What is your history with photography? What marked your start with the hobby, and what marks major shifts throughout your photographic experiences? I, like a lot of people, first experienced photography by picking up a parent’s camera. My Father, seeing my interest in his camera, taught me the basics of metering and exposure. Children spend most of their time in very familiar surroundings, so seeing something familiar though subtractive viewing, the frame of the camera, becomes a new way of viewing the familiar. Also growing up in the 90’s electronics were far from the aesthetically pleasing forms that they are now, so SLR cameras were interesting as physical objects in and of themselves. They still are to this day, people have them as tattoos and wear them on t-shirts. In high school my friends and I were really into wake-boarding and would film each other on our parents VHS cameras for fun. One of the times my dad brought his Nikon SLR out to snap some photos. When he was driving the boat I asked to use it, which he was fine with, but told me there was only one frame left. I stared through the lens for quite a while, metering and checking my settings over and over. I wanted to make it count since there was only one frame left. It was the end of the day so unbeknownst to me light was great. I remember getting the photo back and being excited about it, not because it was an amazing wake-boarding photo, but because it came out exactly how I envisioned it. The VHS cameras led to an interest in video production and I ended up moving to Los Angeles for film school. One of the aspects I really struggled with was lighting. I realized the visual gap between the lighting I saw in films or television and what I was able to create. Around the same time I had started following two photographers whose work dealt very heavily in lighting technique, Patrick Hoelck and Dave Hill. I thought that taking motion out of the equation would help me to better grasp lighting. I got a DSLR and rented lights from the school and started working out lighting and post production techniques inspired by their work. This led to shooting promotional content for a clothing line and a few other small jobs for a few years. The look that I had been inspired to develop became a style that people wanted. While I had successfully executed the technical attributes to this ascetic, I did not have the creative literacy or confidence to move beyond it with my own ideas. Eventually many others employed the same techniques and achieved similar results and I lost all interest in photography and focused solely on my video editing work. It wasn't until years later when I felt creatively stifled that I looked to photography again for help.

all images courtesy of James Watts


2) Do you see yourself becoming solely a professional photographer? I picked up photography again as a way to explore my own creativity, something that I felt was lacking in my professional life. I’m an amateur photographer, and am really not interested in the “Pro” signifier. There was an intentional shift between taking pictures in my free time while on camping trips with friends and devoting my time to it as a creative work. I remember having the conversation with my girlfriend, saying I know that this sounds illogical, as every 3rd guy with camera wants to be a “landscape photographer,” but that I felt there was value in my personal vision and to execute that vision I needed to go on dedicated photo trips. What I’m doing is making photographs that are expressions of my personal perceptions and experiences in the landscape. If I can continue to do that, and some type of fine art or commercial value can be found in it, I’m open to those opportunities. What I cannot do is change my vision to better suit a product or client. I’m not interested in producing that type of photographic work, not because I don't need work, but because I believe there is merit in my personal vision.

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3) With a name like allfilmeverything, you must shoot a lot of film! Do you shoot any digital work as well? What medium did you use first - film or digital? And most importantly, why film? After working with so many others’ ideas and creative directions I was looking for something that could help me explore my own. I remembered the creative feeling I experienced with a film camera, so I got myself a Nikon FM2. A film camera very similar to my father’s that intrigued me when I was younger. I picked up a few different types of film cameras to see the ways they could help me explore my creativity. As different cameras solved my specific technical needs for images none got me any closer to creating photos that held interest beyond being technically sound. This led me to search for something else. A camera, film or digital, is only a tool, a tool that needs to be operated by intention, thoughtfulness, and the skill of a prepared mind. Medium format film is a cost effective way for me to make very high quality photographs. I have learned how to take advantage of attributes in specific films to meet my vision of a final photograph. Some of this is due to the specific way film renders gradients of light and the subtitles of color. Another aspect I enjoy about using an analog camera is how it fades into the background while I experience the landscape. There is no screen and menu to withdraw me from being physically present. I am currently not shooting any digital photography as at this point it does not suit my vision.


4) Do you develop your own film or do you send it out for processing? If you send it out -do you use a local company or send it out? If you develop your own - would love to learn about this!(interesting stories, experience, etc.) I send my film out to a lab. I did a lot of research on developing and scanning processes and found that for consistency and quality a good lab is the best solution for me. I use Indie Film Lab in Alabama and have a color/scan tech there that I have been able to work with to dial in my scans to suit my specific needs. 5) Everyone knows that composition and lighting are the most important factors of photography. Explain to me what you are looking for when you are setting up a shot. I’m looking for something within the landscape that interests me. I try to think about what visual aspects of the object called my attention, the context of the object and its surroundings, and how it would translate into a 2D image. I like compositions that include everything that needs to be included and nothing that is not. There needs to be enough detail to be of interest but not so much as to feel busy or confusing. There also needs to be enough visual structure within the frame for this detail to rest on. 6) What do you enjoy to shoot specifically about landscape photography? What are your photographic goals? Any upcoming travel plans? I really enjoy experiencing the natural landscape. I try to put myself in locations with features I’m interested in during weather that is changing. It is in these in-between moments when I find the landscape the most dynamic, even within smaller more abstract scenes. I enjoy discovering light, form, and texture and arranging them within a composition in a way that creates a unified, evoking scene. I have been able to make a select few photographs in which I am truly confident in their value as statements of the natural world. I plan to continually pursue creating photographs that resonate with me as strongly as these few past works. As I gain a more in-depth understanding of the landscape I hope to apply the small successes I have had into a growing creative vision that is moreclear and individual. I am extremely excited and fortunate right now to be putting together an “adventure mobile” that will allow me to access more of the domestic places I find interesting. In the coming winter months, I’m going to be concentrating on places that are affected by change of winter weather.


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Where social media gets problematic is when you

focus on producing what

you think will gain you likes, follows and comments.

Most

of social media is just an echo-chamber.”

-James Watts, on media consumption

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7) What are your tips for young creatives to pursue photography - especially in terms of film photography? The most difficult part of using film is getting a proper exposure because you have to go 100% by calculations, no checking the screen to see if it’s too dark or too bright. Really spend time learning how the meter works in your camera and how to use it. If you're really struggling or just want an easier method, pick up an external light meter. There are a few different types: an incident light meter being the most widely used. I also recommend learning Ansel Adams’ Zone System. Color negative films do not like to be underexposed, so always error on the side of a little too bright. Even if you do want to develop your own negatives, scan them, or print them, I’d suggest letting a lab do your first rolls. Get a handle on making solid negatives and work from there. If you're diving all in at once there are too many points of possible failure to be able to systematically work out what needs to be changed. For a teenager interested in pursuing photography I’d say to worry less about the quality of your gear. Spend as much time as you can be searching out good photography. If the photographers that interest you have books, find them and read them. Most will discuss influences and peers, look into those artists’ works as well and read their books if you find them interesting. Work at curating your consumption of photography to quality sources. I’d strongly suggest looking beyond the internet. Find subjects that truly interest you. The best photos are most often questions and if you're not interested in the subject it will show. 8) Explain Medium Format and its impact on your work I became interested in medium format when trying to address some of the technical shortfalls of why the images I was making did not hold the same interest and feel that made me stop and spend the time to make them. There is a lot of detail in nature and this textural detail as well as the subtitles of light were not being rendered to my liking with 35mm film. I started shooting a Pentax 67 because of its relatively low cost and high quality lenses. 6x7 film is over 4 times the resolution of 35mm. This leads to images with far less appearance of grain, much finer resolution of detail and gradients of color and light, as well as increased resolution for larger prints. The Pentax 67 is rugged, simple, and shoots like a big SLR. The vertical aspect ratio of the 6x7 medium format frame is very complementary to how I personally see landscape compositions.


9) How do you view social media platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram? How do they play a role in your professional life? I think there is a sense of a photo reaching a finished state when you share it, in a small way, similar to making a physical print. It helps to see your work lined up on a wall, so to speak. I first started posting my work on Tumblr because at the time it was a platform that no one I knew was on. When starting out it can be helpful to shield this “wall” from people you know whose opinions have influence on you until you start to find clarity and confidence in your ideas. I think people are sometimes too quick to share and too often their valuable yet fragile ideas get mishandled and reshaped by others. Art is not a democratic process. Where social media gets problematic is when you focus on producing what you think will gain you likes, follows and comments. Most of social media is just an echo-chamber but it’s how people are consuming media right now. I share what I’m working on because I find it interesting and beautiful and there is some possibility others will appreciate it in the same way I do. I’d like to connect with those people, so I do have a social media presence, but promoting myself though social media is really not a priority.


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Ben Willingdorf from giant snowmen to passion projects, a filmaker rises on the youtube platform

by Patrick Kiel


B

en Willingdorf isn’t easily described and neither are his ambitions. Ben documents his projects through beautiful and creative films which he posts on Youtube, but calling Ben a Youtuber or a filmmaker would be a disservice to his work. Willingdorf is not a filmmaker - his videos aren’t made for artistic expression, rather they are made to share Ben’s true passion, his projects. Throughout our interview, I attempted to categorize Ben with a generic industry term. But as I settled on a label, he would surprise me with a new revelation and insight into his personality. Ben and his life ambitions escape any category and elevate him into a pseudo renaissance man, encapsulating the ambitions, mechanical skill, and creativity of an innovator. Ben Willingdorf has been project focused for as long as he can remember. He vividly recalls his first major project, “The first project I ever built was my own video game system, I was about 5 years old, and one of my neighbours had a ‘Super Nintendo’. I vividly remember thinking about how amazing it was and that I can be immersed into a fictional world simply through a tv screen. I begged my parents to buy one, but instead they gave me something a lot more valuable: the desire of building things.” Ben built a complete “video game system” equipped with two remote controls and three different games, using cereal boxes, tape and a pencil. He remembers spending hours staring at the "screen" hoping that the characters would move. Ben quickly realized that the process of building and actualizing his wildest dreams was far more rewarding than buying a generic toy from a store. From that point on, Ben tackled project after project. He would disassemble old electronics to understand their construction. Ben admits that, “at that age, not many of my projects were successful.” And now Ben feels an obligation to turn all of those unsuccessful dreams into reality. He feels an obligation to inspire and immerse people that

come across his work, the same way that the video game system inspired him when he was five. Ben says,”the easiest way for me to share my work and inspire others is through storytelling and sharing my videos on Youtube. Filmmaking is the only tool I feel comfortable using to express my stories.” Ben didn’t always find filmmaking an easy process. Ben first started creating videos at age 11 for school and for fun before he even had internet at his house. Now at 22, Ben has fine tuned his skills over the years by making hundreds of videos that he never published. He started practicing by making vlogs to become comfortable in front of a camera and learn how to speak to the viewer rather than to the camera. After mastering talking to the camera, Ben worked on improving his storytelling ability by being harshly critical of his films and finding a cohesive story to share. Ben’s goal is for, “the videos to stand by themselves without any narration.” Ben hopes the visuals and the progression of the story share the project and that his narration helps the story rather than make the story. As evident by his latest videos, Ben has truly captivated the art of storytelling.


Unfortunately for his viewers, Ben Willingdorf hasn’t uploaded a video in over 9 months. In his absence, Ben has been focussing on his future for his Youtube channel. Under Ben’s current channel, he has sporadically released videos upon each project's completion. But he is currently completing a slew of projects and will release a string of evenly spaced out videos in the short future. These videos are sure to capture Ben’s inventive spirit and build upon the entertaining videos Ben is known to create.

One of his projects, Willingdorf built a giant version of Olaf, from Frozen. The snowman attracted thousands to his house, and raised thousands for charity.

Throughout our interview, I enjoyed Ben’s radiating passion for his various projects, his optimism, and his confidence. However, the truly marvelous anecdote I left the interview with was the cohesiveness and detail orientated nature of Ben and his Youtube channel. The most striking detail was the connected nature of his various videos. From transforming his old bed into a photo frame and a support structure for the giant snowman video to the bucket that trapped Ben’s roommate and collected thousands for charity, Ben carries the history of one project to the next. For Ben, the history within these items resonate memories of his past success and personal growth and unite the projects. Ben Willingdorf truly brings value to the Youtube platform. Many filmmakers on the platform opt for trendy challenge videos or other short form entertainment. But Ben looks to provide meaning, to showcase his projects and inspire others to complete projects of their own. While this inhibits Ben’s quick rise to fame as Youtube’s algorithm supports creators who post often, Ben finds solace in the support of his subscribers, his close friends and family, and most importantly in self-confidence. Ben pushed others to do the same and said, “if you have an idea, you need to find a way to make it happen. You can’t let anything get in your way.”


and now presenting, the work of

Siiri V채is채nen

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“My name is Siiri Väisänen and I'm a 19 year old university student from Finland, currently studying my first year of Graphic Design and Illustration in Leicester, England. I have always loved art and been drawing for as long as I can remember. There is a strong tradition of illustration and design in Finland, which has influenced me a lot. I love how colourful yet minimalistic the Scandinavian design is, and this is something that can be seen in my most recent work. After graduating, I hope to be able to work as a freelance illustrator. I also have a passion for animation, which is what I also wish to do more of in the future.”

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feature:

danny kataw

photographed by claudia

mesa

instagram

Claudia Mesa @nspire_photography @claudiamesa_ Danny Kataw @dannykataw


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issue 6 tracks curated by Danny Kataw Retrograde-

let’s be birds-

James Blake

jacob whitehouse

somebody else-

2 heads-

the 1975

coleman hill

hummed lowodessa

can’t

stillthe japanese house

my

brandon flowers

all the timebahamas

deny love-

worryjack garratt

this

must be placekishi bashi

the

Profile for Canvas Magazine

Issue 6 | Canvas Magazine  

Canvas Magazine's sixth issue dissects each writer's individual truths. In addition, we share interviews with photographer James Watts, Yout...

Issue 6 | Canvas Magazine  

Canvas Magazine's sixth issue dissects each writer's individual truths. In addition, we share interviews with photographer James Watts, Yout...

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