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n掳4 路 spring mmxiV 路 Free


N°4 don’t be afraid to live. We all fiend for a life of fulfillment. Don’t push it off into tomorrows and next weekends and next paydays. Inhale already. You’re killing yourself. We institute the purest form of slavery, the most agonizing death within ourselves. We consciously allow ourselves to be defined and trapped from the outside. Break free. No need to try and survive anything that doesn’t completely drench you with inspiration. Find your lifesaver. Every day births a new beginning. Forget longevity – it’s a ruse. Every chance you take today intensifies the quality and depth of your life. Serendipity is calling. Answer her. Run off together. In N°4, we celebrate people who simply could not live a pre-determined life any longer. No matter the personification, they fought to change their lives and pursue the very thing that stirred most inside of them, screamed loudest in their conscience. Painters, travelers, musicians, writers, those who don’t fit neatly in a category or label, who unleashed themselves to run like the crazy, wild beasts that’d been caged inside them – like something was chasing them. Because death is chasing you. This is why four was created, to celebrate those freedoms, those liberties of thought that are not always cherished in the mainstream. We’ve been provoked to publish when the spark of inspiration was simply too hot to ignore. We hope that you will look back on our volumes and become re-energized and reinvigorated, and if pretense or normal try to coerce you away, kill them in self-defense. Run away like your life depended on it. Because it does. Don’t become a dead man walking. In this final volume, we ask the resounding question: Can I Live? Take that with you every day as a catalyst to your best moments yet. You are the only thing preventing you from living your dream life. Fear and passion are the best alarm clocks – court them, together. Let your dreams scare you into action. Wake up. Suddenly. Fall into a dream. Because, really, life is but a dream. Live it in real time.

nicole camack and ciara bird, founders of four magazine


N°4 contents




wo n d e r i n a li c e l a n d a fashion story

s h e b ec a m e lo st i n h e r b e st d e s i g n y e t, a n d n a m e d t h e s pace , to m o r r ow bryn alexandra

t h e s o u n d wav e s s h ow e d t h e way, b u t t h e j o u r n e y wa s sti ll u n fo ld i n g verbal van gogh

24 a n d t h e y e llow b r i c k r oa d wa s ac t ua lly t h i r t y s h a d e s o f g o ld jenny andrews anderson

33 c r e at i v e f i r e a collective



46 s h e i s m a d n e s s , s a n it y. s h e i s h e ll , a n d pa r a d i s e yasmin + soki mak

52 a n d i n t h e e n d, w e w e r e a ll j u s t h u m a n s , d r u n k o n t h e i d e a t h at lov e , o n ly lov e , co u ld h e a l o u r brokenness a fashion story

62 f r e e d o m f le w ac r o s s t h e c a n va s i n to fo r e v e r’s fo g gy h e llo kenT youngstrom

68 t h e fo o d wa s f i n i s h e d, b u t t h e m o m e n t wa s s avo r e d garrett tallent


t h e c h ao s i n h e r cr e ati o n s w e r e m e r e ly ch a r m s i n h e r ch a r i ot, treasures in her hunt ariene c. bethea

li k e a r i v e r t h e i d e a s f low e d, a n d h e swa m a lo n g 47 park avenue

one truth a fashion story

124 a s p h a lt a n g e l s wa lk among us, in the art of a s c e n s i o n a n d a n o m a ly concrete generation



r ita m i le s closet + casa

t h e sta r s a li g n e d, a n d i m ag i n ati o n vag a b o n d e d li k e t h e h e a r t b e at o f lov e r s anderson brasileiro

94 t h e wo r ld wa s s h a pe d li k e a c r e at i v e s pi r it, a n d s p u n o n t h e a x i s o f s e lf - d i s cov e ry martique lorray

132 h ow to q u it yo u r day j o b a travel story



g r ow i n g u p – t h e cr u e le st m y t h o f t h e m a ll agate & elm

co m m it yo u r s e lf – t r av e l i s t h e pi ll w e s h o u ld a ll ov e r d o s e o n andi perullo de ledesma

102 e n co r e a poetic account



a s n a p s h ot o f s u s p e n d e d t i m e h au n t e d t h e m i n t h e h a p pi e s t o f p l ac e s project noir

t h e o n ly ca lm t h at e x i st e d wa s t h e o r ch e st r at e d pau s e o f m a s t e r m i n d a n d m ach i n e straight stitch & co.

minka sicklinger, dale frank, anne sofie madsen, bryan olson 5

142 dav i d f r e n c h this or that

four magazine volume n°4 · spring mmxiV

nicole camack




ciara bird



creative director

contributing photographers

edel verzijl, paige french, charlotte rutherford, sandrine dulermo, michael labica, joshua galloway, ashley sellner, lindsey appolis, john vogler, angel butler, lindsay adler

contributing writers

ariene c. bethea, cpmaze, courtney perkins, fenn o’heally


bryan olson 5th density, hand collage geoff keen of precipice (on the edge), acrylic & chalk on canvas

artists + illustrators

jenny andrews-anderson, darryl hurts, jon jicha, bryan olson, carmel jenkin, anderson brasileiro, martique lorray, david french

visit us online @fourmagtv


four magazine po box 480815 charlotte, nc 28269 usa +1.980.224.0258

published quarterly

all rights of this publication are reserved by four magazine, little bird, llc or third parties. all artwork is copyright of the contributing artists and may not be reproduced without their explicit permission. their presence in the magazine implies that four is authorized to publish them. this publication cannot be reproduced electronically, digitally, in printed or any other form, format or media without the explicit, written permission and approval of the copyright holders. four accepts no responsibility for the documents submitted. every effort has been made to contact and properly credit copyright holders— please contact us regarding corrections or omissions.


can i live?


we invite you to something epic, you know? well, we hustle out of a sense of hopelessness, sort of a desperation through that desperation, we become addicted sort of like the fiends we accustomed to serving but we feel we have nothing to lose, so we offer you, well we offer our lives, right, what do you bring to the table? jay-z


wonder in aliceland photography by edel verzijl at sticky stuff styling by beatrice jolly at production by mirik milan and kim kuijpers at mrkmln hairstyling by yvonne nusdorfer and yokaw makeup yokaw at angelique hoorn for laura mercier featuring zazoe at modelution photography assistant bart van staveren styling assistant risa chik


top ann demeulemeester skirt mattijs hat escada sport crown otazu right page

dress elise kim belt mattijs cuffs mattijs shoes jan taminiau


top claes iversen singlet american retro skirt ilja shoes jan taminiau rings otazu

dress dennis diem brass body piece bibi van der velden top monique van heist skirt missoni

jacket burberry prorsum top h&m skirt elise kim hat and belt burberry prorsum right page

poncho and pants jean paul gaultier shoes burberry prorsum


dress mattijs rabbit head nepco


coat dennis diem top diane von furstenburg pants sonia by sonia rykiel rings otazu right page

shirt sage and ivy dress and pants acne shoes ilja crown otazu


and the yellow brick road was actually thirty shades of gold Self-taught with no pre-defined creative process or swanky studio, Jenny Andrews Anderson’s abstracts explode with color, whimsy, and eccentrics, just like her character. interview by ciara bird photographs by paige french

What kind of person are you? I am passionate, sensitive and eccentric. A long time ago one of my acting teachers said to me, “Jenny, you fart up more colors of the rainbow than anyone I know.”  That pretty much sums it up.   What’s your uniform? Pajamas. I work from home so it works for me.  If I’m leaving the house it’s usually cut-offs, a t-shirt and fl ip-flops.  The winterized version would be jeans, an oversized sweater and high top sneakers or boots.  What’s your creative process? Do you have a set idea in mind before you start, or is it more of a journey and exploration that leads to the final piece? I don’t have a process.  I do usually have a concept though, which tends to be color driven.  I paint in the abstract so I am mostly inspired and moved by colors and seeing them together.   Why do you paint? I wish I could say because I’d die if I didn’t or something dramatic and poetic like that.  But in truth, it’s because it is a way for me to make a living doing something that I enjoy. I am an actor by trade and just a creative person in general so it’s in my blood to create things.  I would die if i didn’t create, period.  So I guess in that sense it’s poetic. The thing about painting for me is I love to see colors together.  I feel a bit like a scientist when I am painting. and there is something about it that keeps me checked


in and in tune with my creativity. But I always feel a tad guilty that I have had such success as a painter and I never really had any ambition to do it.  I just sort of fell into it. As an actor I would always feel bitter resentment toward people who said they never wanted to be an actor, they just fell into it and then they went on to gain massive success.   I guess a part of me believes there are a fair number of artists out there who feel that way toward me.  That is obviously a total assumption and something I clearly need to get over. It isn’t doing anyone any good to think that way.   What items are essential for you to get started? Your favorite medium? All I need is the paint and some paper or canvas.  I guess my favorite medium would be soft pastels.  I love the intensity they bring to the paper.  I love layering them over the paint.  It’s truly a thrill for me.  Do you have a go-to color palette? Hmm… pink will always make it better.   Are you listening to music while creating a piece and does it have any influence on your work or is it simply background noise? Yes, I do.  It depends on my mood and what I am painting. When I paint my jellyfish series, I always listen to the cello. It absolutely has an influence on my work. If music doesn’t invoke some sort of feeling or emotion I tend to not be interested in it. This is why I can’t stand pop music.  I don’t go for happy music.  What artists influenced your oeuvre? There are so many artists that I look up to and who inspire my work.  I discover new artists every day who use color in ways I hadn’t thought and it inspires me to create something similar.   Who would be your spirit animal? A person in a bee costume eating fudge.  At a regular party.   Do you need chaos in order to create or do you like things neat and in their place? I defi nitely need things to be in their place.  I am not a fan of chaos – visual or otherwise.  There is chaos in my brain as it is…I choose to eliminate it in my periphery.   What’s your favorite thing about your studio? Well, my studio is my dining room and the best part about that is it’s attached to the rest of my house.  I love the fact that I can stop painting if I need to and go watch the housewives on bravo. Or




work out. Or clean. It’s convenient to work from home and I feel super lucky to get to do that.  However, I’d trade it all for a beautiful, light-fi lled studio where I didn’t have to clean up my paints at the same time every day because we also eat there.  What other art forms/kinds of artists do you have high appreciation for? I am always in awe of artists who can paint realism to such a degree that you would think it is a photograph. That, to me, is mind-boggling.  But abstract will always be my favorite. I always love when people tell me that abstract art looks like something a kid could do.  I take that as the highest compliment.   Kids paint without pretense and with such abandon. Any abstract artist will tell you that their best work comes from that place. And as an adult it’s not easy to get to that place.   What are you completely tired of? Pink and gold together.  Separately, I love them.     As an artist do you see any shifts happening with art since the explosion of micro-blogging sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr? The only shift I see is availability to the masses.  But I think that’s a positive. It means more people are exposed and they are learning what kind of art they love. Art is so important. Viewing it, making it…it’s all part of our insides.   Tell us something interesting about your neighborhood. I live in historic College Park, which is south of Atlanta, near the airport.  It’s very loud here.  But it’s safe and cute and there is a real family atmosphere here. 


How would you describe the space you’ve created? Your favorite room? What I have created is a warm and cozy home that is modern and relaxed. I tend to stay away from trends for the most part and decorate over a long time.  My favorite room right now is my family room. I painted the walls farrow and ball black blue and I went all the way – painting the trim, windows, molding and doors.  It was the best thing I could have done for this tiny room.  It is covered in windows and they are now covered in blackout shades for the ultimate tv viewing room.  I wanted to go white-white-white and even bought the paint and then at the last minute I had an epiphany.  I asked myself, what do I want this room to be? and the answer was a cozy den where my family could curl up together and watch movies on the weekend.  It’s also 30

what we do at night after Fiona is in bed. We catch up on our favorite shows.  We are tv people. It’s how we unwind.  So it seemed like a no brainer that we decorate the room around that idea.  It’s what the room is used for.  What a concept! Anything in particular that you are currently searching for or obsessed with? Everything!  I am always searching for thonet bentwood cane armchairs.  I need four more.  I am also searching for a big french bed, something like Marie Antoinette would have slept in, for my daughter.  I have spotted a few on craigslist, but not “the one”.   And I guess I have a thing for mid-century pottery and Beni Ourain rugs.  I’d love an Yves Klein blue one and a bright red one and a few traditional white ones.   What was the last experience that totally blew your mind? Walking with my family through the Yorkshire Dales last summer.  It was everything I’d hoped it would be. In that moment, I would have died happy. I can’t wait to go back.  Good thing I didn’t die.


425 south tryon street suite 110 | charlotte nc 28202 704.373.1464 |

The artist’s life cannot be otherwise than full of conflicts, for two forces are at war within him, on the one hand, the common human longing for happiness, satisfaction a n d s e c u r i t y i n l i f e ; a n d o n t h e o t h e r, a ruthless passion for creation which may go so far as to override every personal desire... There are hardly any exceptions to the rule that a person must pay dearly for the divine gift of creative fire.

carl jung 33



I want to communicate pain. Pain that has been turned into power to make my dreams come true. The ability to not fear one’s own dreams and the power that they can have on your life and others.

darryl hurts charlotte



The complexity of s p a c e . H u m a n i t y. Deja vu.

bryan olson charlotte


My work centers on perceptual sensations of ‘hereness’ – the blend between intimacy and distance. The fields in my paintings are to be negotiated through visual relationships predicated on a sense of conventional s p a t i a l c o n d i t i o n s s u c h a s g r a v i t y, weightlessness, and volume. M o s t i m p o r t a n t l y, e a c h w o r k i s a collaboration between what is felt by the viewer and the co-existing tensions of formal elements.

jon jicha sylva



emily burns new york




My art is simply not a series of nude figures. Each individual piece represents an emotion or a feeling. I want the viewer to look at my work and see and feel an emotion they have experienced within their own life. It could be a feeling of pain or emptiness. Sadness or happiness.

carmel jenkin melbourne


she is madness, sanity. she is hell, and paradise interview by fenn o’ meally photography by charlotte rutherford styling: soki mak makeup: katy short special thanks to @ninetyfly


t’s a well-known concept that women generally have an enviable gift for multitasking, often obediently balancing the divide between work and play as if it were nothing more than second nature. But when it comes to industry creatives, Yasmin and Soki Mak, there are few women who do it better. For these close friends, work is play, and play is work; the two come hand in hand, parallel to the pulse of their passions.

and fashion stylist, Soki Mak has authenticated herself over the past five years as a woman with drive, talent and jolting knack of blending playful apparel among individual personalities. At the other end of the industry, with an intensifying career since 2009, DJ and singer-songwriter, Yasmin holds a persona so enticing, that both her vocals and style are congruent to her charisma. It’s little wonder then, why these magnetic, motivated women gelled so long ago.

Born and bred in Glasgow, London-based creative director 46

Soki wears: coat versus belt moschino jeans moschino sunglasses escada jewellery gogo philip shoes camilla skovgaard Yasmin wears: sunglasses versace shirt moschino silk trousers versace coat escada bracelet moschino watch versace shoes stylists own



Yasmin and Soki wear all clothing by kristina egle Yasmin wears leather cap by topman


Yasmin wears: top, shorts, and jumper renli su mesh top dkny scarf fendi earrings gogo philip Soki wears: hat stylists own knitted peplum polo and knitted golf pants sophie cull-candy gloves so high soho jewellery gogo philip


We stayed in this cute little apartment right on the promenade in Ibiza Town and just had the time of our lives! Every night was better than the one before, we danced so hard and laughed so much (and drank our weight in vodka) and made some really amazing memories. Can’t wait to go back in 2014! Soki: Mine would have to be Ibiza too, I had fun for seven days straight; I think we all actually cried when we got home, didn’t want to leave!

Who’s your ultimate style icon? Yasmin: Aaliyah, the way she can wear such masculine clothes and still look feminine in them – cool, sexy and effortless all at the same time. Soki: Isabella Blow! She was the originator of style, and to this day, I still dream of that green, yellow and orange latex dress she wore with the green fur coat. I really love Anna Dello Russo too; she has so much fun with her look. Favorite musician of all time? Yasmin: Janet Jackson. Everything about her – the voice, the lyrics, the production, the videos, the choreography and of course the style – were so well done. Her growth from album to album was so perfectly executed and it felt honest and relatable. Soki: I’m going to be predictable and say Whitney Houston.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years? Yasmin: I want to have lots of music releases and tours; I’d love to be involved in the making of a documentary because I’m a biiiig fan of documentary film. Also, I want my own coffee table book and would love to be able to have a label or some kind of situation that allows me to make and release music that I love. Soki: I would like to have a career like Jeremy Scott or Nicola Formichetti. They are both creative directors of hugely successful fashion houses; they have their own massively successful brands; they collaborate, travel, and most of all have fun with it.

As friends, how do your ambitions feed off each other? Yasmin: Soki inspires me to be confident, to believe in myself and to never apologize for who I am. Soki: We’re going to sound like a soppy couple, but we definitely inspire and encourage each other to work better and be better human beings.

If you were describing each other to a stranger what would you say? Soki: Stunning inside and out, her jokes aren’t bad either. Yasmin: I would say Soki is a rare Pokemon, special in every single way.

Tell us about working together. Soki: We’re mature enough to respect each other’s opinion. When I style Yasmin on shoots or music videos it’s more of a joint effort. I know what she likes; she trusts my judgments and always looks amazing, which always makes my job a little easier! Yasmin: I love working with Soki because no one knows me better than her. She knows my style and what I’m comfortable in, and because we’re such good friends we can always keep it real with each other. It’s amazing having her on shoots cause she always lets me know if I’m giving a bad angle.

Finally, the one we’re all dying to know... What’s your wardrobe like? Yasmin: Very monochrome, lots of Nikes, lots of street wear and the odd feminine piece. Soki: Full of magical things, an explosion of color, costume, latex and silk. I don’t really own many practical clothes, but perfect for dress up.

Best holiday you’ve ever had? Yasmin: Ibiza 2013, I was there for a week with Soki and our friend Maddy. 51


and in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness photography sandrine dulermo + michael labica styling laurent dombrowicz production laurent marie affre hair christos kallaniotis make up phyllis cohen set design absynth photographic scenic artwork jude singleton set design assistant hannah white featuring luise salmgrieze











freedom flew across the canvas into forever’s foggy hello written by nicole camack photographs by joshua galloway

In a delicate dance between interior design, graphic design, and art, kenT youngstrom fell into the arms of art, self-taught and led by its organic motivations and gravitational pull. With his no pretense approach, he continues to astound and amaze with his impeccable talent and his inspiring, non-conforming delivery. Renowned with the hottest names from TV to print and around the world, this North Carolina resident embodies living – and painting – in the moment.



“I am my work. It’s called exposure for a reason.” 68

Tell us about your very first day painting. Laughable. Unprepared. Intoxicating – minus the morning Gatorade. Why is it important to do what you love every day? Have a drink with the guy who hates what he does every day. That sounds fun huh. What about fear? Being an artist can have its ups and downs and unpredictability. Tell us about it. I’m ‘crawl in a ball and hide under the desk’ afraid every time I show something new. I am my work. It’s called exposure for a reason. Tell us about your where you create. Small garage + 1,200 paintings in 5 years = need for new space. I have a warehouse facility in Matthews which contains an office, a gallery and a working studio with rolling working spaces, large walls to stretch canvas, room for 20 people at painting classes, gallery openings, and holiday and corporate event parties. Any special details you gravitate towards? Details - no. Details are not my thing. Circles - yes. I started painting circles about five years ago and they seem to have stuck around. I’m sure someday they will leave me just like pleated pants. Who did you look up to when you started? Great question. No answer. I had no idea what I was doing or what direction I was headed – not exactly sure when I started to be honest. I think it was and continues to be a blessing that I fumble around like a new dad in the grocery store. Talk about your compulsion to fuse poignant words in some of your pieces. Much like peanut butter + chocolate, gin + tonic (or bacon + anything), I’m inclined to believe words and art are better together. 69


What other art forms captivate you? Short films. And I’m jealous of rock stars. Last experience you felt most alive? California. Winter. Surfing. I felt alive but couldn’t feel much else in the cold water. What is your strongest childhood memory? Chutes and ladders, short shorts, tall tube socks, zips, wiffle ball, chores, baseball cards, the backwards seat in the station wagon, grandma’s jello molds, a terrible hair cut, 588-2300 empire, sesame street and Sunday night grilled cheese. Favorite artist / gallery? Jackson Pollock. He was the first. Everyone has these little quirks or unique characteristics about them that help set them apart. What’s yours? I’m… opinionated to a fault. Quick tempered. A checklist writer. A U-turn hater. Not a general people person. A big picture thinker. A minivan driver. Willing to do just about anything for a friend. Self-sufficient and believe others should be as well. Easily prone to tear up at bad children’s movies. A clean and healthy eater. A stomach sleeper. A soccer player. A whale, crocodile, horse and polo player hater. What’s in the future? I have no idea - and that’s the way I like it. 71


THE FOOD WAS FINISHED, BUT THE MOMENT WAS SAVORED As a culinary artist with an imaginative palette amid backgrounds of visual art and cuisine, Garrett Tallent, founder of Bon Vivant, chefs his own epicurean experiences right in your home. interview by nicole camack

Why did you choose to be a chef? In all honesty I didn’t choose it. I am one of those chefs who just fell into it. I spent several years as a visual artist, but I also really enjoyed cooking for my friends and family. As I learned more about haute cuisine, I quickly realized I could combine my two passions of art and food and paint on plates. I’ve been in love with culinary ever since. Tell us about Bon Vivant. What’s the significance of the name and what motivated you to start? We wanted to fi nd a name that represents my feelings about the culinary industry and what I feel I can bring to it. A bon vivant is above all an epicurean who enjoys the good life. We strive to make all of our clients “bon vivants” while serving them. Restaurants are amazing places I’ve devoted a lot of time and energy to, but they are in abundance, even great ones. I’ve always loved the ever-changing nature of catering, meeting new people and hearing their stories. What’s your favorite recipe? Unless it’s baking, I rarely follow recipes, not even my own. The recipe is a guide and I try my best

to do something unexpected every time I cook. One of the best aspects of my business is that it allows me to be completely creative and make something different for each individual.

energy in colors and visual art. I consult with my international and local purveyors and take all of that back to my test kitchen, pop on some classical music, and see where it takes me.

How do you respond to the theory that fine dining should be in a restaurant? I highly disagree. Restaurants are restricted by overhead and menu and cannot offer the variety and personal attention both in menu planning and at the table.

Where do you get your inspiration? My staff . I have always wanted to work in an environment where, literally, every person in the kitchen had something to work for, something to contribute, and something to lose. I think I have created that.

Things everyone should have in their kitchen? All the tools any good chef requires are a sturdy sauté pan and a spoon.

You’ve had a lot of successes. Talk about how you overcame fear and failure to live your dream. I’ve always felt that the true death of an artist or chef is one who doesn’t put themselves out there. I can take criticism and I have, but I always felt that I’d be better off falling flat on my face trying than if I stayed at home and no one ever saw it. For every one goal I accomplish I have six more waiting. But I’m not scared. I’ll always be hungry for more.

The culinary world is often overlooked for its artistic/artisan nature. Your blank canvas being a kitchen, talk about how you approach the “creation” for your dishes? The creative process for me begins with the client. I try and get a sense for what they want to experience, what they want to remember. Once I get to that place, I can go outside of the kitchen to fi nd my creativity from farmers, stores, and sometimes other chefs. I also always fi nd a good deal of creative 73

A SNAPSHOT OF SUSPENDED TIME HAUNTED THEM IN THE HAPPIEST OF PLACES Entire stories are captured in the best of images. Alvin “AJ” Jacobs, Jonathan Cooper and Joshua “Aurelius” Galloway are the visionaries behind Project Noir, a creative photography medium where stories and moments are created, come alive and live on. Reimagining the concept of photography by designing creative freedom, this Charlotte collective is expanding ideas and concepts one development at the time. interview by ciara bird photographs by project noir

working on a project, we’re taking those ideas that keep us awake at night and bringing them to life; it’s like therapy for us.

What is the goal of Project Noir and why is it needed in a city like Charlotte? We bring ideas and concepts to life for businesses and brands and educate our clients about our creative process to encourage a greater appreciation for creativity in the workplace. Every city needs a group of free thinkers and creatives.

Who should be watching you? Everyone who’s passionate about change, and the ability to create emotional pieces and conversations through pixels. Whose style never fails to inspire you? AJ: Rick Owens is consistently refreshing, new and cutting edge. Jonathan: Estevan Oriol, Peter Dean Rickards and Alexander McQueen. Aurelius: Rog Walker and Peter Lindbergh. Adhemas Batista’s work is pure digital art.

What do you specialize in? Photography, digital and print solutions for creative small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. We develop tailored creative solutions suited to unique needs. What will separate Project Noir from other photographers/groups in Charlotte and beyond? Our approach to creating and providing another perspective that hasn’t been seen.

What’s happening in the future? AJ: The rebirth of creative collective concepts. Aurelius: Photography exhibits from us, and others around the city. Online and physical rebrands. The new standard of what creativity means for Charlotte.

Any upcoming projects? Always! But we’re really excited about our personal editorials and exhibits. We just completed a special project with UNC-Charlotte, and we are looking forward to the next. When we aren’t

Follow their journey at:



She became lost in her best design yet, and named the space, Tomorrow Interior designer and blogging inspiration Bryn Alexandra exudes exploration in life and design. As a designer who changed careers and swiftly corralled success, she not only creates intriguing interiors, but also constructs an attainable path from daunting dream to raging reality. photographs by ashley sellner written by ariene c. bethea

If you created a Pinterest board called “following your passion” what would you pin? i would create six boards,

start researching stories for upcoming posts. on the retail side, i answer questions and assist customers. By the end of the day, i’m heading home for dinner and then off to catch up on pinterest for inspiration.

passion, discipline, organization, drive, boundaries and travel. if you want to be your own boss you have to be passionate about your business. You have to be disciplined about your schedule and getting things done. organization is critical to have because you have to wear many hats. Drive is what pushes you to do better. You have to constantly keep reaching. it is easy to get stuck in your comfort zone. Boundaries are important since it’s easy to be working all the time with no clock to punch. if you work in a creative field, travel and exploration are important to get re-inspired. You can get stuck in your daily grind, so getting out and re-energizing yourself reminds you why you got started.

What was your first client project? Were you nervous? Yes, i was nervous! We had a great relationship and they knew i was just starting out in the industry. We became like family. Believe it or not, they responded to an ad i posted on Craigslist for potential design clients. looking back it was a crazy thing to do, but i lucked out with a great client.

What things did you teach yourself and what did you learn the hard way? You either have a creative eye or you don’t. You can’t teach creativity or style. my advertising background made it easier to transition into design. The hardest thing was learning the business side, like ordering to the trade, and how to bill clients. practice and research along with the help of other designers was invaluable. You can’t be afraid to ask questions.

You left a career in advertising for a shot at interior decorating. Was there a single incident that led you to follow your heart? Do you have any regrets? my husband and i relocated from los Angeles to Charlotte for his job. i used this opportunity to launched Bryn Alexandra. now i work at isabella studios as a designer and have no regrets, it’s been the best experience.

If you could have a private tour of anyone’s home, who would it be? Who doesn’t love Jennifer lawrence and her down to earth personality? i would love to see her home! i bet it’s so warm and comfortable and inviting, just like how she comes across in interviews.

What does your typical day look like? At isabella, i start my day arranging the store, then i put on my blogger hat and


What tips would you give readers about starting their own business? Tip 1. Don’t be too proud to take a junior position (entry level). i started as a shop girl two days a week at isabella, and i wouldn’t be where i am without that position.

Tip 2. Be smart about your decision to start your own business. You still have to pay the bills, so don’t quit your job unless you can afford to. Tip 3. surround yourself with inspiring people. They will constantly push you to be better. Tip 4. Always ask questions. seek out people you admire; you’d be surprised how much information they will share. Tip 5. make time for yourself. Have a life outside of work; downtime is important.


How do you stay motivated and inspired? pinterest. it has changed the game for everyone. never has their been a source for easy access to inspiration of new and fresh ideas. Also, travel. i was recently inspired by a trip to Thomas Jefferson’s monticello home. The architecture was amazing.

What is the coolest part of your day? it doesn’t happen everyday, but when a vision you have comes to life in a room or window treatment, it’s magical. Clients can’t always see the room as you imagine it, so their reaction is priceless.

You were recently featured in HGTV Magazine, tell us about the experience. it was insane, but very cool. it’s such a big production with props and changing floor plans. We had a great time with the team.

Where do you see yourself five years from now? maybe i will own by own store! 79

the chaos in her creations were merely charms in her chariot, treasures in her hunt

photographs by joshua galloway interview by ciara bird 80

With creating, designing, blogging, online selling and innovative pop-up shops for high-end furniture and home accessories all in a day’s spell, Ariene C. Bethea of Dress My Room Interiors is a wondrous woman, driven to nurture her creative spirit outside the realms of a cubicle or dedicated eight-hour timeframe. Her unconventional approaches ignite inspiration in the creative spirit stirring in us all.


What does a typical day look like for you? I typically start my day at 7:00am and spend the few fi rst few hours responding to email, preparing a to-do list and ordering shipping supplies. The next few hours are spent preparing orders or blog posts. I also write for a few publications as an independent contributor, so I use this time to flush out questions or story ideas. By noon, I break for a run to the post office to drop off orders and head back home for a quick lunch at my desk. Next is the most labor-intensive part of my day – cleaning, stripping and upholstering furniture. The most fun and most time-consuming part of the day is photographing, editing and researching pieces for pricing. Each piece gets weighed, measured and a description. I then determine which pieces get listed where online. I spend time on social media posting items and commenting on other posts well into the late evening. Recently I have instituted a new rule on my computer use. No screens after 9:30pm. It’s a hard rule to follow when what you do doesn’t feel like work. What motivated you to start your blog, and eventually begin selling furniture and vintage finds? I started my blog because I needed a creative outlet from my 9-5 job at the time. Working in a gray cube was killing my creative spirit so my blog allowed me to keep one heel in the design world.

Was there a point when you realized that you enjoyed selling furniture more than decorating, or do the two go hand-in-hand? While I enjoy designing rooms for clients, working in a design center launched my passion to sell vintage furniture. I walked in and immediately had the “ah ha” moment. I absolutely loved being surrounded by beautiful things all day. However, I did not want to sell furniture in the traditional sense. With my online shop I get to select the pieces that I want which creates an exciting ever-changing inventory. What key items did you consider “must-haves” in terms of furniture and accessories when decorating your home? My Ju-Ju hat and sunburst mirror were a must! I wanted that hat for eight years and fi nally found one at the right price. You mentioned that if you redecorated (or in your next home) you would do everything completely different. What look/style would you be going for? I know three things I would do differently for sure; fi rst I would paint the walls white. Second, I would paint the ceiling high gloss black or high gloss kelly green. Last, I would purchase a sofa with an all-over pattern. What are some of your favorite local places to find pieces for your shop? My friends at Mid Century Salvage have been very good to me and supportive of my shop. Estate sales always have the best, unexpected treasures. If you could shop in any city, where would you go? I don’t have a particular city, but I would love to take an empty truck through the back roads of any small town and hunt for treasures. Do you feel websites like Hunters Alley and one Kings Lane have changed the way people shop for home goods and furniture? Absolutely. They have given shop owners like myself a national platform to sell furniture all over the country. What’s crazy is that most of my pieces ship to Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York and Texas. These sites present the best in furniture and home accessories to you in one place, making it much easier to find a piece you love without the hunt. Do you see yourself ever moving to a retail space? I love our pop-ups but my dream is to have a brick and mortar. I can safely say there is nothing like the shop I’ve designed in my head here in Charlotte. And I have it designed down to the shopping bags. But I also love the freedom of not

what advice would you give your 23-year old self? Follow your intuition, stay authentic, use your creativity to design your own path, don’t lose your entrepreneur spirit and keep your faith – because you will certainly need it!

being tied to a shop on a daily. It’s a dance I play in my head over and over again. Tell us more about the start of Elle & Bae. It actually started with my partner Kim Loring “Elle” and I talking about how great it would be to have a shop for a couple of days every other month. Being an online vendor can be isolating, no one knew us locally and we wanted to change that. We didn’t want a flea market vibe, so we designed a two-day high-end pop-up market, with a juried vendor process and design/blogger preview to shake things up in the Queen City.

Spring Elle & Bae Pop-Up Shop March 28 - 30 th 2014 at Post & Gray 2139 S. Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28203


like a river the ideas flowed, and he swam along photographs by michael minns interview by ciara bird


aybe it’s Michael Minns’ fluid design style that provoked the start of 47PARKAVENUE, an online concept store for those desiring the entirety of a look by local artists and artisans. Between this and his location agency, this former art director’s enthusiasms are quite the enticing ones. Can you tell us in short: who you are, where you are from and what you do? Who am I? I’ve been thinking about this, and I suppose, after deliberation, I’d say that I am a person deeply involved in creating spaces and telling stories through my work. I’m from Hull, a northern city in England. I’ve had a long career in Art Direction, but now I run my own location agency business with my partner Jonathan and I write a successful interiors blog where my new online store has recently launched.  

Tell us a little about yourselves: I was born into a small, close-knit family. I’m working class, so I didn’t grow up with wealth or privilege but my early creative impulses were always encouraged and supported, even if my ideas were not always understood. I never really followed any particular movement, and I still don’t actually. Everything comes from my gut. At school my teacher said that I would either be a designer or a window dresser. Well, I became a window dresser at 16 in a local department store.  I learned so much in those early days, but I always knew that I would go somewhere else, that I would venture out. So London was the place and Oxford Street was where I ended up. I loved my work. Creating a world in miniature. I found it very fulfi lling. Gradually and quite naturally it lead me to my next career in art direction. 86


Your home is filled with so many great pieces of art. Any advice on collecting and places to look? Buy the things you love. Don’t buy it because it has a name associated with it or for status. Go for love. Also, look local, not only exhibitions and new artists, but all your local flea markets and antique shops.


There are five bedrooms but I knew that we would never use them all. I wanted to utilize all that space, so dressing rooms appeared together with a master-suite. In terms of decoration, I knew that I wanted to keep the beautiful wooden doors and window frames natural and unadorned and I’ve always loved a pure black and soft white palette. You can’t go wrong with black and white. It’s the perfect uncomplicated backdrop.  

Prior to launching your online concept store you had a career in interior design and art direction, tell us about that. Window dressing and Art Direction are so similar really. Many of the same processes take place. Again, the primary impulse is to create a world, a lifestyle, an image. Only this time I wasn’t using mannequins but real people and working with photographers. It’s a gathering of inspiration using a fine through-line of synergy; it’s curating, collaborating, compromise. My career was fast- paced at this time. I progressed from working on projects, to managing a department to finally art direction for the whole company.

Do you often change your décor or does it stay the same? I never think of my home as finished. It’s an evolving, ongoing project, utterly reflective of time and my creativity. I may fall in love with a new vase, bring it into the home, move it around. Gradually it finds its own place, creating a myriad of changes as it goes.  

How long have you lived in your home? We, myself and my partner Jonathan, bought our home in 2011. We have three dogs. Charlie, Oscar and Jacob.

What are you most proud of in your home? I enjoy my dressing room. It has a sense of resting in itself. I play music here as I get ready, it’s my own personal space and I think it reflects me quite deeply because it feels more complete than any other space. I also feel very happy with my home office. Again, it’s a very personal space, I spend all of my day there and it has to inspire me. It does; it’s turned out really well.

Was it love at first sight? What condition was it in? Yes. It was love at first sight. I knew the moment I walked in the door. The house was in excellent condition, the previous owners had really taken good care of it and had spent a lot of time restoring original features. The decor and various reconfigurations were all that had to be tackled.   Did you immediately know what type of changes you wanted to make, or did that come about over time? I knew that I wanted to reconfigure certain rooms. 89


Best recent acquisition for your home: My pink George Smith sofa. It was expensive but that is a true reflection of its quality. It’s timeless.Â


Who were your early design influences and your current design icons? Faye Toogood ( inspires me, her house in The New York Times was extraordinary; she’s a creative genius. Also, Ilse Crawford’s ( work is very influential to me, working a traditional backdrop with the totally unexpected. Dream client/collaboration: Andre Saraiva. I love his work, his creativity.   Favorite resources: French House (  or the Lincolnshire Antiques Fair ( that runs every other month. 92

Next acquisition: I’m still working on the master suite, searching for a paint colour for the ceiling, and I’ve also just ordered some brick slips samples as I’m thinking about using them behind the sinks in the en-suite. I’m also looking at patterned tiles for under the bath, to create a sort of ceramic rug, fabric from Liberty for curtains in the bedroom and a four-poster bed.


of its constant hunger for whatever it wants photography by zach alston styling by mr. baang featuring - yvann filip and vyacheslav van at tout talent makeup + hair deme j fourtounis for marilyn’s model and talent agency wardrobe from blank canvas, buffalo eXchange, and mr. baang photo + wardrobe assistant - kyle murray









closet&casa with rita miles photographs by joshua galloway + angel butler


Who: Rita Miles, interior designer, event planner and founder of Miles Interiors and Charlotte Seen. Why Rita rocks: In addition to running a timeless interior design firm, Rita creates imaginatively elegant events, galas, and grand openings that are unique, memorable, and benefit the local community. She also hosts the largest fashion shows in North Carolina, Passport for Fashion and Charlotte Fashion Week. In her free time, Rita remains dedicated to family and community, and busies herself among her affinity for the High Point furniture market and of course, shoes. In her closet: “My favorite pieces are my collection of vintage hats and my Karl Lagerfeld coat.” In her casa: “My style is very European. I have a chandelier in every room and a rather large collection of works by local artists and pieces I’ve collected throughout my travels.” //


words by Rene Ricard photo by Lindsey Appolis


What is it about art anyway that we give it so much importance? Artists are respected by the poor because what they do is an honest way to get out of the slum using one’s sheer self as the medium. The money earned, proof, pure and simple, of the value of that individual, the artist. The picture a mother’s son does in jail hangs on her wall as proof that beauty is possible even in the most wretched. And this is a much different idea than the fancier notion that art is a scam and a ripoff. But you can never explain to someone who uses God’s gift to enslave, that you have used God’s gift to be free. 105


The world was shaped like a creative spirit, and spun on the axis of self-discovery Her curiosity piquing an explorative experience in her art and idiosyncrasy – both telling a story of their own, Martique Lorray’s paintings ooze imagination in its most realistic form. photographs by john vogler + martique lorray interview by ciara bird

What kind of person you are? I am kind. I am private. I easily relate to strangers. I do not have great sympathy, but I do have great empathy. It is easy for me to see things from other points of view. I am curious. I believe that what I need is always close at hand. I am enamored by human personality, especially our relationship to ourselves. I do not anger easily, but when I do, I get very angry. I believe there are no accidents. I believe most things are possible.

What’s your creative process? It’s an exploration. I usually have a concept that I’m trying to grasp. For example, when I began the “Bearing Flowers” body of work about the companionship of death and vitality, I wasn’t completely certain of the relationship of those two forces. It was only after creating and meeting the characters and learning about the world they reside in that I was able to fully comprehend and write about their story. Because then I knew.

Do you remember your first encounter with art? What was it like? My birth home in Miami was fi lled with art. “Sunflowers” by van Gogh hung next to Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights”, behind a three-foot-tall wooden Jesus, next to a collection of stone Buddhas, beside the “Mona Lisa”, across from a Picasso linedrawing of a female nude, below a fake miniature bull’s head with glass eyes. These objects were part of my playtime with my stuffed animal Pegasus, and I made up my own stories about the works that surrounded me.

Why do you paint? I paint because it’s the way I am able to meet the characters I create, and through them I answer questions I have about life. It’s a means for me to meet myself. How long did it take before you began to find your own style? My own style has always been with me. I believe it arises from the way I view the world. Tell us about your family and your upbringing. My family is from Jamaica. I was the only one in my immediate family born in the United States. Being a first generation American has allowed me to experience the simpler, passionate, tough love culture of my mother, and compare her ways to traditional American thinking. I believe my personality landed somewhere in-between the two.

Did you always have the intention to become a professional artist? No. But I have always been drawn to the feeling that comes from creating new things, the feeling of exploration. 107

My parents had a long, messy divorce when I was eight. My father moved back to Jamaica. I was brought up going to work with my mother who was a private caregiver. I would eat and sleep in the homes of the elderly. I would watch them age and eventually pass on. I would listen to the stories of their lives and of their families. Most of them were grumpy, set in their ways, and capable of great love and humor. This experience greatly affected who I am today.

the three Eastland Mall signs (referred to as the “Rising Sun” icons) that we saved before the Mall’s demolition. In the studio, I am creating a body of work exploring romantic love. I am also looking forward to interning with Paperhand Puppet Intervention. What’s the greatest challenge for you concerning the creation of a new collection of work? I constantly write down ideas - on napkins, in journals, on my arm, in my phone… I have piles, boxes, and a children’s desk full of notes. My greatest challenge is organizing and accessing the good ideas.

What are you currently working on? I am currently working on a public art project with the Eastland Area Strategies Team (E.A.S.T.) in Charlotte, repurposing 108



What do you want to communicate with your work? I want the viewer to feel a story beyond the mere representation of the image. I want to present the viewer with an imaginary world that they somehow are familiar with.

their place”. I dislike looking for things, so I put things within my hand’s reach - I pushpin words to walls, tape images and ideas to shelving, leave books open on table tops and the floor… some would refer to that as chaos or out of place, but I know where things are.

What was the last experience that totally blew your mind? Driving solo across the country from Charlotte to Oregon and back. Sleeping in the back of the car between the paintings for my “Sexy Beast” exhibition and my guitar.. Stopping for a group of wild donkeys that chose to mate in front of my car before completely crossing the road. Spending the night at truck stops with the 18-wheeler brakes sounding like underwater creatures throughout the night.

What other art forms do you have a high appreciation for? Puppet theatre. I love being drawn into an imaginary world. Live music that is imperfect and passionate with a slight touch of dissonance. Permanent public art. Creating something that a city responds to and lives with is a special thing, indeed.

What/who would be your spirit animal? A snake. I tend to acclimate to the temperature of the environment around me. It’s a very useful trait. It is how I fit into diverse situations with motley people. Do you need chaos in order to create or do you like things neat and in their place? Depends on your defi nition of “in 111

If you could repeat something in your life, what would it be? From being the bassist in an all-girl art rock music band in Arizona to co-owning a coffeehouse in Oregon, I’ve had a wonderful life… but I have no desire to repeat anything I’ve done. I enjoy how life becomes things I never could have imagined. Creative freedom is: my birthright.

Growing up – the cruelest myth of them all Librarian by day and self-taught metalsmith by night, Amy Wykoff handcrafts unique jewelry in between the covers of intriguing stories and the perfectly welded creative collection of a life. photographs by angel butler interview by ciara bird

When people ask you what you “do”— how do you answer? I’m a librarian by day and a metalsmith by night. In both careers, creativity and problem solving are necessary to be successful. What I love about creating handcrafted jewelry is the opportunity it gives me to experiment with metal and to always learn while creating.

What materials do you work with? I mostly work with sterling silver and incorporate natural gemstones and found rocks into many of my pieces. I also combine sterling, brass, and copper because I love the look of mixed metal jewelry. I use natural patterns, forms, and textures and a variety of techniques, giving my work an organic feel.

What are you inspired by? As you can imagine, a librarian has access to plenty of inspiration – I check out more books than I ever have time to read! Currently I’m reading about geometry in nature, gemstones and minerals. Most of all, I’m inspired by exploring the natural world on hikes, trips to new places, or simply sitting outside in my garden observing. Do you wear your own jewelry? As a jewelry designer, I can make a new

piece of jewelry to wear every day of the week so you know that has to be fun. I create jewelry that I enjoy wearing and that I think will make the wearer feel beautiful. I fi nd myself wearing lots of sterling and copper stacking ring sets and my mixed metal hexagon bangles almost every day because they go with everything and are so comfortable. Turquoise rings are another favorite of mine to wear and my brass fan necklaces because they can dress up any outfit effortlessly.

What are you most proud of? Over the past two years, this passion of mine has turned into a business that is sustainable and my work has been in very high demand recently. I create pieces that I love and I am pleased that so many of my clients report how much they love my work also. I enjoy running into someone in Charlotte who is wearing a piece I’ve created or when someone shares a photo to show me how much they love their purchase. This always makes me smile!

What’s the best thing about your job? I found a career that allows me to spend my days researching and delving into new topics. My interest in learning


led me to explore jewelry design and to teach myself how to operate a torch and a rolling mill.

What do you love about your neighborhood? I live in NoDa and I cannot imagine living anywhere else in Charlotte. This community welcomed me with open arms when I moved here five years ago and I have been continuously surrounded by intelligent, creative, and passionate people. Many of my neighbors are artists, actors, or musicians and they openly share their interests. One of my favorite quotes from the very popular Holstee Manifesto is, “Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.” NoDa is a community of people who want to create and this is exactly where I want to be.

Where can readers find your work locally? Currently, I have my work at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Gift Shop in Uptown Charlotte and a sweet little store called Eco-Licious in Plaza Midwood. I also sell my work on Etsy.



encore words by cpmaze photography by lindsey appolis assistant nicki piem featuring sasha fourie

You learn to let go of hope and become it when the ego shuts down and your inner id awakes a place where metaphors become gods, sleep in sheets where similes are monsters What do you do when your back’s against a cubicle wall And your call center plantation is hanging slaves by their paychecks Happy birthday suit Please don’t blow out the candle fire that once was our heart For exactly what does Now mean? Time’s deadline is you Heartbreak’s dream is you So how many times have you wrote off your childish insecurities on your taxed soul’s refund? Did you know there’s a crime against humanity taking out another mortgage on a middle-incomed mouth going unreported Did you know the pimpled picked on pot-faced pre-adolescent is contemplating curtain calling the main stage of a classroom with a hardcore encore composed by a pistol and a probably soon Tomorrow is dying for you to pick your own good fight Hey yellow bird I’m afraid the eyes have it, too alarm-clocklost in timesheets of today, feeding the future in starving,

Choking off their own halo’s Heaven-on-earth potential Love like you were born with fuck yeah in your veins Live like you haven’t given up And give in to something greater than you Because You Are The Art That Angels in heaven only wished they had Hanging From Their Halos Because we all keep rainbows Behind our ear lobes That look like What our daredevil Used to be Because “The very act of breathing is a miracle” Because it is you are we will always be we have always been this next moment – might be magical, Because success doesn’t have a rabbit up your heart Life is only the vehicle for your passion And this car is rattling like the upset stomach of a god Because somewhere inside you your inner child would rather die before your understandings become a used car


The only calm that existed was the orchestrated pause of mastermind and machine photographs by joshua galloway interview by nicole camack



alk in most clothing shops and you’re adorned with a medley of pre-selected, pre-cut, pre-assembled patterns and fabrics, impersonalized at offsite warehouses and mass shipped to cookie cutter wardrobes. Stan Fraser, owner of two brands, Straight Stitch & Co. and Anarke Jeans Co. knows no such madness. Tackling his passion and taking on every single stitch of it, he conceptualizes, designs, manufactures, produces and sells custom denim experiences – on-site, all in one shop, and with drive and dedication so fierce they almost run the sewing machines themselves. of governing, you’re left with nothing but Anarke.” Wear it and rock it hard!

Let’s talk about your brands. How are they different? Who are they for? We have two brands, Straight Stitch & Co and Anarke Jeans Co. Straight Stitch & Co offers Bespoke and custom selvedge denim, with a basic fivepocket silhouette and a focus on custom fits and pieces only. Anarke Jeans Co seeks the fashion forward denim connoisseur, with a medium rise relaxed fit and a lowrise straight leg fit.

What motivated you to start? I came from a family that sews so I watched my Mom and my Uncle sew growing up. As a young child, designers like Ralph Lauren and Georges Marciano, co-founder of Guess, were the big brands and I watched their styles, designs and fashion shows and I knew from then that I could do what they were doing. So I started designing and sewing my own clothes and sewing for my friends and selling my own pieces.

Tell us about the significance in those names. For Straight Stitch & Co, we aim to make quality pieces. When people looks at our product we want them to see that even though we manufacture our pieces ourselves, the stitching is straight. Anarke Jeans Co – from the word anarchy – has chaotic pieces, hence the saying, there is life in denim. “With complete chaos and no type

You keep family close in what you do. Talk to us about that. My wife is the backbone of everything I do. She helps when she doesn’t even know she’s helping. 119

My mom occasionally does my patterns and helps me sew as well. She’s my teacher, she taught me everything I know. My youngest daughter is into fashion now; she wants to design like me and she’s my biggest fan. She’s at the shop with me every day, and through conversation, I get ideas from her. I’m passionate about what I do, and no one understands that better than my family. Why jeans? Plans for something else? Denim has a life of its own. I love denim. I’ve loved denim since my very first pair of Levi jeans. I have always watched to see what brand of jean people had on. I live, eat and sleep denim. I have no other plans, just trying to perfect what I’m doing now. Feelings about the 9-5 lifestyle? I look at it as mass transit; it got me from point A to point B. But if I can work hard for someone else, I can put that same energy into my own business. After being my own boss, there’s no way I can go back to working a 9-5 again. What do you love most about what you do? I love designing and sewing; it’s my passion. Designing makes me feel free to do whatever; I call it designing with no limits. Sewing allows me to work with my hands and make my designs come to life. Designing and sewing go together. Once I have a design, I have to sew it right away. Your work is truly concept to delivery, from materials to sewing and all. Talk to us about your work process. We take our time picking out the best fabrics from different countries. How intricate the designs are determines the type of fabric and texture and what country it comes from. Once



we have the denim we move to the production phase. We do a prototype fi rst to try and get the right fit and then we run a sample. After the sample is done, we manufacture that jean. You specialize in unique, personalized experiences. Why do you think your Bespoke experience is important? We offer Bespoke denim jeans which is tailored to fit and custom denim jeans which allows our customers to pick their own color of thread, buttons and patch. They can choose a lock stitch or chain stitch, zipper or button fly, the style of pocket and the type of pocket bag they want. We want people to be a part of what we’re doing, and they can tell people they designed it themselves. Bespoke is tailored to fit. Where do you get your inspiration? I get my inspiration from old gangster movies and old war movies. They go back to where fashion began – fashion was new back then. Now, so many people are designing alike so going back to the beginning gives me more originality. Something everyone should try before they die? I think everyone should try skydiving. Everyone should feel that thrill. Skydiving allows you to be free. What’s in your future? To open up a chain of stores to cloth the world.

601 S. Cedar Street, Suite 205E Charlotte, NC 28202



van gogh Crossover creative, VvG vibrantly visualizes musical and graphical creations. With a white-hot passion and crystal-clear vision, his introspective and aggressive lyricism paints a promising picture. interview by nicole camack photograph by angel butler

Tell us about your name, “Verbal van Gogh”. Where did it come from and what is the significance? Well, originally my stage name was Young Fre$h. Over the years I felt that there were too many artists with that moniker and I just outgrew that name and the content associated with it. So, I then changed it to Verbal van Gogh which stands for “audible art”. Tell us about your style. What do you hope to achieve with your musical career? I honestly don’t have a style; whatever the song or vibe makes me feel is what I go with. My main goal is to bring true and original lyrics back to rap. If I go gold or platinum along the way then so be it. What was your defining experience with music? I would have to say it was in November 2012 when I dropped my project “33rd Degree”. The fan response was so big that it crashed the server of my website. That was the fi rst point in my musical career that I honestly realized this was an industry I could not only be a star in, but change as well. If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why? Jimmy Hendrix or Big L. Both are gone but in my eyes they both influenced their genres of music forever and rarely get their true credit as all-time greats. When I die I’ll make sure I get a studio session with those two in Heaven.

Artists often cross-over art forms. Tell us about your pursuance in design. Design was something that I always loved but during my life I always had some other passion overshadowing it. While I was in college, I had enough free time to create visually, and from there, VerbalVisuals was born. I was really just too picky to hire a designer for my site or music so I do all of my own graphic work. Those designs are always a topic of discussion with people so it kind of just grew on its own from there. When did you realize you needed more than just the 9 to 5 life? I never liked a 9-5 life. I quit every one I ever had and I now work for myself, so I knew I needed more than that very early in life. In my life, I’ve always been self-motivated, liked to have a free schedule and be free to pursue whatever I feel. Where do you create? As crazy as it may sound, I create the most in the car or the shower – two places where you can think about almost anything but you can’t write things down in either place. What has been your biggest failure? What kept you going? My biggest failure was failing to seal a deal with a label that I’ll allow to remain nameless. In the aftermath of that event, I legally founded my label and down the road it will become their greatest failure and my biggest turning point. Which musicians inspire you? Jay-Z and Tupac are defi nitely the artists who inspire me the most. Jay’s business savvy is very inspiring to me as an entrepreneur and Pac’s passion and emotional vulnerability inspires me as a poet. Kanye West and Charlotte artist Elevator Jay also inspire me a lot musically because they’re willing to try almost anything. What song could be considered the soundtrack of your life? Anything 90’s hip-hop. That point of originality in music and even life is where I draw inspiration from when creating. Everybody wanted to be unique then. What else do you do that really makes you feel alive? Traveling gives me the feeling of actually living than just existing. What’s in your future? Success in multiple avenues. I just want my work to help people love and understand music for its true meaning and to open the 3rd eye of anybody willing to see...



makeup tovah avigail hair shinya nakagawa for kerastase hair assistant noelle chen

photography lindsay adler featuring sam taylor from muse nyc stylist michael tucker

wool and tulle veil savannah wyatt bra chromats chain head + body piece devaue bracelet bevel

earrings, necklace + claw rings larucci cage chromats feather headpiece joann berman

fringe visor savannah wyatt shoulder cage, vest + garter chromats brass chain body piece savannah wyatt

words delamer duvens

one basic truth can be used as a foundation for a mountian of lies, and if we dig down deep enough in the mountian of lies, and bring out that truth, to set it on top of the mountian of lies; the entire mountian of lies will crumble under the weight of that one truth, and there is nothing more devastating to a structure of lies than the revelation of the truth upon which the structure of lies was built, because the shock waves of the revelation of the truth reverberate, and continue to reverberate throughout the Earth for generations to follow, awakening even those people who had no desire to be awakened to the truth.

dome cage bra + skirt chromats cage and rope headpiece, armbands + corset chromats earrings larucci necklace + cuffs osanna visconti bracelets + rings bevel

Asphalt angels walk among us,

in the art of ascension and anomaly written by nicole camack


hey are the voices of our conscious, the collective vision of autonomous artistic madness. With two Emmy ’s, a movie, documentaries, an array of world poetry awards, a play at the largest festivals around the world, and no end in sight, Concrete Generation has already made a meteor-sized dent in the hearts and souls of audiences across the globe. Four sat down with the movement’s catalyst himself to find out more about

artistic freedom, this epic group of muses, and the legacy they ’re leaving across art realms and the world at large. In your own words, who are you and what do you do? I was born as Charles Daniel Perry Jr., but am better known throughout the various art worlds as cpmaze. I fit in Concrete Generation as a passion personified, a fusion of forever and history books. I hope to be known as a metaphor. Now, who is Concrete Generation? A collective of artists committed to the nurturing of imagination and advancement of cultural awareness through performance-based arts, visual and literary based art forms, and outreach workshop programs. It’s not a flock of fly-by-nightclub cannibals craving limelight. our passions aren’t pastimes we can put on shelves. 136

Help us envision how this all got started. Imagine an artistic frat house of sorts. A place where a twin mattress was leaning against a wall in the kitchen for whatever artists decided to crash there for the night…or two…or three weeks. What was built as a dining room is now where an entire band setup was stationed. original works of art and photography littered floor to ceiling and the air in the house stayed creative. The house is where it all came together. It’s where traveling artists touring through our city and state came together, located in the NoDA arts district in Charlotte.

Trying to dispel the starving artist myth fuels a lot fear, though. Sometimes the various gigs come in a rush and sometimes they dry up for a while. But since you’re never off the clock one has to juggle the times of producing art, and the proper times for the exhibition of it all. What about the people who say, get a “real” job? I say, “I have one”. The question is ...are you getting to live out your real dream? What are some sacrifices necessary to live this life? Time is number one. It sucks up a lot or all of your time if you’re doing it right.

Why the name “Concrete Generation”? I had a lot of conversations with a lot of artists and then one night it came to me. We are your Concrete generation. We are your walk of life, all walks of life. We are just like you...we’re all asphalt angels and paved men.

Undoubtedly there are sacrifices, but what is your favorite part of it all? I think the purpose of art is to start a conversation or dialog with someone you might have never thought to. Those conversations are my favorite part. Publishing and anthologies and press reviews are definitely incredible, but the conversations they spawn are beautifully amazing.

Describe the creative process. How do you start? How do you know it’s done? I think you have to harness the muse of miracles within every moment. Whether that’s tuning out in silence to create or being lost in the chaos of the moment. No artist is ever off the clock. The world around us, and how we recall it is the creative process.

They say our lives flash before our eyes before we die. What moment or experience would you want to replay? There once was a couple from France who walked up to me after a show. They couldn’t speak English outside of this one word they used to convey their appreciation: “genius”. It damn near brought me to tears that such an art form transcends language barriers.

Concrete Generation does it all, from concept to performance. Walk us through what’s going on in a typical production. In our play – Miles Coltrane: Blue (.) – we have a full jazz band playing from start to finish. As all of this is happening, we have ballet dancers, a jazz singer, and artwork showed simultaneously. The performers have the freedom to freestyle parts of the play. No version of the play is ever exactly the same. Sticking to one thing isn’t what provided our success. Giving all of yourself to your art is the way to go.

How do you respond knowing that what you do directly inspires people, turns lives around, and makes them feel alive? I find myself feeling awkward and awestruck. These same people turn my life around and make me feel alive. They inspire me. They make me believe that the art of art is still kicking, thriving, and alive. And I am proud to play my little role in making sure it continues to be.

Let’s talk about poetry. What is your relationship with poetry and what do you want the world to know about a poet? Poetry is the pulse of damn near all things to me. A poet is God’s reporter. We’re constantly inter/ viewing the world around us.

How will Concrete Generation be remembered? As a generation that ran with the bulls. Find Miles Coltrane: Blue (.), currently touring North America. Charlotte dates: April 24-27

What about fear? Being an artist can have its ups and downs and unpredictability. Fear is a hell of a motivator whether you’re an artist or a single mother or climbing the ladder towards success.


the stars aligned, and imagination vagabonded like the heartbeat of lovers photographs by joshua galloway interview by ciara bird

Graffiti artist turned painter, Anderson Brasileiro’s cosmically tagged creations levitate off canvas and breathe life into the inanimate and imaginative with the most organic motivation.

Where are you from and where are you currently based? My journey started in Manhattan, New York. And after many moves around the country, I now lay my head in the Queen City, Charlotte. Do you remember your first encounter with art? What was it like? When I was maybe three years old watching my father paint a landscape on a canvas in our living room. He loved landscapes. I guess you can say he was my own personal Bob Ross without the afro. I was seven years old when I probably had the most personal eye opening experience with art. My mother and I were on the Metro. Once we got into the outskirts of the city, I remember being fi xated on the city’s rooftops because they were covered in graffiti. The colors and word fonts that I noticed spellbound me. I still remember those rooftops vividly today. Going back to the beginning, how did you originally get into graffiti? I was introduced to an individual named Ryan Gandara through a very close friend of mine, Ian Candelaria, at the age of 13 in Durham, NC. Ryan moved from New Jersey and taught me everything there was about graffiti, to the point where he ended up giving me my fi rst tag name “Sign”. After a lot of sketchbook practice, I managed to get ahold of some spray paint and started to roam the surrounding areas aiming to spread my name. How did you make the transition from street art to working on canvas (and other materials)? It started when I was taking art classes at my high school. My teacher used to give us these art freestyle assignments where she allowed us total artistic freedom to fi nish a piece by the end of class. And since I was fond of graffiti, I utilized her supplies to my style. This probably helped me transition into traditional art, but I think the biggest push was when I got caught spray139


painting a wall by the neighborhood security guard. I think the biggest difference between street and canvas art is the fact that you don’t need to rush or keep eyes on the back of your head while painting. I know many graffiti artists can vouch – one of the biggest thrills of graffiti is having the courage and opportunity to slap “The Man” in his face.

American, I tend to incorporate a cultural blend of the two in my pieces. Do you connect yourself with the images that you create? Definitely. After finishing paintings, I find myself connecting the messages and symbolism within my paintings to the experiences I live through, past, present, or future. Painting to me is another form of dreaming. People can understand themselves by realizing the meanings of dreams they are having; painting does the same for me.

You recently traveled to Brazil, tell us about that experience and the impact it had on you as an artist. I went to Brazil because I needed to escape the torment I had from not having enough time to work creatively. I needed a vacation from my 3-11pm  job, and I was in desperate search for new inspiration. Although I barely got any painting done in the time I was there, I gained a strong Brazilian influence from the daily culture. Towards the end of my visit, I met an elderly local artist named Cicero Matos. I immediately fell in love with his abstract approach to Brazilian culture. He showed me how powerful it is to be true to who you are and what you do, when everyone else up until that point doubted my intentions of becoming a serious artist. The fire I gained from that trip still burns inside me.

“i’m the man you think you are... if you want to know what i’ll do, figure out what you’ll do. i’ll do the same thing -only more of it.”

Talk about your creative process. I never know what I’m going to paint as soon as I apply that first brush stroke. It’s not until I analyze and understand the painting at the end that I give it a name. I follow my gut with every movement on the canvas, from the colors down to the words. I like to think it’s not me that’s painting the canvas, but a certain spiritual intervention.

-malcolm x

What do you want to communicate with your work? I think every one of my pieces has a fairly different voice, but I think the similarity they all share is to dig deep into the human psyche, find the force that drives it and let it take the wheel in whatever you do creatively. Who are the other artists that have had an influence on you throughout your creative life? I believe everyone on this earth is an artist, but if I had to name some important figures, I’d have to bring up my best friend and slam poet George Yamazawa. He’s dripping with passion. When it comes to painting, of course I’ve got to say Leonardo da Vinci for teaching me the importance of studying the human body; Picasso for introducing me to the abstract; and Basquiat for giving me confidence in my style.

I’m also loving the Hip-Hop movement here in Charlotte: FFC, Senior, NevaMind, Elevator Jay, Say’Hu, and Deniro Farrar to name a few. They remind me how important it is to represent the city. And I can’t forget about the guys at Black Sheep Skate Shop! They are so rad, plus their fashion sense helps me stay immaculate from head to toe.

Who/What are the subjects in your paintings? I gravitate towards painting people, some real but mostly figments of my imagination. I like to think of myself as a soul trapped inside of a physical being, so I try to paint the unseen, the spirit. I’m fascinated by the scientific theory that we were created from stardust, that we have this unexplainable connection to the universe, so I incorporate lots of astronomical and astrological symbolism. And of course, since I’m a Brazilian-

Do you do commissioned assignments? Sharing art is very important! I’m always painting something for someone. Back in 2012, I used to walk around and ask people what their favorite animals were. Then I’d go home, paint it on canvas, and give ‘em out for free. Just for fun. It eventually changed into large painting commissions. 141


Are you listening to music while creating a piece and does it have any influence on your work or is it simply background noise? My work is evident of a man that blares Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”, then skips to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”, followed by A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?”— it’s all a harmonic mess. You are still very young in (in age and) your career; can you imagine yourself doing anything else? I love all types of art so there is a strong chance that I’ll practice something else just as diligently as I do with painting. I own a couple of guitars, and I’ve recently begun to practice again. I also love fashion, hopefully I’ll be given an opportunity to design clothing some day. But as far as I know, I’ll be painting till I’m an old man. If you could repeat something in your life, what would it be? 1997. My dad and I were flooring it home in his Honda CRX, bumping “Too Close” by Next, after he bought me a brand new Nintendo 64. I had my sunglasses on. I felt too cool. Where do you see yourself in fi ve years? I’m aiming to own a large studio space here in Charlotte and produce very large amounts of art, embracing the art community as a whole. Love you mom! / @whoisghost91


how to quit your day job and travel the world instead. written by nicole camack photography by vikk shayen

change. And that little life of yours you kept neatly tucked in, escapes to come into its riotous own. Everyone’s journey is different, but the reality is you don’t have to have a lot of money or time to live this life. We share abridged and diverse stories from people who’ve chosen this audacious, tangible, traveling lifestyle – why they started, how they do it, what they’ve learned along the way. In the end, we introduce a local who epitomizes how to take off those pretenses, just go, and be inspired without ever looking back.

Who doesn’t want to quit their day job? But traveling the world, while desirable, may seem unattainable. While the farthest you could ever travel is deep inside yourself, travel exhorts the most imminent version of yourself, away from the shadows of superficialities that may try to define you – like a job, locale, or material items. Absent these, exploration and adventure become tingly little propellers deep within you, and shiny little objects all around you. The sun shines more unapologetically. The sky screams blue while the clouds sun dance softly. Perspectives


The Awakening Once upon a time I lived a completely different life. I had a nice apartment, a car and a ton of clothes and shoes. I earned 10 times more than I do now. You think I was happy earning thousands of Euros every month? I was miserable. Counting the hours until I could get home, counting the days until the weekend. Always waiting for better times, long weekends, vacation, whatever. While I was waiting, I was a wreck. In less than one year I’ve created my dream job. I became a travel blogger, and I can tell you, I’m not a professional at all. All I do is have a passion. Passion for traveling - sharing my stories, photos and quotes. I wanted to inspire people.

Enjoy every moment. Go out, experience nature. You’ll be amazed how beautiful this world is. I’m not saying you should stop working, but I am saying you should work on something that you truly love.

How was this all possible? Because I truly believed in something; because I did something from the heart. I loved traveling to the point of madness, and I was able to channel that into a job. I’m no longer sitting in offices. I’m a travel blogger now. Yay.

If it’s not your passion to sit in an office from 9 to 5, you’d better quit. Nobody except you is holding you back from pursuing your dream. Don’t settle; make a change. Find your passion, become more knowledgeable about it, and become an expert! Learn by doing. It’s important that you mix your passion with something that is useful for other people, because only if your skills are useful to others will you succeed.

Money can’t buy happiness. Seriously, it’s true. The income I earn from blogging doesn’t make me rich, but it’s enough to pay my room and food. I might live a simple life, but I can work from anywhere in the world. What do I need more? I earned something that money could never buy: Freedom.

Don’t be afraid to fail, it will teach you even more...and you’ll get better by learning from your mistakes.

I sleep every day until noon. I have no schedules, no useless meetings, no deadlines. I just do what I love. I travel. I take photos. I write. I play with the street cats in front of the house. Talk with friends. Enjoy the sun. Sleep. (I write this sitting in my bed).

The biggest failure is you never trying. Start today.


The Reality Many travel blogs are written by people who’ve sold all their possessions, and have taken a huge plunge into the world of long-term travel. I’m not one of those people. I have rent to pay, and a car payment, and bills, and the trappings of a fairly typical middle class, young, urban professional life. I have a cat. I work in a cubicle. I like some amount of routine, and sleeping in my own bed. I have a ladder to climb, that I want to climb.

experience. Most of my international trips have involved staying at a combination of private rooms at hostels, small independently owned hotels, bed & breakfasts, and private apartments. 3. Timing and trip length. I would be remiss to say that the above two factors are the only methods I use to travel to so many places affordably. The fact is, I can say I fit in so many places because of how many of those cities and countries I manage to pack into a single trip. This year, I’ll do a17-day trip (that’s essentially 12 vacation days) to Italy, Croatia, and Spain. Considering all the places within those countries I travel to in each trip, I typically pack up and move on every two-three days. That’s not a lot of time in each place.

I also don’t have a ton of free income to spend on travel. Despite all this, in the past two years I’ve managed to visit nine cities in four countries (Colombia, Jordan, Egypt, Spain) and very soon I’ll be off to visit seven more cities in three countries; a few weeks after I return, I’m off again. When I’m done, that’s 16 cities, seven countries, in just two years. Not much for the permanent nomad, but a lot for someone who’s expected to be at work by 8:30 every weekday.

This pace is not for everyone, but it works for me. I intend to see the world, and I have to do it in two weeks per year. So, I compromise. It can be a little tiring, but I don’t take these trips necessarily to relax — I take them to recharge in other ways. Travel is my passion and I crave new cultural experiences. My worldview has expanded a little more each time I set foot on U.S. soil again; this is creative fuel to the fire of everything I do, from painting to marketing strategy. That’s why I’m determined to prioritize it, even with a limited budget. For those who’ve also been bitten by the travel bug, you get it. The rest of the world will go on thinking that we’re rich, and I suppose that’s fine.

Travel can be affordable, if you plan for it and prioritize it in your life. Here’s how I do it: 1. Flights. By far, this can be the single most expensive purchase of your trip. The trick is: don’t buy your ticket with actual money. Buy it with fake money called points or miles. A few years ago, I strategically opened two different credit cards. 2. Rooms. A lot of people associate budget travel with roughing it, but it is possible to be comfortable. In fact, by avoiding the beaten path, I usually have a less expensive, equally as comfortable, and more interesting cultural


The Adventure The world beyond my window has disappeared, shrouded by a dense mist that draws everything inside it, a well-kept secret waiting to be revealed. Every morning I stand here; I pull back the curtains and gaze out across unexplored hillsides, their greens and browns growing more familiar with each passing day. Their lines will soon be as recognizable as those that crisscross my palm, this daily moment in time a gift that Lee and I have given one another: to stand at the same window each morning, drink tea from the same cup, and share breakfast at the same table as we house sit for the next six months.

Horse Chestnuts and new memories. A deer darted from our path, galloping across the fields beyond, thrilling us both with its closeness. The ability to forage and collect freely made my heart sing, no longer restricted. Lee mocked me as I fi lled my pockets with my muddy treasures, then washed them clean on returning home and set them on the table, my artist’s eye soothed by their sleek beauty. I sit here now at my laptop, my notepad and pens spread across the blue linen tablecloth. The last of the day’s warmth streams through the window, warming my back as I type, and my fi ngertips still bear the charcoal stains from my afternoon of sketching. I feel as though I am stepping back into myself again, as though the past year has been spent in some kind of fugue state. There is so much space for us to be ourselves in, no longer kept to confines.

We have spent the past year arriving. We arrived and then departed more times than I am able to recall, a blurred mass of newness and fresh slates. With every hoist of my backpack I felt an ebbing of sorts, a vital part of me draining away as though a plug had been pulled from the soles of my feet. When you are travelling, you are what you are in that moment, your most immediate self. The people you meet see only that version of you, and it’s hard to maintain your wholeness in this fragmented and transitory existence.

Here, in the midst of so much beauty, four miles from the nearest town, where the only noise that breaks the silence is the call of tree frogs and the bell of our resident cat. Right here, where there is time to combine all that brings me joy. My love, my art, travel. This is where the adventure fi nally begins, an adventure lived my way.

It’s only our second week here in France, but already I feel myself coming back to old ways, with new ones still emerging. There is so much life in this stillness, so much to discover in this delicious half year of ours. Today we walked the woods that lay just beyond our doorstep, collecting leaves and


The Afterlife Rolling over on what I’m convinced is the most comfortable air mattress in the entire world, cocooned in a huge down comforter with just the right amount of pillows (four), I turn off the alarm. Time to fly to Rome. Except, I didn’t want to go to Italy. Like, I really, really did not want to go to Italy. How did I go from the girl who not only said yes to every adventure imaginable, but who ran after them like a thief, to a girl who couldn’t get out of bed with the prospect of a trip to Italy?

missing out on something, letting people down or just saying “no” I inadvertently had spread myself so thin I reached a breaking point and I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. Things couldn’t continue this way.

My life motto since high school has always been “You can sleep when you die;” I’ve never shied away from long travel, early morning wake-up calls or even just the whiff of an adventure. No matter how scared or tired I got, I was always able to dig deep inside myself and fi nd enough courage and strength to overcome it.

I need to fi nd my voice again. I needed to fi nd my creativity again. I needed to fi nd myself again. I was rushing. I needed to slow down. That being said, I’m also not cut out to be living in an apartment in DC working 9 to 5 either. I want to travel slowly, live abroad and take my time. I would much rather have a slower, more in-depth and profound trip where maybe I see a lot less, but take away more, than an action-packed trip that flashes by in the blink of an eye.

Almost exactly six months earlier, I quit my job to travel full-time and move abroad again. I was following my dreams and doing what I loved, right? But why wasn’t I happy? Why was I feeling like this?

I thrive now on experiential travel, on the people I meet, the stories I hear, the choices I make myself, and then any inspiration I can provide later about those places. I like to take my time in a destination, to dig and really get to know it, not spend a night there and pretend to make major, groundbreaking cultural observations.

It was that moment of self-realization that I fi nally became aware of a problem I was having. I was burnt out. Mentally exhausted, I could barely function anymore. Six months of nonstop travel fi nally got to me. I was tired of sleeping in a new bed every other night. I was tired of planes and trains and buses and taxis. I was tired of living out of a backpack and not being able to wash my clothes whenever I wanted. I was tired of eating food I didn’t make myself.

For me, in the long run, less is more – maybe not in terms of nutella or cupcakes, but defi nitely in terms of travel.

There on that air mattress, was when it hit me that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Afraid of


She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared find it. jeanette winterson

Commit Yourself. Travel is the pill we should all overdose on. photographs courtesy of andi perullo de ledesma written by nicole camack interview by courtney perkins


With so many world travels at such a young age, what is it about Charlotte that makes you call it home and enjoy it so much? I grew up in Charlotte and most of my family still lives here. I thought the Queen City would be the perfect place to set up my practice and eventually begin a family in. I love that it is a big city, yet still feels small – and of course it helps that it has an international airport nearby.

Do you have dreams or ambitions to live in another part of the world in the future? Yes, my husband and I are obsessed with Buzios, Brazil. We would love to live there in the future. Our dream is to open up a boutique hotel on the beach, where I can offer acupuncture to my guests and locals. My husband already speaks Portuguese, but I need to take classes. I don’t know when this will happen, but I’m confident it will. I work hard to make all of my dreams come true!

Tell us about your current practice of Chinese Medicine. What types of ailments do you treat, and what do you enjoy most? With the My Wellness Center is located “sheer intrigue of in Dilworth. I treat all ailments, however, my specialties include untrodden roads, pain management, autoimmune different cultures, disorders, and women’s issues. and life-changing Thus far, I have helped around encounters,” Andi 50 women get pregnant with acupuncture! Although traveling is Perullo de Ledesma , a great passion in my life, nothing a full-time blogger, compares to the enjoyment I travel photojournalist experience from healing people.  

How do you negotiate all your travel with your own business and creating a home for your family? I gave up on achieving balance years ago, as I simply do not think it is possible to attain. Before I was married I was already struggling with how to allocate my time and energy between my two businesses, myself, traveling, and my family.   When I added my husband into the mix I truly thought I was going to have and Chinese Medicine a nervous breakdown!   When I What made you decide to doctor documents her fi nally let go of the idea that I would practice Chinese Medicine? expertise and travel one day figure out how to balance it Where did you learn this, and passions through her all is when I found the most peace has your traveling helped you in my life.  I do the best that I can blog, My Beautiful to develop your skills? When I by delegating, sometimes saying was 14 years old, I battled some Adventures. Andi calls no to things I want to say yes to, serious health problems.  After Charlotte home but multitasking, making to-do lists, unsuccessfully  trying everything is an avid traveler, planning in advance, surrounding that Western Medicine had to stepping foot in over myself with people who contribute offer, my Mom convinced me to positively to my life, prioritizing, fifty countries on six try Chinese Medicine.  I was quite and refusing to feel guilty at the reluctant, since very little was continents. end of the day if I simply cannot known about it in the States at accomplish everything that I set the time; however, I gave it a try and after the fi rst treatment I knew that this powerful out to do.  Also, my husband comes fi rst and I take good medicine was not only going to help me, but that it care of my health, because if I am not 100% body, mind, and soul, everything else in my life suffers.   was also my life’s calling.  I wanted to give back to the

world what it had given me. In college, I studied Asian Studies and learned to speak Chinese.  After I graduated, I went straight into Graduate School in New York City to become a Chinese Medicine Doctor.  It is a four-year, year-round program.  I also briefly studied in China and South Africa as well.  Traveling has absolutely made me a better Acupuncturist.  Through my travels I have learned about different cultures and how to relate to all kinds of people.  I bring that knowledge and those skills into my treatment room every day.

If you have visitors coming to your hometown for the day, where do you take them? It really depends on what time of the year it is, but a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina would absolutely require a dinner at my Dad’s restaurant, the Cajun Queen.   It is the best food in the Queen City, plus there is live jazz!   I would also take visitors for a stroll in our lovely Uptown with a stop at the Mint Museum and drinks at the Ritz Carlton.


If you could travel to one city for breakfast, one for lunch, another for dinner, and another for dessert, where would you go and what would you eat? This is probably my favorite question asked thus far since I love to eat! For breakfast, I would travel to Brazil.  Brazilians know the importance of a good breakfast, which usually includes: omelets, fresh fruit and juice, cheeses, cakes, breads, strong coffee, and more.   For lunch, I would travel to Italy for endless bowls of homemade pasta and as much wine as I could drink.   For dinner, I would travel to Spain for a late night fi lled with tapas and cava.  Finally, for dessert, I would travel to Argentina for a huge scoop of dulce de leche ice cream. Which country is your favorite to shop in? What an impossible question to answer!  I will narrow it down to five places: I love the incredible sales you can fi nd in the United States of America, the exotic jewelry you can fi nd in India, the sensational leather you can fi nd in Argentina, the sexy swimwear you can fi nd in Brazil, and the glamorous designer clothes you can fi nd in Italy. What’s the craziest transportation you’ve ever ridden? I have ridden almost all modes of transportation — from a hot air balloon in Australia to a tuk-tuk in India — but the ride that I think was the “craziest” was when I hopped on the back of a motorcycle in a favela in Brazil.   What destination(s) would you suggest for first time solo travelers? I think if English is your primary language, visiting a country where the overwhelming majority of locals speak English is a great way to dip your toes into solo travel for the fi rst time.  Australia and Hawaii were among the places I traveled to by myself for the fi rst time.   Since afterwards I felt comfortable on my own, I started exploring countries like Hong Kong, Mexico, and Brazil, which took me out of my comfort zone, but with my past trips I felt that I had the confidence and experience needed to successfully complete my journeys. How do you get ready for a trip? I am a planner.   Before I have even left for my trip — be it a weekend getaway or a month long journey — I have extensively researched the destination online via travel websites and blogs.  I also try to get in contact with locals via my social media channels for insider information.  I then create my own detailed day-by-day itinerary, which I used to have bound like a guidebook when I was younger and now I just bring it with me on my

laptop. Having said that, I am completely open to change, so if an incredible opportunity presents itself, I am happy to throw all of my previous plans out the window and go with the flow!   Blogs are such a wonderful way of sharing information, learning and making friendships within a supportive online community. Since starting a blog, how has your life changed? Besides the fact that it has become a second full-time job for me and that it has provided me with the  opportunity to see  the world, all of my closest friends are bloggers now. Bloggers truly are some of the nicest, creative, and interesting people you will ever meet. Why do you believe it is so important for people to experience travel? It fundamentally transforms us into better people.   It educates us, slows us down, connects us, awakens curiosity within us, heals us, and teaches us patience, tolerance, and most importantly to love our neighbors. 152



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this or that

with david french interview by nicole camack

photograph by angel butler

By way of many odd jobs and a lifelong adoration of paint, David French – a painter distinguished by his unique style, selfless desire to create, and vehement belief that “the medium creates the artist”, vividly and organically represents Charlotte and the remarkable life around him one beautiful brush stroke at the time. The real or the abstract? The blending of both is in my opinion, the finest of art (Gustav Klimt). Items or Experiences? Experiences... and take home a souvenir. Classic or Modern? Modern. Bright Colors or Neutrals? Bright. Live Show or Recorded Music? You can’t have one without the other. Canvas or Paper? The cart before the horse. Morning Bird or Night Owl? Night. Chaos or Serenity? Serenity can be found in the middle of chaos... especially if you have an awesome wife like mine. Rain or Sunshine? Sunshine...unless I’m napping. Festival or Gallery? Festival.

FOUR Volume N°4: The Can I Live? Issue  

The fourth and final volume is an exhilarating account of unapologetic, unleashed lifestyles and creations of those willfully led astray by...

FOUR Volume N°4: The Can I Live? Issue  

The fourth and final volume is an exhilarating account of unapologetic, unleashed lifestyles and creations of those willfully led astray by...