local wolves â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 1
elf love means more than I could imagine from being body confident to embracing my curves. I must say that my journey with self love was from advice from Estée Lalonde, Claire Marshall, Patricia Bright and heck, if I have the curves then why not embrace it? I always felt like I was the one with the ‘widest hips’ and so I would wear baggy jeans and those oversize shirts (not even going with the trend but buying double the size so no one would see my curves). Once college came a part of my life, there was no hiding how I looked because I realized that I wasn’t there to dress like I’m at a high fashion runway show. I worked with what I got in my closet and made it work, I was comfortable with what I was wearing and made me more confident than my ‘baggy jean years.’ I suggest for those who are curvier in the hips to learn to love yourself. Yes, it is not as simple from words but over time, you can grow to appreciate your own skin. Our cover star, Claudia Sulewski mentioned about self love, my team and I are so thrilled to collaborate with her in this issue. Much love to our wolfie readers! Lettering (Above): Leah Lu / Illustration (Right): Laura Filas / Photography (Far Right): Dylan Robbins.
Cathrine Khom founder / editor-in-chief
“ Society today has set such unrealistic standards of what beauty is or isn’t, making self-confidence even more difficult to reach. But all of it relays on perception and what YOU value. A beautiful mind, a beautiful soul, there’s so much more to it.
C l ass i c s 07
f e at u r e s 26
weekend in san francisco
akin & co
parker kit hill
have fun do good
a trip to suburbia
ISSUE 40 // CLAUDIA SULEWSKI local wolves is an monthly online and print based publication delving into the most creative minds from the world of entertainment, arts and culture. the magazine is driven by a passion for the best coverage and photography to create an adaptive aesthetic. SAY HELLO // LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CHAT general: email@example.com press: firstname.lastname@example.org get involved: email@example.com
founder / editor-in-chief cathrine khom copy editor sophia khom music curator sena cheung videography jessica eu, summer luu head stylist katie qian h/mua/grooming jessie yarborough publicity ashley bulayo social media caroline edwards, nicole tillotson front cover logo fiona yeung back cover logo isabel ramos cover photo dylan robbins
akin & co @akinandco los angeles, ca
design / illustration kelsey cordutsky, christine ennis, laura filas, lisa lok, leah lu, megan kate potter, lauren wright
claudia sulewski @claudiasulewski los angeles, ca
sarah kohlbeck @s.kohl st. paul, mn
contributing writers lexie alley, kamrin baker, sadie bell, kendall bolam, ashley bulayo, orion carloto, karina diez, meghan duncan, morgan eckel, brindy francis, anna hall, alexis jarrett, chloe luthringshausen, hudson luthringshausen, emma matthews, harriet stanley
dylan robbins @dopedyl los angeles, ca
transviolet @transviolet los angeles, ca
have fun do good @havefundogood pittsburgh, pa
zealyn @zealyn los angeles, ca
contributing photographers lexie alley, mila austin, pamela ayala, megan cencula, viviana contreras, riley donahue, amanda harle, lindsey harris, katy johnson, rachel kober, chris lampkins, sam landreth, summer luu, lhoycel marie, penelope martinez, jenson metcalf, naohmi monroe, roxana moure, meagan sullivan, melissa tilley, ashley yu
madison reames @moonmaddi ashland, or
audrey kitching @akitching new york, ny ava allan @avaallan los angeles, ca
parker kit hill @parkerkithill new york, ny sam dameshek @sam_dameshek laguna beach, ca
localwolves.com twitter | instagram | snapchat @localwolves read online issuu.com/localwolves print shop magcloud.com/user/localwolvesmag
playlist + AUGUST 2016 +
coverage BY sena cheung
local wolves â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 7
munchies + S IL V ERL A KE R A M E N +
coverage by Ashley Yu
Location: 2927 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA
Nestled in the corner of a strip mall on Sunset Boulevard, Silverlake Ramen’s hole-in-the-wall location often inspires lines that often wrap around the building. It’s not hard to see, however, why this tiny spot is often cited as one of the best ramen shops in Los Angeles. With its raw wood walls and minimal décor, the main focus of this spot is on the menu. From the ramen broth that’s boiled for 16 hours to the vegan friendly options, this Silverlake hotspot truly offers a little bit of everything. With its cozy interior and food that’s worth the wait, Silverlake Ramen is the kind of place that you’ll want to keep revisiting.
local wolves — 9
#selflove + W O LFIE S U B M I S S I O N S +
It's that time again to discuss about self love. How do you embrace your own well-being, unique traits and happiness in the comfort of your own skin? ILLUSTRATION (LEFT) / LAURA FILAS The process of learning to love myself has been arguably one of the hardest, longest undertakings of my entire life. Self-love is not something that just magically manifests after long nights of self-care and early morning pep talks. It is not something that can be achieved in a day or two through visits to the gym or taking myself on numerous coffee dates. It is an ongoing journey, and one that takes an abundance of strength and perseverance to trudge through. It is a journey that requires only one passenger, and a journey that must be taken on your own terms. It has taken me years to become comfortable in my own skin and I’m far from being finished. There are days— and even weeks— where it feels like I’m in a constant tug of war between my thoughts and my reflection. I’m still learning to love all the pieces of myself, and I’m still striving to accept that I don’t have to be at the top of my game every single day. I am a collection of unrefined parts with an everchanging story and a will to always put myself first. Falling in love is never an easy feat, and it is no different when you’re trying to fall in love with yourself, but every day I’m coming to understand that I’m worth fighting for. – JANAY ROLLINS / ORLANDO, FL Since I was young, I've always felt a disconnection with my body. I've never felt like I identified with female, and that hindered my ability to love myself fully. I spent years confused about how and what I was feeling with myself. When I was 15, I learned what transgender meant. Instantaneously I knew: I was a transguy. Realizing this, it felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I slowly started dressing in men’s clothing and got my haircut. With doing so, I began to feel more at home within my body, and ended up loving myself more, bit by bit. Coming to terms with who I am has helped love myself more. I'm on track to becoming my true self, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I'm not perfect, but I'm me, and I'm finally starting to truly love myself. – RYAN HALL / EDMONTON, AB
Humans are a strange bunch. We are all crafted differently, yet we are determined to look the same. And we strive to “fit in”. Of course we all have our moments where we yearn to look like the models in magazines or the actors on television, but I remember waking up one day and realizing how ridiculous it all was. We are all made different on purpose. Wouldn’t it be boring if we all looked the same? If you look at a field of flowers, you see vibrant colors all growing together in harmony, yet, up close, not one flower is the same. Their petals are different shades, their leaves are different textures, and their stems are different sizes— still they continue to grow alongside each other. I know that self-love isn’t obtained overnight. I’ve learned that you can only be happy with yourself if you want to be. You have to nurture your body as if it is a growing garden. You must learn to accept the things that make you different, because no two flowers are the same. I may be a sunflower and she may be a rose, but I’ve learned to admire her beauty while still loving my own. – KARINA DOMINGUEZ / MARTINEZ, CA
– I LLUSTRATION (ABOVE) / LEAH LU
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â&#x20AC;&#x201C; BROGUES COZENS-MCNEELANCE / BERLIN, DE
When I was younger my Dad would make me repeat him as he declared. “I like myself, I like my laugh, I like my nose, I like my smile, I like eyes, I like myself”. As I got older the enthusiasm I would have repeating this started to slowly wither away. I grew older and my interest in fashion started to sky rocket but the comparison seemed inventible. I wanted to be perceived as these models but instead I perceived myself as the one who will never be enough. Fast forward two years, I came across a couple blogs and YouTubers. These girls spread self-love and individualism which were two foreign ideas. From the help of them I realized I will never be enough. I will never be enough to please the world and everyone in it but that is okay. I can only please myself. If we live for the affirmation of others, then we will never love ourselves. I slowly started to put away the hatred for who I am. I have a passion for styling. This passion was hard to act upon due to my lack of confidence. My passion is a part of me and to start truly loving myself that included loving my passions and weird ideas. About six months ago, I started to dive into fashion and find my style. I began to thrift and see the potential in these one of a kind retro items but I still did not feel like these items represented me. I began altering and remaking the items until the look I wanted. I had full artistic control for the first time. I became proud and confident in my jeans with pearls filling the cuffs and men’s trousers that are now culottes. We all have passions and purposes and trying to be perceived as someone you can never be just hinders the road to pure happiness and contentment with yourself. After years of dishonestly with myself I can declare it, “I like myself, I like my laugh, I like my nose, I like my smile, I like eyes, I like myself”. – KATHRYN TRIGO / DALLAS, TX Self-love is an emotion often perceived as unattainable by an abundance of people. But, my friends, they couldn’t be more wrong. Our hearts were built to not only pump blood throughout our bodies, but to also love. What better way to love than by loving our own self? It’s quite the struggle though, I agree. It’s a constant battle between wanting to love ourselves and inevitably picking out our flaws. Though it took a while, I eventually found comfort in my own skin; loving myself in the process. On the road to achieving my goal of self-love, I learned a few things. 1) In order to love yourself, you must learn to accept who you are. Accepting that you were born an intriguing and irreplaceable human being is a key factor. It not only stops you from wishing to be something that you’re not, but it also gives you peace and a sense of clarity. Adding on to that, 2) embrace your uniqueness. Society today puts an idea in our heads; claiming that there is a certain way we must look, act, feel, and overall be. But truth be told, no matter how hard we try, we can't get rid of our differences. So why bother? It makes us, us. And that, my friend, is beautiful all on its own. Last but not least, 3) be your biggest fan. We all need someone to cheer us on. Someone who will root for us, believe in us, knows our worth. The only person truly capable of doing so is ourselves. If we can encourage ourselves and be proud of who we are, we will soon realize that self-love is not so unattainable after all. – ASHLEY OPINA / MINNESOTA
Looking back at the memories of my childhood, it seems as though most of it was corrupted of self-hatred and a huge lack of appreciation for myself. It makes me sad to realize how much time I had wasted dwelling on the irrelevant thoughts of someone else’s opinion. Most of my time was spent crying over a feature that was so unbelievably normal. These days the hate that I had carried for years is very much hidden someplace else, I have no time to dwell on any opinions other than my own. Since I’ve taken the time to do some soul-searching, a massive weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. My heart is filled with an insane amount of self-love and appreciation for the things I despised beforehand. Welcoming the positivity into my life has allowed me to embrace the things that make me the happiest I can be, it’s given me a confidence boost with who I am as a person. One thing I have learned is to realize that if someone has an opinion of you, that is solely their opinion, not yours. What matters is what you think of yourself, and only you. It’s hard to be so carefree about the thoughts others have on you, especially for someone like myself who’s always cared too deeply about what someone says. The entirety of 2016, so far, has been filled with my love for creativity. I embrace my self-love through paths of expression, like writing, doodling mindless objects and photography. I can honestly say that if I was in the same position as I was three years ago where I allowed the negativity to destroy me, I would not be so confident in doing the things that make me happy. I’ve never put as much effort into things that make me feel blissful as I do now, and I have never felt so free to continue doing exactly that. – BAY ROSE / SEATTLE, WA Treat Yo Self. My motto, my words to live by, my mantra. It can be hard in this day and age to put yourself first without seeming selfish, but I will never apologize for putting myself first and treating myself because that’s how I show I love myself. I’ve learned to love myself by showing my appreciation to me in small ways all the time. Sure, I would love to lose some weight. Sure, I would love to have better skin. Sure, I would love to look like that girl, but I remind myself every day to love my own self. I think about the parts of me that I love. Sure, I have pretty eyes, Sure, I have great hair. Sure, I have a great personality and friends that love me too. Whether it’s splurging on a bath bomb from Lush, picking up a new MAC lipstick, or just stopping by David’s Tea, I like to treat myself because it makes me feel good about myself. It’s so important to find what you love about yourself, and focus on that, rather than focusing on what you don’t like. Social media has its pros and cons, and I think we can all agree one of the biggest cons is the negative impacts it can have on self-esteem. We must remember a great deal of what we see on social media is a facade and we should not try to be something that does not exist. I’ve learned to appreciate what I have and who I am. Every day I remind myself how lucky I am to have the life I do— even on the days where I’m upset. I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin by appreciating myself every day in little ways. – SOPHIE GRAGG / LOS ANGELES, CA
local wolves — 13
\ Self-love is something that takes practice and effort. With self-love, you can take risks because you know you have it in you. You are able to experience new things because you have confidence. You can meet beautiful people because you have respect for yourself and show the kind of love you want to receive. To achieve self-love, I embrace my well-being with exercising, I appreciate who I am by valuing what I see in the mirror, and find happiness in my passion, writing. Almost every day I jog or do yoga with a mindset that says ‘I’m doing this for a long and healthy life.’ I find that I take care of myself genuinely, and care about the future of my body with this perspective. Along with that, I practice looking at myself in the mirror every day, viewing my body positively. I say “I love you” with such emphasis and meaning. Then I go on to say what I fancy about myself and smile because I’m proud and can embrace who I am. This helps so much with self-love because you realize your body is one of a kind, you shouldn't compare it to anyone else’s; just accept what is fully yours. Lastly, I write every day before bed. I reflect on all the things I’ve done today and say “I did that.” I did that because my body is the host of my mind and soul and it is because of my body that I can die happily with the experiences I have. My body has given me the ability to hike and see things at bird’s eye view. My body allows me to swim with creatures of the sea and so much more. This body, this beautiful body that I only get once. I have to have passion for what I am and honor this mind, body, and soul. It's all mine, it lies in my glorious hands, and I have to respect it. We are small people on this gigantic planet. We make this immense world possible. Without one of us, it wouldn't be as big; we must embrace that forever. We should also remember that life isn't as fun if you hate the thing that gives you the chance to do things that make life worth living. Love it all, every last bit because it is worth everything. Self-love can be a battle, but it can have a truce at the end. – JAMIE O'TOOLE / CHICAGO, IL My shyness has always been my excuse for trying to fit in. I have never wanted attention directed at me. I didn’t want eyes staring upon my clothes, makeup (more like lack of), and messy hair. For a year, I was determined to straighten my hair and wear makeup everyday while buying name brands because that’s what I thought was expected of a teenager; do what everyone else does. I did not love who I was. I only wanted others to like me. As years start passing, I’ve begun to realize that doing what others do will not always lead to your own happiness. If you aren’t doing something because YOU love it, there is no point in doing it at all. In no way do I completely love all pieces of who I am, but when you begin to look at yourself in a new light, you begin to find things that you love about yourself. For me, it’s my messy, wavy hair and my often acne prone skin. It’s the way I read books in a coffee shop at three o’clock in the afternoon. It’s the soft pop and country I hear blasting out of my 1997 aqua blue Toyota. And even when people may mistake your self-love for being cocky, you must continue. I think that’s where society is mistaken. Loving yourself does not mean you think you are better than others, it simply means you are happy in your own skin. Self-love is different for every person. It might be the art of makeup or the color
you prefer your hair to be. Maybe it’s the way your laugh is half silent (like mine) or maybe it’s the way you sing out loud when you don’t mean to. Or possibly your hobby of playing football or talking to strangers at the bus stop or watching trashy reality TV. For me, pleasing everyone else has always been priority. As things in life start to change, though, I have noticed that caring about my own wellbeing and happiness is not selfish. It is necessary. You can’t always expect others to like you because in reality not everyone will. However, when you become comfortable with who you are, the right people will come your way for the right reasons. Your uniqueness will radiate out like sunbeams to those around you. No matter what you are learning to love about yourself, the process is continuous, and when one day you look in the mirror, and you truly smile at your reflection, you will love who you are, both inside and out, you will feel that happiness that makes you feel like you can do anything. In the end, nobody can take that away from you. – RILEY HARRISON / SANTA ROSA, CA It had always been a secret that I was confident in my own skin. That in itself is quite a contradiction, considering the fact that confidence should always shine through a person. It was a different case for me, however, because despite my eagerness of being alive and possessing a body unlike no other— possessing a body unlike no other was nothing to be eager about. Perhaps it was my skin color or my eye shape, or the way my stomach rolls always got in the way of my waistband, like someone shoving their way into an already packed line on Black Friday. Maybe it was my oversized feet, or the way my hair was too short to be tied into a fancy ponytail just as every other girl’s had been, I don’t know. Whatever it was, I was convinced that loving myself in the position I was in seemed outright absurd. I agreed with what I was told for so long and lived in such discontentment without any reason behind it, and that was the end of the conversation. By the time I was fourteen and every person around me was the conductor to my onewoman orchestra, I was at war with myself. There is no self to love if the self is busy trying to be something they aren’t. I had to ask myself what I am, or rather, what I am not. I am not uneven hair colors nor heavily folded eyelids, nor am I chipped fingernails and cracked lips, despite the fact that they are a lovely addition. I am what I feel and the moments that make me question my life. I am my thoughts, passions, dreams, and ideas. We breathe in different patterns but we breathe nonetheless, and if that alone is not reason enough to love who you have grown to be, there is but a reason to be found. – ALEXA AREVALO / ONTARIO, CAN dear friend, i hope there are days where you really feel like a work of art. not necessarily just beautiful, but strong and powerful, to where you can see the essence of your hopes and dreams and accomplishments beaming off of your face, and a bright reflection in your mirror. colorful as a van gogh painting, outstanding and unapologetic as a greek sculpture. and i you hope you feel this way for yourself. not for a lover, not for your family, not for the tourists or the museum goers, but for your soul. for your heart. – MADISEN GUMMER / DALLAS, TX
You often find yourself telling other people you love them. But have you ever said to yourself the three words you continuously give out to others? “I…love…you?” Clawed and scratched and willed back into the black hole; “You’re not enough” continuously gnaw the depths of your mind; Repeatedly in a singsong manner: “You’re worthless.” “I… love…you?” Stepping out in the murky weather in a loom of despair; Everyone’s eyes are on you… everyone’s talking about you; They say, “You’re ugly,” they say, “You’re stupid,” They say, “No. not for me.” “I…love…you?” You look in the mirror, and familiarity is blurred and distant. You look the same, but it’s an envision of a stranger. You scream and scream and scream, but no one came running. You were forced to wait for someone to help you. You wait in the shadows, in the rain, in the monsoon of your own tears. Years catch up, and life moves on without you. But as you wait, you find yourself realizing, no one else will save you, except yourself. So, you step out onto the freshly mowed grass; Cook in your underwear when no one is home; Read a great book in weird positions on the couch. “I. Love. You.” Wear the sports bra that makes your breasts look great when you run; Buy the red lace dress you’ve been eyeing on; Belt out a Violent Femmes song in the subway with a friend. “I. Love. You.” You do good things little by little: Dance vigorously in the middle of the night; Drink red wine and seconds later spill it all over your white top; Laugh outrageously with friends over little things; Paint flamingoes in the backyard in the summer afternoon. And soon, you find yourself bleeding of petals of tulips and roses from the gatherings of flowers planted in your heart. You find yourself nerved with punches of fresh air and the laughter of the likings of great people. And you find yourself whispering, “I. Love. You.” to oneself and not doubting it. Not even one bit. – ANGELICA BABIERA / TORONTO, ON I have been with myself through every mess up, every time I've felt loss, every time I've won, every smile, and every overwhelming sense of happiness. The only person who has ever picked myself off the bathroom floor is me, and the only person to tell myself it’s okay when I'm exploding from the inside out, is also just me. I know myself better than anyone could ever imagine; I know my insides, and outsides, and the things I could never tell another human being. I tuck myself in every night, and roll myself out of bed every morning, and that is self-love. Do I admire myself? Do I think I'm braver and better and funnier than anyone I've ever met? No, not at all. But I always know how I feel, and how I look after a shower, and what kind of food I'm craving late at night. I take care of myself in ways people could only dream of, and that is self-love. Don't be confused, there are days where I hate the sound of my voice, and days where I oversleep until two in the afternoon, and days where I can’t do anything right. But I still get myself to where I need to be and always choose to do what’s best for me. How many people can you say that about? How many people do you take care of till the early hours of the morning, and late hours of the night? How many people can hate and love you at the exact same time? No one, at least not in the same way you do. I didn't always love myself. I’ve had years of self-hatred and doubt and silence. Then
one day I just forgave everything; every loss, every lie I've ever told, every time I’ve wished to be someone else. After forgiveness came the love, and it has stayed with me ever since. Of course the hate still slips into occasional days, but I always get myself out of bed, and try again. I’ve never stopped trying, and that ladies and gentleman, is self-love. – LIZZY BRIGHAM / HOUSTON, TX Feeding my body hatred; what was supposed to be my temple Was slowly being ripped apart by the viciousness of my mind Something that was once so good and simple Becoming more complex and intense by the day And now through society’s “ideal” I have tried to mold my size 6 Into a size 2… and I have thought to myself ‘Oh, how I have failed because my body was not built to be like Those girls who are looked upon as “body goals”’ But damn it, who glorified them to be the chosen ones? To be looked upon as the “ideal”? Because to my hell of a boyfriend, my size 6 is as sexy as can be And beauty is in the eye of the beholder NOT in the eye of a mass of narcissistic individuals who cannot help But keep their opinions from becoming forced facts And I am tired of looking into the mirror and not liking what I see Because God has given me my parts for myself to love, and to cherish, and to hold And I was given my temple to be a place of refuge for me on the lonely nights That transcend to the mornings of finally being served confidence when I have eaten a plate of eggs and glutenfree toast smeared with avocado; Starting with something And I have thighs that touch; I have stretch marks across my breasts and my hips and my butt... because I am growing and I am not the same fourth grade girl that I used to be And I will not let the world see me crumble because the only person whose idea of perfection that matters is mine It is mine and only mine; the ones before I flipped through the magazine to transfix myself on what is in or out Because none of that will matter when we are all buried six feet under But what will matter is if I spent every day tormenting the body that has only shown kindness to me Giving me a shelter when I had nowhere else to go So I made a home within myself because although I flutter like a bird I cannot choose to flee from what I was given Because what I was given was me. – CORAL GOLDSTEIN / HOUSTON, TX
– ASHEETA KHANNA / MUMBAI, IN
local wolves — 15
– MARINA SUNG MARQUES / SAN PAULO, BR
– ASHLEY JOLLY / LOUISVILLE, KY
– ALYCEE BYRD / GREENSBORO, NC
This is a public service announcement. PSA: you are malleable. You are like clay in warm hands and you have the ability to change. You change your mind. You change your body. You change the way which you feel. Affirm to yourself that you are both the hands and the clay. You possess the drive to want to be different and the ability to make it so. You are malleable. PSA: your body is comprised of lots of feelings and you are allowed to experience them all but you may not take the bad ones out on the creator. You are made of more than simply emotions and you do not deserve to feel hatred or hated. You are better than the blame which you place upon yourself over the things you cannot control. You are emotions and feelings but you are more than the bad ones and even greater than the good ones. PSA: you are important. Someone, somewhere sees you or thinks of you and smiles. Someone, somewhere loves you. Someone, somewhere would give the world for your happiness. You are not alone because someone, somewhere is rooting for you. And that is important— YOU ARE IMPORTANT. Of all the combinations of atoms and molecules and genes and stars which could've become you, these specific ones were put together to form all that you are and that is important- you are important. PSA: you are not the names you call yourself. Rather you are the positive affirmations printed upon tacky greeting cards. You are "go get 'em" and "job well done". You are "loved hearing from you" and "set your spirit free". You are the happiest of birthdays and the speediest of recoveries. You are big anniversaries and congratulations. You are "fine, fresh and forty". You are not the things which keep awake at night but rather the words which inspire you to get up from bed with the sun. You are not the names you call yourself. PSA: it is important to fight your demons but it is equally as important to accept that somedays, the bed is your best friend and the world can be a bit too much to bear. This is okay. This is not accepting defeat but rather affirming that you will try again tomorrow. Sometimes, white sheets make good companions. Sometimes tea party sheets do too along with the fuzziest of socks and the saddest of movies. Be sure to fight the good fight most days but allow yourself the occasional surrender. Never defeat though- you do not admit defeat. PSA: don't forget what I said about being both the warm hands and the clay. You are both the alterer and the altered. You have all the power in the world to make your life one which you would be proud of as an observer. Make yourself proud. Fight the good fight. Change for the better. Don't give up but know it's okay to give in once a while. Smile. Know you mean so much more to some— perhaps even to many— than you will ever know. – CASEY ANN COEN / WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
I suppose I’m a bit of a hypocrite. I’m that person who showers their friends with compliments, getting mad if they say negative or critical things about themselves. Always trying to make them see the good. But here I sit, sometimes with tears in my eyes doing the exact same things I chide my friends for. Self-love is hard, really really hard. I’m to be a senior in high school and I still have not 100% fallen in love with myself. But I suppose it takes time. Summer for me has always been a great time to find this love. Free from the feeling of judgment from my peers I become reacquainted with myself. This summer I’ve been making choices, little stepping-stones you could say, that have led me to realize many things about myself that I love. It’s a learning process. Like reminding myself that I don’t have to look perfect in every picture I take or that I shouldn’t focus to much on how other people are perceiving me. It makes me sad though that self-love is something we have to teach ourselves. We’re told so many times when we are younger to be kind to others but never did someone tell me to be kind to myself. It’s not a lesson you learn in school and it’s something you rarely ever hear on television. It’s no wonder that many give up on the journey to self-love, because no one ever told them that the journey would be long. And boy has my journey been long; though I know I have come quite far already. I’ve come to love my laugh. It comes from deep within my belly and is extremely loud. I’ve learnt to dress for myself, because no other person in the world should be pleased with my appearance except for me. I’m not perfect. I haven’t gotten to the end of my journey and I don’t expect to for quite a while. But I’ll stop being a hypocrite. No more will I say the things I don’t dare my friends to say. I will shower them, and myself with compliments. I’ll brush the tears from my eyes and instead smile. This journey may be long, but the end result is defiantly worth it. – ASHLEY SEEBALD / EDEN, NY You know those group projects you do in school, where one person does all the work, but the whole group shares the grade? That one person, is me. It's been me for as long as I can remember. I would always go out of my way to make someone else's life a little bit easier, even if it made mine more inconvenient. After an exhausted week of completing an endless to-do list, I discovered that most of those tasks were favors, and at that moment, I realized I needed to be a little more selfish. I learned that it was okay, and sometimes even necessary, to say "no." But when I started focusing on myself, I realized that I didn't even know who I was or what I wanted to do. While I was constantly assist others in achieving their own goals, all of mine had been put on the back burner and eventually forgotten. I began to get in tune with entire being, I was able to gather what I wanted from my life and what kind of impact I wanted to make. There is nobody who knows you better than you. So taking that moment (or lots of moments!) of self-discovery is crucial. Your self-love begins by understanding your self-worth and how much you deserve it. So, treat yourself. Only when you love yourself and are fulfilled, then can you do the same for others. – JAMIE CHO / LOS ANGELES, CA
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pinpoint + T O K YO , J A PA N + COVERAGE BY ANDI SAKOWSKI
Traveling to Japan was a dream come true as it was number one on my list and served as the perfect way to celebrate my college graduation. Having studied the Japanese culture and language for two years in high school, I believed I knew what to expect in this foreign country, but the genuine kindness and hospitality of the Japanese people met and exceeded my expectations. They made me immediately feel welcome in their country and for that I am incredibly thankful.
disneysea 1-13 MAIHAMA, URAYASU, CHIBA PREFECTURE 279-0031, JAPAN
Having lived in 30 minutes from Disneyland my entire life, I did not think anything could beat the original park, but DisneySea comes close. Serving as the second park to Tokyo Disneyland, the park capitalizes on a nautical theme with its location right on the coast. The seven lands, called “ports of call”, begins with the Mediterranean Harbor and leads into others such as the Arabian Coast, Mermaid Lagoon and the American Waterfront. It is evident that mass amounts of time and money went into the incredible architecture of the park and the $67 entrance fee, a fraction of the cost in the states, adds another reason to visit.
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harajuku DISTRICT IN SHIBUYA, TOKYO, JAPAN
Harajuku is a district located within the Shibuya area of Tokyo, displaying a vast array of styles such as Lolita girls. This area serves as a hub for teen fashion and is a must do on any trip to Tokyo. This street, as well as Takeshita and Cat streets, require multiple laps as there is a lot to take in and you do not want to miss a thing. It is also well known for its colorful food options such as crêpes and I could not pass up on the opportunity. I purchased one filled with ice cream, whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate syrup for a mere $4.35.
ueno park NEXT TO UENO STATION IN CENTRAL TOKYO
Japan’s most popular park is perfect for any day that requires a break from the mass chaos of traveling. The park opened in 1873 and is well known for its annual cherry blossom display in the spring. We decided to bring our onigiri lunch and ended up people watching as adorable families spent their Saturday afternoon together. The park was bustling with people visiting a little food truck event and those hoping to catch a glimpse of its historical sites such as the Gojōten Jinja, Tokugawa Mausoleum, and more.
shinjuku gyoen national garden 11 NAITOMACHI, SHINJUKU, TOKYO 160-0014, JAPAN
This garden has served multiple purposes since its completion in 1772, with its current configuration completed in 1906. It is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a mere $1.94 and the older, retired folks serve as a testament to this as you can often find them throughout the park spending their day painting the incredible sceneries. Every twist and turn of the park revealed a small fraction of the over 20,000 trees located in the garden with styles ranging from Japanese to American to French and if you are lucky, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the infamous cherry blossoms trees during their blooming season.
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shibuya crossing FAMOUS INTERSECTION OUTSIDE SHIBUYA STATION
Located right outside of Shibuya Station exit, this crossing features a crosswalk which stops all vehicle traffic to allow for pedestrians to cross the entire intersection. Once the cars stop, traffic floods into the street as pedestrians try their best to make it to the other side. The crossing is often compared to Times Square in New York due to its mass amount of traffic and the various TV advertisements surround the crossing. Along with the crossing, Shibuya is a great place to window shop or grab a bite to eat.
shinjuku gyoen national garden DISTRICT IN TAITŌ, TOKYO, JAPAN
Asakusa is another district located within Tokyo and is famous for the Senso-ji, a Buddhist temple. Although this area features multiple temples, both tourists and locals flock to this area for a look at Tokyo’s oldest temple. After walking through the entrance, you are suddenly overwhelmed with a vast amount of small shops selling souvenirs. Although it is not the cheapest place to buy souvenirs, it is a fun place to window shop.
tsukiji fish market 5 CHOME-2-1 TSUKIJI, CHUO, TOKYO 104-0045, JAPAN
The market is made up of an inner and outer market and although the famous inner market has restricted access, it is not completely impossible to gain entry. Visitors must arrive at 4:30 a.m., sometimes earlier depending on the season, to become one of the 120 visitors allowed into the world renowned tuna auction. The outer market is still a must see if you are like me and waking up at the crack of dawn does not appeal to you.
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ZOË KRAVITZ is the patron saint of the type of cool girl who gets dressed in under ten minutes, leaves their Brooklyn apartment with a bagel in one hand and hurriedly puts in headphones with the other, all while managing to look like they could walk an Alexander Wang show after lunch. The casual, can’t-be-bothered attitude her outfits give off has always been an energy I strive to achieve in styling my own clothes. I’ve come to realize that Zoë is constantly on the innovative edge of streetwear, not because she wakes up everyday with that as her goal, but because her style is an overflow of the things that inspire her. Whether she’s on stage performing with LOLAWOLF in her oversized Beastie Boys tee and alien sunglasses à la Kurt Cobain, or she’s at a political rally in Gucci loafers and well-worn Levi’s, Zoë isn’t trying to be anything but herself and an expression of the things she loves. The most natural and coolest version of your style will only come as you allow it room to grow— not by force, but by letting yourself gravitate to whatever pieces draw you in. A wardrobe curated with this mindset will become cohesive on its own with no extra effort required from you, as each piece is a reflection of some small part of yourself and the things that motivate your creativity. WRITTEN BY MEGHAN DUNCAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY RILEY DONAHUE BANNER BY LAURA FILAS
LOOK 1 crap ‘the wild gift’ sunglasses thrifted harley davidson tee vintage wrangler cut-off shorts jeffrey campbell ‘apfel’ mule
LOOK 3 crap ‘the wild gift’ sunglasses topshop stripe denim crop top bdg courtney kick flare jeans jeffrey campbell ‘apfel’ mule
LOOK 2 crap ‘the wild gift’ sunglasses thrifted striped tee diy distressed levi’s jeffrey campbell ‘apfel’ mule
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weekend in san francisco WRITTEN BY FIONA O'HANLON
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
PHOTO BY HARRISON GLAZIER
PHOTO BY HARRISON GLAZIER
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
PHOTO BY HARRISON GLAZIER
PHOTO BY HARRISON GLAZIER
We went back to the rooftop that we always visit for the sunset. But when we first gotup there it was really gloomy and we didn’t think there would even be a sunset. But we ended up pleasantly surprised. The clouds broke and the sky became the most beautiful pink. Two of my favorite things are rooftops and
beautiful sunsets. To combine those two things into one experience made my heart so full. I remember just standing up there with one ofmyfavorite people, Harry, and we just looked at each other like... wow, life is beautiful.
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PHOTO BY DREW DAVIDSON
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
The first time I ever went to this rooftop was over 3 years ago. It was something weweren’t really looking for, but stumbled upon. Ever since then, I have made sure to visit it every time I’m in town. My friends and I decided to wake upat 6 amto see the sunrise over the city from 12 stories up. I’m not really a morning person, so I was half awake and very delusional. I remember feeling so happy in that moment. Afterwards, we got pancakes and hot coffee. It was one of the most magical mornings in a long time. PHOTO BY DREW DAVIDSON
PHOTO BY NIALL O'HANLON
This was the first day I got into SF and it was raining really hard. I’m not use to rain, and normally I just stay in bed when its raining back home, but on this night I loved it. We spent the evening walking around Union
PHOTO BY NIALL O'HANLON
Square with no destination, and no umbrella. At the end of the night I was absolutely drenched, but it was one of those nights where I was so happy I didn’t just stay in my hotel room.
This was in the middle of the night. It was still raining, my clothes were soaked, and I was freezing. We were standing on a corner waiting to cross the street and my friend took this photograph in the middle of our conversation.
PHOTO BY JULIAN TORRES
We parked the car to get dinner and once we got outof the car it started raining again. The guys were taking forever toget their stuff together so I wandered off to the other side of the parking lot to see the most beautiful view.
PHOTO BY NIALL O'HANLON
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
This was taken the night that it was pouring and we were just aimlessly walking around. Myfriend Julian wouldn’t tell me where we were going but just that it was beautiful. We had tosneak into a fire escape
PHOTO BY PARKER BINGHAM
and it wasn’t totally legal. But we ended up hanging out onthat balcony for an hour, just talking and taking some photographs.
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At Sutro Baths, there was a gate so that teenagers (like us) wouldn't hop over it and stand off the cliff. Harry completely disregarded every gate and sign so that he could take anunobstructed photo.
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
PHOTO BY NIALL O'HANLON
PHOTO BY FIONA O'HANLON
We went to the Sutro Baths, and because of the light rain it was completely empty. We only hung out there for about half an hour. All of these photos were completely candid.
We were walking around this weird area below the Golden Gate Bridge and taking photos. Itwas about 9 am so there was a mysterious fog around the city. This photo was taken as we were walking back to the car to go to our next destination.
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akin & co WRITTEN BY Anna Hall Photography BY Viviana Contreras
akin & co. founder Reba Saxon is the real deal. One morning, after years of fantasizing about starting her own clothing store, she woke up and thought “Why the hell am I not just doing it?” A week later and the beginnings of akin & co. were born; the paperwork was drafter and the website half built. “Half measures are just not in my playbook!” says Reba. This powerful drive to work and create is what got akin & co. off the ground quickly. Reba recalls the first “awkward” emails with designers; it took time to get comfortable with the buying process. And then, a few months later, the first (small) orders came through and Reba recruited friends to shoot the first look book. After akin & co. took off, one of the biggest challenges Reba faced was holding her ground. “I struggled in the beginning with not letting anyone’s opinions affect my business plan. I had a lot of people in my ear talking about the perils of retail and owning your own business and it was really hard to not let that diminish my drive. In the end, I was so stoked on what I was creating, and I knew if I worked my ass off and stuck to my aesthetic, my customers would be stoked on it too.” The site has continued to evolve and grow with Reba. “I have definitely learned to trust my instincts. When I place an order for a new season, I stick with the things that I absolutely love. If I’m not sure about an item, I don’t get it. Quality over quantity, always.”
“Every piece that I chose for the site I want to have that same look and feel— loose, flowy and can go anywhere the day may take you.”
This aesthetic embodies a certain enchanting effortlessness, encapsulating the idea that you can be stylish but natural, ambitious but laid-back. “I love the richness of printed silks and neutral linens combined with relaxed silhouettes,” Reba says. “Comfort is paramount for me, and I think with well made clothing and beautiful fabrics, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort”. And as an LA based company, akin & co is no stranger to California cool. “When I think of California and specifically LA style the first word that comes to mind is effortless. Californians are the kings and queens of casual— the general attitude and style here is intrinsically laid-back. Every piece that I chose for the site I want to have that same look and feel— loose, flowy and can go anywhere the day may take you.” akin & co. offers a diverse collation of up-and-coming designers sourced surprisingly mostly from Instagram and word of mouth. “I have found almost all of the designers I carry on Instagram!” Reba says. “I scour Instagram into the wee hours looking for inspiration and up and coming brands. I also travel a lot and have discovered a lot of new brands in other cities that I’ve fallen in love with. I am always asking strangers about their clothes. The added bonus: I’ve made a lot of new friends!” akin & co. continues to grow and there are even plans to open a brick and mortar boutique in Los Angeles on the horizon. “Ambition makes things possible, but not easy. If you’re passionate about a project, stick with it,” Reba advises. In Reba, a zealous drive coupled with that California laid-back effortlessness make for a killer combo.
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parker kit hill WRITTEN by Morgan Eckel PhotographY by Rachel Kober
From his hilarious videos and personas to being his authentic self, we have all come to love the Vine star, Parker Kit Hill. In 2013, the app Vine, launched with huge success. When I asked Parker about his instant success on Vine, his answer was humbling. “I never really thought that anything would come from this. Like, I still find it so crazy that I have a following because I’m so crazy. Whenever I make videos its never my end goal to make them go “viral” its all just for fun. I honestly don’t think that it’ll ever hit me that I have a big following on social media because its just always been here for me.” Dealing with hate stemmed from the internet has been a problem in the last couple of years, especially with the huge increase in social media. Apart from being a Viner, Parker is a teenager.“ It used to be very hard to deal with all of the hate but now fast forward from 2013 to now I never even notice it anymore. I’ve learned that if you have haters you must be doing something right.
“Don’t get stuck in thinking about what other people are saying/thinking about you. You are all that matters and you define your happiness.” Where else could we find Parker? Living his dream at the Joffree Ballet School in New York City. “I’ve been dancing since 2012 and I never imagined that it would take me to one of the most renowned schools in the world. I feel so blessed that I’m able to attend such an amazing place and they accept me for who I am.” Away from school and social media, we could probably find him doing one of these things, “thrifting, taking pictures of the city, going to dog shelters to play with puppies, and maybe even riding a Citi Bike.” When it come’s to being yourself, I think Parker may have figured it out.
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audrey kitching WRITTEN by MEGHAN DUNCAN PhotographY by BRIAN BRUNO
Audrey Kitching is a purveyor of healthy soul living. Not because she is pushing a certain brand of products, or because she knows what it takes to develop a marketable aesthetic; instead, Audrey deeply believes in inner wellness and the journey it takes to get there. Fashion, modeling, and art have all been in Audrey’s job description at some point, and now she is creator and owner of Crystal Cactus. She says she was inspired to create this line of jewelry and energy-balancing tools such as bath salts, crystals, tarot cards and guidebooks from a very organic place in her thoughts: “I actually kind of just started it on a whim because my fashion editing job was boring me. Originally, I was selling vintage teacups with crystals and cacti in them— hence the name. Over the past few years it all started to take form. Everyday it is becoming closer and closer to my divine vision and, to me, that is beautiful. I have chosen to finance it all on my own and let it grow organically, so the process is a bit slower but its foundation and roots are strong. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” In talking to Audrey, one can quickly gather how deeply essential growth— in its truest form—is to her. She shared that after experiencing mass distribution of her products by a large retailer, she quickly felt that the spirit of her project was being cheapened and Audrey has since turned down several major retail contracts. She explained that success would only be meaningful to her if it came from an authentic place— “I’m not selling crystals because they are on trend. I’m not pedaling a lifestyle. The right people will be guided to my store without me having to do cheap marketing ploys.” Looking forward, she says, “All of this really taught me that selling gold to people whom only like silver is a waste of time. The people looking for gold will find you. Nothing with integrity can be mass-produced.”
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When a person like Audrey is so in-tune with their spirituality, other facets of life are often inseparable and associated with the same emotions. Audrey explained, that for her, fashion in the self-expressive sense is highly related to the transcendent. She went on, “All my modeling, art and aesthetics come from a place of self expression. Without purpose, beauty is always vain. One morning I might wake up and decided to paint my kitchen yellow, dye all my clothing lavender or start wearing glitter as concealer. The inner state will always reflect the outer whether people are aware of this or not.” Remaining in a fluid state is also an important part of being a creator, as Audrey explains, “I am my own boss and with that comes the best luxury of all: freedom. If I need a break I go for a walk, bake cookies, listen to classical music, light sage, read some astrology reports... I have realized when you listen to your inner voice you actually get more done. The more rejuvenation breaks I take, the better my productivity is. You can’t run on empty.” And she’s right— few people are completely out from under authority figures but at the end of the day, you are the sole owner of your mind and its thoughts. It is imperative that you take the time to address and nurture your mind in a healthy way. Audrey is an avid believer that part of the journey to a living with a healthier mind and soul is embracing uncertainty when you feel lost and uninspired, and she advises, “Change is the only constant in the universe. Embrace it with open arms. Every single day change one thing. Change your friends, your thought patterns, your career, your passions, or your hobbies. Find out who you really are by first stripping away everything you are not. Fill trash bags full of clothing and trinkets and memorabilia that does not support who you want to be. Spend time alone in nature. Listen to your thoughts and feel your feelings.” And with finality she adds, “Today’s society glamorizes this toxic lifestyle of material gain, attention, fame, jet setting... but that is a life that will serve only your ego. Live for your soul. Have purpose.”
All mymodeling, art & aesthetics come from a place of self expression. Without purpose, beauty is always vain.
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zealyn WRITTEN by Hudson Luthringshausen Photography by Kristine Morgan
Summer sixteen may be coming to an end, but the fun is only just beginning for twenty-two year old singer/ songwriter Zealyn. June 24th marked the release of her debut electropop alternative rock EP, an effort that marks a departure from her previous musical accomplishments. The project began last summer shortly after a chance meeting in a coffee shop (more on that later) that scored Zealyn a two month recording session with producer, Aaron Marsh— lead singer of the band Copeland. The EP is groovy and soothing all the same, and features even Marsh’s vocals on a verse-trading track titled, “Overwhelmed”. Zealyn’s Limbic System refreshes a familiar sound with élan and is the perfect transition into the booming electropop/ alternative genre. Before Limbic System’s release, we had a chance to chat with Zealyn about the EP. How did the recording experience change or stay the same with your new sound? This was the first time in the studio that I didn’t set any expectations, or limit myself creatively. It was an amazing experience getting out of my comfort zone, and experimenting with different sounds and styles. It brought the writing and recording process to a whole new level.
What inspired the writing lyrically as well as sonically; Are you nervous for your fans to hear this new expression? When I write music, I pull inspiration from so many things going on in my mind, like past memories, how I felt in certain situations, times I got hurt, the list goes on and on. When I learned about the part of our brain called the Limbic System, I was fascinated because it has so much to do with our memories and emotions (the biggest inspiration for my music). It is a perfect name for the album. This record is full of beautiful metaphors, pure emotion, and a lot of honest questions. I can’t wait for people to hear it! And, yes— it’s totally nerve-racking, but even more so exciting. What are you most looking forward to with the release of your EP? I’m not sure if I can put into words how much I can’t wait to play shows with this music. Performing and meeting fans/ other musicians is my favorite part about being an artist.
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This EP represents a shift in your career and you’ve expressed the importance you put on writing your own music. What made you reach out to Aaron Marsh to produce your record? Well, first off, I have been a huge Copeland fan since I was 16. Aaron’s songwriting has blown me away, and has inspired me for years. When I heard their latest release, Ixora, that was the first time I’ve ever truly been in love with the production of an album. I remember thinking, “it would be so cool to have him produce my next project.” I never would have thought that six months later I would run into him at a coffee shop about an hour before his show, and then ask him to produce my album. Long story short, he said yes, and two months later I was in his studio where we wrote and recorded the whole album. It was such an incredible experience. Outside of music, what interests or hobbies do you enjoy? I love being active outside, like hiking, bike rides, or even a beach day. I have the best group of friends I’ve ever had, and we could really have fun doing anything. I’m also a big fan of TV shows/movies, especially if it has to do with the Marvel Universe. Are you going to be touring/releasing music videos? As I said earlier, playing shows is my favorite thing about being a musician! I can’t wait to play out more, travel, and meet people. If I could, I would put a visual to every song. I’m definitely hoping to release more music videos in the future. Dreaming big, where do hope to be in the coming years? I would love to have a strong fan base, tour the world, and have my television debut on The Tonight Show, or something. Ultimately, I hope to be a full time musician for many years to come, and to release music that people fall in love with. Where do you find your inspiration and what artists inspire you? I don’t mean to be cliché, but I’m inspired by life. Everything that I’ve gone through, my plans for the future, nature, my thoughts, past events, movies, and other musicians. MØ, Twenty One Pilots, Copeland, Aurora, Gallant and Paramore are just a few artists that have inspired me a lot.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I write music, I pull inspiration from so many things going on in my mind, like past memories, how I felt in certain situations, times I got hurt, the list goes on and on.â&#x20AC;?
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ava allan WRITTEN by Karina Diez PhotographY by CALVIN MA H/MUA by Jessie Yarabough
Most people spend much of their youth trying this and that, attempting to find the right fit career-wise. Ava Allan, on the other hand, was lucky enough to have figured it out by the young age of seven. Ava’s first modeling job consisted of modeling a sleeping bag that promoted the Disney animation, The Incredibles, which also just so happened to be one of her favorite movies. “I think my favorite part about modeling is all the different ways a shoot can make you look,” said Ava. “Editorial shoots are my favorite because you can really have fun with the makeup, hair and wardrobe.” From there, Ava went on to commercials, and loved it so much that she knew this was what she wanted to do with her life. “I have never considered another career since I started acting,” said Ava. She admires the work of Jennifer Lawrence and would love to work with her someday or act in one of Director David O. Russell’s stunning films. Ava enjoys taking on challenging roles and exploring her acting abilities. “I think a role I would definitely like to play in the future would be along the lines of a serial killer or something very dark,” said Ava. “I know this [topic] just got super serious but it would be amazing to play that character especially since I am a girl.” Recently, Ava’s movie, Love is All You Need? premiered, a project that quickly became near and dear to her heart. “I learned that over 3.2 million students get bullied each year and out that, 10% attempt suicide. Before this film, I had no idea how high the percentages for bullying were,” said Ava. “The film’s message is very important and the way the film, expresses it is very unique.” Ava is involved in equality organizations that not only address the issue of bullying, but also LGBT and animal rights. Aside from modeling and acting, Ava also dabbles in beauty/fashion blogging, has a purple belt in karate and is an archer with her own bow and arrows. I know, I want to be her best friend too.
written by Hudson Luthringshausen Photography by Dylan Robbins h/mua by Lauren Bencomo Styling by Katie Qian
If you were to clip together the videos, the tweets, instagrams, and countless other posts, hardly a moment goes unaccounted for in the life of Claudia Sulewski. At twenty years old, she has been sharing her life over the internet for seven years, or her entire teenage life. For that reason it is fitting that Claudia hold the cover for our Self Love issue, considering she spent her formative years— those coming-of-age times when self-love becomes and challenges individuals for the very first times— broadcasting herself for what has become a following of over one million. And she seems to have held back nothing when sharing, for when I ask her to talk on something that her followers might not know she quite literally could not think of one thing. It is maybe this transparency itself that her followers are unaware of and she remains an example of those creators that have been able to merge their online and offline lives in a genuine way. At 1 o’clock sharp, I arrive to Claudia’s house where she is preparing for her photoshoot. The theme is retro, she tells me excitedly as she flips through the mood-board. She picked out one of the locations herself, a diner— the other a swimming pool (spontaneously suggested by photographer and friend, Dylan Robbins). I will be gone before the shoot begins, but I have clear image of the vision and once the crew arrives with a closet-full of clothes out of the 90’s I’m wishing I could stick around to see the action. Before they arrive, though, Claudia and I have time to cover all things acting, creative and inspirational.
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One thing you’ll notice from watching Claudia on YouTube is the way she articulates her thoughts, a trait that translates to her casual-speak, making her a very personable and engaging conversationalist. I have known Claudia for years and this has always stuck out to me in her professional and personal life as a reason for her success as it emphasizes what is truly a genuine persona. While Claudia has spent the majority of her career building her YouTube channel, she has recently delved more into acting, with a supporting role in the TV series, T@GGED (alongside Lia Marie Johnson and JC Caylen) as well as her first lead role in the short series The Commute— both AwesomenessTV productions. This marks a massive transition in content from YouTube, where Claudia edits and produces her videos completely, to the bigger screen where the only thing she can control is her performance. And even then, she says, it remains out of her control: “Having to be on set for so long and not being able to see the footage till months later with everyone else is nerve-racking, but at the same time I find that I’m happiest when I’m chasing things that make me nervous. When I’m nervous I know that I care, I care about the outcome and the process leading up to that. That’s why acting will always be a focus of mine because it’s exciting to play different roles— it puts me outside of my comfort zone.” She may consider herself outside of her comfort zone, but her performances in both projects demonstrate her ability to deliver standout performances among the many transitioning from YouTube to acting. And she’s motivated to get better, “I think it’s good to take classes and I have a lot of respect for the craft [of acting]. My brain is a sponge with this and I’m excited to learn more about it and understand it, it’s really fascinating to me.” When I ask if she views movies/TV with this approach, she says “100 percent,” before explaining how she likes to throw herself into the actor’s mindset, predicting how she might deliver a line with the same script. She speaks of acting with the measured obsession of anyone tirelessly devoted to a craft and the many ins and outs it has to master. While her experience with acting has just begun, it’s no surprise she is able to take to it so quickly. Her knack for performing has appeared through her videos, which demonstrate her creativity and ability to tell a story— much like directing or acting. The quality of Claudia’s videos are marked by what is clear commitment to preparing and editing a clear, cohesive story start to finish— something I suggest could bode well for a future in directing. “I like to walk into any situation with an open mindset, I don’t want to close anything off so if the time is right and that sparks an interest in me then hell yeah I’m so down.” And on whether or not she is busy-brained, she says, “Absolutely, I’m always thinking of video ideas or bigger scale stuff.” As Claudia preps her hair for the coming shoot, we chat about her hobbies, like painting and guitar, which she rates her skills at 4 out of 10 (we adjust to 1-10 after she refuses to play). The guitar, she bought on a whim with no intentions of taking lessons. “Here’s the thing,” she reasons, “I wanted a little side activity with no responsibility or have to become amazing at it. It’s kind of something that takes my mind of off things.” If it’s not clear yet, Claudia’s schedule is as demanding as any and especially at her age she values the off-times. Unplugging is a big part of a life spent being present online, she tells me. How does she unplug? “By going on weekend adventures. A few of my friends and I actually this summer we went to this dam where we jumped off cliffs.” This, I interject excitedly as though I’ve debunked her, she vlogged! And although I am right, Claudia says “there’s a difference between being on your phone and reading tweets living through others’ lives, and enjoying the moment, living with the people around you and capturing a photo.”
What/who inspires you? Music. Any time I’m not feeling inspired I throw on music.
BUG OFF LOOK // + Swimsuit, Mandalynn Swim + Skirt & Jacket, Claudia’s own
Favorite song of all time? “Breezeblocks”. Favorite artist? Lewis Del Mar. Favorite movie? Mr. Nobody If you could have invented one existing *thing*? ...the onion chopper.
“That’s why my vlog-channel has a special place in my heart because I do it more for me more than anyone else, the idea that years from now I can see these vlogs and show my kids what I was like and remember this stuff means a lot. One of the hidden pros of YouTube I didn’t realize I would value until now.” On the topic of future-selves, we explore the past, present and future. Regarding the past, I skip straight to the heavyhitter: How do you feel that our (awkward) Truth or Dare video is, with nearly 1 million views, one of your most popular videos? Her response: “Mortified.” (“I’m pretty sure we started filming 20 minutes after meeting, so if you ever want to see how we first met just watch the truth or dare video.”) After our laughs subside we get to the serious questions, like what her younger-self might say if she’d met Claudia now: “I think if my younger self saw where I was she wouldn’t believe it. It’s crazy, if I could see myself ten years ago I would say, ‘just you wait, you are gonna be one-thousand times happier.’ Even thinking about that gets me excited for ten years from now, imagining what thirty-year-old Claudia would want to say to twenty-year-old Claudia is what motivates me to keep on going. The only person I’m working for is my future self— just looking out of her you know, she’s my homie.” DINER LOOK // + Dress, Nookie + Coat, Few Moda + Choker & Bracelets, Vanessa Mooney + Shoes, Yull Shoes
When Claudia and I began talking about self-love, we kept circling back to the same few ideas— like, self-love is about accepting your flaws, loving them, it’s about confidence and believing in yourself. We knew we weren’t but scratching the surface on this important idea that every human must encounter, only walking through the basics. And that may be why it is so daunting a task to discuss. As humans, we all deal with selflove; some better than others, but no one truly has the answers. And with Claudia I was asking for answers, but it wasn’t until she began speaking more freely, after the initial questions had been brought up that we were able to break past the what’s of self-love and talk about the how’s. It begins, for Claudia, with a certain psyche. “I’m a huge believer in your mentality being your reality. If I’m feeling like I can do something, I can. If I believe that I can’t do anything, then I won’t be able to. A huge aspect of finding true confidence is to learn how to have a positive mindset and be able to apply those habits into your daily thinking.” But it’s not just about having the positive mindset, Claudia knows the importance of recognizing that mindset when it’s sprung upon you. “If I’m in a moment where I feel genuinely so happy I like to stop and ask myself what I’m feeling, what I’m seeing, what I’m hearing and put myself into that moment and truly continue to enjoy it.” And if you think back to Claudia’s words on acting, it’s those nervous times, too, that we must stop and analyze when they occur— if we seek to understand our lows as well as we do our highs, we can be better prepared for the next moment.
Which fictional world would you live in? Hands down, Harry Potter. What house would you want? I feel like I’m Gryffindor. BLUE SWIMSUIT LOOK // + Swimsuit, Mandalynn Swim + Shorts, Nastygal + Jacket, Lucy Wang Paris + Jewelry & Boots, Claudia’s own
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Whose style would you jack? Gigi Hadid. Would you jack her boyfriend too? *expletive* Yeah.
So finally, I ask: Why is self-love so difficult? I didn’t come prepared with this question and it never occurred to me to ask, but the more we talked about self-love the more I realized that this was the simple question separating us from the basics to the deeper discussion this issue warrants. This is a question we all can ask ourselves. What it leads to should vary from person to person, but for all it must open up a new perspective on self-love. The difficulty of loving oneself, Claudia says, is because “Society today has set such unrealistic standards of what beauty is or isn’t, making self-confidence even more difficult to reach. But all of it relays on perception and what YOU value. A beautiful mind, a beautiful soul, there’s so much more to it.” As Claudia points out, the difficulty of self-love comes when we consider more than just ourselves. It is our own love at question, not that of others. And while this sounds selfish, it really isn’t — it is self-love, after all. “So many girls are fixated with what others think about them, but everyone else is way too distracted thinking about themselves to even worry about you. Realizing what makes you feel confident, whether it’s working out or eating healthy or even as simple as wearing your favorite choker necklace, knowing what kind of activities or things make you feel confident is important. I think every girl should have one outfit that they know no matter where they go or how they feel that day they are ready...” That outfit for Claudia consists of black boots, a t-shirt dress, a choker and a “killer” bag. As for how she stays confident, “I would say going out. Getting out of the house, working online there’s so many days I spend indoors... the more I interact with other people and go out, I usually find myself again and bring out my personality which helps me become confident. Gotta love St. Tropez self-tanner, that will really fix any day.”
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I’m a huge believer in your mentality being your reality. If I’m feeling like I can do something, I can. If I believe that I can’t do anything, then I won’t be able to.
A huge aspect of finding true confidence is to learn how to have a positive mindset and be able to apply those habits into your daily thinking.
Are you a diary, or collection of quotes kind of journal? Definitely diary. I format it in a way where I’m speaking to my future self.
So do you open with “Dear, Claudia”? Absolutely not. I will sometimes end with a “peace out”, though.
What’s your biggest fear? Besides claustrophobia, I’m also scared of regretting something that I don’t do.
transviolet WRITTEN by Sadie Bell PHOTOGRAPHy by Riley Donahue
Violet is a color that rarely exists in nature, and when it does in the form of a soft lavender flower or a glistening crystal, it’s striking, as if someone personally dusted the world with an extra touch of vibrancy. Like this uncommon hue, the band Transviolet are a rare, fiery powerhouse of a pop band to recently emerge on the music scene. As their name suggests, though, Transviolet is a rarity that crosses boundaries and runs anywhere and everywhere— and they are here to create music that sorts out all of the frivolity, noise, and frustration that exists in our world in abundance. “Life is just a collection of fleeting moments: blips of happiness, excitement, anxiety, and loss. We decide what meaning or connection we give to these events. Music is our catalyst to finding that meaning,” said lead vocalist, Sarah McTaggart.
“It’s my way of sorting out the world. It’s my window into understanding my own consciousness.” This consciousness that becomes very much alive, feeling equally as tangible as quixotic in songs like “Girls Like You” and “New Bohemia”, not only organize her thoughts, though, as they wholly feel like the anthem for a generation— like the crying plea for understanding and expression grasped by today’s youth who is haunted and molded by the same state of affairs and events. “I think most of our generation, at one point or another, has felt frustrated with the hand we’ve been dealt. We’ve watched banks get bailed out while we drowned in student debt. We’ve watched our friends, and brothers and sisters fight and die in wars that we should have never been involved in,” said McTaggart.
The Los Angeles-based, four piece band made up of McTaggart, Judah McCarthy, Michael Panek and Jon Garcia creates music that evokes emotion through dramatic, swooping chords and synthesizers beneath lyrics that are so luscious and intuitive that they could exist within the pages of a poetry book by one of the beats. McTaggart, who writes all of the band’s lyrics said, “Some people say ‘everything happens for a reason.’ I’m not one of those people. I think the universe is a strange, chaotic place, and we are beings who specialize in recognizing patterns, even when they aren’t there. However, I don’t think life is meaningless. I believe that we create our own meaning. For me, songwriting is how I create that meaning.”
“We elect politicians that get campaign funding from the corporations they are supposed to be regulating. Then we wonder why lawmakers favor these corporations. We start wars to sell guns. We ignore the real cause of disease, so we can keep selling pills. We suffocate new technology with legislation, so we can keep selling oil.” She said, “We see that there is this historic pattern of the government and the media using fear to get it’s way, dividing us, using petty differences to pit us against each other, so we stay busy arguing trivialities instead of calling for meaningful change.” While this may be our reality, McTaggart has faith that this generation can move in the direction of change.
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“We just need enough people to believe it’s a change worth making, and take action.” “We all live on this one planet, and we need to figure out how to do that without destroying it and killing each other. We don’t have the answers, but someone needs to at least raise the question. Our music gives voice to this alternative way of thinking in a pop landscape that is otherwise based in escapism,” she said. In their self-titled EP track “New Bohemia,” McTaggart sings, “Gonna light it up / wanna change the world / we’re the new bohemia”, as if the lyrics so deeply embody Transviolet’s being and the rally of a generation who, though feels disillusioned, is committed to the betterment of our world. Sonically, Transviolet is bound to develop a diverse sound oozing with dark subject matter and expansive melodies that venture into a new territory of pop music, but as an entity, Transviolet is bound to bring attention to the state of our world and the determination of today’s youth— the new bohemia. Like the color of violet in nature, they are a striking rarity and beautiful component in today’s landscape. McTaggart said, “We’re all in this together— moved by the same love, hurt by the same pain.” So, let Transviolet be your resolution and inspiration because their sound and ideology suggests, though they are a rare grandeur, they understand and feel just as you do, as we all do.
madison reames WRITTEN by Chloe luthringshausen Photography by Sam Landreth
For content creator, Madison Reames, photography and filmmaking are not just hobbies; they are ways to capture moments and hold onto them forever. “Life is so beautiful. I don’t want to forget any of the experiences I’ve had thus far. I’m a big romanticizer of every experience, good or bad,” says Reames. Reames’ talent behind the camera came naturally. Without any prior teaching or experience, Reames self taught herself the basic components that are required for capturing a great shot. “For the longest time I didn’t have a clue about aperture, exposure, or shutter speed,” explains Reames. “You would think that would make for a terrible photographer, but I learned to make photos based on creativity, and I think that is what has helped me grow into the artist I am today.” And that artist is a 70’s inspired desert child. Scrolling through her Instagram feed and photography blog, you will quickly notice the 70’s inspired vibe within her pictures. Faded, earthy-colored photos fill up her portfolio, featuring naturally captured shots of the desert, the moon, and her friends. After visiting the desert in Joshua Tree, California, Reames finally felt like she belonged somewhere. “I defined my style after this trip because it felt authentic and natural to me. Same goes for the 70’s vibe of my style,” says Reames.
“It feels so familiar to me even though I wasn’t alive during that time. I wanted to capture the feeling of nostalgia in my photos because that’s what I feel for the desert and for the 70s.” Whether it’s the color of the flowers, the way someone talks to their loved one, or even the ethereal light that is casted on the earth at a specific time, Reames finds inspiration for her photos from the world around her. “I will see something at the most unexpected time, when I’m walking to class or driving down the highway,” says Reames. “It could be the smallest thing, something so benign and it will click with me.” However, Reames’ talent behind the camera does not stop at photography; she also has a knack for filmmaking, as seen on her creative YouTube channel, Maddi Kenna. From vegan recipes to beauty routines, Reames features a wide range of topics on her channel. However, she admits her favorite videos to film are her creative vlogs where she shows her daily adventures with her favorite songs playing in the background. Reames’ vlogs are a way to record her favorite days and look back on them. “I take my DSLR camera with me everywhere I go. I usually watch the way my friends interact with the world and it makes me want to capture those authentic moments to look back on and help them notice the beauty they have emanating out of them,” says Reames.
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Reames’ love for recording the best moments in life reflect in her videos, for they express themes of self-acceptance, wanderlust, positivity, and freedom. Reames admits that her goal with her videos is to spread the importance of “cherishing life, romanticizing the moments you share with the world, loving yourself because you are real and have struggles like every other human being, and knowing that overcoming personal issues begins with self-love.”
yourself, but also accepting your ego because it is also a part of you, and it helps you make decisions that will benefit the future you,” explains Reames. “Who you are is not defined by what others do or don’t think about you, or what you do or don’t do.” Reames self-love journey started with her creativity behind the camera. Photography and filmmaking were Reames’ creative outlets, helping her gain confidence in her passions, skills, and ultimately herself.
“Who you are is not defined by what others do or don’t think about you, or what you do or don’t do.”
When asked how others can find their own self-love, Reames says, “Find your tribe, meaning your network of people who support and push you forward. Be the type of woman or man who is honest and supportive of others, and realize that there is enough room on this planet for all types of humans.” She also recommends the book, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, describing it as a “lifechanging book that helped me find self-love.” Outside of photography and filmmaking, Reames loves connecting with other people.
Speaking of self-love, when asked about her own definition of what it means to love yourself, Reames simply answers “accepting yourself.” For Reames, self-love is an ongoing process and she admits it does not just happen overnight. “Keep practicing a healthy mindset, acknowledging that your ego plays a big role in keeping you from fully loving
Her goal is to meet at least one new person a week because it makes her feel human, knowing she is not alone in this world. Reames’ also loves to travel, desiring one day to “explore every inch of the world I belong to.”
“I’m eager to meet new people, learn how to navigate the world, and learn how to have a sustainable impact on this earth.” With her wanderlust spirit, Reames just announced on her Instagram that she will be studying abroad in Australia for the upcoming semester, where she will be learning about sustainability and environmental action. “I’m so excited about it! I’m eager to meet new people, learn how to navigate the world, and learn how to have a sustainable impact on this earth. I want this generation of people to save this planet we are destroying and that starts with my own education and involvement,” says Reames.
“I hope to have a better grasp on the direct impact we humans have and what we can do to make effective change. It’s so important to me because we are nature, we often forget that and I think destroying the planet is destroying us: emotionally and physically.” With the excitement of living in Australia to look forward to, Reames admits she has a list of personal goals she hopes to achieve for the upcoming year as well. “I want to respect myself enough to know what my work is worth, realizing that I am valuable and I have my own gift to give to this world. I want to keep pursuing what I love, no matter the doubts I may have being an artist and recognizing the challenges and competitiveness that comes with it. I want to keep sharing my story and my learnings in life to help others.” And finally, “I want to live a life full of adventure and love. Keep sharing love.” Camera in hand, Reames is not only capturing beautiful photographs, but also the true essence of self-love.
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sam dameshek WRITTEN by Harriet Stanley PHOTOGRAPHy by Jacob Thomas
At sixteen years old, for most teens a job consists of working as a cashier in a store or perhaps waitressing at a restaurant or cafe; the same can’t be said for Sam Dameshek. Raking in over 100,000 followers on Instagram alone, the Southern California based photographer has already managed to make a name for himself in the industry. From fashion to music, Dameshek has collaborated with a number of high-profile clients and brands including the likes of Imagine Dragons and even Playboy. For a teen still in high school, that’s pretty damn impressive. It’s hard to imagine that Dameshek only has two years of experience under his belt yet, “My interest in photography first sparked when I was fourteen,” he says, “I fell in love and became obsessed with the art after I played around with an old camera in my room and realized the vast room for creativity it had.” The obsession grew, but Dameshek never envisioned that he’d ever turn his love and passion into a career. Eventually, he begun to book client after client and before he knew it, “It became my job. I am rather lucky to have found a career that I love.” And now? Dameshek can’t imagine himself doing anything else.
Whilst blessed to have found a full-time job at such a young age, it’s not to say that it doesn’t have its hindrances. Considering most teens find it easy to do their homework and hang out with friends, it isn’t exactly the case for a photographer that has to travel across the state for a variety of different shoots. “Balancing school, a social life, and having a fulltime job is difficult,” he says, and even states time management as being one of his biggest struggles. “It is very stressful... however I find the time to be a normal teenager and complete my school work.” Yet even as he tries to be a normal teenager, of course it’s not always that easy; sadly, Dameshek has become the brunt of criticism from peers. “I receive a lot of hate from kids my age disliking me because of my job.” It seems a shame that others can’t celebrate another’s successes, but thankfully Dameshek isn’t letting it get him down any time soon. “Regardless of the mean things they’ve done [or] said to me, I always keep my head held high.” Despite it all, even though he’s set on his career path and well on his journey, Dameshek is still adamant on completing high school, despite knowing that he doesn’t really have to when he’s already working full-time. “I have never considered dropping out of school,” he says, “School is very important. I have considered online school as well as getting my GED early, but as of right now I plan on sticking to public school for my final year of high school.”
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Social media definitely plays a part in helping Dameshek to gain exposure when his hands are tied, “Many brands scout photographers and models from their work on social media,” he points out and that is what has led him to being discovered by a number of impressive brands. To date, “Working with HAWKERS CO. from Spain has been my favorite client because they always have wild ideas and never have limits.” Those qualities are important to Dameshek, who doesn’t have a particular field that he’s most passionate about, instead, “I love to photograph everything. I don’t particularly have a subject I like photographing most. The world is full of beautiful things.” The teenager simply loves “to capture the beauty of life. There is no precise definition of the word ‘beautiful’, I believe you can find beauty in all things.” If there were any city that would be his ideal location, Dameshek doesn’t hesitate to say, “San Francisco, because I like the diverse locations and consistently good lighting.” It’s the lighting that has a huge impact on the way in which he edits his photographs, “I’ve learned to edit in relation to the photo.” He says, “If you are going for a certain vibe in your shoot, edit it to match whatever look you’re going for. I’ve also learned that less is more.” Dameshek isn’t a huge fan of overly saturated photos, so the subtle look is far more suiting for his style of work. Of course, the equipment used also has a huge impact on creating different looks, and Dameshek relies on a “canon 6D with a 35 f1.4” as his favorite setup. To any future photographers out there, Dameshek simply says, “Stay inspired.” He advises that you shouldn’t become discouraged because, “Like everything else, photography is a skill. You must work hard to improve your skills and hard work always pays off. Always remember to stay positive!” And it’s that same positive attitude and determination that has seen Sam Dameshek rise to success in just a couple of years; there’s an entire world out there still waiting to be photographed and with his life still way ahead of him, we can expect big things from the teenager.
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You must work hard to improve your skills and hard work always pays ofF.
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have fun do good WRITTEN BY EMMA MATTHEWS PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY KOVACIC
Pittsburgh-based events company, HAVE FUN DO GOOD is on a mission to make volunteering fun. “We’re changing up the way people look at volunteering by incorporating a ‘road trip’ concept,” explains founder, Adam Kunes. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day comfort zone of your hometown. We’re forcing participants to step outside of that comfort zone and to do some good, while having fun at the same time!” The idea for the non-for-profit came to Adam after he studied overseas for a semester in his junior year of college. “We visited over twelve countries and I was blessed to see and experience the world. Those experiences gave me a whole new perspective on the world we live in. I returned home feeling extremely thankful for the little things that I took for granted,” he recalls. “Upon graduating, I participated in a service trip to New Orleans. We spent time in the 9th ward rebuilding a home damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The work was extremely hard, but we were surrounded by positive people who truly wanted to make a difference. In five short days, I formed friendships and bonds that still last today. That trip was a game changer for me. It instilled in me a passion for service and a hunger to give back.”
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Having already embarked on a variety of trips for organizations like the San Diego Food Bank, the Coastal Federation and the Austin Habitat for Humanity. Adam’s most memorable Have Fun Do Good experience was a recent visit to New York City. “We spent the afternoon with KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now). KEEN’s mission is to provide free recreational opportunities to children and young adults with disabilities by pairing them with trained volunteers for fun, noncompetitive activities,” he says. “Our team spent a couple hours in the pool with the children in the program. All of the trips are unique in their own way, but this one was particularly impactful to me.” Looking towards the future, Adam hopes to spread the Have Fun Do Good message even further. One of the steps him and the team are currently taking to achieve is this is raising money to convert a school bus to a fully functional RV.
This will help cut down on each trips accommodation costs. “The HFDG bus will be used for our volunteer road trips. It will accommodate eight people and is being outfitted by our friends at Tollgate Revival. It will be an eye-catcher for sure,” says Adam. “We’re also currently in the process of partnering up with a few universities to provide alternative break trips for college students.” Fancy getting involved? It’s simply, just sign-up to a trip on the organizations website, or support them by clicking on their online store. “As we continue to make the trips more accessible, we still want to be very grassroots,” he continues. “People can support Have Fun Do Good by purchasing apparel. A portion of all profits will go directly to the non-profits we work with.”
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sarah kohlbeck WRITTEN by Karina Diez Photography by allegra rose
Sarah Kohlbeck currently studies Graphic Design and Photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has an adoration for fashion and began designing clothes at only seven years old. While pursuing a career as a designer is not one of Kohlbeck’s career goals, she incorporates her love for trendy attire with her photography. “Ever since the beginning, I’ve been the one styling my shoots,” said Kohlbeck. “I guess you could say that my understanding and the risks I take when styling my shoots has helped a lot, and made my pictures stand out.” Kohlbeck’s affinity for photography lies in the idea that she is able to capture a moment that can be forever be appreciated. “I love that I have the power to freeze a moment that might otherwise be glossed over,” said Kohlbeck. “We often forget that these in-between moments can the most important of all.” Kohlbeck is quite the traveler and enjoys immersing herself into different cultures while finding how she personally fits into each. She recently spent some time living in Hong Kong, a place that has left a mark on her heart. “While being there, I fell in love with the city and the people that occupy it,” said Kohlbeck. But out of all the places she has had the pleasure of visiting, her favorite has been Krabi, Thailand. “This place made me realize how absolutely incredible our planet is and just how simply some people can live when they have that surrounding them,” said Kohlbeck.
As for advice for those attempting to make a name for themselves as photographers, Kohlbeck believes it is important to remain true to your style while being open to collaborating with others. “The earlier you learn how to mesh these, the easier it’s going to be for you to work with brands and gain more exposure,” said Kohlbeck.
“Creating a connection between the subject and the viewer has always been my greatest interest.” Kohlbeck’s favorite type of photos to shoot are portraits. “I find magic in the portraits I take and I think other people do too,” said Kolbeck. “Creating a connection between the subject and the viewer has always been my greatest interest.” Knowing when she has successfully achieved building a bond between the two gives her butterflies. Kohlbeck feels that shoots should be spontaneous. Contemplating a photo session may not produce the same quality of photos that may occur when you’re inspired in the moment. “I really think winging it is the way to go,” said Kolbeck. “I try to make the pictures I take feel like the places they were taken in.”
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a trip to suburbia
unfiltered wires + WIT H D A V ID EL M +
FULL NAME: David Elm AGE: 20 CITY, STATE: Los Angeles, CA OCCUPATION: Photo & Video Content Creator WOLFIE GOODS: + Camera + Natural light + Rad humans + Computer + Lots of coffee
TELL US ABOUT THE STORY OR RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE BEHIND ONE OF YOUR ARTWORK I come from a family full of photographers and videographers so stepping out behind the camera felt natural, but also scary since I felt this pressure to be amazing right away. As time went on, I started to develop my own style and I felt more in control of my creativity. I found that I could merge my love for people and my love for visual art in a unique, creative way. IS THERE A ROUTINE YOU FOLLOW IN ATTEMPTING TO CONVERT YOUR IDEAS INTO CREATED CONTENT? My ideas come in the form of stories, so I always aim to convey an emotion or feeling in my work. I don’t think in terms of “this color” or “this pose”, it’s more “I want this project to evoke this emotion” or “I want to express this particular aspect of life". WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FIND YOURSELF FACED WITH AS A CONTENT CREATOR? HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT THESE CHALLENGES DON’T CONSTRAIN YOUR CREATIVITY?
BESIDES SUCCESS OR FULFILLMENT, WHAT OTHER EMOTIONS CAN YOU IDENTIFY FEELING AFTER HAVING FINISHED A PROJECT? After a project is finished, I feel inspired to try something completely new. I will have most likely spent hours, days, maybe even weeks on a project, so switching things up is really nice. ARE THERE ANY TOOLS IN YOUR CREATIVE ARSENAL THAT YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT? Community. Being around other creative people and hearing about how they live their lives is such an important part of my life and career. Also, time. Giving myself the time to think, explore new ideas, create, edit, and share is helpful. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUTHFUL, ASPIRING NEWCOMERS TO YOUR INDUSTRY? Don’t be intimidated, be inspired. I used to shy away from joining other photographers and videographers on shoots because I felt like I wasn’t at their level. However, being with them actually motivated me to become a better artist. Go out and create! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE APP/WEBSITE/OUTLET THAT MAKES YOU FEEL THE MOST OF YOUR “UNFILTERED WIRES” POTENTIAL? My favorite editing software is Lightroom. I love to make my own preset filters and play around with all of the settings. My favorite app is definitely Instagram. It’s a great platform to share content with a worldwide audience and also get instant feedback from the creative community.
QUESTIONS BY MEGHAN DUNCAN ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA FILAS
The challenges I face are mostly related to gear. I’ll have a really big idea and feel overwhelmed by it since I don’t feel like I have the capability to make it happen. To ensure that doesn’t constrain me, I like to go out and use the least amount of fancy gear as possible and see what I can create. It’s surprising how a good story and hard work can override fancy equipment.
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