Impulse Magazine | Fall 2020 | Vol. 17

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IMPULSE Vol. 17 FW20


contributors

Jessica Badofsky

Editor in Chief & Creative Director

Emma Schafman Managing Editor

Estefania Loret de Mola Director of Photography

Tiarah Golladay-Murry

Public Relations & Social Media Director

Austin Auchstetter

Emma Hassemer

Erin Nishida

Model

Model

Photographer

Catherine Bixler

Leslie Haynes-Eiring

Grace Parker

Artist

Model

Writer

Kevin Eiring

Enrique Hernandez

Jolean Ray

Model

Writer

Model

Konrad Eiring

Sebastien Johnson

Kira Blake Schnitzler

Artist

Artist

Artist

Jillian Gomez

Elizabeth Karlovics

Jose Vital

Photographer

Writer

Photographer

Joao Gonzalez

Erika Loret de Mola

Monica Wilner

Artist

Model

Photographer

Rachael Menke Writer


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contents

MUSIC Smooth Sounds of Soft Glas Olivia Day, p. 8

Self Expression

Tiarah Golladay-Murry, p.10

ART Kira Blake Schnitzler, p. 12 Sebastien Johnson, p. 20 Catherine Bixler, p. 30

FASHION A Week’s Worth of Office Fashion Monica Wilner, Emma Hassemer, p. 38

Gender in Fashion Rachael Menke, p. 46

10 Questions with Kone Ranger Konrad Eiring, p. 48

CULTURE Blisters, Breakthroughs, and New Beginnings Elizabeth Karlovics, p. 56

My First Year and a Half Being a Person and Playwright in New York City in Approximately 800 Words Grace Parker, p. 58

Ambrosial Aroma

Emma Schafman, p. 62

Why Fashion Magazines Matter Now More Than Ever Enrique Hernandez, p. 64

BEAUTY Editors’ Picks, p. 66

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10 Questions with

Kone Ranger

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letter from the editor

Dear Impulse Readers, As my final semester comes to a close, I’d first like to thank all of our immensely talented contributors, my kick-ass executive team, and most importantly—you, our audience. This incredible band of people has been instrumental in helping me get to where I am today. I am honored to bring this publication to life one final time. As all of us can attest to during this trying time, moving forward with life as we know it has been burdensome. Being no exception, the production of this issue certainly faced its obstacles. It wasn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. With that, I hope that these coming pages can assist in rebuilding the sense of community that we all have come to love. In spite of the hurdles, we have come together once again to create something equipped to inspire. No matter what you do or what happens to you, the world around you will always continue on, and time will heal all. Remember to stay genuine to yourself, and never withhold from doing what makes you feel powerful—even in your most arduous moments. With love,

Jessica Badofsky Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director

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music

Smooth Sounds of Soft Glas Written by Olivia Day Photographed by Jillian Gomez

I remember listening to Soft Glas for the first time. It was one of those moments where I immediately knew he is now one of my favorite artists (considering how much I tweet about it, he knows that too). Joao Gonzalez, the producer of Soft Glas, is an immensely sweet guy with a impeccable talent for creating smooth songs; perfect for chilling out by yourself, or a kickback. After listening to his music, I decided to reach out and see what this guy is all about. Here’s what I found: Where are you based and what do you do? I’m based in Brooklyn, New York and I’m a producer/arranger! I also do music direction, photography, and creative direction. Where are you from originally? Why did you move to Brooklyn? I was born in Cuba. My family moved to South Florida when I was six, and I grew up in Coral Springs. I moved to New York in 2013 because there was absolutely nothing to do in Florida for me. I was so bored and uninspired. It just wasn’t a good fit for my goals. Who is your biggest inspiration? Why? My father is my biggest inspiration. He’s a pianist

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and composer. His work ethic is something I’m always trying to emulate. I feel so lazy compared to him. But that’s what drives me the most. Whats your instrument of choice? I played drums when I was younger, and that’s still the instrument I’m most comfortable playing. I’ve been learning the keys throughout the last few years. I recently have been getting into the guitar as well. What do you call your music? How did you find and/or create that genre? If I’d have to give it a name, I’d say it’s blendwave or something dumb like that. It’s so hard to define a genre when your sources of inspiration are so varied. The internet shrunk the world, clashed cultures, and as a result, erased traditional genre lines. My friends and I take from so many genres (Jazz, r&b, Rock, Hip Hop, Pop, Classical, Bossa Nova...) it would be silly to try to define it. What are your favorite classical composers? I love the impressionist era. So natural—Debussy and Satie are my favorite composers. I really enjoy Ravel and Philip Glass. Did you ever listen to the Gustav Mahler song I suggested? How’d you like it? I did! I loved it! Made me dig a little more into his other work. Amazing recommendation.


Were you influenced by old records and tapes? Not so much physical records or tapes, but I’m definitely influenced by the music on those records and tapes. When I was a kid, my dad’s music collection was already mostly cds. What’s your favorite cd? Most of my favorite albums are records I fell in love with when I was around 17/18. Radiohead’s In Rainbows, Pat Metheny’s The Way Up, and Brand New’s Deja Entendu are some of my favorites. What made you fall in love with producing music? I think my instinct to control as much as I can led me to producing. Production lets me have my fingers on every aspect of a song—writing, performance, recording, mixing... I love that. You can wear so many different hats. You can see an idea through from its conception, to its execution, to its release. Live or studio? Why? A mix of both. I think there are things exclusive to each that make it special. There are amazing things that are a result of live instrumentalists interpreting music in the moment. And there are special things that are only possible in the studio as a result of a long process of creativity. Like, you might get an amazing sax solo in a live setting thats magic is exclusive to that moment. But at the same time, you can work on interesting sound design in the studio for hours, and the result would be amazing. How often and for how long do you practice? Ah, that depends. I’m trying to be better about practicing more consistently. There are days I’m sitting at the keyboard or drums for 5 to 6 hours. Sometimes I don’t practice for weeks. I’m definitely working to be more consistent. When are you touring/coming to Chicago? Nothing planned yet! We’ll see if we can bring the Late Bloom to other cities! ▪

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Self Expression Written by Tiarah Golladay-Murry Photographed by Jose Vital

A letter to the reader, If there is something that I can rely on in my very trying 21 years of life, it’s that no matter where you are and how you feel, music will always be there. In our darkest days or happiest moments, it is easy to find solace in the sounds and lyrics coming from one’s favorite song or artist. For many of those who find it difficult to articulate how they are feeling, it’s as if that one soundtrack can articulate it perfectly. Now let’s backtrack to expression. Expressing yourself—that seems so easy when writing it on paper. How can one express themselves when establishing who they are is another battle within itself? We have artists come and go, maneuvering through the ever-changing demands of their fans. Take Billie Eilish for example, she not only expresses herself through her music, but also through her wardrobe. Yet, people often criticize her for it. Or we have Bad Bunny, going beyond the definition of the term “masculinity”, and expressing himself without fear of judgment. When thinking about the term “express yourself”, what does that truly mean? We have grown up having that term shoved down our throats on a constant basis, but it is easier said than done. Is expressing oneself sticking out from the crowd, is it being truly uniquely you, or is it some fabricated idea to get you out of your comfort zone? Whichever the way the dice rolls, music can be an outlet. It seems as if the melodies and the lyrics that come from these artists are ones that touch the soul, and seem to reach a point where you did not think pos-

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sible. Artists at times talk about their sadness, their loss, or their desire for someone they don’t have. As humans, we feel these emotions all the time. At times we feel alone, happy, fearful, or even loved. A song can touch upon any of those emotions on a single individual—it’s personal. The connection one has to an artist or song is something that is a bond between the individual and the music. Scrolling through the multitude of artists on a portable device and finding that one song that you feel fits your mood. And for that split instance, someone hears you. Someone understands what you are feeling, and for a moment, you feel that this song was explicitly written for you alone. You are heard and you are seen by this artist that has never met or even heard of you. But to you, you are connected through these words and feelings that are no way related to one another. Music allows you to express and recognize your emotions and make sense of it all. Even in my darkest days, it seems that music is always there for me. Picking the perfect song to solidify the emotions that I’m feeling or the pure joy I have surrounded by thousands in a crowd. No matter the genre or the mood, I find myself to transcend into an out of body experience that resonates how I feel in that moment alone. ▪


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Kira Blake Schnitzler My work took a distinct shift three years ago during my bfa studies at uiuc. I had a personal encounter that sparked a transformative curiosity in the nature of divinity, and its relationship with the consciousness of all sentient life. Since then, I have sensed warmth, beauty, and love radiating from the center of being—a spiritual axis that I am constantly trying to move toward in my work and share with others. Art has become my primary vehicle of exploration through the various fields that link into this interest: from ancient and living mythologies, through modern quantum physics, calculus, biology, and ecology. Of particular fascination are the writings of mystics, scholars, poets, and scientists from disparate traditions that echo a common vision of an intimately interconnected transcendent state of being. In my imagery I have tried to translate the language of these ecstatic visions by creating compositions that are charged with energy—color, texture, vibration, light bouncing off reflective materials. Present always in varying degrees are symbols, recurring patterns, and geometric symmetries. Though my process is heavily informed by my research, I seek to be comfortable with ambiguity, lean into intuition, and embrace that beauty lies in the fact that the mystery I am pursuing is eter-

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nal yet constantly shifting—through culture, through time, through form and conception, and of course through our ongoing relationship with it. Through a process of digital collaging and painting, I build imagery around what I am sampling from these fields by fusing recurring motifs together, layering, stripping, piecing, and re-prioritizing different portions of visual information. In the process, there are parts left unseen by omittance—removal, damage, coverage—leaving fragmented narrative, ambiguous space into which the mind projects itself, mimicking a dream, a memory. This subconscious space is meant to activate an archaic reverie in the viewer, and might be interpreted as belonging to an individual, or to a collective consciousness. In my work, I am seeking to invite others to reconsider the culturally inherited notion that we are materially isolated beings, and that “God” exists as a distant abstract concept. A shift in our understanding of the divine as a present, connecting force in our universe can have broad implications on how we understand our relationship with the world, and negotiate the future. ▪


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Sebastien Johnson

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art the undefinable sublime On the sublime, English Romantic poet William Wordsworth writes: “…And I have felt : A presence that disturbs me with the joy : Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime : Of something far more deeply interfused : […] A motion and a spirit, that impels : All thinking things, all objects of all thought, : And rolls through all things.” In Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, Wordsworth uses rhetoric to illustrate the sublime-like sensations nature can evoke. The sublime lies within all of us, “roll[ing] through all things.” It can be evoked through literature, people, nature, even art. It’s a sense, an emotion that both disturbs and pulls forth joy, spirit, and an inexplicable, undefinable sense of awe. Eighteenth century German philosopher Immanuel Kant agrees with Wordsworth and equates the sublime to forces in nature. He defines the sublime in Critique of Judgment as an aesthetic experience: a “rapid alternation” between a fear of being overwhelmed and a pleasure of absolute freedom. “… the irresistibility of [nature’s] power certainly makes us, considered as natural beings, recognize our physical powerlessness, but at the same time it reveals a capacity for judging ourselves as independent of nature and a superiority over nature… whereby the humanity in our person remains undemeaned even though the human being must submit to that dominion” The sublime is looking onto a dangerous storm, giving a sensation of powerlessness, yet allowing and understanding of absolute freedom. Artwork that has a backbone of spontaneity and creates an experience of nature is becoming increasing relevant in our contemporary society. As design-thinking is taking over the ways in which we solve and address world problems; it reacts to balance the order to create an experience for viewers that systematic-efficiency cannot. This is not to say design-thinking is bad. By re-thinking the core reasons of problems and traditions of ‘how-things-work,’ it is proving to have significant impact on the world. Elon Musk used design thinking to reimagine the way cars and roads operate to create the first line of automobiles that are completely electric and self-driving. This solution is safer and more environmentally sustainable. But in a world that has the potential to be run by systems and code, entirely without error, fear, or that sublime sense of awe, we will find ourselves yearning for moments of chaos and depth. ▪

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Catherine Bixler I’ve always loved nature in artwork, be it environmental, an Impressionist landscape, or just beautiful flowers. In the last few years, I realized I wanted to use natural imagery as the focus in my work. These projects and pieces touch on those themes, from concept merchandise based on music with flowery yet powerful lyrics, to an excerpt of a quote on climate change policies said by the Prime Minister of Australia over an image of a burning coastline. More recently, I’ve focused my work on our changing relationship with the Anthropocene, our current geological epoch that addresses the human impact on the environment. I want people to be more acutely aware of how climate change is affecting our landscapes, flora, and fauna, using historical references and modern media to inform my research. I hope my work makes audiences curious and skeptical of everyday practices and systems. I encourage you to critique and find inspiration from works that intend to open your eyes, so you may go out and do good. ▪

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fashion

A Week’s Worth of

Office Fashion Styled and modeled by Emma Hassemer Photographed by Monica Wilner

sugarspiceandstyle.com @emmahassemer

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Gender in Fashio For as long as I can remember, I went straight to the women’s section of stores. There was no curiosity on the other side, because that wasn’t where people who looked like me were shopping. It wasn’t until college that I realized I should wear what makes me comfortable and throw fashion binaries behind me. I realized my fashion doesn’t have to encompass one side of a store and what makes me comfortable isn’t always one or the other. From online shopping to the runway, gender expression is changing in fashion, just like it’s becoming more prominent in the mainstream culture. Fashion companies like Ijji, Chnge, and Gender Free World have responded to gender nonconforming identities with inclusive styles. Even larger-scale corporations like Target are “phasing out gender-based signage”. Breaking free from traditional masculinity or femininity, they seek to give an outlet for those of us who prefer to not choose sides. Though the concept of gender-bending in fashion has always existed, I feel that today, the concept is front and center. Social media has been a large component of this, with a variety of celebrities and influencers flipping the gender script and giving inspiration to others. But with this rise in popularity, brands have a responsibility not only to be a respectful market, but to think critically about how their brand affects an individual’s identity. Realizing that people have gone through a lot to understand their own fashion preferences is important. You don’t have to be put in a category that only wears skirts or pants; you can wear either (or both). Gender-neutral clothing is a concept I wasn’t aware of until recently. I feel lucky to be able to safely express my identity through fashion. I’ve seen a lot more support of people’s choice of expression today, and hope it keeps expanding to an accepting inclusive fashion future. But if you can, just wear what makes you feel your best. ▪

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on

Written by Rachael Menke Photographed by Estefania Loret de Mola

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10 Questions with Kone Ranger Designed and photographed by Konrad Eiring Interview by Jessica Badofsky

First off, if you could describe your style in 3 words, what would they be? My first one is definitely Midwest. It’s where I draw a lot of my inspiration from—a lot of workwear, hunting wear, camo, Carhartt, Dickies, and brands like that. The next word would probably be eclectic, and my last word is reused. A majority of the clothes that I buy are found. I just go to Goodwill and hunt—it’s more fun to do, you can buy six shirts for the price of one, and they have a lot more character. Is that the same tone you go for as a fashion designer? You see so often in independent designers, they’ll choose to dress a simple way. However, I love wearing my own pieces—it makes the piece more personal. I’ve been trying to decide, “Am I only going to be making pieces that I would wear? Or am I trying to branch out?” What I have been working on is expanding the range of my brand and exploring all my possibilities. What first sparked your interest in creating your own clothing? I had a seventh grade Home Ec class. That was my first time sewing, ever. I set up a sewing machine with the teacher, and we were making I think pajama pants, whatever you do in seventh grade. I went home, and I said, “Mom, do we have a sewing machine?” Flash forward four or five hours, my mom and I made a t-shirt out of scrap fabric, and I was just loving it. The idea that you could create something from scratch was just super appealing to me, even at a young age. As I got further and further into my education, I started seeing it as a real possibility for something I could do.

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Where do you draw inspiration from for your clothing designs? It’s very easy to say Instagram is an inspiration. But every time I’m on Instagram, I hear this little voice in the back of my head, and it’s my high school AP art teacher. She was so against recreating other people’s work. It always plays back in my head that every time you see something on Instagram, yes, you can take parts and pieces from other people’s work. But it becomes so easy sometimes to just copy paste when you see independent designers doing smaller pieces. So I’ve been trying to shy away from seeking inspiration on Instagram—I’ve actually been watching a lot more films. Some of them are The Searchers, Silverado, Lone Ranger, Zorro, even some shows like Bonanza that use Western styling. So looking for little pieces of Western flair, and bringing that into street style. Eco-conscious clothing lines have had a huge rise in popularity in the past few years. How are you doing your part to combat the wasteful and environmentally detrimental nature of fast fashion? Fashion as an industry inherently creates a huge amount of waste. It feels very crippling being a young designer that’s trying to do something different and make a name for myself. When you see companies like Chinatown Market which are just blasting fast fashion and making as much as possible, it’s difficult to stay strict with your morals in being more eco-friendly. A big thing for me is I try to remind myself of the stage that I’m in; I can’t compete at a scale with a lot of those brands. It’s important to me to stick to being eco-conscious, because I can at this level. It’s super important, but it can get overwhelming when you think to yourself,


“Okay, how am I going to get my name out there if I’m only making one piece every two weeks?” Thankfully, there is a higher appreciation for art objects that are worked on and slowed down. A lot of eco-conscious clothing lines are doing a lot of hand-stitching, and a lot of couture stitching. Fast fashion has freaked me out for a very long time. I remember the first time I walked into a Forever 21, I was really excited about the prices. I remember leaving; I had bought two or three shirts, and I thought to myself, “I don’t know, there’s something not right about this”. The access, and how quickly the racks change based on internet trends freaks me out. When I first went to college, it was one of the first times I purchased fast fashion clothes; I did it for freshman year, and then I pulled way back. I don’t want to look like everyone else, and I don’t believe in what they’re doing. How do you go about sourcing fabrics and materials? What do you look for when creating your next piece? Fabrics are tough, because you just need yardage when you’re making things from scratch. I’ve been working with one of my professors at Harper [College] on finding ways to use already made clothes that are being recycled. So cutting up t-shirts, and basically stitching them and quilting them into yardage. My plan was to actually work with her on taking scrap muslin and hand-stitching it into yardage to make dresses out of. Our plan was to do that actually right about now in the semester, but with all of this pause [per COVID-19], it’s been

difficult figuring out those things you’d need to do at school—they have machines, and all of the resources that I don’t really have [at home]. I’ve really been trying to stay true to if I am going to work on a piece, I want it to be previously owned. It’s really important to me to have a story behind pieces. There was a jacket that I just finished for Orville Peck. I’m sending that this weekend, and that jacket was purchased in the city of Chicago straight from a guy who I was talking to who told me a bit of the story about the jacket, and how he customized it. So I said, “Hey, I’m gonna buy it and I’m gonna customize it too”. I love the story of this jacket that has traveled from one guy who’s living life in the city of Chicago, to a Western superstar. I think that’s more of the way that I’m going to move, and that’s finding a piece at a thrift shop or even from consulting with someone that I’m working with and saying, “Do you have any old jackets that you want me to soup up?” Which past and present fashion trends are most influential to your design style? I remember growing up watching The Sandlot, and a lot of 1950s/1960s styling in movies. I remember just falling in love with flooded Levis and Converse. The 2000s were a weird time, so everyone was wearing some wild stuff to elementary school. But my brothers and I

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would wear t-shirts, Levis, and Converse. We saw it in The Sandlot, and that was just so iconic to me. As a graduate from the University of Illinois with a degree in photography, you have a unique perspective. How does your background in art and photography contribute to your current practice in fashion? It contributes in every way. I think to myself sometimes, “Yes, I went to school for a photo degree, but what I received from the University of Illinois was an education on how to think.” How to think critically about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, how to write about art. I learned how to document my work in ways that I would’ve never known. I think from an education at an art school, certainly at the University of Illinois, what you learn from it is how much you put in. It’s so hard to finish U of I and say, “Okay, I’m going to get a job in this specific field”, especially in the arts. I think it’s true even for everyone right now; not everyone’s going to get a job in their exact field. It’s more about how you market yourself, and how you are going to make it work. A lot of that was learned at the University of Illinois. I’m happy that I studied what I studied, because I know that it’s what I want to be doing in the future. But I think some of the most important things are how to think, and how to move and operate as an artist in a contemporary world. I know I wouldn’t have known any of that culture or that world if I hadn’t spent those four years at the University of Illinois.

then thinking “Hey, I’m going to have to put this up on Instagram for free, and hope that someone fucks with it.” That’s wild; that’s a world that artists have never lived in. Truly putting your work up for free, and the idea of ownership of your work is so easily lost when you put it up on social media. However, you have to if you want to experience any reach. That’s what I was thinking about with my work; I’ve had reach all over the country just because I dm people. I shoot a dm and think “You know what, I can shoot off 10 dms to artists, and if 10 people don’t respond, I’m gonna do another 10 the next day” and so on, and I’ll get one response, and it’s an Orville Peck. You kind of have to relinquish some control when it comes to your work and your ideas. However, there’s a huge positive tradeoff when it comes to that, because we can have access to people that you’d have to be in the same room with before Instagram. It opens a lot of doors in that aspect. It’s a double-edged sword; I think it’s a tool that needs to be used responsibly—social media is. That is different for each person and each designer.

...other people make this world, but artists make it worth living. So in that, there will always be And finally, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? a job. I feel like this is everyone’s question that

In the digital age, marketing has become so much easier to the small business owners and artists. How has social media impacted your business? What opportunities have you seen come your way? I want to just trash on Instagram and say that it’s harmful, but it’s not. It is in parts, because it’s so strange being an artist, working on your work, and

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they keep coming back to. I have always kind of been like, “I either want to live a fast city life with a lot of arts, culture, and music, or just be on a ranch in Texas and just interact with the ten people that I interact with.” That’s kind of always been the duality of my life, and I think that shows in my work and in my personality. I don’t know in ten years. I hope to be happy, to be surrounded with people that I love, and doing something that I can be proud of. I want to be doing something that I believe in, and that I want to get up and do. Whether that’s costume design, independent design, styling, or I don’t know—maybe I become a salesperson and love it. I always say keep your world as an oyster, because if you start closing doors in front of you now, you’ll never know what you miss.


Additional thoughts? Something that I’ve been wrestling with and working with in my own head, is—one of my professors said, “So, would you say you’re a fashion designer?” I didn’t say no, but I said “I see myself as a contemporary artist that’s using fashion as a medium.” At this point in my life, fashion is the medium that I’m focusing on the most, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m a fashion designer. I feel like that’s limiting in just the title. Once you start labeling yourself as that, that is what you are. It’s harder to be more than that once it’s self-proclaimed. It’s kind of a terrifying time to be an artist right now, especially coming from where we were at two months ago in terms of the arts and independent design. It’s raising a lot of questions, and I think it’s forcing a lot of artists to be more diversified when it comes to their income and creative outlet, which is good, I hope. The thing that I keep thinking about is one of my very good friends, Ruby, she used to say, “Konrad, this is never gonna happen to you, but, worst case scenario, you work at a gas station. And when you’re not working at a gas station, you’re doing everything you can creatively that you want to. That’s worst case scenario, that’s how you can make it as a creative.” It’s like suspending some of your ego to make ends meet. If you think that way, it’s like “Alright, everything more efficient than that when it comes to making money is like gravy.” In the art world, you want to have this confidence in getting a job, but at the same time, everyone is going through this right now. It’s definitely important to be practicing some self-care; we’re all gonna make this work, but no one knows what the hell is going on. The thing is, other people make this world, but artists make it worth living. So in that, there will always be a job. ▪

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Written by Elizabeth Karlovics I was in my bathtub when I found my new lifetime partner’s first marking. I always thought that herpes was somebody else’s problem—not mine. Sure, a majority of the public has it, and I had helped my friend Sydney through her first journey with it, but I never thought it was going to be mine. Funny humor God had putting that on my plate. I sank into that tub feeling that a rug had been pulled out from underneath me, and I was falling into a hole I dug for myself. Life is over as I know it; love just flew out the window. Every emotion I ever had dropped. Then all at once it came back. I was alone, afraid, angry, anxious, uneducated, spiteful, stressed, shameful, spiraling out of control, losing grasp of everything around me, falling, falling, and falling. This is what I deserve, this is gross, this is what I get, I don’t even want to be here. In fact, I don’t deserve to be anywhere. I want to be a little caterpillar that turns into a butterfly, but how was I ever supposed to do that when I have this ugly thing living inside me that will never go away? Who is ever going to think this is cute? How am I sup-

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posed to enjoy life knowing this secret? My brain was in shock, and a little seed of self hate planted inside me and continued to grow. Everything I ever hated about myself was magnified. I had problems seeing how anybody could love me already, accept the flaws that I already had, and now this? How is anybody going to love me now? All those pictures of disgusting blisters, bumps, pus, and goop ingrained into my head from an early age came back. Everything in my life I worked for now can be simplified into that disease that I am. “Hello, what’s your name?” “Mine? My name is Genital Herpes.” When I went to the health center to get tested, the doctor put me in the stirrups, looked at my blisters, and said “Yup. You have genital herpes.” I told her that I wanted it tested, that I wanted my blisters swabbed so that way I could know what type I had, and she told me she could just diagnose herpes by looking at it. Luckily, I was able to convince her to swab my blisters. I had to wait a week to get my test results back.


The feeling of pain everyday during that week reminded me of how I was the butt-end of some cruel joke. Everytime I sat down, went to the bathroom, changed pants, walked around, and sometimes when I was just doing nothing at all, the pain reminded me of all my worthless feelings. I skipped class, laying in my bed watching tv, hoping that I could fall into such a deep slumber, and that when I would wake up, everything would be gone. One of my friends would constantly remind me that there’s still hope; it could be just a terrible yeast infection. I daydreamed that I would get the test results back as negative, that it would just be a terrible yeast infection, and I would skip through the grassy field across from my place, dancing, laying down, laughing and crying that I was able to dodge a bullet. I took two midterms that week in a heavy haze of pain medication and self pity. A week later, I tested positive for hsv-1. The disease responsible mainly for cold sores, but can also transfer to your genitals through oral sex. In young adults, around 50-60% of Americans have it, and past the age 50, around 80-90% have it. I never really understood it though—if a majority of the population has it, where are they? After the pain was gone, I wasn’t reminded of how I have genital herpes constantly, but the negative feelings persisted, digging deeper into my core. I tried to journal my feelings out. I tried to talk more to my therapist about it. I ended up quitting the activities that I enjoyed, feeling as if the people there that I knew for so long wouldn’t accept me with what I had. My friends were so supportive of me, seeing the best in me, when I only saw the worst. I tried to continue to pursue romantic interests, but they were not taking the mental pain away. While I was near dating someone, I started to plan out my suicide, writing my suicide note with ease and near pride in that I was going to be doing the world a service. No longer would they have to deal with me and my disease. I failed in my first suicide attempt. I was going to try again the next night, but my roommates found my suicide note on my desk, and intervined.

They sat me down, and told me about how I am a really important person, that I have worth, that I am more than a diagnosis, that I am not a burden. They had me set out a plan to get help, and guided me through it. For them, I am eternally grateful. I got appointments to see a counselor and get put on medication. When I sat down with the counselor, I told him how my suicidal ideation persisted, and he asked me if I would be okay with being sent to the mental hospital. I agreed. I was in the mental hospital for four days. My mother and father were so worried about me, they drove three hours to visit me. Every item that I had ever used as comfort before was stripped from me, and I was forced to accept the life that was given to me as my own. I grew comfortable in my life. When I came back, I knew that I needed to do something to help others like me, like Sydney. I set off to start the first club on campus dedicated to those with lifelong stis such as hsv, hiv, hpv, and others. I called it Triple H Plus. When I was at my lowest, I thought there was nothing else to live for, but now I can see so much more to life than ever before. Life is not just one diagnosis, and I want others to be able to see that as well. There is love out there waiting for you when you are ready to accept yourself and all of the flaws that you have. Having genital herpes is not a curse on my life, but in fact a blessing in disguise, helping me to see the true parts of myself to love, and not just value myself in my sexual performance. Sure, having genital herpes sucks, and I would not wish it on anyone. However, it has forced me to grow as a person, and see the world in a different point of view. For that, I will be eternally grateful. I will always stay up and ponder as to why I was willing to kill myself over one disease that could never do the same. ▪

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culture

My First Year an Half Being a Pe Playwright in New York City i Approximately 58

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nd a erson and

in 800 Words Written by Grace Parker Photographed by Estefania Loret de Mola

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culture First, I got off the plane. Then I went to Sublet Number One. Sublet Number One was in a fancy Brooklyn neighborhood. (My apartment was on a less than fancy street above a combination Chinese/burrito restaurant.) I should probably back up. Hi, my name is Grace. I grew up in Chicago where I was known for having curly hair, large ears, and doing plays around town. I went to Catholic grade school and then Catholic middle school and then Catholic high school and then an acting conservatory in North Carolina. My second year of acting school, I went home for Thanksgiving and had a conversation with my father about climate change. On the plane ride home, I wrote it out like a play. I called my dad “A” and me “B.” And then I gave A and B names: John and Magdalene. And then I imagined that they lived in Boston and that Magdalene had a brother named Peter and it was Christmastime and that their mother had died the year before and also there was this girl named Chloe and— That’s how I started writing. After a few years of living room readings and renegade black box workshops, I found myself getting on a plane to New York City to pursue a career as a playwright/actor. So anyway, the first thing I did was a one act festival at Very Small Off Off-Broadway Theatre Company. One had to pay for rehearsal space, props, costumes and program printing, BUT they had a sweet little black box— Oh also, about four days before I came to New York I fell in love for the first time, or what my 22-yearold brain thought love was, jury’s still out. After four days that might as well have been written by F. Scott himself, I left dramatically to pursue my dreams and the boy dramatically followed me. As you might be able to imagine, that didn’t end well. About a month later, I broke it off. The next day, my play won the one act competition.

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I began to work toward my next theatrical opportunity, which was to be an internal reading at Big Deal Very Fancy Off-Broadway Theatre. I was very excited about this and felt that in the movie of my life, it was about time for my big break. (At the ripe age of 22). Meanwhile, I took 17,000 (3) day jobs. On a typical day, I would wake up at 5:30am, and walk to the nearby Pure Barre, where I would check Lululemon-clad women into class, restock q-tips, and put small hand weights back into little bins. Following that, I would walk back to my apartment and take a short nap, before waking up at 2:00 to dash off to any one of five Brooklyn Public Schools where I taught acting classes to preschoolers. (“Everybody pretend to be a butterfly! Go!”) Some days I would wrap up my day babysitting, which on a good day would be for a family friend, and on another day would be for a very nice family whose apartment had a mouse problem. I was exhausted, and thought that a good way to process a break-up was not to. In December I crashed—hard. I called my mom and began to cry on the phone, that kind of out of control crying you don’t realize is happening until it is. I quit Pure Barre and teaching and the house with the mice. I moved to Sublet Number Two, a little deeper into Brooklyn, and set about finding new jobs. After some hustling, I put together a new slate of jobs, lucking out as I landed a playwright’s assistant job and an Assistant Producer job at Fabulous New Work Development Organization. My reading at Big Deal Very Fancy Off-Broadway Theatre came and went… and while I learned a ton and everyone was very kind, it was not the climactic career moment I had dreamed of while listening to Moving Too Fast from The Last Five Years and walking through Midtown in heels. I caught a bout of writers’ block and spent much of spring staring at my computer screen and trying to


write something amazing, which is a terrible way to write. Looking back, I thought I was struggling with what was Being Inadequate, when what I was actually struggling with was Having Depression. I went away for the summer, working with Fabulous New Work Development Organization. In between lovely hours working with dynamic artists, I wrote a messy play that I finished and was proud of. I signed a lease and moved to East Williamsburg. I hit another wall. I found a therapist I worked well with. I made a Submission Spreadsheet and submitted my plays places. I went on a string of comically awful Hinge dates. I launched a GoFundMe for a short film, and jumped into pre-production with a team of wonderful women. I ate a lot of breakfast sandwiches.

I made mistakes. I stood on the roof of my best friends’ apartment and looked out at the lights while drinking cheap red wine. While writing a short play, I found myself writing a list of things I wanted in a relationship and not right away, but a little after that, I found myself going on dates that left me smiling. I learned and am learning a lot of things the hard way. I’m writing this now from my parents’ dining room, having relocated back here on account of COVID-19. I have no idea what is going on or what is going to happen next. But. I have a lot to be proud of. And I think it’s important to remember that. Even in moments of stasis. And doubt. And uncertainty. So anyway. That’s what’s happened so far. How about you? ▪

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culture

Ambrosial Aroma Written by Emma Schafman Photographed by Erin Nishida

Neroli, an oil derived from orange blossom, takes me back to my childhood where my obsession with scent began. My mother used a neroli scented lotion from Bloomingdale’s on me as a baby and since then, scent satiated a part of me I still cannot identify. Fresh linen, cuisine, sun tan lotion. As early as I can remember, I would lock myself in her bathroom to admire the gold plated perfume tray neatly arranged on the counter. I longed for the time I would be old enough to collect my own array of such fancy bottles. There was this indescribable fascination I had with a bottle’s packaging, the colored detail, the scent, that I held onto. I had developed a scent memory at such a young age that I began to realize as I got older, scent is a form of art. “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet” William Shakespeare once wrote. Smell captivates the subconscious mind, grasping onto one of the five senses. Scent evokes you back to a nostalgic memory, one you long forgot you had. It entices connection to a person. Attractions form by one singular inhale. Scent has the ability to create an impression on one another. We can imagine who a person is through their natural scent. Pheromones and human bodily chemistry make each person unique, and finding a perfume

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that compliments your natural chemistry creates a tempting bond between mind and body. There is an emotional connection to scent that gives us the power to become more creative and indulgent individuals. It’s as if you can see through your nose, remembering certain moments in life as if they were right in front of you. Perfume is romantic. Traditional methods of blending essential oils for aromatherapy opened new doors for how fresh smelling herbs and oils from fruit and flowers can create such a delicious experience. Gourmand, floral, earthy—a variety of scent we attribute to how we feel. Clean, delicate, sultry. A single perfume can change from simple to complex, combinations limitless. There are no rules, in my eyes, for how to find the perfect scent. If it makes you feel confident, it chose you. Perfume is a form of art—the interpretation of scent varies beyond each person, eliminating all but one sense. Vetiver, vanilla, musk, sandalwood. Enthralling scents coming together, an art form of aroma. Jasmine, myrrh, patchouli, rose. Top notes, middle notes, bottom notes. Each layer being dissected by the nose identifying the components of what it is you are smelling. Painting a picture of what your grandmother used to smell like.


I’ve worked as a custom perfumer in Lincoln Park, Chicago for the past 5 years. I used oils, beakers, and my olfactory imagination, to create a formula and concoct the perfect blend for someone illustrated through their scent palate. Scent creation is an intimate experience. Whether it be the pure reaction of someone who had just created their signature scent, or the bond between lovers connecting through their senses, the process of scent creation gives me such rewarding encounters with strangers. A visceral connection stemming from my love of scent landed me into a passionate field of work. I wish I could tell that little girl with a weird obsession with smell that, one day, she’d be writing about it. ▪

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culture

Why Fashion Magazines Matter Now More Than Ever Written by Enrique Hernandez Photographed by Estefania Loret de Mola

When my friend and current eic of Impulse, Jess Badofsky, asked me to write a piece for the upcoming issue, I was both excited and petrified. It had been over a year since I had written anything pertaining to the fashion industry, let alone speak about the subject matter in a serious context. But nonetheless, I took up the challenge, all the while a full-fledged pandemic was underway in the world that surrounded us. The main question I had tried to find the answer to (and the one that I am sure you are thinking of as you are flipping through the pages of this magazine) is this: what is the point of a fashion magazine while the world grapples with COVID-19? Well, I don’t have a cookie cutter answer for you, but what I can say is this: we may not be able to afford designer clothes, but we are all afforded the right to dream. And what could be more characteristic of the fashion industry than the ability to live vicariously through designer clothes and then trying to replicate your favorite looks through the means that you have available to you? The fashion community knows how to make do, and so do artists, writers and musicians that are maintaining

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their right to dream through fearlessly producing art during such a turbulent time. The truth of the matter is that ⅕ of Americans work in the retail or garment industries, and global manufacturing chains create large scale opportunities for women in developing countries, immigrants and the lgbtqia+ community alike. Additionally, if anyone reading this doubts the impact of the fashion industry, now would be a perfect time to remind you that you have to wear clothes everyday in order to perform in a fully functioning society. In addition to this, one could also argue that fashion feels missed most of all. Countless students that are graduating this Spring will not be able to showcase their chiffon graduation dresses, pressed wool trousers or freshly-broken in Doc Martens. Instead, many of you will have to sit through a Zoom call pseudo ceremony without even a cap and gown. That outfit you planned to wear to grab a drink with friends? Hanging in your closet. That bathing suit that covers just the right amount of skin and is doing the Lord’s work for your tan? Hasn’t even escaped the packaging it arrived in.


I am not saying to walk around your house in a ball gown or tuxedo to feel something, because, rest assured, no one is doing that in these trying times. But I am asking you to remember the sense of confidence that accompanied your favorite garment. That same confidence and sense of using clothing as armor, a weapon even, is the same inertia needed for you to pull through at this moment. Of course I realize that clothing may not provide the healing emotions for some individuals like those I described above, but fear not! There are many other things to do that will fill this void! I, for one, have taken up listening to every album in Beach House’s catalog. In my research I have found that Depression Cherry (2015) is an unmatched masterpiece in the dream-pop genre and is sure to win your heart over with the first listen. Pair that album with a $3.00 bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s, a bag of Lay’s (and maybe even a Marlboro Red) and you have yourself a Friday night in.

I digress. The conclusion I have come to is this: fashion magazines like Impulse matter more than ever now because of their ability to prove that art is as viable and moving as it has always been. Whether it be through fashion, music, painting, photography, or what have you, there is a power in a point of view that displays raw human emotion, fearless direction and a tantalizing point of view. As the world hits reset and begins to find new footing in a setting that, without a doubt, will be starkly different from the world we left behind, it is important to keep in mind how art makes us feel, and more importantly, learn how to cultivate our own works of art as we leave our old selves behind. After all, you’ll never be able to do this shit twice. ▪

If that’s not your thing, I have found a new obsession in relishing in Hulu’s impressive lineup of movies. From the vintage treat that is Julia Robert’s My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), to modern classics such as Parasite (2019) and Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), I am certain that there is something on there for you. In terms of books, I am currently reading My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh. The novel follows an unnamed narrator in New York City who gradually escalates her use of prescription medications to sleep for an entire year. Remind you of someone? I hope not, but the dark comedy is what is making me see a light at the end of this tunnel. In addition to that, I found a new sense of hope in Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask (the best $65.00 I ever spent, by the way) and the attention from three Tinder boys (we can call them Tom, Dick and Harry), who are bound to leave me in the dust as soon as this shit is over. These are the moments that make life worth living!

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beauty

Estefania Loret de Mola Stila Suede Shade Liquid Eyeshadow ($24, Available at Ulta)

“This is a really quick and easy way to create a seamless eye look with your finger. This color is perfect for creating eye contour, which is how I prefer to use it. I start by defining a cat eye shape and then use my finger to feather it out in an upward motion, similar to the way I’ve seen Bella Hadid’s makeup done before.”

Emma Schafman

Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream ($14, Available at Innisfree)

“I am an avid 10-step Korean skincare fan. If I leave a step out, it definitely will not be my sunscreen. Ever since I was little, my mom always stressed the importance of wearing sunscreen on your face and neck to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer. I started taking this more seriously as I grew older and won’t leave the house without it. Rain or shine! What I love about the Innisfree sunscreen is the delicate feel it leaves on the skin, perfect for sensitive skin. Not thick at all or greasy which makes it perfect to wear under makeup if needed.”

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editors’ picks

Jessica Badofsky

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado ($50, Available at Kiehl’s)

“A wise woman (my mom) once said, ‘The secret to great skin in your 50s is moisturizing in your 20s.’ So, here’s the eye cream I use. I’ll let you guys know in 28 years if it worked. Stay tuned for Impulse Vol. 65.”

Tiarah Golladay-Murry Glossier Futuredew

($24, Available at Glossier)

“If you need your face refreshed or a slightly dewy finish, then Futuredew is the product for you. I discovered this product in December 2019, and I have been obsessed ever since. I mean, who isn’t head over heels with Glossier products by now? Futuredew is so handy when you want to have a glow to your face at any time of the day. A dime size amount is all you need for a fresher, dewier and hydrated face.”

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Copyright Š 2020 by Impulse Magazine All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director except for the use of brief quotations in a review. Champaign, IL



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