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Modelling in the Age of Instagram With ADAM CHASE, BRANDON HALL and DR. CAROLYN MAIR

Merek Davis

Stevie’s Wonders

The Endangered Embroidery and Sustainable Living of STEVIE VAN HORN

on Vellum, His New “Father” Filter and The Future

The Bleeding-Heart Visionary

Hector Puig A Fractured Reflection

Justin Rosenburg Photography by Design

Fabiana Casco N U M E R O Q UAT T R O $6.99 A P R IL 2 0 1 7



Albany McCabe “Saw your smile...”

Fabiana Casco Creative Soul Rebel



Jaclyn Truss Letter From The Editor


Anne Lysa Dreaming of faerie lore on the Scottish moors


Hector Puig Puig’s principles of photography


Justin Rosenberg The naked broken truth/ Shades of delightful wounds/When it doesn’t show…it somehow shows


Merek Davis Talks about Vellum, his new “Father” filter and the future

Eulalio E PH Dancing with a Visual Poet


KJER Mariano A model photographer


Christian Moore A tree of might reveals his strength


Andreas Krupa (eosAndy) For the love of cosplay


Arès Duval Role reversal, from in front of the camera to behind the lens


Aurelija Karaliunaite A myth-maker’s atmospheric portraiture


Maria Lipina Enchanting beauties and tender beasts


Marcelo Donatelli A low-key, high-contrast macroscopic perspective


Michael Meyers The photographic playground of Chicago’s cityscape


Wang Jin Intimate Portraits and— INSPADES Exclusive!


Matt Kelly Velvety photography


Justin Young Scavenging for ruins in Southern California


Aryna Pushkevich Photo Essay of an artist


Adam Joseph Chase Modeling in the age of Instagram



SERGIO DAVID SPADAVECCHIA Publisher/Creative Director - - @creativespades JACLYN TRUSS Editor in Chief - ANISSA STAMBOULI Head Writer - - @astamdesigns ALVARO BERTONI - Writer CÉLIA BERLEMONT - Writer GUINEVERE JOY - Writer REBECCA BOWSLAUGH - Writer REBECCA WEAVER - Fashion Editor - @_legsweaver_ ALBANY MCCABE - Opening Poet DARIO SPADAVECCHIA - Media Research CHRISTINA DEVEAU - PR & Social Media - @christinadeveau


Stevie Van Horn Hand embroidered, vintage picks for an eco-conscious wardrobe





COVER: Merek Davis INSTAGRAM: @mextures - @merekdavis links to my pages

InSpades Magazine is designed & distributed by

© 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.


Reasons to Stay Soul searching brown eyes A listening smile Quiet, low sighs A hand to hold awhile The smell of sawdust and the raw earth (so you’re saying I smell like dirt) A heart that doesn’t quite know its full worth Me, swimming in his old sweatshirt I call them all crazy cause they all went away But I look at him and just see reasons to stay.

@ - @ the.aimless.muse

Photo by Aurelija Karaliunaite

Letter From the Editor BY JACLYN TRUSS

A New Day “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

When daylight deceives me wholly Emerging inexplicably from the west Like a one-way train been wronged Continuing on its quest Only I may know it’s backward Me, with my backward thoughts untold Ever reaching for the firmer thought That the neurons cannot seem to hold Ostentatious as it may seem In my corruptly contemplative place Never have I come so undone Saving so much face People as they’ve offered Answers through and through Denied their very selves Everything they know is true Some may tell you it is hard

Many more believe it to be real Always casting ourselves so far out to sea G ravity left to reel Another sun is rising Zestfully pursuing all that has been Insofar as days have ended New ones will begin... Enjoy! Queen of Spades











@ P H O T O B Y L Y S A



eading is one of the most wonderful simple pleasures in life; a means to escape into a world unlike our own, a chance to let our imaginations take hold, even if only for a little while. Danish artist, Anne Lysa, takes traditional stories a step further, bringing them to life by actualizing characters born only of imagination. For as long as she can remember, Lysa has been heavily influenced by fantasy and science fiction, with the inspiration for her series of elfin portraits based on the dreamy landscapes of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. This series of portraits, entitled Creatures of Gondolin, explore Tolkien’s hidden elf city of Gondolin and its inhabitants. Each portrait is carefully and meticulously styled to bring out a definitive quality of elfin magic in each of Lysa’s models.


A model herself, Lysa was introduced into the realm of photography where she became acquainted with many photographers, retouchartists, stylists and makeup artists. Through these connections, Lysa was able to learn more about photography itself, and when she started to create her own images, Lysa already had a strong sense of how to organize a photo shoot, as well as had many contacts in the industry. However, a talented stylist herself, she designs and styles her own images, including the handmade crown in her featured snow queen image. This autumn, Lysa will commence a new chapter of her life in Edinburgh, Scotland. For many, the grey skies and misty moors are not a dream destination. But for Lysa, the ancient castles, mystic mist and the rolling moors are perfectly suited to her romantic, otherworldly style of photography. Lysa fell in love with Edinburg some years ago on a trekking excursion in the Scottish highlands with her mother, and now will be spending five months there to study and complete her master’s degree in psychology. As she continues in her pursuit to understand the human condition on a deeper level, Lysa believes that the skills and understanding that she will gain during that time will only serve to enhance her work as a photographer. Presently, however, photography serves her as a light, enjoyable reprieve from the intense reading and studying involved in obtaining her degree. As a student on a budget, Lysa creates with limited resources, though you wouldn’t think so from the quality of her images.


She works out of a tiny apartment in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city. When models come to her photography studio they often wait, bemused, while Lysa moves the furniture aside to make room for her backdrop and studio lights. Lysa’s motto is: “always make the best out of the least.” While she dreams of having a larger apartment where she can expand her photography studio, without having to move the furniture aside every time, her advice is to work with what you can afford. “Believe in yourself and your abilities and learn to make the most out of the gear you can afford. Expensive photography equipment does not guarantee perfect results, it is how you light and compose an image that counts. In the end, the only aspect that really matters is the final result,” says Lysa. An equally important aspect is choosing the right model. For Lysa, a certain gamine look is desirable, but also that the model is open to clear communication and cooperation. It is essential for Lysa to be able to transmit her desired results to her models in order to create her signature, fantasy style; however, Lysa reveals that a large part of the magical effect in her images comes from her work in post-production. Lysa’s post-workf low involves first making minor adjustments in Lightroom, such as white balance, exposure, clarity, lens corrections and noise reduction. Next, she opens the image in Photoshop, where she treats the image with varying adjustments, most importantly, tonal adjustments on a micro and macro level. Lysa might also paint on eyelashes, extra hair,


as well as lip and iris shine, and enhance details with high pass effects. When Lysa feels an image is complete, she might add different tones and colouring in adjustment layers, or colour empty layers with different blending modes. Having many colleagues in the photography industry has enabled her to have a community around her that can answer any questions she may have and enhance her skills. Lysa will often show a finished image to a photographer colleague and ask them what they think needs improving; what effects she could apply to an image the next time around. At 27, Anne Lysa has made great headway in her photography career and proves that it is absolutely possible to make gorgeous images with limited resources. Her future dreams are to create her images more organically, by exploring and scouting the faerie tale landscapes of Scotland, so that she can bring her models into a location long wrought with the history of faerie lore.



Anne Lysa shoots with: Camera body: Nikon D810 Lenses: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Favourite lens: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Flash – in studio: Walimex Pro VE-300 Flash – on location: Yongnuo Speedlite YN560 Accessories: A beauty dish Camera bag: A budget camera bag from Amazon Basic Is influenced by: Photographers: Emily Soto and Amanda Diaz Fantasy fiction: Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter Favoured camera settings: In studio Aperture: F8 Shutter Speed: 1/160 ISO: 100 White Balance: Auto (she adjusts accordingly in post-processing) Focus: Auto Image Format: RAW On location Aperture: F2.8 (occasionally larger) Shutter Speed: 1/200 ISO: 800 (depending on the light conditions) White Balance: Auto (she adjusts accordingly in post-processing) Focus: Auto Image Format: RAW Tips from Anne on how to utilize small studio spaces to your advantage: Minimize your possessions. Attach wheels to your furniture to make moving easier. (You can buy wheels at Ikea which are easy to screw onto furniture.) Use small book shelves to store you gear in boxes. Store bigger gear such as tripods, softboxes and light stands in boxes under your bed. Use a curtain rail for your paper back drops—she has two hanging above each other: one white and one grey.






ambitious Hector Puig is a dedicated photographer tracing the footsteps of quixotic Spanish artists before him. With a passionate flow of tenacity he treads the pilgrimage of sacrifice and devotion, labouring toward the pinnacle of uninhibited creative expression. A Spaniard recently based in Santa Monica, California, Puig devotes his time to his artistry and his family, including four daughters. “I quit everything for photography a while ago to satisfy my renascence curiosity and to live for art, not for money,” he tells INSPADES Magazine. “The challenge is to fight mediocrity and saturation, to make a living not just as a professional, but more importantly as an artist,” explains Puig, who clings to the foundation of his principles and integrity. “Our society is run by insane people with insane goals,” he continues, in reference


PUIG “The challenge is to fight mediocrity and saturation”


“I won’t leave my kids a fortune, but a good example instead.”


to the ways in which the media exploits the image of women by reducing the female form to cheapened objects for the sake of money. Sex may sell, but Puig believes in the wealth of virtue over the number amount in his bank account. “I won’t leave my kids a fortune, but a good example instead.” Exemplifying his views on the modeling industry and the dynamic between a male photographer and female model, Puig created the jarring series, Anti-Valentine. When preparing for shoots like this, Puig puts pen to paper to sketch his vision; he then proceeds without a team, styling and designing all costumes, props and masks. In this series, Puig encapsulates the devastation that he believes female models experience under the sexualizing gaze of male photographers. A female figure donned in regal garb stands with a floral arrangement shielding her face, clutching a bleeding heart in her hand that has seemingly torn from her chest where a fleshy, blood-soaked hole gapes. Conceptualizing his interpretation of the female model’s experience, Puig laments how “they open up to us and we tear their hearts apart,” referring to women as “broken hearted beauties”. “I’m particularly disgusted by how the business treats young women, how mediocrity and vulgar nudity are all around and everybody applauds it, and how easy it would be to become a popular photographer just by shooting that.”


“I’m boiling at 20% of my creativity potential”


Instead of chasing the dollar or fame, Puig adopts what he refers to as “the slow and steady pace of a pig”, inching his way toward true recognition to achieve a ‘purer’ strain of art. “I’m going all the way as Dali or Picasso did before me, also great Spaniards as myself,” says Puig, a self-taught artist obsessed with photographic expression and bound by the quest to unravel the “myth of excellence”. “Photography captivates my universa l curiosity, but film stole my soul in the early 90’s so I ended up in the TV, then broadcast, advertising, etc,” Puig shares, recounting how he “made it to the top”, only to change direction and come full circle, returning to photography. “It took me twenty years to not consider money as a reward to my talent. It took me twenty years to see the picture where I become the photographer that does what he wants and creates with no limitations,” he adds. Puig has been pursuing his photography full-time for a year and a half, though he admits he makes no income from it at this time. “I’m too intelligent to have a ‘day job’. I only do photography and that’s the only way to achieve excellence. I’m boiling at 20% of my creativity potential,” says Puig. Armed with his Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a f/4L lens, Puig continues to conceive, carry and birth his ideologies into the world, one remarkable image at a time.



Rosenberg W

ith an inspiration that endures and transforms, photographer Justin Rosenberg’s artwork is an uncanny “expression and exteriorization of one’s true self ”, inclusive of all its substance and scars. Reverberations of his own being, Rosenberg’s work is a parallel of a tormented past and a sustaining present; images that explore the human structure and the cracks that inevitably emerge within its delicate design. What could look or feel at first glance as fragile a display and obscure a portrayal as Rosenberg’s Fractured series?


TO Cure My Wounds

Open Them Up 31

Stemming from an ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease, which led Rosenberg to being “sliced open and put back together again” more times than he could count, his Fractured series proves that every person is more than the mere sum of their parts. Captivated by naturally occurring fractures, cracks, holes and scars in his surrounding environment, Rosenberg addresses the entire body as a fragmented work of art, a container for fundamental and contributing factors to one’s own story that do, in all their shapes and echoes, act as a catalyzer for ineffable beauty.


Before his journey moved into healthy sublimation, Rosenberg also suffered from a substance use disorder. In 2011, he decided to join a treatment center in Los Angeles, which quickly initiated a combined process of health recovery and professional discovery. Spotted for his photography skills, it took only a few months for Rosenberg to join on as an intern with the non-profit advertising agency owned by the rehabilitation center, and from there, he quickly became their lead staff photographer. Run solely by people in long term recovery themselves, the agency is designed to fund the treatment of those in need of its services but who can’t afford its price. Aptly and positively encouraging personal and professional states of mind, the unique fusion of understanding offered by the agency embraces everyone’s struggles and supports them through it, allowing people like Rosenberg to channel their difficulties into creative works. At Creative Matters Agency, the weekly meetings did not only consist of deadlines and clientele-related talking points, but also included discussions about the personal recovery of each member. “Not being a typical agency, we all had a unique perspective and gratitude towards the agency that cannot be found at most other companies,” explains Rosenberg. Although the agency’s main client was the rehabilitation center itself, the external client portfolio, made up of non-profit associations and for-profit businesses, served as a launching pad for Rosenberg’s career with the production of billboard campaigns, magazine publications


and general advertising. In light of his achievements, Rosenberg began yearning to freelance as a photographer full-time, which he successfully did in July of 2014, and hasn’t looked back since. Now his client, Rosenberg’s love for the agency ref lects a strong appreciation towards those who have empowered him to evolve, grasp and determine his future. Continuing with his growth, Rosenberg is now in the process of moving away from commercial photography to transition to more artistic forms of the craft. While his commercial shootings are the traditional “bright and happy” images, his artistic portraiture is raw, gripping and undeniably compelling. Rosenberg’s art does not consist of outlining people as they appear to be, but rather, unveils their hidden side, concealed distortions and unmitigated vulnerability. Whatever the source of his struggles, Rosenberg has used them as inspiration for his success as a photographer. Ultimately, as an embodiment of self-discovery through bleaker moments, Rosenberg has been able to access and achieve a series of alluringly chasmal portraiture, which not only invites self-reflection and contemplation but also the self-surrender of one who is allowing the perfect unfolding of their true self.

36 Sony FE 24-70mm is my favourite lens, the most versatile for the way I shoot and sharp as hell. -Inspired by Peter Coulson, Ansel Adams, Renee Robyn and many others, he shot most of the Fractured series with a Canon 5D Mark III, but also works with a Sony a7R II and a Sony a6300. - Example of his shooting settings: Aperture (studio) f7 -f 11, and/or (outdoor ones) f2.8 to f4 / Shutter Speed – 1/200th (studio), and outdoor (variable) / ISO – Studio, 100. Outdoor (variable) / White Balance – Studio (flash), outdoor (auto). Focus – Manual/Auto Auto - He first imports with Lightroom/ Capture One and then edits with Photoshop to blend the layers and insert masks




“The Mextures Collective is a group of artists working together to educate and inspire. We exist to be an inclusive community dedicated to enabling and encouraging all creatives, professional and amateur, using Mextures as an editing tool in their editing process. Welcoming every style of photography and editing, The Mextures Collective seeks not to influence, but to promote various styles and techniques used to create unique art.” What began as a seemingly “worthless” mistake, has exploded from its 24 initial downloads to topping the charts as the #1 photography app in the Apple App Store. Mextures, one of the hottest mobile photography apps available today, allows users to create unlimited layers with a multitude of editing tools and add elements such as textures, film grain, gradients and lighting. Taking the mobile photography world by storm, Merek Davis, the founder of Mextures, connected with INSPADES Magazine to talk about his newest product, his new parent “filter”, his incredible community and how risk-taking led him to make the perfect mistake.


Can you tell us a bit about your life, pre-Mextures? That feels like eons ago! Prior to Mextures, I didn’t even have photography on my radar until my early twenties. At the time, I was in a band and we were touring, and I just wanted to document our experiences and travels. I borrowed my mom’s point-and-shoot camera for a couple of tours and instantly fell in love with capturing everything. At that time, I was also working full-time for an online internet company as the head of video marketing. I had been with that company for quite a few years while trying to simultaneously balance being in a touring band so, obviously, adding a third, time-consuming focus was a great idea! I miss those days of staying up till 4 a.m. editing images and then heading into my full-time job at 8 a.m., it felt very much like Groundhog Day, but in a good way. [laughs] At first, I focused specifically on the local music scene here in Arizona, as all of my friends were musicians and I was happy to shoot their promo shots for free. Eventually, I started getting publications and national bands noticing my work. At 25, I took a huge leap of faith and got a business loan to upgrade my camera and lighting equipment and that’s when I was like: “Okay, this is really real….let’s do this!” That was the moment when photography became my absolute focus. Over time, my work transitioned into shooting hyper-realistic imagery of bands, people and then landscapes, with a heavy emphasis on editing and post-


production compositing. As I was creating these hyper-realistic images, I had also been creating and experimenting with my own textures. I had photographers asking where they could get these textures and so I attempted to sell them online. Unsuccessful, I then decided to give a couple of textures away for free on this “new” hot social media app called “Instagram”, you may have heard of it, [Laughs] and that’s the start of when Mextures took over my life. You mention on your personal website that the name Mextures was a joke that stuck, as it was essentially a mistake you made while creating some textures. Is it a combination of “mistake” and “textures”? Ah! That’s brilliant and a great guess! My friend, Evan James Atwood said something like “Merek, textures…it should be “Mextures”!” However, the definition of Mextures has evolved into being a combination of “mobile” and “textures”. Why do you think Mextures has become such a game changer in the world of mobile photography? Our core focus for Mextures has always been to empower creatives through tools and supportive communities. We do not define ourselves as just an app on a phone. As an editing tool, we provide assets to create unique images through the use of color and texture. Both of these elements are extremely powerful in telling a story through photography. The ability to layer


unlimitedly, adds a depth that cannot be found on other apps. Plus, I may be a little bias when I say we have the absolute best textures and editing tools found in any app, but I believe it to be true. As a community, I still believe that we have one of the best and friendliest photography communities out there. Mextures users relish in each other’s edits and growth. We’ve seen firsthand how this community can help change lives. About a year ago I received an email from someone who told me that they suffer from crippling depression and editing photos on his phone has been helping him by creating an outlet to express himself. He thanked us specifically for Mextures and how he’s been able to connect with others via Instagram and how they share formulas and edits with each other. I think that having created something that can carry so much power, even in a roundabout way, really means a lot to what we are trying to accomplish. It definitely makes it all worth it. How has the Mextures Collective cultivated and fostered such a devoted following? This community is simply awesome! Our Social Media Manager, Justin Johnston (@ thejustinjohnston), has really done an incredible job heading up this crucial part of Mextures and working closely with the artists. The Mextures Collective, again, focuses on our desire to create communities that empower everyone involved and I think it excels at that. We are the first of its kind in having a resource where people can find ready to edit images,


formulas and edits created specifically for those images, and a community where they can see how others are editing those images. We really want to make sure users are getting what they want from Mextures, all while helping others by sharing their process. I’m constantly inspired seeing what our users can come up with! You recently launched your newest product, Vellum, can you tell us more about it? Vellum is a free wallpaper/background app for the iPhone that we launched in January! It was a passion project of mine and something I’ve always wanted to create. We looked through thousands of photos to hand pick some of the most beautiful and best wallpapers. While wallpapers aren’t a specific editing tool for creatives per say, I think it adds great value in the way of inspiration. I think it’s safe to say the most looked at device or screen is our phones and having a gorgeous landscape or abstract art looking back at you everytime you pick up your phone works wonders for stirring creativity. It’s like having an inspiration board every time you pick up your phone! Fun fact, I actually realized that we could build this wallpaper app while we were testing some new technology for an upcoming feature in Mextures and people seemed to love it! In just under two months, we already have more than 210,000 active users and tens of millions of wallpapers have been downloaded, exceeding every expectation we had for the app! People really love wallpapers and it’s been really rewarding to create something and give it away for free.


You have also mentioned that the creation of Mextures has made you become more of a risk taker on a personal level, how has that contributed to your decisions and projects regarding Mextures moving forward? Mextures was a huge risk from the start. It was born of a mistake, I had people telling me it wasn’t a good idea, I had no idea what I was doing and it took a huge chunk of my savings to create to the app but, in the end, I think you have to take any level of risk in order to grow your business. During the last quarter of 2015 through to the first quarter of 2016, I was extremely nervous about taking risks with Mextures, and I feel that we wasted an opportunity for growth there because of it. My fear of taking risks left a wake of stagnant updates for the app and I regret that, and it was definitely a learning experience. In the summer of last year, I took a hard look at the focus of the company and direction in which we were heading, and I had a couple difficult internal talks with myself. As a result, we are building the most ambitious update for Mextures. We are taking a huge risk with this, but we truly believe what we are making is the future of editing. You are newly a father! Has your personal “filter” changed since becoming a parent? When I got married, my wife continued to be incredibly supportive of my desire to pursue photography, having gone to school for film photography herself. We even did a brief stint as wedding photographers together and had a


lot of fun doing it. She continued to support me through the inception and progression of Mextures (my other “baby”), but now, we have embarked on an entirely different journey altogether! Now, my camera roll is 1% pretty things I see when I’m out and 99% of my kid. It’s a bit cheesy, but life has taken on a different beauty with him around. My wife and I are pretty independent people. She’s very driven in what she does so to have someone completely and utterly dependent on you for their survival - wow, now that’s humbling! There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of learning, a lot of growing and honestly, a lot of poop [laughs]—but to watch someone see and experience the world for the first time brings so much joy! How do balance your home life with work? I’ll let you know when I find out! The key to finding any balance is to set your priorities to what matters most and the rest will fall into place. For myself, my family comes first and then work. But that also means that sometimes I have to focus on work in order to provide for them. Choosing to be there for my family gives me clarity and focus. I also think it’s really important to have hobbies outside of your career. After my son goes to sleep, I enjoy making handmade soaps and beard oils and balms. I also have a couple buddies that get together and we play video games a couple nights a week. Having these outlets allows me to clear my head of anything work-related, which is important to maintain my sanity.


What advice do you have for other creators and entrepreneurs?

What does the future hold for yourself and Mextures?

Be humble, stay humble. Be willing to learn from, and listen to, everyone. Your harshest critics will usually become your most loyal fans if you validate their concerns. Be 100% passionate about whatever it is you’re doing. Have conviction about what you are building. There is never an easy pathway to get to where you want to be. The path I’m on is full of missteps that have made me want to turn and run. But if you have conviction and really believe in what you are making, the negative moments quickly pass. Be focused on the greater good, meaning you should focus on building things to benefit and encourage those who will use it or see it. Lastly, and most important, have fun and be excited!

I’m really enjoying fatherhood. Up until now, it’s been the most fulfilling (and the most terrifying) thing I’ve ever been a part of. Other than that, I would like to get back into portrait photography, even if not full-time. I really miss that creative outlet, so if anyone in Arizona wants to shoot, just let me know! As for Mextures, it is still our main focus but we have a lot of fun apps flowing through the pipeline for creatives as well. We are also working on a couple of features for our 3.0 release that will really make the community even stronger than it is. We have tons of new textures, filters, presets and formulas and I’m so excited about what we are building; it’s the most ambitious update we’ve done yet and I really think our users are going to love what we have.


To check out the Mextures Collective and download Vellum today, go to -

“I’ve ended up working with some of the most incredible agencies such as Conde Nast, Warner Music Group, Fearless Records and Fender. I feel pretty lucky to have a career where I was able to meet and work alongside so many amazing people.”


“Photography changes the way we see and connect with the world. It is the vehicle with which I can express my dreams and innermost passions.�
















o every artist, there is always a story behind both the artist and the art. For photographer and designer Fabiana Casco, her story is marked by both beautiful twists and frightening turns on the road to creating her stunning, evocative images and designs. Born in Buenos Aires in 1971, Casco grew up in rural Argentina. Living in the country, she developed a love of the surrounding flora and fauna, spending her days under the sun



and in the graceful presence of nature. Casco would ride on horseback to travel to primary school amidst an idyllic setting of rural Argentina. The lasting connection of these experiences instilled an appreciation of nature in Casco that would serve as a foundation for her artistic talent and helped to forge her free, independent and adventurous spirit. Later on in life, she moved to the capital city to study fashion design at the University of Buenos Aires. During this time, she also had the opportunity to learn from fashion designer Roberto Piazza whom she greatly admired, an experience that enriched her both personally and professionally. Rarely in life is one’s journey linear; often we take countless turns, our final destination unknown. Casco first found creative expression in fashion design, opening her own boutique from which to sell her unique fashion; a boutique that is still open to this day. From a young age, Casco loved getting lost in fashion magazines, storybooks, art and painting. Her boutique gave her the means to fully express her creativity through fashion design and even stained glass art. In 2012, she began to study photography and hone her skills in lighting, fashion photography, digital enhancement and all the elements that create her gorgeous images that are seen today. Casco also continually pushes herself to learn and improve, both by taking workshops and self-evaluating her images to see what could be improved next time.


“My images express both the light and darkness. Whether conceptual or fashion, I continually seek to bare the soul and essence of emotion through storytelling. My images are full of romance and femininity because those qualities represent me as a person.�

The use of high-key and low-key lighting techniques aid Casco in expressing the themes of light and darkness in her storytelling. Not one to shy away from themes that push the boundaries and delve into the darker places, her images explore and evoke emotion and imagination.


Casco’s creative process involves a myriad of elements. Occasionally, she will have a story she wishes to recreate, other times, the inspiration begins with sensual elements, such as colour, fragrance or texture. Casco puts a great amount of work into planning her images before she even picks up the camera.



She makes decisions based on colour palates, models and locations, as well as utilizing her ability to actualize her ideas in sketches to aid in the pre-visualization of images. Near the end of this process, she will adapt costume design and also the addition of other images to incorporate into the final image composite. To obtain images with which to combine in her stunning works of art, she often travels to Patagonia, in the south of Argentina. These trips are made not solo, but with her supportive partner and their beloved six-year-old son. In Patagonia, Casco has found her place in the world - a place that feels like home. Always armed with her camera and tripod, Casco often arrives in Patagonia with an image concept in mind and then waits to capture the perfect combination of light, scene and texture to incorporate into a composite. One such series is her tribute to the beauty of trees in Patagonia, combined with images of models taken in the studio. Although many of her images are composites, her favourite images are actually the ones that are captured in camera, with very little retouching, such as her featured image, “Queen of White Paper.� Indeed, there is a certain satisfaction in creating an image straight from the camera that requires minimal editing. After experiencing a health crisis, Casco’s priorities came into full focus, one being to direct more energy towards her creativity. With her health being on the line, Casco slipped into a darker place and photography became a lifeline, one of the few things that could help her out of the darkness.

Inspired by: Eugene Count Tim Walker Miss Aniela Amanda Diaz Brooke Shaden


The act of creating gave her new purpose, life and energy, a way of connecting to the light and an impetus for spiritual awakening, which is beautifully expressed in her high-key angelic images depicting light and spirituality. Casco’s images have an undeniable aspect of femininity, as this is the essence of who she is, both behind the camera and in life. She seeks to convey beauty itself and to connect with the inner light and darkness of her subjects that is rarely expressed openly in life. Whether conceptual or fashion, she continually seeks to bare the soul and essence of emotion through visual storytelling.


Fabiana shoots with: Camera Body: Nikon D610 Lenses: 24-70mm f/2.8, 50 mm f/1.8, 80-200 mm f/1.8 Tripod: Manfrotto 550 Filters: Neutral-Density and Polarizing Flash: Lightboxes, modeling light, beauty dish, spotlights with honeycomb diffuser Camera case: Lowepro Favourite Lens: 24-70 mm f/1.8, for its quality and versatility




∑ULALIO E. PH @eulalioe_ph


ave you ever woken from a dream so beautiful, with colours so vivid that the residue of the dream beautifully tinted your every turn in waking life? Such are the images created by photographer and digital artist Eulalio E. PH, which, in their stunning display of nature and colour are undeniably the stuff that dreams are made of. Photographs of frolicking f lowers, waving in a mist of liquid colour as they waltz; PH’s creations call to mind the fragments of dreams that are normally inaccessible in daily life, seen through photographs of frolicking f lowers, waving in a mist of liquid colour as they waltz. PH composes images infused with dreamlike etherealism, where a sense of movement— an energy—almost transcends the twodimensional aspects of the medium. Inspired by nature, music and literature, PH considers himself a visual poet and describes his process as transforming images into a dance or a visual symphony through the artistry of digital manipulation.


“When I see a flower, I always have a fantasy that they dance; thanks to photography and the use of technology, I have been able to actualize my imagination.�

PH was innately drawn to nature when he first began creating images at the age of fifteen and, for the most part, is completely self-taught with no formal training. His inspirations are some of the great creatives of our time: Georgia O’Keeffe, Salvador Dali, Joseph Mallord William Turner and Leonid Afremov, to name a few. Much of PH’s work involves experimentation and trying new techniques and in that, he bears the mark of a true artist: one who never stops learning, challenging or pushing themselves to new limits. When working with a new technique, PH conducts research online before venturing out with his camera. To create his f loral masterpieces, PH works with natural light,



PH shoots with: Sony A37 Lens: SLT-A37 - DT 18 - 55mm

preferably during the golden hours in the early morning or evening. His favourite lens is a macro lens, which enables him to capture the fine details in each flower and draw out every ounce of their delicate charm and allure. PH always tries to have fun in the process of creating, which is evident in his playful use of colour and photo editing techniques, such as motion blur and smoke brushes. Joining the Instagram community has opened many doors for PH. This creative platform pushed him to take his work to a new level and continues to do so. He consistently seeks new artistic techniques to adapt to his work and pay homage to the exquisite beauty of flowers. His hopes for the future include exhibiting his images from his present body of work, Dances & Expressions, in galleries, to share his love of flowers and to inspire an appreciation of their delightful beauty in others.




Blow Your Mind

KJER Mariano

How does one go from being a martial artist to being a visual artist? According to this photographer, it was simple: just buy a camera. With a professional background as diverse as his collection of photographic works, Guillermo “KJER” Mariano is an artistic conglomerate of multifarious styles and embodies an adventurous approach to creativity. Hailing from Amsterdam, Mariano has made waves as a photographer in fashion, portraiture, architecture and abstract digital photography. “Having connections with creative people such as dancers, acrobats, martial artists and stunt people made it easier to create some of my creative pictures since they already know how to move their body and pose for specific ideas I have,” Mariano explains to INSPADES Magazine.



While the subject and narrative of his photography cover different themes, the polished elegance and refined edits maintain Mariano’s consistent st yle. Inspired by conceptual fine art photographers like Brooke Shaden, Jeremy Geddes and Photoshop wizard Robert Cornelius, Mariano successfully balances realistic scenes with surreal elements; like a lucid dream, the viewer is aware of the abstract edits in place, but chooses to suspend their disbelief of disintegrating men and women on fire as something plausible within the confines of the image’s reality. As a prime example, in “A Story of Acceptance” and “A Positive Side”, the male subject is suspended mid-movement, seemingly resigned to his burning state as he stiffly, and unnaturally,



angles toward the ground, while the other subject bursts forth in targeted pursuit of a butterfly, so focused on his task that he is unconcerned with his simultaneous dissolution. In yet another image, the subject floats amid a storm of umbrellas and debris, their head blown open, bursting with dirt and smoke, propelling vertically as if to join the tornado’s torrential funnel. By the way, did we mention that Mariano is recently self-taught? “I started photography back in May 2014. After my daughter Esselina was born, I did not have the time anymore to keep up with my daily training so I had to find a way to fill in that blank spot,” Mariano explains. With a background in athletics and sports modeling, his “passion for more than a decade”, Mariano needed a new line of work that wouldn’t compromise the “being-my-ownboss” situation he had grown accustomed to.


“I always had fun being on set for video and photo shoots during my time as a sports model,” says Mariano, who shot friends on the side as a casual hobby. “I noticed I always had a good eye for composition and creativity,” he adds. From there, the next step in Mariano’s professional life became clear: “I will buy a new camera and become a photographer.” During his initial “experimenting” with Photoshop and photography, Mariano quickly realized that his skill was no match for his vision, “It wasn’t good enough for what I wanted to accomplish.” Throwing himself into the realm of online tutorials, Mariano dedicated himself to observation and practice for months, shooting with friends to continue to grow his photography and editing skills.


“Subconsciously, I began to notice small things around me like the positioning of the light and learning how to pose,” says Mariano, reflecting on his experience as a model, which aided him as a photographer when directing shoots. After a year of spontaneous freestyle shooting in 2014, where Mariano would capture friends at random and then discovered what he could create during the editing process, he at last reached a place where he could coordinate anticipated concepts; “I learned how to organize a little bit more, like scouting for locations, sharing my ideas with the model instead of randomly shooting them, and connecting with the people I needed for specific projects.”



When asked about his mid-thirties transition from a “stable” career to life as an artist, Mariano says simply, “I have always been in this flow of doing my own thing.” Since completing culinary school at the age of twenty-two, he left the world of nine-to-five and tried his hand in the entertainment industry. “I made the big jump into working as a model and stunt performer for many years. I was lucky it all went so well right after I quit school,” Mariano reflects, “Photography was just a next step from one thing to another without any hassle.” So what is on the horizon for this athlete and model-turned-father-turned-photographer? You’ll have to follow him to find out but we have no doubt that it will continue to be mind-blowing!


“I never worked longer [editing] on a picture than 4 hours.” Shoots with Canon 1200D, using the kit lens or 50 mm portrait lens; “It doesn’t really matter to me—a camera is a camera.” Editing: “I only use Photoshop, nothing else.”








Christian Moore is but a sophomore at Montgomer y College in Silver Spring, Maryland, but he lives with a wisdom that is well beyond his years. His moody, impassioned photography and digital art evoke not only intense and vivid emotions but also a loyal following. In spite of the fiercely saturated arena of photographic artistry, Moore, at only 21, has already acquired a devoted community of 34.6k followers that wait with baited breath for his next symbolic and stirring creation. In an interview with INSPADES Magazine, Moore reveals the inspiration behind his dark and inspirited images and how the challenges of his past have shaped the strength of his future.

“Most of my photography work comes from my feelings deep down. Ever since I was young, I always embraced the darker side of myself. I was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that primarily affects muscle coordination and body movement, and I have faced many challenges in my life because of it. I picked up my first camera about three and a half years ago. From the first moment I held a camera in my hands, I knew exactly what I wanted to show. I wanted to illustrate the deepest emotions and feelings from my heart. I was influenced by the amazing film photographer, Sally Mann. Her work still makes me tremble to my knees because I feel like I live in her world. Her photographs pull me in and make me come alive.�


“Growing up with cerebral palsy was never easy. At a very young age, I had to come to terms with myself and the idea that I wouldn’t be able to do things that others could, and that took a significant toll on my confidence. I was very shy throughout the entire five years of elementary school. I was using a walker to get around during this time because my muscles were very tight. I had very few friends as well. Once I started working out in the gym everything changed for me, drastically. I strengthened my muscles to the point where I no longer needed a walker, and with growing self-assurance, I was not shy or quiet anymore. Here today, when I explore to take my photos it is always a risk because I push myself past my limits every time. Whether jumping onto moving trains or climbing mountains for foreground shots, the list goes on and on when it comes to the risks I take. I do realize they can be dangerous but one of my worst fears is lying on my deathbed wondering ‘what if?’”


“I strive for the best in anything I do, with photography and in life. When I first began manipulating photos, I always relied on YouTube tutorials to help me find my way. Eventually, I wanted to know if I could do it myself. So, one day, I locked myself in my room for an entire day and vowed not to come out until I didn’t need anyone’s help in achieving my own manipulations. Among the works, I submitted my favourite, the photo I entitled “Tree of Might”. “Tree of Might” isn’t just an image to me, it is a reminder of where I started and how far I have come on this journey. For many of my viewers as well, my work is their symbol of hope for any obstacle they face in life.”


“On the last day of school in the first grade, I was on the brink of giving up physically and mentally. As I was about to get on the bus to go home for the summer, my physical therapist showed up and reminded me that there were other kids my age going through worse and still able to keep a smile on their face. Then she whispered in my ear: “You will never break the walls if you don’t find the courage, Christian”. I live by this quote because it’s sole purpose is to inspire you to try and do everything you want to do, and not doubt yourself in any situation, for you are the master of your fate in this life. This quote to me means to fight for what you want and not to settle for anything less than what you desire.” “I am currently doing a double major in Photography and Special Education. I hope to be a future photojournalist and a special education teacher. I have had surprising success ever since I started posting my photos to Instagram. It shocked me how many people take the time to admire my photos. Honestly, I didn’t think I would be successful once I started for the competition is fierce. I believe one thing that sets me apart from everybody else is how I do not create anything that has already been done. When my followers see my photographs I want them to see and feel something they never have before.”




Capturing Scenes Of Your Wildest



@eosandy _


hether it’s Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn, elves from Tolkein’s Middle Earth universe or Geralt of Rivia from the world of The Witcher, master photographer Andreas “eosAndy” Krupa brings potent amounts of fantasy to his dazzling collection of cosplay imagery. Recently, in a provocative adaptation of the role-play videogame The Witcher, Krupa featured celebrity cosplayer-promoter Ben Schamma, “Maul Cosplay”, as Geralt of Rivia. Since its release, The Witcher Cosplay Calendar 2017 has made waves for its cheeky partial nudity and fiery scenes. “I love to watch movies and series; I like all the realistic costumes, and that there are people out there who are crazy enough to create something like that,” says Krupa of his adoration for fantasy worlds, and the opportunities that cosplay allows for re-creating beloved characters and scenes.




From phenomenal costume detail to the models’ expert embodiment of characters, Krupa’s work will make you blush, gush and release your inner fan. “80% of the work is done with costume creators, designers and cosplayers,” Krupa tells INSPADES Magazine of his creative process, which ensures that both costume and character are prominent in each shot. In a series of Krupa’s images, an Angelina Jolie look-alike poses in robes so true to the character of Maleficent, that one could easily mistake the cosplay image for a scene from Disney’s Maleficent. Again in “Aloy”, the model brings a sense of cool valiance to the image, a compelling portrayal of the protagonist from Horizon: Zero Dawn. “The cosplay models make it really easy for me. That’s why I can concentrate on my task to take the perfect picture,” explains Krupa, “They’re familiar with their character and know best what the character would or would never do.” After shooting—a process that can take hours, editing makes way for true magic. Inspired by the editing style of Calvin Hollywood, Krupa relies heavily on Photoshop to achieve a dreamlike veneer for each piece. While labouring over The Witcher calendar, he could easily spend ten hours shooting and editing to create a single image. In homage to elves of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, K rupa’s shoot with cosplayer, Finarfel Tawarandis, took three to five hours, while re-touching took an entire day.



“I’m a Photoshop freak,” Krupa grins, “For me, there are no other alternatives on the market.” Hav ing a background in dark room photography, where equipment and development were costly in regards to both time and money, Krupa now enjoys the f lexibility of digital photography, where more images can be captured and no amount of editing creates the mess brought on by chemicals in a dark room. After touring for action and sports photography, during which time Krupa spent five years on the road in Europe with cheerleading troupes, he no longer felt the same enthusiasm for his career. “It didn’t hold my interest anymore to sit at and take thousands pictures of a hundred cheerleaders. One day I burnt out,” he recalls. By chance he came across a Youtube video of a cosplay competition, and from there he was hooked. “That was the first time I saw what incredible costumes those ‘crazy’ people can create. In that moment I said to myself, ‘I want to go there.’” After a year of socializing in conventions and networking with the cosplay community, Krupa was able to establish himself as wellconnected photographer. Today Krupa lives in Radevormwald, Germany with his three daughters, where he spends his time orchestrating frequent shoots; “Little productions are planned weekly, themes like WestWorld, Marvel Comics, Batman and so on. It’s not going to be boring.”



When asked what he’d like to shoot next, Krupa replies, “I really would like to shoot in Japan or the United States on original stages. Currently I have so much cowboy and samurai ideas stuck in my brain!” With Krupa, it’s easy to embrace your inner movie buff and experience new takes on your fan-favourite flicks.

EOS 1D MARK III, EOS 5D MARK II and more recently 5D Mark III






odels are everywhere. Whether they’re smiling from glossed billboards or laughing with excessive jubilee from magazines and media outlets, the modeling industry permeates every aspect of our daily lives. Up until recent years, the door to a modeling career was a narrow opening, accessible only by agencies and model management. However, with the steady rise of social media, namely Instagram in the 2010s, cyber celebrities have found their way to fame without the middleman of agency representation. Adam Joseph Chase, an actor-model working outside the sphere of agencies, found his first month on Instagram to be an instant hit. “I went to bed one night with 400 followers

and woke up with 1,400,” recounts Chase. In an exclusive film interview with INSPADES Magazine, Chase ref lects on his experience with the industry, including the pros and cons of using self-promotion over working with agencies. “When I started a year and a half to two years ago, I had a UK brand re-post a picture of me and it f lew from there,” recalls Chase. The brand, which had 300,000 followers, drew a swarm of eyes to his page, resulting in “a lot of opportunities” that helped launch his modeling pursuits. “I didn’t see myself, in my thirties, starting to go into modeling, but it kind of ended up going that way,” he admits. “When I first started I had an agency I was with; it went

CHASE @adamjosephchase

Photo by Kevin Dice Green


well at the beginning but then there slowly started to be issues with me getting paid,” says Chase, who had only been with the agency for eight months, “I started to see them for what they were, instead of who they were telling me they were.” While it was bit of a rocky start, Chase feels fortunate to have since experienced such steady opportunity without the severe downfalls and scams he’d heard from others’ experiences within the industry. Although occasional scams mar the entertainment industry, most model management companies and agencies are legitimate, serving to elevate a talent’s opportunity, which still requires a financial contribution from the model. Outside the representation of an agency, Chase still pays out of pocket for transportation to and from shoots, as well as any other modeling expenses that may come up. “We don’t want to encourage the thought that there is no initial investment in the industry; modeling is essentially starting your own business,” says Brandon Hall, Creative Director for Sutherland Models in Toronto, Canada. “There are mixed messages out


Photo by Kevin Dice Green



there when you’ve got people saying that you don’t have to invest in the industry, but quite frankly, you do whether you’re in New York, Tokyo, Milan or Paris.” Launching into the modeling world can include fees for photographers or stylists so that models can collect quality images for a digital portfolio, or perhaps expenses include cosmetic tweaks like hair colouring, skin treatments or gym memberships. However, Hall explains that many of Sutherland’s “strong” models get connected with creative resources, such as free photo shoots initiated by photographers who see specific features or trends in an individual. Combining the efforts for initial exposure and scheduling in the industry can be costly, explains Dr. Carolyn Mair, founder of the MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals and MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion programs at the London College of Fashion; “Models have to be available at short notice, so they may need to

Photo by Zack Vitello



Photo by Matthew Jacula

take temporary work at low pay while waiting for a call from an agency. Many have to wait for jobs to come in sporadically. This can lead to financial hardship.” For models like Chase, who bartends with a flexible schedule to support the bulk of his income, he was able to weather the storm of delayed cheques, which were sometimes four to six months late. After parting ways with his agency, he was fortunate to already have other job opportunities lined up. “I lucked out because a lot of people I met in the industry remembered me,” says Chase, who viewed every shoot as a networking opportunity; “When I go into any job I do, I try to say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to everybody that I interact with in the day - I treat the first person I meet to the last person I meet the same way. Through that, I ended up getting some background TV work.” Since striking out on his own, Chase has collaborated with brands like Daniel Wellington, a designer for sophisticated watches, modeled for Canadian Tire’s catalogue and appeared on the cover of a novel by Celia Aaron. “When it comes to getting paid by clients, I work out everything beforehand,” says Chase,

whose self-representation has enabled greater “control” and “progress” in his career. However, being your own boss can be tricky if you can’t strike a balance between your personal and professional life. “An average day for me isn’t the average person’s day. A lot of my work is done on my computer or phone,” says Chase, who’s typical day involves a trip to the gym, a bartending shift at night and keeping up to date with emails and the Instagram community throughout. “Someone once told me when I first got into this, ‘Every time you’re not working, there’s someone else working harder to pass you,’ so I try to keep myself motivated,” Chase shares, but he finds it’s not always easy to stay on top of his career and connected to a screen for most of his waking hours. “I’m really lucky my fiancé helps me out a lot and is very supportive of what I’m doing,” he adds, “but it can be hectic at times; we’re both working different hours and don’t see each other for a few days, and then I get home and we’re sitting and watching a show or something and she looks over and I’m on my phone sending back an email.”


By taking the time to appreciate “quality moments” with his fiancé and six-year-old daughter, even if it means responding to emails and messages at a later time, Chase makes a point to achieve relative balance so that he never fails to enjoy what matters to him most. Yet while representing himself has been a positive experience so far, he doesn’t see it taking him to the pinnacle of his career; “The only thing that might be negative about selfrepresentation, is that I think it’s going to top out, and that’s when an agency can help you get over that hump. There’s only so far that you can go on your own.” Having an appearance and talent for modeling doesn’t always ensure a job, and Chase has found his height to be an obstacle for widening his exposure. “I’m not the typical ‘model look’,” he explains, “My height has really affected my growth in the industry.” Although his tasteful tattoo collection and coiffed beard tap into current trends—think Diesel campaigns and the cultish beard lovers on Instagram—the height factor affects Chase when modeling alongside others. “With print modeling, the height is only a factor for me if I’m modeling with somebody. A lot of the girls in the industry are about 5”9 and higher. You have to get a bit of a tougher skin,” he explained, “It’s a very physical industry—it’s all looks-based. I would go to auditions and I’d be


standing there, introducing myself, and I would look over and the people behind the table are not looking at me, but are talking amongst themselves, or they start critiquing me while I’m standing there. Sometimes they talk to you like you’re a piece of meat.” Although the gaze of fashion and film has, at times, objectified Chase, he asserts that the experiences between male and female models are 100% different. “The few times I’ve worked with women, just seeing how they’re treated differently than a man is sad and scary sometimes, the way they’re talked to.” While aging men are considered distinguished and the ‘dad bod’ is trending for its approachable and sexy physique, Chase laments how standards for women continue to be unfair, unrealistic and unhealthy. “The male industry and the female industry are very, very different I think, just in the way that women are portrayed and the way they feel about themselves at the end of the day,” Chase observes. He recalls a bridal shoot with a “good-looking, healthy” woman who couldn’t find representation with an agency because she was considered “too big”. Yet, while this female model was considered oversized for industry standards, she had the perfect, natural look for the client, a bridal company whose blog was looking for a realistic woman to “fill out the dress perfectly”, according to Chase. “It would

I didn’t see myself, in my thirties, starting to go into modeling, but it kind of ended up going that way

Photo by Jackie Casimir


be very tough to be a woman and be hearing that all of the time,” he adds. “When brands use images of diverse populations, the response from their consumers is positive, yet, the industry is very slow to respond by using a representative sample of models,” contributes Dr. Mair, whose research continually identifies, understands and intuits human behavior within the world of fashion, particularly in terms of how beauty standards influence public perception and views of the self. “Many bloggers are perceived as representing a particular group of the population that has been ignored by fashion,” she continues, “It is likely that consumers would feel better about themselves if they saw images of people they could relate to. This is likely to be translated into more brand loyalty.” While some consider a person’s body mass index (BMI) to be a controversial weight classifier, it is still used for standard sizing in the fashion industry. Most runway models average a BMI under 16, a rate considered to be “severely thin” and malnourished by the World Health Organization. Such models, who dominate the norm of high fashion, starkly misrepresent the “normal range” of 18.50-24.99 for women, and yet such models are the physique that average women are constantly bombarded with. The industry’s BMI standards are a single strand of hay in a stack of beauty standard issues, exemplifying


the distorted expectations placed on current and aspiring models. Such issues of body measurements disillusion the image of beauty. “Continued exposure to the narrow stereotype of beauty can lead to many problems including, but not limited to, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, low self-esteem and low confidence,” says Dr. Mair, who believes that such negatively introspected opinions can lead to adverse effects in “all aspects of life”, including “relationships, work and leisure.” “I don’t think I would want my daughter getting into the industry unless it changed a lot,” Chase comments, already noticing the frequent compliments she receives for being “pretty” and “cute” when he takes her on outings. “She’s really smart too,” Chase says in response to remarks on his daughter’s appearance; “I try to reinforce that she can do anything, that she doesn’t have to be put into a box.” As the continual popularity of Instagram bloggers brings a versatile array of physiques to the public mainstream, and body-positive activists in the modeling industry such as Rosie Nelson and Ashley Graham confront unhealthy weight standards, perhaps beauty imagery in the industry will become more representative of the actual population. To hear more about Chase’s modeling career through Instagram, check out his filmed interview, now available on our INSPADES Channel.

I didn't see myself, in my thirties, starting to go into modeling, but it kind of ended up going that way

Photo by Zack Vitello



“Speed, precision and efficiency are the three words that motivate me and have given me my reputation as the fastest photographer in Paris”



Arès Duval The Other Side Of The Lens If the purpose of a school is to ensure that everyone attains the basic knowledge necessary to develop oneself within society, then life acts as the perfect school to teach you about the realms of adaptation and pursuit of individual self-fulfilment, and Arès Duval’ path will not serve as a counter-argument. With his humble beginnings of training on disposable cameras alone, this autodidact photographer is the living depiction of just how reinventing oneself may be an unpredictable source of motivation that is ripe with opportunities for self-development.



During his modeling career, the now 31-year-old Parisian was wellconnected with a multitude of photographers, but would not have expected to shortly be penetrating the inner circle of their craft. When Arès decided five years ago to take on a role reversal in his professional life, switching from performer in front of the camera to creator behind the camera, the former model took control of his personal repurposing as an artist. Adding a new string to his bow, Arès incorporated his well-versed understanding of fashion, makeup and hairstyling, acquired through his modeling background, into his newly discovered passion. With an organic draw to artistic portraiture and fashion, Arès easily attuned his natural eye for both beauty and style, only now he could incorporate his own artistic ideas as the creator behind the lens.



Used to being the physical conveyor and architect of emotion within a still shot, Duval’s fashion modeling taught him the power of a strong presence, an energy which he now aims to bring to his models. Throughout the shift of capturing beauty in an imagined setting all his own, the perception articulated by his lens reveals an intense interpretation of design coupled with striking sceneries. Characterized by a black and white two-tone palette with countless hints of grey and blue shades, his series of photographs highlight feminine beauty within a dark and fantastic frame, which results in a dramatic and expressive performance of fierce fashion and fervent emotion.


Although eventually working as a photographer for Parisian designers, such as Elyssa Couture, this multi-faceted creative chose not to limit his diverse abilities, and now simultaneously operates as a professor and coach for both photography and modeling, as well as an artistic director for designers such as Yasmina Couture. Topped with his participation at two French exhibitions, 2017 will sign off for Duval as an even more progressive year that branches into yet another realm of art. Kindled by a growing flame, Duval’s desires for new projects include a future authorship plan with a series of books in designer fashion, landscape photography and even a biography. Although undertaking a vocational retraining always begins as a risky choice, it makes the accomplishments all the more satisfying. Powered by a relentless curiosity and insatiable appetite to continuously outperform in new artistic arenas, we have no doubt that the deep creative well of Arès Duval will continue to overf low with new, exciting and visually stunning projects.


Photo shoot timeframe: no more than 5 minutes 64 online issues in "IMAGINARIUM Magazine" (2016 & 2017) 3 issues in "the imaginarium" printed magazine (January n°1, February n°2, March n°3) 5 online issues in "Dark Beauty Magazine”











nce upon a time in Lithuania, amidst the “grotesque architecture of postsoviet heritage”, a four-year-old girl was busy shaping her imagination by the scope and solace of her beloved Lithuanian folk tales. Flush with paganism, mysticism and natural forces, a young Aurelija Karaliunaite was inseparable from these legends and myths which, unbeknownst to her, were sparking early inspiration for a different kind of magical storytelling altogether.



At fifteen, when Karaliunaite’s brother returned from the United States, he entrusted her with his new Nikon camera, and it was then that she found a willingness to explore and communicate her mind to the world. “I remember the time passing by so quickly. I was full of joy and wanted to explore and photograph everyone around me,” recalls Karaliunaite. Tantalized, she felt the urge to satiate a growing appetite for adventure, and began investigating self-expression mediums via diverse art forms. With a strong belief that challenges can actually yield greater possibilities and outcomes, Karaliunaite makes it a point to continuously step outside her personal boundaries and embrace the unknown, working industriously to foster opportunities that could enrich and broaden her spectrum of skills. Karaliunaite asserts that the ability to break down barriers between model and viewer is an essential asset of any photographer. She also believes that the subject must feel at ease in front of the lens, to allow for a true performance of connection and atmospheric portraiture. As such, Karaliunaite loves to “take her models for a walk and look for a space that feels right and natural.”



Now living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and attempting to take photos every single day, Karaliunaite professes her admiration for what she calls an “incredibly beautiful city, full of nature and medieval castles”. Karaliunaite makes use of her remarkable environment as an ever-surprising set for many of her photo shoots. Indeed, her photographs look like excerpts of a mythical journey or dark fairy tale, each character enrobed in mysterious beauty. Karaliunaite also views the scenery as one of the many paramount characters that serve to relate her visual tale, one that must be infused with equal spirit. In her pictorial narration of individuals’ portraits, Karaliunaite’s inspiration is drawn not only from her visceral need to create, but also from the mysteries of her subject’s personality, some of which the subject themselves may not even be privy to. By means of revealing atypical facial characteristics and natural settings, Karaliunaite exhibits a world rich in paradoxes that both contrasts and combines light with dark, perfection with flaws, tactility with luminous depths and nudity veiled in its own uniqueness.


With the seed of inspiration planted, the perfect portrait then grows, allowing the model’s features to be transcended, f lowing into a calm stoicism that envelopes every image, forcing you to feel for yourself the emotions that the subjects allude to but refuse to lend. Karaliunaite provokes scenes in which her subjects, just like her, are invited to abandon their comfort zone and release the intensity of their own being. “I photograph people that I f ind to be interesting in one way or another. My main challenge is to reflect the beauty I see in them, regardless of its nature; it can consist of physical features, unusual traits or states of mind” says Karaliunaite of her work. Resonating in harmony with her vivid impressions, to the point of losing oneself in her astonishingly beautiful and mesmerizing images, it is with the same affection that Karaliunaite felt for the lore of her youth, that we watch her story unfold as she creates a legend that will one day be her own.

Her gears: Camera body – Nikon D610 * Lens – Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Camera bag – Crumpler shoulder bag. Example of her shooting settings: Aperture – 1.8 / Shutter Speed – 2000-4000 / ISO – 100 / White Balance auto / Focus – Manual / Image Format – RAW/JPEG She considers her first lenses, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, to be an extension of her eyes. After importing first in Lightroom 6 to generate the main tones of the photo, spending hours on details, she then moves on to Photoshop to add the finishing touches if it is necessary.


“I always try to look deeper into who the subject of my photo is and what they have to say that perhaps was never said before.�







Russian wonders inspire rare sceneries and curious captures for photographer Maria Lipina. Fascinated by the harsh beauty displayed throughout her country’s history, Lipina selfexpresses through a fantasy atmosphere that is inspirited by literature, cinematography and the depth of her imagination and capabilities. And capable she is. Although Lipina started out as a wedding photographer, she was about as subtle as a sledgehammer when she took her photographic prowess to the next level. Undergoing a critical change of mindset, Lipina develops an alternate universe in which she creates everything herself, breathing life into a surreal fantasy world of her own design. Lipina sews dresses, makes sceneries, composes shots,



processes the images and fully integrates all the roles and specific functions required to execute her projects. “I think the best education you can get as a photographer is to observe other photographers and constantly try to make yourself better,� insists Lipina. Incarnating the intensity of an authentic magic act, Lipina metamorphoses her models against an icy frost, each character dressed to embody a lavish fantasy, and many paired with a furry or feathered friend. Lipina has no use of filter or flash while she shoots in natural light, nor can she use one when animals are present for fear of frightening the timid creatures. Final touches take place in the post production where emotional depth and brilliant colour are perfected until they transcend directly into Lipina’s vivid imagination. The final product, which at times is granted a deliberate twist of the wonderfully wild, leads us to a world of elegant enchantment.



Lipina’s decision to integrate wild animals as a significant part her spectacular visual display not only adds pure aesthetic value but also, by design, creates a completely different experience and challenge behind the lens. In order to provide both models and animals with a secure and pleasant environment, and to avoid any kind of stress for her subjects, Lipina shoots as quietly and quickly as possible. With “twenty minutes tops” to seize the moment before the animal tires of the activity, Lipina works with her customary speed. “You cannot force a pose, all you can do is take as many shots as you can within the limited time frame, and hope that it will turn out well,” says Lipina.


Studio and Dress from shoots @studio_arthouse Inspired by Kirsty Mitchell’s work, she shoots with Nikon D800 and long focus lenses with a lot of air in the frame, like Nikkor 85 mm1.4, her favourite lens Example of her shooting setting: Diaphragm - 1.6/ Shutter speed 1/2000 / ISO – 100 / White balance – auto / Focusing – Auto / Aspect Ratio RAW. She edits with Photoshop and works from 1 to 5 hours on each picture



Not only amazed by the natural beauty of the animals but also concerned for their general well-being, Lipina strives to ensure that all the animals she works with are well treated and live with proper care and dignity. For many, the most accessible place to reach exotic animals would be at a local zoo or circus, however, this nature lover strengthens the enchantment and extravagance of her photographs by calling on unusual pet owners. The foxes, for instance,



were rescued from a slaughterhouse by a local woman with whom they now live. With a lack of training on how to survive in the wild, the foxes require special care and nutrition, and payments from photoshoots help to afford the needs of their more domesticated lifestyle. At the crossroads between nature’s subtleties and ostentatious creation, Lipina’s art transports you into an astonishing dream that drips with luxurious designs and ornate jewelry. Flowing with f lowers, feathers, fabrics and even foxes, Lipina’s world is a virtual winter wonderland, a ref lection of her rich vision and an expression of her connection to nature.









MARCELO DONATELLI’S photographs are equal parts of an homage: one to civil engineering and the other to a case study of the busy Sao Paulo streets. The lowkey, high-contrast images will tantalize the pattern seeker within us all; they might even speak to our inner child, the one whos mind’s eye superimposes geometry over the architecture we consume visually wherever we go. Donatelli even takes to the air to offer us a glimpse of the grander scale and perhaps speak to us of our ultimate smallness within it. He gives a macroscopic perspective that the average person cannot envision while respecting gravity, by affording viewers curvaceous highway ramps and exits that become vast calligraphy strokes when viewed from a few thousand feet in the sky.


“What inspires me is the drama of the city and the people that pass by.”


The vast majority of his work, however, is from the more familiar street-level view looking up. The towering structures and tooled concrete glazed in shades of grey might also serve as a reminder of our fragility. Despite our comparative brittleness alongside the robust architecture constructed of mortar and stone, Donatelli allows the humanity in his images a modicum of motion, so as to not be entirely removed from the vision. They remain in apparitional movement, floating yet somehow tethered to the concrete. In doing so, he paints everyone with the brush of equality as he draws from the anonymity of the passerby. The impression of scale in the broad sense and the overwhelming immensity of the world around us seem to meander across sections of Donatelli’s work. It’s no wonder that he is inspired by juggernauts like Sebastiao Salgado and Ansel Adams and like them, Donatelli dances with tonal range. A quick look into Donatelli will also reveal that not all of his images are devoid of colour. His website showcases a plethora of portrait, commercial, editorial and corporate images. It is clear that Donatelli is a diverse player and experiments with post production techniques and does not fear to make use of any tool that might be at his disposal or necessary to create his impactful signature style.

Shoots with Nikon D3X. Favourite focal length is a 35mm. Likes to “stop down� for sharpness. f/13. Influenced by Ansel Adams and Sebastiao Salgado




JUNGLE “I’ve really found that editing is half of the creative process. It’s where your image really comes alive and allows you to put your unique creative signature on the shot.”

There’s nothing better than experiencing a city through the eyes of a local photographer. Meet Mike Meyers, one of Chicago’s mesmerizing photo-mapmakers. “I am so lucky to have such a visually rich city to shoot,” says Meyers, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and maintained a great appreciation for the metropolis through the years, “I remember every time my parents drove us downtown I was always in awe of the Sears Tower. Getting into photography and having such amazing architecture and urban landscapes in my own backyard fuelled my appreciation.”





Meyers—not to be mistaken with the Austin Powers comedian Mike Myers—began his journey in photography a year and a half ago when he decided to give up drinking “in favour of doing something more productive with my free time.” Working as a copywriter for an advertising agency and later as a creative director, Meyers was regularly exposed to notable Instagram users. “That sparked my interest in photography,” he recalls. After prompting from his girlfriend— fellow photographer @made_in_hk—Meyers purchased a Sony a6000 for his first “proper” camera and he was immediately hooked. Following the footsteps of inspirational Instagrammers like black and white photographer Jason Peterson (@JasonMPeterson) and Danny Mota (@DannyMota), whose guidance enabled Meyers’ progression as an artist, Meyers quickly developed the visual style with which he showcases the “Windy City”. “Many of Danny’s images just explode with vibrant colour and that’s a pretty prevalent element that you’ll find in a lot of my shots,” says Meyers, adding, “He inspired me to shoot mostly urban landscapes as well.” In works like “Fog Train”, “Snow Piercer” and “Train in Blizzard”, steel snakes slither along the tracks of Chicago’s core, an urban jungle mapped by each frame of Meyers’ work. His photography and edits bring colourful romance and Polar Express semblance to the city’s train system, while his ability to capture striking symmetry and clean ref lections is notable in his “Reflection, Spark” and “Michelle Bokeh”.


Shooting an iconic city like Chicago can be quite the challenge but, as a new photographer, Meyers has fared exceedingly well. He touts the convenience of experimenting with photography in an urban center, packed with architectural symmetry and a skyline bordered by water. “If there’s one thing photography forces you to do, it’s to be more aware of your surroundings— how things look and how light and shadows affect them,” Meyers shares, “If it’s something that’s been photographed a million times before, then the challenge is to shoot it in a unconventional way or so that it has a dynamic element to it.” Relying on a wide-angle lens to liven up a shot with the demonstration of scale, Meyers also follows photographers like @mindz.eye to inspire refreshing takes on commonly shot locations. Capturing a unique moment and atmosphere in a renowned spot is paramount for the image to stun viewers. While his approach and attitude are down to earth, Meyers’ lens is sky high. After a “sizeable tax return” in 2016, he “did what any responsible adult would do—blew it on a drone.” Working with a DJI Phantom 4, the rise of Meyers’ vision reached new heights. “There are so many places and angles that you suddenly have access to that you otherwise wouldn’t,” Meyers gushed, who enjoyed experimenting with the new technique, “There’s an art to doing good drone work, just like there is in standard photography.” Relying on Lightroom to achieve the majority of his edits, Meyers occasionally leans


“If there’s one thing photography forces you to do, it’s to be more aware of your surroundings—what things look like and how light and shadows affect them”


on Photoshop for advanced alterations. “I’ve really found that editing is half of the creative process,” he ref lects, “it’s where your image really comes alive and allows you to put your unique creative signature on the shot.” While Meyers’ style tends to rely heavily on digital alterations, he has lately gravitated toward more organic-looking edits. “I’d like to get away from the cities and photograph some more natural landscapes,” he continues, “Check out the Pacif ic Northwest and photograph that kind of environment. A twomonth drive down the entire length of Chile would be my dream trip.” Currently, on hiatus from his career, Meyers is determined to “chill out” and focus more energy on his art. Meyers says of the redirect, “I’m still deciding whether I want to go back into advertising or switch it up a bit and pursue something that involves photography or content creation in some way.”

Meyers is part of a photography group that meets each weekend to shoot the sunrise, with fellow photographers like Alberto Santiago (, Ian Pfeiffer (@kingmephotography), Andres Marin (@_amphoto), @timestr3tch and Eleftherios Ted Panagiotopoulos (@e4rlyr1ser) Shoots with: Sony a7rii, Sony a6000 and DJI Phantom 4 Edits with: Lightroom (90% of the time), Photoshop



Intimate Portraits

Wang Jin

Intimate Portraits and—INSPADES Exclusive! “I hope that when people see my images, their heart will be touched in some way.”

Wang Jin

a f ine art artist based in Brisbane, Australia, offers a full wheelhouse of multi-faceted talent. Using different mediums, Jin takes on each project uniquely, as a means to convey his concepts and ideas. For these elegant portraits, Jin uses classic lighting techniques, such as Rembrandt and loop lighting, with classic postures for the model as well. The portraits express a sense of sensuality and intimacy, created with quiet sensitivity and demure. Jin seeks to use his art to express a wide range of emotions, all the while lighting and arranging the model


with soft, perfect clarity. The series of images, entitled Ana, also has a few charcoal & graphite pencil studies from one of his recently sold sketchbooks. The sketches are a means for Jin to f ind balance bet ween f ine details and rough rendering, as well as a way to emphasize the feeling that he aims to express in his images. Jin has also created a set of reworked, black and white portraits for this series exclusively for his INSPADES Magazine feature and shares with us some of his processes and love of portraiture.



Do you have a favourite among your many mediums of expression? For me, drawing, painting and photography are simply media that I use to present my philosophy. I see and experience the world in my own way and translate my feelings into visual components on paper, canvas, or through photography. Normally I don’t constrain myself to a particular medium; I choose whichever best presents my ideas for each individual project. What draws you specifically to portraiture? The first thing that draws me into portraiture is the sheer beauty. I really enjoy expressing the beauty of a model. Oftentimes they are unaware of the beauty that they possess. Secondly, when I shoot portraiture, one aspect is about the subject, while the other is about myself. I always try to project my feelings into the subject that I shoot. Thirdly, portraiture can easily become stories. I’m naturally reticent, so for me, photography is a way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. I do prefer 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm prime lenses. It’s not so much about the sharpness (although sometimes), but more about limiting my composite choices.


How has your photography developed over time? I used to think I could record every moment in my life with just my eyes and keep them in my memory. But as I grew up, I found that things do fade away and what is left is only a hint of remembrance. It was at that point when I began to take photos, to capture those moments. Later, I found that what I sought from photography was not just the act of documenting life or remembered places, but instead, I’m keen to tell stories and to express emotions that are buried deeply in my heart. Because of this, I see my photos as impressions, not to be interpreted literally. I hope that when people see my images, their heart will be touched in some way. What kind of tools do you use for post processing? In Adobe Photoshop I will give a general retouch to the images. Next, colour grading or tonal value evaluation if it is a black and white image. I prefer a certain degree of roughness in my photos, so that they don’t appear digital. Therefore, I add grain or texture to almost all my images at the end of workflow. Aperture: F9 for low-key portraits F2 for classic portraits ISO: 100 – 800 White Balance: Auto for most cases; custom white balance for some studio shoots when the accuracy of colors is important. Focus: Manual or auto, depending on the subject and how dark the environment. Image Format: RAW Model: Ana Wang

How do you educate yourself to continually improve your work? I learn from drawing and painting, and apply these skills to photography. I find the most challenging aspect is to visually translate my feelings and philosophies. Each new project is a challenge to me and I often face doubt and uncertainty. Normally, after I finish a project, I will set it aside for a few days, and then return to it with fresh eyes. If the images don’t inspire the feelings that I intended to express, I will revise, or perhaps even discard the images and start over. I always re-visit my previous work to see what could be improved. I also analyze images from other photographers, and ask myself what I like about those images, and how I could apply those aspects to my own work. Jin’s ability to draw and paint gives his art a quality of diversity, which he uses to express his creativity with greater dimensionality and balance. To see Jin’s portraits in juxtaposition to his sketches delivers added insight and understanding of the unfolding story and emotions expressed in his artwork. Jin shoots with Canon 5d Mark III Lenses: Canon EF 85mm F1.2 II USM Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART Tripod: Manfrotto 190XPROB Filters: B+W UV-Haze filter Flash: Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Godox AD600BM Godox Studio flashes







Sombre "I am interested in how we hold so much of ourselves in this physical body but that it is not truly us...we are way more than this and yet we hold so much value in our physicality."


att Kelly’s admittedly random process may be just that, but wherever his creative process takes him, it lacks no efficacy, producing heady images that tell a visual tale of both unending togetherness and complete aloneness. Within the sometimes improvisational methods between location, model and photographer, Kelly conveys an unequivocal desire to express human fragility, which he achieves in his surreal portraiture, wrought with intimacy and the rawness of the human soul.


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The f inished product, as much as the journey towards it, are the vehicles that allow for strengthening and healing. It is no surprise then that this “therapy�, according to Kelly, results in such a moody narrative. This can be misconstrued as a location-dominant or model-submissive trend, but the balance is unmistakable. His choice of dilapidated structures and earthy tones resonate with the sinewy shadows juxtaposed in the frame. The architectural structure and the human subject are equidistant on the spectrum of life and death.

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What we feel and the inability to change that sentiment are what lie in between, as though we are merely sacks of flesh and bone, seldom able to react differently to life’s circumstance. Our current state and the great decay are destined for a collision. The concept gives us a view of Kelly’s admission that his work is a way for him to be “in the photo without being in the photo”—an irony for photographers who contemplate both sides of the camera and the inability to exist simultaneously in both universes. Kelly’s interest in the human form extends throughout his posts on social media as he seems quite keen to shoot simply for the



sake of shooting. Who can blame him when he’s able to extract so much from the process and use the medium as a way to show visually what he “may not be able to say sometimes.” Kelly is not afraid to collaborate with other photographers or read what he can get his hands on, in the constant struggle to increase his skills. From a technical aspect, the images are quite sound. Matt shoots full frame with what some would call the essential focal lengths. When space is somewhat cramped,




he goes to his 35mm, which he mentions is his favourite. He calls the lens “dynamic”, which is spot on in the sense of not-toowide and big aperture. When outdoors and less conf ined, he reaches for the 85mm. The Philadelphia photographer encircles the “normal” range with his lenses and prefers to keep his digital manipulation to a minimum. If Matt Kelly has been taking photographs “seriously” for six months, we should eagerly await what he will produce in the future.


Nikon D750. Edits with Lightroom. Prefers bigger apertures, shooting wide open. 1.8 - 2.8. Sigma Art 35mm. Nikon 50 f1.8. Nikon 85 f1.8.



SUSTAINABLE FUTURE “My intricate embroidered movements reflect my adaptation to a minimal and zero waste lifestyle— it takes time, energy and intention, but beauty comes as an end result”


ashion is a universe of competing aesthetics, blending mass production with creative f lare. Rushing to keep vogue in flux for trend-seeking hoards, many fast-fashion brands pollute their industrial path with carbon footprints, spurned on by demand for affordable wear with fluctuating styles. For the past two years, sustainability blogger Stevie Van Horn has devoted her time and energy to zero-waste living. Despite her proximity to the befuddling metropolis of Manhattan, Van Horn found resourceful ways to live green in the heart of Brooklyn. “It’s a huge undertaking to think about what we can do on a personal level to change things on a global scale,” says Van Horn, “We live in a world where convenience wins over quality or sustaining Earth’s resources and species.” Through her blog “Trading Waste for Abundance”,


Van Horn shares insightful tips on how to minimize one’s use of non-renewable materials, as well clean-eating recipes that are conscious of ingredients. For example, in her recipe for “Zero-Waste Vegan/Gluten Free Tacos”, Van Horn mentions the environmental benefits of reducing one’s meat intake. Quoting physicist Noam Mohr, Van Horn explains that, if every American ate vegetarian for just one day, the United States would save 1.5 billion pounds of crops that would otherwise be fed to livestock—that’s enough to feed New Mexico for over a year. Recently Van Horn has begun to explore the important roles that fashion and waste play in climate change, and by sewing handembroidered designs on recycled clothing, Van Horn supports two needs with a single deed. Featuring endangered species in her designs,

If everyone in the US took out meat and cheese just one day a week for a year, that’s equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road! Good thing these tacos make it easy for you to do. The best sweet potato mushroom tacos with cilantro lime cashew sour cream that my best @sarabeebalanced and I created and these ingredients shown is all you need. Zero waste, all organic, vegan, and gluten free! Up on the blog.

My mama popped some packaged hummus into the cart and I told her we could make our own plastic free, easy to make, and so much cheaper kind. Chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and any seasonings and herbs you want! I made a fire roasted red pepper hummus here.


such as bees or Sumatran tigers, she hopes to open dialogue on topics that may be “a little daunting, but still must be heard,” while also encouraging the use of second-hand clothing. “Embroidery for me is merging something that is talked about and used every day (fashion) with something that is very real (extinction).” Through intricate detail and vibrant hues, Van Horn weaves her passions and ideologies into profitable potential. “My intricate embroidered movements reflect my adaptation to a minimal and zero waste lifestyle—it takes time, energy and intention, but beauty comes as an end result,” she explains, describing the intensive labour and love invested in each piece. With seven hours spent on her delicately embroidered bee design and thirty hours devoted to her Sumatran tiger, this endeavour is undeniably a labour of passion.


“When I commit to something, I have to go 100%—all the way,” says Van Horn, who began her quest for waste-free living in April 2015. Spending two months in preparation for the shift, she took a “fail-proof ” approach by researching, purchasing product alternatives like cloth bags and totes, and preparing “mentally” for the flip to zero-waste. Her unique journey began when, while working as a barista, one of her regulars introduced her to Paul Stamets’ Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. “I realized then that my life was going to drastically change,” Van Horn reflects on finishing the book. If you aren’t savvy with botany, don’t panic. Van Horn was quick to illustrate how mycelium conceptualizes the interconnectedness of living creatures on Earth. “Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony

No matter where I am, I cannot bring myself to throw food in the trash. A landfill’s purpose is to bury materials that no longer have a purpose. Fruit/vegetable scraps are far from done when we’re done eating what we can from them. Earth provides us with food to eat, and then in turn we need to provide it with food to eat. Scraps are a perfect way to provide nutrients to soil and help trees and plants grow beautifully! I buried all my scraps from the week in my mamas garden!

Paid my respects to the oldest trees and sandstone gorges dating back 300 million years and filled up a cigarette pack I found with more trash on the trail! Went deep exploring with mama and slipped on an epic waterfall and plummeted down some foliage to end up with mini worms all over me and broke my sunglass lenses! Best adventure and was so in awe of the last of this magnificent, ancient forest.


and is considered the neurological network of the forest because it behaves similar to the neurons of the human brain,” she explains, “it lives, adapts and communicates with its environment.” Like a web of signals, mycelium impacts the world around it, inspiring the question: as humans, how do we interact and engage with the planet and its other inhabitants? “I started to pay attention. Mycelium restores, recycles and rebalances its entire ecosystem. This got me in a long, drawn out wormhole of what role we play as a human species. Thinking of the non-renewable materials we have produced for ‘convenience’, and the natural resources we have depleted, formed my obsession to find a better way,” Van Horn shares. While she always had a flare for art forms in the past, including painting and ceramics, this is


the first time that Van Horn has profited from her creative work. Her embroidered vintage tops began to resonate with the Instagram community, resulting in requests for custommade designs. “It was something that happened kind of unintentionally,” she says. When asked about her use of equipment and how she sources materials, Van Horn laughs, “The equipment is my hand, a needle and thread!” Using 1970s vintage tops that are 100% cotton, she currently sources thread from brands that claim to be eco-friendly, but is still researching more sustainable options that meet her “higher standard”. So how does second-hand clothing relate to climate change and why do bees and tigers make a difference in the grand scheme of things? According to a fast-fashion analysis article in MSNBC by Michael Shank and Maxine Bédat, the apparel industry’s production methods make

Thinking of how many micro-ecosystems that exist in our world gets me in a spell of awe. I love looking even closer at the beautiful detail the world holds and realizing how important everything is. Feeling lucky to be alive in such beautiful intricacy and so excited and honoured to fight for its existence for the rest of my life.

I fear with all my heart that our existence will slowly amount to one big plastic mound with no chance of diverse life. We must ask ourselves everyday, “Which earth do we want : babbling brook or giant landfill?” It’s all in our hands.

“Mycelium restores, recycles and rebalances its entire ecosystem. This got me in a long, drawn out wormhole of what role we play as a human species”


it “the second largest polluter of fresh water globally”. Furthermore, clothing items are only worn seven times on average before they’re tossed, contributing to 12.8 million tons of fabric that are annually disposed of by Americans, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Perpetuating this cycle of waste and clogged landfills is a yearly production of 150 billion new clothing items. Let’s not forget that fast-fashion pumps low quality in huge quantities, meaning cheap material such as polyester—a plastic made from fossil fuels that does not break down when it’s dumped into waste sites—can be found in 50% of all clothing. While we cannot properly dispose of existing clothing, we can recycle it through second-hand use, and reduce production rates in the apparel industry. “Climate change scares people,” says Van Horn, “We all have facts: we have heard about


acidifying oceans, the great pacific garbage patch, deforestation and ice caps melting faster than we know, but the conversation quickly gets shut down.” With her embroidery, designs as simple as a bee or a tiger can get the conversation going. “Bees pollinate a vast majority of the crops we depend on, which feed 90% of the world,” Van Horn explains. “If we lost these crops and plants, it means we would also lose the animals that depend on those plants. The bee, however small, is a powerful and intricate part of our existence.” She goes on to describe her reverence for the Sumatran tiger, a symbol representing current issues of deforestation and the loss of habitats in areas like the Leuser Ecosystem, found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. “It’s a sensitive topic for me,” says Van Horn, who laments the fast disappearance of the majestic creatures and their

Here in Indiana to visit my mama and we looked up a place where I could stay eco friendly! I always bring my @simple_ecology cloth bags when I travel and found a nicely sized bulk section and some organic produce to choose from. I don’t think about this as being out of my way, as this lifestyle has now been apart of me so I find it easy to look a place up and make it happen! Although my mom isn’t plastic or trash free, we made some sweet compromises!

Vintage tee with my tiger embroidery and my favorite vintage coat. Second hand is by far the best thing that’s ever happened. No resources are getting depleted and I’m not keeping up with the perpetual obsession to catch up on what’s in season. Minimal, classic pieces that last forever


“There is a more fulfilling way to live, not just for the planet, but for ourselves”

habitats to accommodate consumerist demands, including cattle crops and palm oil plantations. “There is a more fulfilling way to live, not just for the planet, but for ourselves,” she asserts. While living conscious of the environment may feel strenuous at first, it can quickly become second nature. Like mycelium, through effort we can learn to perceive and engage in a healthy relationship with our environment, and in doing so, become aware of our effect on the planet and how to minimize negative impact. “Breaking old habits is always the hardest part, but now, the new habits are just as easy as the old ones,” admits Van Horn of her transition to zero-waste living, “Taking a snack in a cloth bag before I leave the house is just as easy as finding a store to buy chips and protein bars from when I’m hungry.” Nearly two years after making the shift to a sustainable existence, Van Horn took “a huge leap of faith” and quit her day job, deciding to


pursue blogging and embroidery full-time. “I had enough orders where I could afford a month of not working as a barista,” she recounts. Since then, orders for her embroidered shirts have been consistently trickling in, allowing Van Horn to live off her work. “Social media is a godsend and I wouldn’t have sold anything if it wasn’t for Instagram.” Riding the wave of her current success as a full-time artist and eco-activist, and relishing in such “freedom”, Van Horn hopes to take her sustainable living methods and ideology to the next generation. Van Horn plans to write and illustrate children’s books featuring endangered species, as well as visiting schools to host workshops and educate students on prevalent environmental issues and teach them how they can help to sustain not only their Earth, but also their future.

It starts here. Deforestation, species extinction, plastic pollution, gas emissions. I’m the healer. I have the power with every meal I buy, with plastic and other toxic materials I refuse or don’t refuse, where I get my clothes, what companies I support, & realizing we are demanding way more than what earth can supply. I have the power to change it all. If each of us said this to ourselves everyday, we can achieve greatness. Passion is change. Look in the mirror, put your power face on...we got this.

No sugar day 2 and I got creative with my morning smoothie: -3/4 cup puréed sweet potato -1/2 shredded carrot -cinnamon -vanilla -hemp seeds -2 TB GF oats -dash of cocoa powder -v light ice and water All ingredients organic and sustainably sourced. This is going to be my food savior for the next week! For those of you who didn’t see my Instagram story, I’m doing no sugar for a week to rebalance my gut!




A merican photographer Justin Young has a

knack for stumbling upon Southern California’s most intriguing locations. Capturing the vitality of devastation found in abandoned structures and the underbelly of ports and boardwalks, he transforms each place into a projection of his inner experience, a perspective conveyed more easily through imagery than words. Wit h t went y yea rs of e x per ience in photography, including some formal education and extensive self-teaching, Young sees the world in “frames”, where each moment is a photo waiting to be captured, preserved and


reinterpreted through Young’s skillful edits. “I let the world happen around me and try to catch it without attracting too much attention,” he tells INSPADES Magazine. At the age of thirty-six, Young spent much of his professional life dedicated to social services. It wasn’t until recently, after fourteen years as a social worker, that he decided to part ways with his career and pursue a path that didn’t consume his thoughts after he left the office. “Working in the social services field or any other high stress job, you need an outlet or escape,” Young explains, “I realized that I was


always trying to solve other people’s problems and, in turn, making their problems mine.” Suffering with generalized anxiety disorder, Young’s occupation became more taxing than he could afford. “I decided that having your job consume you so much physically, as well as mentally, wasn’t how I wanted to make my way to retirement, so I quit,” Young recounted, adding, “With the moral support of my entire family I made it through and had a job present itself in the photography field that I really enjoy.” While it was only recently that photography became a full-time profession for Young, it has always been a therapeutic means for personal

“I decided that having your job consume you so much physically, as well as mentally, wasn’t how I wanted to make my way to retirement, so I quit.”


expression and articulation. “I have a hard time expressing myself, whereas all my feelings are portrayed to others in an image,” he shares, drawing attention to his use of “dark and moody” elements, “really intense skies” and night shots. “It’s on those gloomy days or late at night when I feel alive,” he explains. Featuring long-forgotten homes, warehouses and automobiles, or bringing to stillness the movement of the sea along the shoreline, Young’s photography rarely contains human subjects. “I tend to avoid including people in many of my images for many reasons, one being that I’ve always enjoyed being alone,” he admits.



In one image, a lone chair anchors the eye amid the disarray of a dilapidated church. Transient streams of light elevate the mood of an otherwise sombre scene, bringing a confrontational dynamic to the narrative, where light stands in stark opposition to the shadows; apparent dishevelment fails to challenge the clean symmetry of pews and ceiling beams, which brings together a compelling image— aesthetically appealing despite the disparate room beyond the photographer’s lens and vision. “My experiences in social work and living with anxiety has made it into my editing and shooting style in a pretty strong way,” Young reflects. In another photo, a neglected vintage car finds renewed majestic splendour through his lens, returned to its glory days by the backdrop of a textured sunset, a voluptuous and vibrant sky complementing the green surface of the automobile. Discarded in a barren landscape with scraggly trees for company, Young expertly captures a morose situation of abandonment and dismissal, transforming it into a sumptuous work of art. In capturing these structures—cars, buildings and homes that bear witness to the passage of time—Young shows ways in which one’s perspective can transmute weathered age and negative appearances into positive purpose and contemporary artistry. When scouting shooting locations, Young will drive along California’s Route 66 or I-10 freeway for hours, exploring areas like Salton Sea or Twentynine Palms. “At times I’ll use Google to see if I can find places anybody has reported but sometimes it’s just hearsay.


“I consider it to be a huge rush to stumble upon a location and be able to capture what is left over of the history that used to be there”


Other times I’ll go to a bookstore to find information on ghost towns,” says Young, who enjoys the search for a prime location almost as much as the shooting itself; “I consider it to be a huge rush to stumble upon a location and be able to capture what is left over of the history that used to be there.” Ever since his first photography class at the age of sixteen, Young found a resonance with the art form. Excelling in film photography and darkroom developing, he received a scholarship to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Admitting that he “gave up a little too soon,” Young dropped out after a semester, having found the grueling tedium of Art History and 2D Drawing classes to be insufferable. Though his formal photography training was minimal, through years of selfteaching, artistic experimentation and watching YouTube tutorials daily, Young’s progression as a photographer steadily improved. Recently, Young enrolled at the School of Photography at Orange Coast College, a photography and digital imaging program widely renown in the United States. “Aside from the certification, I am excited to network with other photographers and gather tons of information from the extremely talented and highly qualified professors,” said Young. If his self-taught methods have brought him this far, we can’t wait to see what work Young will produce after his exposure to formal training.

Has been featured on @sombresociety @sombrexplore and @thedarkpr0ject Edits with Photoshop and Lightroom; has spent up to 12-15 hours editing photos for work. Inspired by Ansel Adams’ photography Shoots with Nikon FM 10 with a 35-70mm Nikon lens for film photography, and digitally with a Nikon D7100, primarily with 10-24mm lens.















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