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Mike Kukucska

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Jessica Wikström

EndlessFaces

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Extinction Level Artworks

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THE WORLD THROUGH MY LENS

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Letter from the editor

Photographer makes his first contact with the Milky Way

Jaclyn truss

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Jessica Wikström A photographer was about to call it quits, when a bearded man changed everything

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María Tudela Bermúdez We present to you, the beautifully “imperfect” photographs of María Tudela Bermúdez

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Boby Atmajaya Java artist produces “extinction level” artworks

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Benjamin Von Wong Shedding a glamorous light on the dim reality of E-waste

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Mike Kukucska

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Diogo Sampaio

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Distinguished academic, Professor Carolyn Mair, PhD, releases her first book on the psychology of fashion

Fine art, concept and fashion photographer goes rogue from Russia to find her true calling in India

Carolyn Mair

Traversing the laborious path of freelance design in Portugal

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“There is something so intriguing and exciting about going to these long forgotten places.”

Santiago Gonzalez I journeyed a passage no one ever saw fit...

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Deborah Lillis

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Farhad Khodayari

Stacey Sparkles

Artist from Iran creates a fantastical documentary of the unreal, inspired by Anime and Japanese symbolism

“Exploring abandoned places is like entering an alternate universe; one that no one, except a small pocket of people, knows exists.”

Victoria Krundysheva


NUMBER

010

SERGIO DAVID SPADAVECCHIA Publisher/Creative Director - info@creativespades.com creativespades.com - @creativespades JACLYN TRUSS Editor in Chief - info@inspadesmag.com

Anissa Stambouli Assistant Editor - info@inspadesmag.com - @astamdesigns A. Samuel Lewis - Writer - www.imr-sv.com - @imr-sv Albany Pickering McCabe - Resident Poet CONTRIBUTORS Talia Markos - Editorial Assistant Dario spadavecchia - Media Research Christina Deveau - PR & Social Media - @christinadeveau

Portrait Community Feature

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Irina Bunyatyan An introverted photographer finds a way for beauty to blossom in the silence

COVER: BENJAMIN VON WONG INSPADES Magazine is designed & distributed by Creative Spades © All images, text, logo and content of INSPADES Magazine or Creative Spades properties is under the Copyright Laws of Canada. Any reproduction strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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Lawyers, family and financial professionals helping families with our out-of-court, creative and a unique process for separation and divorce

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ART BASH 2018 Featuring art battle canada Six emerging Canadian artists compete for top spot, creating live, 30-minute works of art. In this “behind the scenes� creative immersion, guests mingle, network, wine and dine with like-minded art lovers and professionals. Enjoy our live and silent auctions of these masterpieces and many other wonderful items, all in support of SickKids Foundation.

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Letter From the Editor BY JACLYN TRUSS

Inspired Action

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. —Viktor E. Frankl!

images by Farhad Khodayari - @Gurenworld

I feel everything.

Sure, we all feel things, but I feel more things. Not more than everyone, but more than many. My zodiac sign is Cancer, and we’re known for being the most emotionally reactive of the bunch, as we find ourselves fully enveloped not only in our own emotions but that of everyone else. It takes an extraordinary effort to train your brain away from a reactionary emotional state (personally I’m at 20 exciting years and counting), but it is the worthiest of endeavours. There are many gifts to be

unwrapped in the ability to know what someone is thinking, feeling, needing, wanting, fearing or reacting to—especially when you can know it before they do—but only when you yourself have a measure of self-control. So how do you go about sorting yourself out in an allencompassing emotional mix? Between every thought and every reaction exists a small span of time that many of us do not bother to utilize. I simply call it “response time” and it is a valuable, malleable moment that occurs between a stimulus and a response and, with practice, you can stretch

that moment for as long as you need it to be to mold the response you prefer. Over time, I have gotten pretty skilled in exercising the use of this time and it has been to my full advantage with my reactions now representing the few and my responses representing the many. The success of this has led me to discover an emotional time-play that I am newly cognizant to, one I like to call “inspired action time”. I have found that doing anything when feeling inspired to creates a productivity level, success rate and emotional enjoyment that

is tenfold when compared to uninspired action. By inspired action, I mean action you must take, not because you have to, but because you are driven to, happily, by some unseen force. You are truly compelled to take action at that moment. These are the moments we love, you know, those moments that don’t feel like work even if you’re working. Uninspired action, however, is the action you take because you feel you obliged to do it, you have no true call to it at that moment, you’re just drudging through some


action because you believe you have to. We all mostly muddle through days of uninspired action because we have come to limit ourselves to believe a passion or a true calling refers strictly to a much larger concept, some “big picture” thing we want to do with the whole of our lives, and moved away from the understanding that it can include the seemingly mundane, every day, small picture things, like chores, card writing, phone calls, everyday work tasks, a trip to the bank or organizing a junk drawer. But haven’t you noticed there are just times where

you want to get something done right now, like the dishes, cleaning out a closet, finally getting around to some work report or doing some accounting, and it is just so satisfying when you do it? And sometimes, you really just don’t want to do something but you have convinced yourself the sky will fall if you don’t do it, so you toil and strain to make it happen but end up not really getting anything done and the task drags on for days and weeks anyway? Because we spend so much doing things we don’t want to do, we have come to block ourselves off from our natural inspiration

and enjoyment of doing everyday things that we would generally otherwise take at least some modicum of pleasure in, and that would positively affect the way we feel and how we live our lives. So recently, when I am too tired or uninspired to do something, I don’t do it, even if I think I “should” because I know that if I try, my energy will not be in the right place and the task will take longer than it should, have more problems than it should, be less successful than it should and I’ll generally lack any good feeling toward the endeavour whatsoever. But, if I wait until I feel inspired to

do it, it’ll take seemingly no time at all, everything will flow smoothly and success will seem assured, or I’ll be in a good enough place that I won’t particularly care about the outcome. In the splitting of moments, one from the other, in manipulating that space between thought and action, I’ve dipped my toe into the time reserved for inspired action, and by doing so, I’ve created more time for myself and take more delight in how I spend my time. I highly recommend giving it a try, at the very least, you’ll get more guilt-free sleep and can put off organizing your sock drawer for another day.

Enjoy!

— when you feel inspired to— Queen of Spades

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Jessica Wikstrรถm - @jessiwikstrom - wikstromphoto.se


Written by Jaclyn Truss

My Way Jessica WikstrĂśm

I was told I would be good enough as long as I was somebody else, but I just couldn’t be somebody else. @jessiwikstrom

EndlessFaces


Jessica Wikstrรถm - @jessiwikstrom - wikstromphoto.se


EndlessFaces

J

essica Wikström

had been a photographer for almost eight years when she finally decided to sell all her gear, cancel her studio rental and give up on photography entirely. Having tried almost every genre of the craft from weddings to product photography and fashion, she never really felt at home in any niche. One day, a former colleague of hers called her and asked if she could shoot some portraits of him and his equallybearded friends. She took it on as what she considered to be her last job before quitting—as long as she was able to do it her own way. One of Wikström’s biggest challenges in photography had always been her dark style. Unable to feel comfortable with it and it’s permeability through her work, it had become a major roadblock to her shooting style.

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Jessica Wikstrรถm - @jessiwikstrom - wikstromphoto.se


EndlessFaces

“I was constantly told I needed to shoot with fewer shadows, to look more commercial, more like everybody else. I was told I would be good enough as long as I was somebody else, but I just couldn’t be somebody else. So, for this last shoot, I really wanted to make the images look the way I wanted. The images turned out wonderful and it made me fall in love with portrait photography and, somewhere there, I finally began not just to accept but appreciate my darker style.” Since then, much of her work has involved beards in some way, and she has worked with beard brands from all over the world, with models travelling from other countries to have her build their portfolio. Last year, Wikström was fortunate enough to work with Profoto

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Jessica Wikstrรถm - @jessiwikstrom - wikstromphoto.se


EndlessFaces

and Fujifilm for the launch of Profoto’s new Air Remote, a device that touts seamless wireless sync and control of any Profoto light from your shooting position. Her greatest challenge having now become her greatest asset, Wikström has shot portraits for the last two-anda-half years and has recently moved to a beautiful studio in central Stockholm, Sweden. Now, no one tells her what she should do or who she should be when it comes to her photography, and she couldn’t be happier. “I hope to grow my portrait business and continue to develop my style and signature look. It has become ‘my thing’ to work with only one single light source, and I love to keep it as simple as that.”

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Jessica Wikström I was told I would be good enough as long as I was somebody else, but I just couldn’t be somebody else.

Jessica Wikström - @jessiwikstrom - wikstromphoto.se


EndlessFaces

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Flawlessly Imperf ct MarĂ­a Tudela BermĂşdez - mariatudela_fotografias_imperf - mariatudela.net


Written by Jaclyn Truss

María Tudela Bermúdez inspadesmag.com • 023


T

wo years ago, María Tudela Bermúdez decided to take her photography work beyond family and friends, branching out through social networks. That expansion has since given her the opportunity to be part of several photography fairs and participate in several exhibitions; she is now even invited to give talks about her photography. Tudela

Bermúdez is considered a talented emerging artist, for her beautifully evocative images which seem to effortlessly pull emotion from the viewer. Even from the less tender of souls, sensations cannot seem to help but arise like a spring from the rock. But Tudela Bermúdez has a confession to make: she understands if you think she’s no photographer at all.

Having discovered photography almost by chance during the digital age that gave us the unprecedented opportunity for the masses to explore photography, Tudela Bermúdez, like many, took advantage of the offering. Beginning with digital editing, she then moved on to photography and working with a compact camera. Had she first learned

María Tudela Bermúdez - mariatudela_fotografias_imperf - mariatudela.net


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MarĂ­a Tudela BermĂşdez - mariatudela_fotografias_imperf - mariatudela.net


about photography rather than editing, and had her camera been a reflex camera instead of a compact, Tudela Bermúdez would not have become the artist that she is today. That jumble of coincidences caused her to be trapped in creative and more “artistic” photography. “I confess that I do not really look for the harmony between focus, distortions, noise or composition so that the image is impeccable. I give more priority to provoke a feeling with it

than the technique used. I am aware that my work lifts the passions of some and is rejected by others. In the same way I am also aware that for many—particularly the most academic, my photographs are anything but ‘photography’, and they may even be right. I distance myself from technical perfection—I move away from the most academic rules, and I move away from the balance between parameters and all of it in an intentional way. I deliberately

and faithfully defocus, apply textures or use any editing tool with the intention of separating the image from the representation of reality.” “Everything changes— nothing is stable, and photography is not immune to it. I try to raise the concept with my work that photography can be created by taking advantage of these tools without distorting reality or prescribing certain processes to it. And, although I am part of this world, I have not understood,

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nor will I ever understand, the tendencies for particular styles or photographic disciplines to compete within the craft.” “For me, a photograph is more than the technique, the beauty or the aesthetic that surrounds it, it has the wonderful power to provoke emotion, and that is what I intend with my imperfect photos. A photograph is not meant for simply looking, it exists to be felt, therefore, I

do not intend to transmit, but to provoke, regardless of the nature of the sensation.” “What really caught me in photography was the ability to create, explore and discover my most creative side. Behind my camera or in front of my computer, I do not impose rules, norms or limits—I only submit to where my sensations take me, and when they take me where I wish to go, it’s wonderful.”

María Tudela Bermúdez - mariatudela_fotografias_imperf - mariatudela.net


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MarĂ­a Tudela BermĂşdez - mariatudela_fotografias_imperf - mariatudela.net


“I don’t just want to do contemplative photography, I want to investigate the before, during and aftermath of a photograph. Trapped between black and white, my protagonists are always anonymous, inspired by everyday life, human attitudes and life in general. I never show a face. I do not want the spectator to be distracted by one detail. I want them to contemplate the whole picture. For me,

a photograph goes beyond showing the world a picture. A photograph is a story, and therefore a photographer is also the narrator.” “Sometimes I regret not having discovered photography much earlier in my life, but then, I would not create the types of pictures I do today either. It is inevitable that in some of the pixels of my photos lies not only my vision, or my position before my

presented reality, my way of seeing or feeling, but also my own experiences throughout my life.” “Where do I want to go? I have not raised the question to myself. For now, I think that the viewer does not pass by my photos, but stops before them, and not only visualizes them but truly feels them. What I do know is that the day I will stop photographing, will be the day I stop enjoying it.”

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MarĂ­a Tudela BermĂşdez - mariatudela_fotografias_imperf - mariatudela.net


“For me, a photograph is more than the technique, the beauty, or the aesthetic that surrounds it—it has the wonderful power to provoke emotion, and that is what I intend with my imperfect photos. A photograph is not meant for simply looking, it exists to be felt.”

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GET E-WASTED WITH

BENJAMIN VON WONG “Dell provided Von Wong and his team of 50 volunteers with 4,100lbs of E-waste—representative of the approximate accumulation of E-waste that the average American generates over a lifetime.”

Benjamin Von Wong | RethinkAndRecycle.com


Written by Anissa Stambouli

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F

or the majority of us on the planet, technology powers our day. From the alarm that wakes us up to the mobile phone that orbits our person at all times, to the Wifi that keeps us connected with invisible tethers, many of us rely on technology to manoeuvre social dynamics and maximize our daily efficiency. While mobile phones were once single versions of a brand name, Apple is now on the 8th version of their iPhone and Samsung has recently released their Galaxy S9, demonstrating the endless product reform that permeates the Digital Age. This habitual tendency to upgrade products to the latest model has quickly taken its toll on our natural world and consumer psychology, contributing to the ‘throwaway-society’ we have become. In relation to the environment, the materials excavated to produce our endless stream of gadgets are nonrenewable and limited; additionally, they are often discarded Benjamin Von Wong | RethinkAndRecycle.com

without being recycled when the consumer upgrades from one product to another. In his provocative eye-opener, Rethink, Recycle, Revive, innovative photographer Benjamin Von Wong—alias Von Wong—paired up with technology giant, Dell, to address the importance of sustainable production and confront the ‘E-waste’ of discarded electronic devices. “I’ve always wanted to have a positive impact on the world around me, but I was a little more focused on how to stand out as an artist when I first began,” Von Wong shares in an exclusive interview with INSPADES, “With my E-waste campaign [with Dell], the hope was to try to get more than just views.” In an effort to drive the conversation, raise awareness and prompt more recycling, Von Wong’s creative campaign consisted of striking, futuristic imagery—a glamorous approach to a practical topic—with traction to go viral.


Benjamin Von Wong shot his Rethink, Recycle, Revive series with a Sony A7r-ii.

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One of the campaign’s images displays model Clara Cloutier swirling within a vortex of salvaged laptops, her hair seems to float with static amid the bright, bluish tone of the image. The scene strikes the viewer with the power of an electric shock—stunning in its assembly, aesthetic and activism. If anyone could bring sensational artistry to the topic of recycling E-waste, it’s Von Wong. To kickstart this gargantuan project, Dell provided Von Wong and his team of 50 volunteers with 4,100lbs of E-waste—representative of the approximate accumulation of E-waste that the average American generates over a lifetime. “Honestly, it was really hard to grasp,” Von Wong reflects on his reaction to receiving the collection of discarded materials, “With trash pickups happening every week, it’s easy to get rid of stuff and forget about it.” Seeing only a fraction of the amount of E-waste that exists on the planet, collected in one warehouse, only served to fortify the charge behind his Rethink, Recycle, Revive photographic series. Faced with bins of electronic recycling, Von Wong and his team set to work. Within 10 days, the creative collective assembled various sets that Cloutier modelled within, including a portal decked in circuit boards, a series of concentric circles harmonized with laptops that orbit her, and an electronic pit laden with keyboards. According to the report, “The Global E-waste Monitor 2017”, produced by the collaborative efforts of the United Nations University (UNU), the International Telecommunication Union, and the International Solid Waste Association, 2016 saw an enormous 44.7 million metric tonnes (Mt) of E-waste. This 44.7 Mt mass of refrigerators, television sets, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, mobile phones, computers and the like, translates into 1.23 million 18-wheel (40-ton) trucks filled to the brim, according to National Geographic; placed one in front of the other, that’s enough trucks to form a round-trip line from New York to Bangkok.

Benjamin Von Wong | RethinkAndRecycle.com


“One ton of circuit boards amounts to 40 to 800 times the amount of gold that could be extracted from one ton of excavated gold ore.”

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Only 20% of this E-waste is collected and recycled. The true challenge lies with the consumer and encouraging them to recycle their E-waste. Enter Von Wong and Dell. With his background in engineering and a passion for social impact projects, the elaborate sets of Von Wong’s photography combine the magic of digital post-production with resourcefulness in overcoming technical obstacles. One of his completed projects, which protests the annual killing of nearly 100 million sharks, features a model anchored beneath the water’s surface as real sharks swim around her. Shark Shepherd was a wild success and generated 80,000 petition signatures to support the establishment of shark conservation areas in Malaysia. Benjamin Von Wong | vonwong.com


“In some ways, it feels like I’m breaking new ground but in others, the impact seems like a tiny drop in a vast ocean. Ultimately though, how I feel doesn’t really matter. What matters, is that I’m trying!”

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Another viral series, Mermaids Hate Plastic, spoke out against the use and waste of plastic bottles. Within the cleverly designed set, a mermaid lies lifeless on the edge of a shore made from plastic water bottles, her tail caught in a sea of debris. Raising the bar of his already astounding work, Von Wong brought a new energy to his Rethink, Recycle, Revive series—the inevitable brainchild that he was destined to co-parent with Dell. The pairing was first conceived by Von Wong, who had heard about Dell’s “closed-loop” recycling process and reached out to their Corporate Social Responsibility team to explore a potential collaboration. Through their closed-loop approach, Dell propels a circular economy by reusing materials and keeping them engaged in the production cycle, rather than creating singleuse products that are quickly wasted. The key to recycling and extending the use of materials lies in strategic design to ensure recoverability. For example, Dell limits the use of glues in their production process, preferring snap fits and other design tricks to make their technologies easy to recycle. Since 2014, Dell Reconnect has recovered materials from old computers (of any brand) through their partnership with Goodwill Industries, converting the E-waste into new plastic parts that are used in more than 90 different products. Through the continuous recycling approach of the closedloop, a single material will be repurposed more than once. A recent study by TruCost found that Dell’s closed-loop method generated a natural capital net benefit of $1.3 million more annually, compared to using virgin plastics. Benjamin Von Wong | vonwong.com


“The basic idea is to prove that consumers care about the planet. If we can start shifting advertisements from being entirely product focused on having elements of social impact, I feel like the global market will begin to positively snowball towards a more circular economy.�

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Benjamin Von Wong | vonwong.com


Furthermore, much of the world’s E-waste is comprised of valuable metals like silver, copper and gold. For example, one ton of circuit boards amounts to 40 to 800 times the amount of gold that could be extracted from one ton of excavated gold ore, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Essentially, there is more potential for value and return in a bin of recycled E-waste than there is in the cost of mining metals from the ground. To represent the rich potential of reincarnated electronic devices, Von Wong conceptualized a portal laden with circuit boards. Demonstrating the past, present and future function of electronic materials, Cloutier—styled with body paint to resemble a cyborg—stands poised with a laptop in hand within the portal. “I hope to reinforce the importance of conscious capitalism,” Von Wong explains, “The basic idea is to prove that consumers care about the planet. If we can start shifting advertisements from being entirely product focused on having elements of social impact, I feel like the global market will begin to positively snowball towards a more circular economy.” Similar to his Shark Shepherd campaign, Rethink, Recycle, Revive moves beyond appealing visuals. “I created a giveaway to try and quantify my impact in pounds of E-waste recycled,” Von Wong divulges.

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For the first 1,000 people who recycle their electronic waste and post it online with the hashtag #RethinkRecycleRevive, Von Wong will send them a limited edition postcard signed by each of the team members that contributed to his initiative. When asked about his views on expressing and mobilizing social and environmental activism through the arts, Von Wong admitted: “I think I still have doubts about the efficiency of the medium, but many people definitely seem to really enjoy and appreciate the campaigns that I create. I don’t think that fighting a 200 billion dollar advertising industry straight on is a winning strategy, but the idea of pushing the industry towards a circular economy is one I think would be more effective.” Through his stunning work and innovative visual narratives, Von Wong certainly succeeds in getting the conversation going, reminding people that recycling their E-waste is as simple as dropping it off in the right place to be responsibly repurposed by companies like Dell. “In some ways, it feels like I’m breaking new ground but in others, the impact seems like a tiny drop in a vast ocean,” Von Wong concludes, “Ultimately though, how I feel doesn’t really matter. What matters, is that I’m trying!”

Benjamin Von Wong | vonwong.com


Originally an engineer in the mining industry, Von Wong purchased his first camera in 2007 and, within a few short years, photography became his world. Von Wong quickly became regarded as a truly epic photographer for his avant-garde approaches to photography, the grand scale and elaborate preparation of his shoots and the exceptionally creative concepts and images he creates. Whether he sets his sights on science fiction, fantasy, flames or beneath the sea, Von Wong’s images are nothing short of extraordinary.

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Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


Written by Jaclyn Truss

Victoria Krundysheva The Art of Coming Alive

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Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” —Howard Thurman The Glass Walls - a concept fashion project on the elusive and demanding social media culture. We watch other people's insanity. We put ourselves on display. Like a store. Only showing the best merchandise. A plastic relationship. Are you dressed well enough to show? Is the angle flattering? Is the display polished? Do you feel the cold? Of the life carved of lonely glass. Strings of it all around you. Tangled in fake connections, superficial moments. Do you feel the cold? Of your life turning plastic. You display it for everyone to see. A carefully curated exhibition. They will take it apart. Piece by piece. Hands and legs. Can you move? Do you feel the coldness of reality passing you by? So many you. So less you. Hiding behind elusive walls made of glass. Can you be sure which side are you on today?"

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Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


“Coming alive can have a different meaning for different people, but for me, it meant taking the journey of a lifetime from cold Russia to sunny India and finding more than I ever expected – myself.” “Born in Saint Petersburg in 1988, from my younger days I was driven by imagination in everything I did. A successful art graduate, I have always been involved in the Arts, whether it was dancing, acting in school theatre or performing for my family and friends—it was always about the emotions and flights of inspiration.” “I started painting when I was a child. My parents quickly recognized it as something that could provide me with a future career, and rushed to enroll me in the Saint Petersburg School of Arts No.1. The moment they did, I lost interest in painting. Freedom of expression in whatever I do has always been the most important source of inspiration for me, but when I had to paint or create something I was told to, my desire to do anything started to fade. I guess with the way I was jumping from one interest to another, my parents thought I’d end up jobless and aimless in life. It all changed for me when I took a camera in my hands for the first time.” “I started in portraiture and fashion, working as a freelancer for 3 years, and was quite successful, but I didn’t immediately realize it was my calling. It was more of a process, journey. Sometimes, you can never understand how much something means to you till you lose it.”

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“At that time in my life I was still not sure what I wanted to do, but knew that creative ideas and marketing was a skill of mine. So I decided to pursue that by taking an internship abroad. I immediately found one in India and bought my ticket. Why India you ask? That was something I can’t explain to date. I was supposed to go to Hungary for an internship, but at the last minute I felt that my calling was not in Europe, but in Asia, and India specifically! I just felt like it was something I needed to do and it was one of the biggest decisions of my life that led to self-discovery.”

Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


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Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


“Once I reached Mumbai and the internship started, I didn’t have any free time or opportunities to do photography. When I eventually took up a job, I was still too busy, but then one day I was asked to click a few pictures of my friend for her portfolio and, from the moment I took the camera in my hands, I realized that something huge had been missing in my life. A part of me that had been absent all along suddenly awoke. In search of market value and corporate success, I had caged myself—my inspiration and everything that made me who I am—so I started setting it free.” “I dedicated more and more of my time to photography and, once I realized that portrait and portfolio photography was not enough to fit all the concepts and ideas I wanted to put across, fine art photography became the next logical and natural step. It’s been two years for me as a photographer in India, six years in total, and it still feels like every shoot is a brand new experience.” “Photography, to me, is my personal meditation, a way to connect with the world both inside and outside of me, and to identify the systems and cycles that these worlds function within. My work is both intensely personal and loudly public. I take the major social constructs and issues and internalize them to reflect my deepest engagement in each. A metaphorical representation of subjects allows me to show the overlooked connections between present and past, dreaming, and waking, logic and intuition where I draw the mystical, but evident parallels between emotional reality and the physical world.”

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Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


“Each of my projects is not just about my subject, but about me equally. Each experience I go through is reflected upon and is fundamental for my development as an artist. I photograph my models in a synthetic world which I create within the existing one, so that each of them seems present and relatable, yet not entirely tangible. My goal is to make viewers perceive the idea not just within the traditional mind frames, but rather within their emotional state.” “The journey of expression, for me, is continuous and reflective in its composition, where the idea dominates my style of composing and the intensity of colour is defined by the external or internal source of inspiration–I use more toned-down palettes for the works that come from my intuitive experiences, while brighter tones are used to call out social issues.” “Slowly, I have begun to find inspiration in the human body and its ability to express, which has been my inspiration for the projects I am currently developing. Also I have found myself to be drawn towards darker shades, which is reflected in my project, The Dark Room. All of my work is accompanied by strong and elaborate verbal statements, creating a synthesis of my artistic expression.”

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“Right now, my work has expanded into concept fashion and concept editorials, but the most important part of it for me remains the message—what I want my audience to hear, reflect on, and feel. My most recent project, The Dollhouse, is a concept editorial, a satire on how we focus on visual versus substance, and forsake identity for societal standards and expectations. A few of my previous projects that were featured in many publications all over the world include: The In-boxed, a look on how our upbringing and conditioning limits the creativity; The Dark Room, which highlights the reality of depression; Unfreedom, which enlightens our fascination with knowing the future and the paradox of it; and The Witch Hunt, a representation of how society treats opinionated women.”

Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


“With every new project, I want to rediscover myself and society, going deeper in understanding and sending out a message that people can resonate with. When I was a child, my dream was to be a superhero. I guess in a way I am still trying to ‘save the world’ and help make it kinder and better with what I do.” inspadesmag.com • 061


Victoria Krundysheva - @victoriakrundysheva


My team for these few projects and some of the single images I am submitting comprised of extremely talented people. Models: Elyseah Shaikh (@elyseahh) - The Witch Hunt project, Unfreedom project, The Dollhouse project. Mayuri Sinha - The Witch Hunt Project, Realm of Sands project Charmaine Pereira - The Dark Room Project, Waiting to Hatch photo, Birth of Inspiration photo. Mohit Singh (@mohit.singh), Sonal Devraj(@ bhaiyajiismile) - The In-Boxed project. Make up artists: Sneha J Rathi (@snehajrathi) - The Witch Hunt Project, Unfreedom project Anishaa Chhabria (@anishaachhabriamakeup) The Dollhouse project Hair Stylist - Daksh Dubey (@daksh_hairguru)The Dollhouse project inspadesmag.com • 063


Bone To Be

Wild Boby Atmajaya

“...by uniquely combining or revealing unusual natural elements, Atmajaya is able to create a masterpiece that sits just outside of our usual perception of nature, while

exposing it in a manner that is both beautiful in its depiction and ugly in its truth.�

Boby Atmajaya - @flecce_


Written by Jaclyn Truss

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I

n this digital era, consumed by computer technology, the human race is constantly endeavouring to expand our high-tech horizons, but often, as we look toward the brave new dawn, we lose sight of the areas in our life where the sun has begun to set. As a computer engineer and programmer from Ngawi, Indonesia, it is Boby Atmajaya’s job to always be looking toward the future, but in his heart, he knows that the welfare of our future reaches far beyond the success of our digital realms. A hobby digital manipulator, Atmajaya has debuted his first series, Extinction, aka Bone To Be Wild. While created in a digital world, this collection displays a powerful commentary of our natural world. Featuring striking images of animals in various natural states with large parts of flesh missing—some even in the process of flaking away, revealing their bare, skeletal structures beneath—Atmajaya’s series makes a compelling statement on the state of wildlife extinction. Extinction is a natural phenomenon, generally occurring at a rate of one to five species per year; however, that number has now increased to approximately 10,000 times that rate, with dozens of species becoming

Boby Atmajaya - @flecce_


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extinct each day—a rate the world has not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Yet contrary to past mass extinctions, which were caused naturally by climate shifts, asteroids strikes and volcanic eruptions, this influx of extinctions is caused by one of nature’s most intricate creations: the human species. Human activity has caused global warming and the loss of wildlife habitats, which are primary drivers in the rapid and unprecedented changes to our biosphere and the complex ecological web that exists within it, threatening countless species as they tip like dominos in our composite ecosystem. “I want to share what’s on my mind and in my heart with people through my art,” says Atmajaya of his series. “I want to show that all animals face the threat of extinction and that so many of them are already on their way to extinction.” While a love of nature can be considered a mainstream concept within the world of art, Atmajaya takes that concept to the next level. By uniquely combining or revealing unusual natural elements, Atmajaya is able to create a masterpiece that sits just outside of our usual perception

Boby Atmajaya - @flecce_


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of nature, while exposing it in a manner that is both beautiful in its depiction and ugly in its truth. Before beginning any piece, Atmajaya composes a clear and detailed concept in his head of what he is about to create and what meaning it is meant to hold. Each image is thought through carefully before he makes good use of resources such as Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels and DeviantArt. Atmajaya often collects the images he will manipulate in Photoshop, and then merges all of the elements while adding his own, to match the results to his vision. Inspired by powerhouse photographers and digital manipulators such as Erik Johansson (@erik.joh) and past INSPADES featured artist, Herri Susanto (@nak_bali_), Atmajaya also loves to collaborate with other photographers and visual artists from all over the world. At only 20 years old, Atmajaya is displaying great prowess as an evolving digital manipulator, with concepts that are thought-provoking, poignant and wildly imaginative. We look forward to seeing what develops from this young artist, and hope that the mass of attention his work has already garnered, will translate into increased awareness for the statements that his art represents.

Boby Atmajaya - @flecce_


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Boby Atmajaya - @flecce_


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Irina Bunyatyan - @irinaorwald


Written by Jaclyn Truss

Blossoming in Silence

IRINA BUNYATYAN inspadesmag.com • 075


Taken

with beauty from the first of her days, Irina Orwald is a natural born artist. A professional pianist of the Moscow State Conservatory, she spends her days playing concerts, teaching students and composing music, but in her free time, she indulges in the visual arts, creating stunningly soulful portrait photography. Born Irina Bunyatyan, she has gone by her pseudonym, Irina Orwald, long before she began taking photos, for no other reason than liking the sound of the name. Exhilarated by works by Marta Bevacqua, Monia Merlo and Kiki Xue, when Orwald first took a camera in her hands she never thought she could take portraits like theirs, she just took pictures of everything around her that she found to be beautiful. Capturing the quiet elegance of water drops and autumn leaves, as an introverted and shy person, Orwald found working with objects to be the perfect medium:

“I feel most happy when I don’t need to explain myself. I like when they understand me without words. I can communicate, that’s not the problem, it’s just that it’s much easier for me to communicate with this world and feel it through my art. I do really like it when my photos can speak for me.

Irina Bunyatyan - @irinaorwald

“I think beauty doesn’t need any words, it blossoms in silence.”


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Then one day, struck by a severe lack of inspiration for her still life photos, Orwald had a tipping point in her life. Photography had become as necessary for her as breathing, and while she never thought of quitting photography, she couldn’t decide on the direction in which she could move on. A friend suggested portrait photography and, while outside her comfort zone, she took the advice and shot with some friends, and with that, her choice was made. “I’ve been taking portraits for a little more than three years now, and it’s a fascinating experience for me. I can’t imagine my life without photography, it’s the way to explore my own personality,” says Orwald. “It is said that a portrait is the mirror of the soul and I completely agree with that. I can share a little piece of my soul with the world and I think it’s one of the most important things in creativity.” Overcoming her introverted nature was still somewhat an obstacle, not knowing how to relax a model and make them act naturally in front of her camera, she was always having to experiment, working on her shyness. Having always been a good listener, this attribute helped her to find a common language with her models. People often say that she easily wins them over, but she insists that she only asks them unobtrusive questions that keep the conversation going. “I myself don’t feel comfortable when people are crawling into my soul without my permission with their overly personal questions. I didn’t do something special, I was just trying to be a good listener, attentive and responsive,” says Orwald. “Also people say I’m a very smiley person. Maybe that’s my secret weapon.”

Irina Bunyatyan - @irinaorwald


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Irina Bunyatyan - @irinaorwald


“I try to emanate something private, exposing the beauty within. It is not just a portrait of a beautiful girl, I seek muses who have beauty in their eyes and souls, not only beautiful faces.”

Inspired by many things, Orwald likes to contemplate the works of her favourite photographers: Paolo Roversi, Irving Penn, Laura Makabresku, Richard Avedon and many others. She adores walking around the city, finding new places and imagining what model she will put in the location and what outfit will fit best in the scene. Also inspired by fashion and architecture, she enjoys blending modern and classic styles. Generally, new impressions create new ideas which she embodies in her art, which is why she hopes to travel more in the future, to expand her frame of reference. Orwald reflects:

“I’m changing, growing and evolving in order to be a better photographer. I’m broadening my mind, learning about the world. Photography improves me, helps me to become better, to be more sensitive and attentive to the beauty that surrounds me. “I’m becoming more demanding in composition, colour, emotions and the post-production of my images. It’s interesting for me to try new styles and widen my circle of creative connections. Photography gave me a lot of new friends, likeminded people, wonderful moments and it makes my life more colourful and full of beauty every day.”

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Working with models from all over the world, Orwald touts the convenience of social media for the abundance of contacts and connections that would not have been possible even five years ago. Mostly she finds interesting models on Instagram, however, models often write to her when they are coming to Moscow for a day or two for their business affairs. Orwald admits:

“That’s mainly how I shoot models from different places and cities. I’m not travelling much for now, but it’s one of my dreams. Sometimes I find models looking through pages of my photographer friends. I’m not looking for standard types, I’m not chasing the ‘trendies’ (trend faces). Sometimes I spend hours on the internet searching for someone unusual, someone that looks like no one else. It always works, seek and you will find it.” Orwald spends a great deal of time examining her model’s photos, deciding which look will suit them best. She then chooses a location and a makeup and hair artist. With very few stylist contacts, she finds it often limits her flights of fancy when it comes to her model’s wardrobes, but makes do with what she is able to source. Colour palettes are also chosen prior to the shoot, as she prefers not to change colours too much in post-production.

Irina Bunyatyan - @irinaorwald


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When the day of the shoot arrives, however, Orwald improvises a lot: playing with light, colour and objects within the frame and often underexposing her images to give them a more “mystic” look. She doesn’t take many shots, mostly she simply converses with her models and, in the process of getting to know each other, she will take some shots of them. Orwald shares:

“I try to emanate something private, exposing the beauty within. It is not just a portrait of a beautiful girl, I seek muses who have beauty in their eyes and souls, not only beautiful faces. I always want to convey to the viewer something both magical and mysterious. “Often, I hear from people that my muses don’t belong in the modern world, it seems like they live in their own parallel universe. I like this observation very much, it’s very close to my heart.” Once Orwald has her raw images, she begins her edits in Lightroom or sometimes ACR, and will do the colour corrections there. Then she turns to Photoshop for the more detailed retouches. While it is not often a lengthy process, sometimes she can toil with one single photo for 5-7 hours in order to find its perfection. More concerned with colour than retouching, Orwald labours to combine a realistic style with a fairy-tale or old-fashioned look. You can see in her images the nostalgia for past ages and epochs with their talented artists, architecture and painters. Her work is the hymn to nature and our connections with it--the ode to our uniqueness. Orwald concludes:

“My models don’t demonstrate ‘makeup’ or ‘ haircuts’. It doesn’t matter if they have red lipstick or if they don’t. They are not just empty dolls, I want to show them living in my images—they are uniquely beautiful human beings with their unique souls. I’m trying to show the world how different, unusual and beautiful nature creates us. I think beauty doesn’t need any words, it blossoms in silence.”

Irina Bunyatyan - @irinaorwald


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Irina Bunyatyan - @irinaorwald


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FIRST CONTACT M I K E

Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca

K U K U C S K A


Written by Jaclyn Truss

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“Perhaps the locals were right and I was being watched, but if I was, it was not by something of this Earth.”

M

any photographers experience that one moment— the one where they capture the image that changes everything. For photographer and astrophotographer Mike Kukucska, that moment was on a warm spring evening in May 2014, the day he captured the Milky Way. Growing up, Kukucska was a huge science fiction movie fan, and in early 2014, he stumbled onto a website that featured photos of Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca

astrophotography. Seeing the night sky taken with ordinary DSLR cameras illuminated Kukucska’s inspiration. He purchased some gear, hopped into his truck and headed towards Lake Erie for his first Milky Way adventure. Finding instant and exciting success with his first try, Kukucska was hooked—not just with the photography, but also with the absolute pleasure of venturing out into the night, exploring, unwinding and taking in a whole new

world. He never looked back. On cloudy nights or nights with a bright moon, Kukucska found himself staying closer to his Canadian hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. Through long exposure techniques learned through astrophotography, he discovered an incredible world right in his own city. Over the past four years, Kukucska has been making solo trips down to Southwestern United States in search of dark skies

and new inspiration, and continues to venture farther as long as he is able. One of the most rewarding aspects of these adventures have been the involvement of Kukucska’s children. This 49-year-old father of three is also the owner of Hamilton Scenic Specialty Inc., a creative company that develops and delivers innovative fabrication solutions for the themed and entertainment communities, and so he endeavours to keep


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the delicate balance between his busy work schedule and his desire to be home as much as possible. Originally Kukucska would embark on his photography excursions after the sun went down and his kids had gone to bed, but now they explore, plan and create together, and he loves enjoying the world through their eyes as much as his own. Kukucska recounts: “I have the good fortune of having three kids with a sense of adventure who don’t mind staying up late. It also helps that we stock up on plenty of junk food at a gas station on Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca

the way to wherever we are going–I have a ‘no questions asked’ policy on whatever they pick out. “I find that I only take one of my kids out at a time, depending on what they have on the go and how they are feeling, and that’s just fine with me as we have some really wonderful one-onone time together. Even the drive to where we are going reveals conversations we would normally never have during the stress of a busy day, darting from one place to another. “I always head out with a

master plan in mind, with a clear understanding that it will change as my kids add their creativity and energy to our outings. Their minds are wide open and they see things in such a unique way, that they have taught me to be a kid again–not that I have ever really grown up, and I hope that I never will. I will miss them terribly when they get older and move out, and I can only hope that grandkids will be in my future so that I can keep this wonderful tradition alive.” Kukucska has spent countless nights exploring


quiet shores and starry skies, with an unexplained pull to the U.S. Southwest and Pacific Coast. For the past three years, he has taken three weeks off every spring to adventure by himself, affording him the luxury of exploring and photographing at his own pace, with his supportive wife holding down the fort at home until he returns. Kukucska shares some of his journeys with us—the ones that created two of his favourite astrophotography images, Making Contact and Guiding Light.

MAKING CONTACT “I have only a handful of ‘bucket list’ images that I want to capture, and I am delighted to say this shot taken at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory was one of them. Being a bit of a scifi nut, the movie Contact is one of my all-time favourites, and the chance of being able to merge a Milky Way image together with a large dish couldn’t get much better (ok…a friendly alien would have been interesting too). “This was captured in late

May 2017 while staying in Bishop, California. I was in Bishop for two evenings for the sole purpose of photographing in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, and I almost drove off the road seeing the array of dishes off in the distance. I inquired with as many locals as I could about this facility and was told it was military and not to go anywhere near it. ‘They’re watching you!’ the locals insisted; however, it is run by the California Institute of Technology and I got onto their website, made a inspadesmag.com • 093


Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca


few phone calls, pleaded my case, got permission and had the best night of shooting ever. The imagination runs wild in the dead of night with a star-filled sky and these monstrous contraptions pointing to the heavens. My senses had never been more alive. Perhaps the locals were right and I was being watched, but if I was, it was not by something of this Earth. “This image is a single shot captured with a Nikon D750. I wanted to create a sense of motion in the sky, a kind of ‘Big Bang’ or ‘warp speed’ effect, so during the 25 second exposure, I carefully zoomed the lens from 24mm to 14mm for about 5 seconds with the main image at 14mm burning into the frame for the remaining 20 seconds. Nikkor 14-24 F2.8, ISO 8000, on an Induro CGT214 Grand Turismo tripod. Finally the RAW image was edited in Lightroom with tweaks in clarity, saturation and other basic adjustments.” GUIDING LIGHT “Living in an industrial city like Hamilton, smack in the middle of the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ between Toronto and Niagara, it can be challenging to find dark sky locations for astrophotography. One of the best locations from where I live is almost straight south until I hit the shores of Lake Erie. As the galactic core of the Milky Way tends to be south, a large body of water with no cities built on it gives me a fighting chance to capture some beautiful skies. Unfortunately, much of the shores of Lake Erie are developed and-or privately owned, so the locations that inspadesmag.com • 095


Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca


one can shoot from can get a bit uninspiring after a while. “After tripping over kid’s toys for years, it got me thinking it was time to put them to work and create new exciting worlds, and this image was one of my first—it is still one of my favourites. My son, Ben, was my trusty assistant on this fine evening as we spent some time exploring the wonderful shores near Rock Point Conservation Park, looking for the perfect location and the perfect stones to make our rock creation. We get along incredibly well, but things got testy as the two of us struggled with our headlamps in the dark trying to balance and trap the two arms onto the body—it is a lot harder than it looks and we both prayed for a hot glue gun to magically appear. “After much struggle, our stone figure was complete and it was time to pull out our little man, all 1.25’ of him purchased from a train hobby store. I carefully placed him on the arm and got into position with the camera balanced carefully on a rocky tripod, as my tripod would not get me as low as I wanted to go, only to notice my little man was long gone. It turns out there was a breeze on the beach and it didn’t take much to send a little piece of plastic falling to the ground and hiding in the litter of rocks. This required a clever solution and I just happened to be chewing some gum at the time, so the little man stayed in his place thanks to a small wad of gum. All images were shot with a Canon 6D, Rokinon 14mm F2.8, ISO 3200 for 30 seconds on a tripod of beach stones. “In astrophotography, one always tries to focus on infinity to get the stars as crisp and clear as possible, inspadesmag.com • 097


Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca


and this obviously creates challenges in objects close to the lens. This image is comprised of five shots taken one right after the other, with nothing more than the time needed to refocus each shot. I could easily cut and paste a starry sky in Photoshop, but that is not at all what I was after, as I wanted the challenge of getting everything right and capturing the night sky as it was at that moment. My skills in

Photoshop are incredibly limited and I plan to try and keep it that way. Using Photoshop, I manually stacked the five images and blended them, using brushes and masks. The final flattened image was brought into Lightroom for my usual astrophotography adjustments.� Despite the striking results that his photography yields, Kukucska admits that his astrophotography trips can be exhausting. His schedule

is completely flipped around, trying to sleep and explore during the day while photographing at night. He never goes to a location at night that he has not thoroughly visited during daylight hours, as it is too easy to miss opportunities or lose his bearings in the dark. Kukucska has found that the national parks in the U.S. are fantastic locations for shooting, with the added bonus that they are open all day, every day and, of

at least the places he has visited, he is pleased to say they are also void of grizzly bears. While Kukucska is fine to take his chances with snakes and scorpions, he has no desire to meet a grizzly wandering around the woods by himself at three in the morning, and his family agrees. Kukucska’s next adventure will be in Oregon, and we eagerly await to see what beauty from its night sky he will capture with his lens. inspadesmag.com • 099


Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca


TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE STAR-TRAIL PHOTOS: • Location, Location, Location Select the darkest location possible, away from city lights is preferred. Include natural objects, such as trees, in the foreground for scale and to help showcase the rotation of the sky against the Earth. •

Keep ‘Em Charged Make sure you have fully-charged or new batteries in your camera. Holding the shutter open for long periods quickly drains batteries. If your camera has a battery pack or DC car-power adapter be sure to use them.

Three Legs Are Better Than Two Make good use of a sturdy tripod, and be sure to secure it in place or weight it down if possible. You are already trying to capture something in motion, any movement of the tripod will blur your star trails.

Know Your ISO With a digital-camera ISO of 400-800, or mediumspeed film, the ISO will be high enough to record even fairly dim stars, without causing too much noise or grain.

Always Have An Angle For best results, use a fairly wide-angle lens, the 35mm equivalent of 20-50mm focal length works well.

Reduce Glare Set a medium aperture of f/5.6 to f/11. While it won’t much alter the brightness of the stars (no aperture setting will), but smaller apertures will reduce the brightness of the overall glare and glow from any other nearby light sources.

Focus Set manual focus and focus on infinity. Use a remote or cable release and open the camera’s shutter. A longer exposure will mean longer star trails, but it will also pick up more of the ambient glow.

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PHOTOGRAPHY IS A FAMILY AFFAIR FOR THE KUKUCSKAS: Daughter Sylvia, Age 17 – “Helping my father with his photography has not only inspired me to take up the hobby myself, but it has also opened my eyes and taught me to explore every last inch of our world—and even the skies beyond it.” Daughter Marguerite, Age 13 – “The best part about going out with my dad to take photos is not only the finished photo, but the adventures and collaboration we get to share in the process.” Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca


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Astrophotography is a specialized photography that captures anything not of this Earth, but of space, celestial events, astronomical objects—delivering to us the untold beauty of the night skies and beyond.

Mike Kukucska - mkimage.ca


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Diogo Sampaio - @strongsidesigns


Written by A. Samuel Lewis

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PORTUGUESE

digital artist, Diogo Sampaio, seeks to preserve a sense of childlike wonder in his genius image manipulations while striving to evoke emotions of nostalgia and familiarity in the freelance work he provides for his clients. What first began as part-time flyer designs in college in 2010, has since developed into a robust freelance career, including collaborations with talented artists such as Guns N’ Roses, The Rolling Stones and Imagine Dragons. Sampaio’s artistic journey began in early childhood, with an inherent fascination and inclination toward video games, where he first donned the virtual moniker “StrongSide”, which eventually developed into his business name, StrongSide Designs, as his skills matured. Three years of study in the Communication Design program at ESAD College of Art and Design in Porto, Portugal, offered a formal foundation in graphic design that allowed Sampaio to familiarize himself with more advanced design techniques such as typography, composition and editorial design.

Diogo Sampaio - @strongsidesigns

During his time at university, Sampaio struggled with the crucial decision of fighting tooth and nail as a freelancer or submitting himself to the will and demands of a larger firm in a more traditional design agency setting. At first, the ambiguity and uncertainty of the freelance world proved far too daunting, and Sampaio opted for the comfort of entry-level design positions at local agencies. It wasn’t long before Sampaio learned that, while he gained financial security and job comfort, he paid for it dearly through a diminished sense of personal creativity as his ideas and input were disregarded to those of his superiors. The initial challenge and amazement, which had drawn him to art in the first place, was nowhere to be found. Feeling unable to divulge the versatility of his design repertoire and hindered from his full potential working for a design firm, Sampaio faced the unnerving decision to persevere in this hostile environment or to welcome the ambiguity of the freelance world with open arms.


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Sampaio shares: “My family has supported me in every single decision I’ve made so far, so they motivated me to do what I do today. Also, one of my clients—now my friend—is the kind of person that works 24 hours a day to get things done. It’s impressive what he achieved, and he started with nothing! Anyone that works hard to get what they desire is an inspiration to me, as long as they are honest and humble.” Sampaio himself had no shortage of work ethic, however, the market for design work, in general, is riddled with competition. With a few major firms maintaining a rigid grasp of the industry, it is always difficult for a beginner freelance designer to be capable of maintaining a living off of their work. Surmounting these odds, Sampaio laid his inhibitions to rest, earning his first paid project designing flyers for a small pub in Porto, Portugal in 2012. The doubt and uncertainty that had plagued his mind and caused him to question his worth as an artist vanished; a newfound sense of courage and selfconfidence took its place.

Diogo Sampaio - @strongsidesigns

Since his first paid project, the scope of StrongSide Designs has increased tremendously, providing sustenance for Sampaio and his girlfriend in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon. A conscientious worker, Sampaio grew his reputation, and the quality of his artwork began breaking ground in the art world. “I can be extremely careful on details, because sometimes the difference between good work and exceptional work can simply be a bad kerning, some shadow that doesn’t look realistic or some colour that doesn’t match the background— at times, any flaw can be the motive to a failed project,” asserts Sampaio, “So, depending on the budget (and my spirit), I can spend hours looking for minor errors that can be avoided in order to make the perfect artwork.” Sampaio’s personal work is a direct reflection of his professional odyssey. The arduous, seemingly impossible expedition depicted through perplexing landscape manipulations and eloquently blended photo collages, each provoking viewers to discern for themselves which direction is up.


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“The goal is to make a piece look as realistic as possible, even if the scene itself contains impossible elements. In the end, it all comes down to problem-solving— finding a way to capture the impossible,” Sampaio reflects. Strategic partnerships with American-based design firms, such as Bravado International Group in New York City, have furnished the ideal work environment for Sampaio. The agency connection provides an influx of creative branding and poster design opportunities for Sampaio, while his status as a freelancer protects his creative idiosyncrasy. “Back in 2014, when I worked for the Rolling Stones, I decided to give my attention to music artists because I really enjoyed creating album art, posters, flyers or even brand identity for bands and singers. Music will never die and work related to this specific area is my preferred way to invest my time and work,” admits Sampaio. Over time, Sampaio has achieved over 13,000 followers

Diogo Sampaio - @strongsidesigns

on Instagram and can tout accomplishments such as being featured on the Adobe Photoshop official Instagram page, which accumulated nearly 80,000 total likes in just 7 days and winning first place in a themed contest on Learn__Photoshop’s page. Additional notable features on AdobeStock, Enter Imagination and Cultura Colectiva and avid involvement as a moderator for Pr0ject_Uno’s @ thegraphicspr0ject page have solidified Sampaio’s relevance in the Instagram community. Sampaio reflects on the joy and satisfaction of achieving this milestone in his career as a feeling unlike any other. All monetary benefits aside, this landmark occurrence affirmed his desire to maintain a comfortable income while maintaining his sense of individuality as an artist. Sampaio’s success is the mark of his self-confidence and the determination of his spirit and he serves as a shining example to all artists about the power of believing in yourself.


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PHOTO ESSAY

SANTIAGO

GONZALEZ @ONE_SANTI

Santiago Gonzalez - one_santi


Written by Jaclyn Truss

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Santiago Gonzalez - one_santi


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I journeyed a passage no one ever saw fit. And extracted its beauty, its reaching, its wit. I wandered the Earth, foot falling in waves. I sailed passed desire, wanting and rage. I knelt beneath the rigid light of regret. And leaped beyond its cavernous stretch. I walked silently on a trail with no name. Found peace in life’s subtly and brought it to fame. I now stand beneath the rush of this feeling. Knowing every moment is one worth believing.

Santiago Gonzalez - one_santi


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Santiago Gonzalez - one_santi


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Santiago Gonzalez - one_santi


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Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


Written by Jaclyn Truss

Farhad Khodayari @Gurenworld “There is an intense solitude to these images, with its subjects always stranded somewhere outside the world that they belong to—as though they are mysterious to the world that surrounds them and that world is just as mysterious to them.”

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I

n Tabriz, beneath the hustle and bustle of one of the biggest cities in Iran, Farhad Khodayari sits behind a computer, creating images of a man on the outside looking in. As he plays with the lighting in his image, he remembers his younger self—confused and made crazy by his unusual visions and unrealistic way of regarding the world. He smiles at this memory, having since come to fully know himself and realize that his visions are gifts. “My art is all about dreaming—visions and feelings. I love to show my capacity for telling stories within the images; I have many stories behind my images, some told and some left to interpretation, and I love to share all of them with the world,” reveals Khodayari.

Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


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His images often feature a lone figure, either looking down upon, or up at, an extraordinary scene of nature. Others feature impossible feats of nature such as floating ocean life through forests or crashing into structures. Others still are even more adventurous with eyeballs that are air balloons, or a woman trapped in a bubble and a man encircled by his city. There is an intense solitude to these images, with its subjects always stranded somewhere outside the world that they belong to—as though they are mysterious to the world that surrounds them and that world is just as mysterious to them. In one of his pieces entitled, Havoc of Fantasy, his choice of a whale as the subject is because it is rarely known by people—it is alone, endangered and incredibly mysterious. “Most of the stories are related to myself and my life,” says Khodayari. “Nature is my biggest inspiration: the mysterious stories behind each subject and element in space, the deepness of it, the beauty and mystery of sea creatures, and the symbolic meaning of geometry shapes in many cultures—especially in Japanese culture, which is my personal favourite.”

Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


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The story of Triangle of Sentiment, the image of a pointed mountain with a triangle of laser light, is all about Khodayari’s life, his desires and goals for living. He says it describes everything about him: the coldness of the weather, the haziness, gloominess and snow. Mountains are elements that Khodayari has always loved: they are immense, strong, magnificent, and there is a sense of awe to them. The triangle, for him, is a symbol of power, and its crimson colour is his favourite shade, for which he also named his Instagram account, ‘Gurenworld’, taken from the Japanese word guren, meaning ‘crimson’. “I am a big fan of Anime and Japanese culture and, while it is my desire to frequently use them in my works, Anime helps me to think deeper and gives me incredible ideas that sometimes even I myself don’t know how they end up in my pictures,” admits Khodayari. Khodayari is adamant in titling his images as he knows his reasons behind the creation of the image will not always be known to his audience. Yet while he can lead them somewhat toward his sentiment, he does enjoy that they will imagine what they will, just as he has in making the images.

Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


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Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


“I imagine the subjects juxtaposed and think, what could make it like a dream that you would like to soar through? Imagination has the power to do everything. I always put myself in the audience’s position to speculate what they may think of my work, and when I think it’s really close to the dream that I have created in my mind, I know that’s it, that’s what I want!” Once inspired, Khodayari will first draw a very simple sketch on paper to better flesh out his vision. He will then look for free stock photos, or photos from his own collection, which are suitable as main subjects for his idea. After that, he finds a background photo and searches for the photos of the minor elements that he will also add to enhance his image. Once selected and combined, he works on light, shadow and reflections and, finally, he finesses colours and tones to make connections between the different elements.

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Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


“The lighting on objects within the image is the most important thing to make my final photo more realistic, because making reflections on anything like water or metal is very difficult, especially if you desire a perfect result. I hope that one day there will be a tool that simplifies that process,” says Khodayari. “Lightning tools on 3D apps like Cinema 4D that I use are perfect, but I wish, despite the impossibility, the very same could be done on 2D photos in Photoshop as well.” Khodayari always has strong elements in his work so that they may describe his underlying meaning, and so he appreciates the ability to include any elements that can add texture, tangibility and make the image come alive. When he is able to see the perfect relation between elements, including colours and lights, he knows the image is ready to share. “I would love to be a director and I push myself to do animations as well,” shares Khodayari, “So I am still learning and working hard to achieve what I really want. One of my favourite earlier pictures, called Distress, is about one of my largest concerns—having endless things to do but a lack of time to complete them.” Like a fantastical documentary of the unreal, we hope that with whatever time he has, we will see Khodayari continue to share his stories and bring to life his dream-like visions.

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Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


“Anime helps me to think deeper and gives me incredible ideas that sometimes even I myself don’t know how they end up in my pictures.”

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Farhad Khodayari - @gurenworld


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The Psychology of Fashion Professor Carolyn Mair, PhD

Carolyn Mair - The Psychology of Fashion - Ph: Sergio D. Spadavecchia


Written by Anissa Stambouli

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When one thinks of fashion, the elements that commonly spring to mind are fabric, style, flare, expression—insert personal views on fashion here. Yet, while the buzz of fashion reverberates from countless magazine covers, runways, street style and the like, the first association made with fashion is not usually psychology. For author and Psychology for Fashion professor, Carolyn Mair, PhD, the clothing we wear reflects more than just personal taste and trending styles. In her debut book, The Psychology of Fashion, Mair deconstructs the meaning, thinking and behaviours behind the wardrobe, taking readers through the ‘Narnia’ of fashion psychology. “I have published more than 80 academic papers and contributed to hundreds of press articles, but The Psychology of Fashion is my first book,” Mair admits. Set to be released by Routledge publishers as part of their The Psychology of Everything series on April 28, 2018, Mair’s book aims to empower consumers while addressing issues within the fashion industry that affect individuals, communities and societies around the world. In the first chapter of her publication, Mair immediately tackles the most apparent psychological issue that stems from fashion—body image and the question of ‘beauty’. While aspirational fashion permeates and sways public opinion through advertising, boutique window displays, pop culture icons and media outlets, the blogging empire cosies up to consumers through personal channels. Enter social media. Instagram, in particular, runs rampant with glamourous ‘girl-boy next door’ personas. With their effortless chic, bright condos and impeccable street style, fashion bloggers enter the companionship of millions

of consumers daily through phone swipes and ‘home feeds’. According to Mair, the influence of social media is twofold. “Social media is social connection without geographic borders. On the one hand, it enables everyone to be featured, but on the other hand, it encourages the pursuit of perfection,” she explains, “Social media bloggers have changed the way fashion trends happen. Trends are no longer created by brands or fashion forecasters. For bloggers and Instagirls, even selfies taken in casual clothes in ‘everyday’ locations are often curated and styled like any other fashion photoshoot.” It’s no secret that bloggers are often sponsored or paid by brands to post content featuring specific products in a natural way, but how does this new form of advertising and trendsetting affect the average person? The constant absorption of fashion blog content can result in misled assumptions; because the images aren’t coming from a glossy magazine, the lifestyle, appearance and products that blogs present seem more attainable and relatable to the viewer. When viewers realize that the lifestyle isn’t as easily acquired as they thought, the resulting silence or lack of public response to their personal content can be quite a blow to the ego. However, viewers easily forget about the quantity of makeup, styling and edits that factor into a quality post, not to mention the team of assistant and photographer that often support a bloggers’ content feed. Furthermore, social media allows and encourages users to project their style and personal expression through fashion. While this can certainly have the positive effect of connecting individuals across borders in united interests, it can also leave users vulnerable to feedback—or silence—from an international community.

Carolyn Mair - The Psychology of Fashion - Ph: Sergio D. Spadavecchia


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“Editing images for Instagram and waiting for likes can be damaging in multiple ways. Increased exposure to fashion imagery on social media can lead to appearance concerns, risky behaviours and eating disorders,” Mair reveals. Additionally, Mair compares fashion to language. When miscommunication occurs, the ensuing lack of understanding can be isolating. Mair explains: “Through an identifiable cut, silhouette or fabric, fashion designers create an image that promotes a particular ethos or lifestyle; however, although we intend to communicate meaning through what we wear, it is communicated effectively only to those who speak the same fashion language. I argue in the book, that fashion—as communication—is as complex and difficult to interpret as any spoken or non-verbal language.” Yet, while fashion can lead to isolating results, its powerful influence also has the potential to bring people together. According to Mair, when consumers respond to the aspirational lifestyle advertised by a brand, they become ‘communal thinkers’: “Communal thinking can be described as a shared consciousness—a feeling of belonging that members feel toward each other, and the collective sense of difference from others outside that community. Communities share rituals and traditions which may be visual in their clothing, as well as their sense of moral responsibility. “Black dresses worn on the red carpet at the Golden Globes and the British Academy Film Awards [as part of an anti-harassment campaign] is a great example of fashion enabling social connection and making a political statement.” Beyond opinionated t-shirt slogans and tops with por-

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF EVERYTHING

traits of deceased activist icons, fashion can reflect political or personal views regardless of appearance. The rising trend of secondhand shopping and vintage finds is one way that consumers express their values. By purchasing used items or pieces designed from recycled material, consumers can engage with fashion in a sustainable way. Such shopping habits “meet the basic human need for novelty—buying something new, while for fashion lovers they get to buy something unique,” Mair describes. Opting for items that already exist also means that fewer new garments will be produced or discarded. Consumers undoubtedly play a role in enabling a sustainable fashion industry when they purchase used items, minimize their volume of product accumulation or both; however, the fashion industry itself carries more responsibility in ensuring a renewable approach to production. “It’s not just a question of limiting consumerism. Producers need to produce less,” Mair insists, “The fashion industry is one of the world’s worst polluters. Fortunately, the activism taking place over this issue is beginning to have some impact on brands. Even high-end luxury brands are taking the sustainability agenda seriously.” While companies are experimenting with sustainable fabrics made from sustainable materials, including pineapple or apple pulp, Mair suggests that incorporating a circular economy is of equal importance—relying on recyclable materials to design fewer, more durable items. Packed to the brim with insight on human behaviour, economic values, identity and more, The Psychology of Fashion shows great promise as a catalyst for understanding the link between fashion and the human experience.

Dr. Carolyn Mair is a Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society. With a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and MSc in Research Methods Psychology, Mair successfully bridged the disciplines of Psychology and Fashion when she pioneered and taught two Masters programs, Applied Psychology in Fashion and Psychology for Fashion Professionals, at the London College of Fashion (LCF). Mair has published more than 80 academic papers and has appeared widely in media outlets including The Times, The Guardian, a Vogue video series, Elle Spain, radio interviews and much more. Mair continues to work with the fashion industry and educators through her consulting and research company, Psychology.fashion.

Carolyn Mair - The Psychology of Fashion - Ph: Sergio D. Spadavecchia


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“There is something so intriguing and exciting about going to these long forgotten places.�

Deborah Lillis - @_soliveyourlife_


Written by Jaclyn Truss

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“Some had incredible architecture yet, sadly, were forgotten and have now deteriorated into an incredible state of decay.”

“I am happy to share my images here with you, and I hope you enjoy them.” Deborah Lillis - @_soliveyourlife_


“Within their walls, it feels so eerie, as if ghosts of the past remained.”

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“I love reactions of people who see my work and don’t get to see abandoned places normally. Deborah Lillis - @_soliveyourlife_


“As the years have gone by, I have only become more intensely passionate about this hobby of mine. inspadesmag.com • 151


“Exploring abandoned places is like entering an alternate universe; one that no one, except a small pocket of people, knows exists.� Stacey Sparkles - @the_sparkler


Written by Jaclyn Truss

Stacey

Sparkles

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Stacey Sparkles - @the_sparkler


“I hope to preserve these details in photographs before the building, and that little piece of history no longer exists.â€? inspadesmag.com • 155


Stacey Sparkles - @the_sparkler


“It is very rewarding when you spend hours looking for a place and then, finally, you find it and make it happen.”

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“Once I get inside a building, a sense of awe usually washes over me. The outside world doesn’t know where I am until I exit the building once again. But, in the meantime, it is like an escape.”

Stacey Sparkles - @the_sparkler


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Stacey Sparkles - @the_sparkler


“It is peaceful and serene. I just sit there while taking long exposures and I soak it all in. Every little detail tells a story of what once was.”

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