local wolves â€” 1
he year of 2017 so far has been rough from waking up to upsetting news and more tears but it reminds me of how lucky we all are to have a voice in what’s going on in the world. Yes, I go to sleep even more worried than before but more than ever I’m appreciating the time I have with my family, friends and loved ones in my life—it’s all about those moments. Did I expect that life after university was going to be smooth sailing? A part of me felt I knew exactly what the ‘real world’ is like and trust me, it’s a tough love type of environment. I value the words: hope and freedom to express myself through creative projects and meeting other incredible people who share that drive to do better, learn more and challenge themselves. My copy editor (also, my sister!) Sophia really helped me bring together the entire concept of using red tones. We went to grab lunch with our fellow cover gem, Anthony Quintal and he shared that his favorite color is red—the rest of the content is for you to see. Thanks for reading Local Wolves, my team and I appreciate all your replies and comments—now go on, and enjoy this issue! Illustration by Leah Lu (Above) // Illustration by Laura Filas (Right).
founder / editor-in-chief insta / tweets / snap: @cathrinekhom
HOODIE BY JOYRICH / SHORTS BY MICHAEL STARS
the orange peel
anthony quintal welcome to the heartbreak club
ISSUE 45 // ANTHONY QUINTAL 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€™S CHAT general firstname.lastname@example.org press email@example.com get involved firstname.lastname@example.org
wolfie team founder / editor-in-chief cathrine khom publicity ashley bulayo copy editor sophia khom music curator sena cheung hair / makeup jessie yarborough stylist katie qian social media nicole tillotson web design jesus acosta front cover logo fiona yeung back cover logo isabel ramos cover photo danielle ernst
many thanks adam ward @adamwxrd boston, ma
sundara karma @sundarakarma reading, uk
design / illustration charisse celestial, louise clifford, kelsey cordutsky, christine ennis, laura filas, izzy lamb, lisa lok, leah lu
diana amado @slipsandstones new york city, ny
the regrettes @regrettesband los angeles, ca
contributing writers sadie bell, kendall bolam, ashley bulayo, olivia clark, karina diez, meghan duncan, morgan eckel, maria elena, madisen kuhn, natasa kvesic, hanna la salvia, michelle ledesma, tayllor lemphers, leah lu, chloe luthringshausen, tâ€™keya marquez, emma matthews, mackenzie rafferty, jasmine rodriguez, celeste scott,
lindsay arnold @lindsayarnold los angeles, ca
valheria rocha @valheria123 atlanta, ga
nick fink @nickfink_ los angeles, ca
contributing photographers mila austin, pamela ayala, megan cencula, elliot desai, riley donahue, emily dubin, amanda harle, katy johnson, saskia kivilo, taylor krause, chris lampkins, penelope martinez, jenson metcalf, hanifah mohammad, naohmi monroe, emellia nguyen, bran santos, sarah ratner, lhoycel marie teope, ashley yu
nicholas pakradooni @chopalk los angeles, ca super vacation @super_vacation los angeles / vancouver
localwolves.com twitter / instagram / snapchat @localwolves read online issuu.com/localwolves print shop magcloud.com/user/localwolvesmag
TRACKLIST BY sena cheung // ILLUSTRATION BY LEAH LU
local wolves â€” 7
munchies + THE MILL +
There’s nothing like your favorite hometown hang. Every time I go back up north to Sacramento I am sure to make an essential visit to The Mill. This little coffee shop is nestled on a quite one way in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Sunlight trickles in through the floor to ceiling glass windows all day long and you can always find yourself a seat to read a book, work on some projects, or catch up with a friend. My go-to is an iced vanilla latte because rain or shine, I can always count on that delicious drink and the friendly baristas to brighten my day. They have a simple menu, only serving the highest quality of the most important items. If you come in hungry, you’ll be sure to leave happy, offering various baked goods alongside their drink selection. I always recommend the almond croissant if you’re into fresh baked deliciousness. The people are great, the Instagram opportunities are exceptional (white walls and hard wood floors galore!), and the drinks are a coffee lovers dream. It just wouldn’t be home without The Mill. coverage by Taylor Krause Location 1827 I Street, Sacramento, CA, 95811
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pinpoint + CHICAGO, IL +
Dear Chicago, iâ€™d like to thank you for being my home during a critical year for my self-growth. i thank your hidden neighborhoods for teaching me that fresh air and friendly dogs can mend a broken heart. i thank your mentors and teachers for reassuring me that i can make a difference in the world when living my passions. i thank your seasons for making me realize that i am stronger than i know during significant changes. i thank your coffee shops for your friendly baristas that effortlessly serve warm smiles with a side of tea. i thank your streets for giving me a space that allows me to hug strangers amongst a plethora of flags in times of defeat. and lastly, i thank your people for proving to me that individuality is beautiful and that anyone can belong. xx, a.p.s.m.
COVERAGE BY ANA SANCHEZ 10
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local wolves â€” 13
local wolves â€” 15
+ BY H A N N A L A S A LV I A +
I’m the type of person who wants to do 10 things at once, all the time. From the past year alone, I tried to plan out my own clothing line, videography brand, design firm, coffee shop that I would eventually own, floral shop I would also own somehow, and the list goes on and on. I take on a lot of responsibilities as a result of this (if you’re reading this please calm me down). But in all seriousness, its not easy keeping up with personal projects. More times than none, they get washed up behind life’s responsibilities and as I grow older, this idea has become more of a reality.
Sometimes I get worn out and feel like the only plausible thing to do after a day’s work is lie face down on my bed for hours. But in the end, you have to remember that passion projects are like relationships. You need to set aside time for them just like you would a significant other. Sure, they might not pay those bills or result in instant applause, but they might just be the truest form of self expression you could ask for. I’m a huge fan (obviously) and I believe there's always time for them if you really want it. Respect them, love them, and don’t expect much in return. Only good can come from that.
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+ BY MADISEN KUHN + BANNER + ILLUSTRATIONS BY LAURA SUPNIK
Hi! My name is Madisen. I’m a college student and published author, and three things I’m incredibly passionate about are writing, authenticity, and personal growth. I’m a believer that until we’re on our deathbeds, we should be striving each day to grow into better versions of ourselves. It’s important in every stage of life; whether you consider yourself to be on top of a mountain or stuck in a valley, growth is always possible and valuable. I’ve found that continuous growth is most effective when you are intentional, honest with yourself, and have plenty of resources in place to help you along the way. My hope is that this editorial serves as one of those resources for you to come back to when you feel you need a push, a reminder, or a bit of inspiration. Of course, I can only speak from personal experience, but the older I get, the more I realize that so many of us go through similar things in life. In 2015, I published a book of poetry and prose entitled Eighteen Years. It’s full of personal pieces written about specific circumstances in my life (I often call it my “public diary”), yet so many have been able to relate to it and find their own personal meaning in my words. The beautiful thing about art is that you take the bits and pieces that make sense to you and interpret it in your own way, even if it’s different from the artist’s original inspiration. In the introduction of my book, I wrote:
and growth is one of my favorite parts of life. We can be better if we choose to put in the effort. We have so much more control than we think. It has taken me awhile to realize that. I still struggle with feeling powerless. I’m still so far away from being who I want to be. But every morning, we have the ability to wake up and decide to be whole. We can decide to love ourselves, to love the people around us, and to never give up on being the best possible versions of ourselves.” If you take anything away from Take Care, let it be this: that you are capable, in control, and full of so much beautiful potential. There is no such thing as too late or too far gone. You can be anything—or anyone—you want to be. I’m rooting for you.
Take Care, Madisen
The intimidation of a white page, or a white canvas, or white keys is something every artist has faced at some point. It sits there—the openness, the incompletion—and stares at you, waiting for you to turn it into something beautiful; or maybe you can’t even see it because you haven’t even opened your journal, or your sketchbook, or the piano cover. Like most things, the solution to the problem of procrastination is simple—just do it, something, anything. Start somewhere. Put one foot in front of the other, over and over again, until you get to where you’d like to be. In my experience, the first step is always the hardest, but once you get going, it all starts to flow.
I’ve compiled a list of ways to help you break free of the chains of procrastination (that may feel as innocent as prolonged Netflix binges or simply inactivity.) These are methods that have jumpstarted my creative process, I hope they do the same for you. seek out inspiration / Keep all of your senses open to inspiration in daily life. Listen to music, discover new songs and evaluate how they make you feel, and then express that in whatever art form makes sense to you. If you’re a writer, you don’t always have to write to combat writer’s block—you might begin with taking photos if that’s what you feel inclined to do,
just to get your artistic juices flowing, and that will hopefully spark some more creativity in the direction you’re hoping for. Focus on the little things you’d typically neglect—notice more; the sound of early mornings, how the sky looks midday with the sun slowly falling towards the horizon, the way the wind blows through the trees or plastic bags on the sidewalk. Try something different; take a new route home, go on a walk, wake up earlier, rearrange your furniture, buy yourself flowers. Be intentional about the way you live. Create a world around you that excites you. consume as much art as possible / Watch more movies. Read before bed instead of scrolling through your phone. Go to museums. See live music. Flip through your favorite photographer’s online portfolio. This taps into the previous point—the more art you consume, the more you feel inspired to create your own. Just remember to be careful and conscious of this process and don’t accidentally plagiarize or imitate another artist’s work. be self-disciplined / Schedule time each day to create. I know, it’s annoying and tedious, but it’s vital if you want to grow as an artist. You have to make time. The more you create, the closer you get to the type of work you want to be known for. Not all of it will be good. Watch “THE GAP” by Ira Glass on Vimeo. Accept that not everything you make will make you proud, but it is necessary. “‘If you don’t make a good piece right now, you’re nothing…’ like that’s how I feel every time I walk in [my studio]… Well, that’s resistance and ego… that everything I make is going to be great or has to be great, like who are you that you are so special and great that you don’t have to make shitty work and practice and get on the floor and make crap no one cares about and have to throw them out?” — jemima kirke, discussing her creative process on youtube.com/stylelikeu
local wolves — 19
value accountability / It can be difficult to self-motivate, and it’s okay to seek help from the people around you. Find someone who can check in on you and bug you about doing what you said you would do, maybe a fellow artist that you can hold accountable as well. Enroll yourself in a class that forces you to practice and challenge yourself. Do some sort of daily challenge, like “Inktober” (an October challenge to draw a new piece every day of the month) or one of those 30-day photo challenges that used to circulate in the early days of Instagram. Something I did that helped me realize the importance of consistently creating was a 30-day writing challenge, where I wrote a new piece every day for the month of June and forced myself to post it, even if I didn’t like it. I missed a few days, but overall pushed myself to stick with it, and it reaped wonderful benefits. By doing this challenge publicly, I was able to receive feedback and feel held accountable for not giving up. I ended up liking the majority of the things I wrote. I used to think I couldn’t make anything good if I were forcing myself to, that it had to come naturally or from a place of inspiration—I now know this is bullshit. You can always find something to be inspired by. Ease isn’t always practical, and effort is not your enemy. believe in yourself / Cliché, but worth saying. You have to have at least a small collection of faith in yourself to create— your taste, your perception of the world, your style—or else you’ll feel too ashamed or afraid to pick up the pen, the paintbrush, or the camera. Review some of your old work and remind yourself of your talent. You have a unique vision that no one else has—run with it, embrace it, believe in yourself and your art.
Now, here’s your chance to stop putting off that thing you’ve been neglecting on your to do list. Go, start somewhere.
local wolves â€” 21
+ BY CELESTE SCOTT +
BANNER BY LEAH LU They were ditching the hot comb for flexi-rods, twist-outs and something called “protective styles.” And let me tell you, these girls made it look good. These natural hair pioneers, as I like to call them, showed me just how versatile and beautiful black hair can be. They got me thinking that maybe my kinky curls weren’t so ugly after all. And so, I went au naturale.
So, I’m at the roller rink. It’s a Friday night. The DJ’s bumpin’ Lil Yachty, I’m dancing, looking all cute. Having the time of my life, honestly. When out of the corner of my eye I see it—not one, but two fake afro’s adorning the heads of a pair of white girls who appear to be having the time of their lives as well. I can tell by the rest of their attire that they’re going for a “70’s” look. But still, I can’t get over the wigs. I don’t want it to bother me. I really don’t. But every time I skate past them and their huge fro’s, I can’t help but compare it to the little fro on my own head. Truth is, when I was younger, I hated my hair. I hated how thick and coarse it was. How it was curly at the crown and kinky underneath. How it looked absolutely nothing like my white Barbie dolls’ (or even my black Barbie dolls’) long, luscious, straight hair. In elementary school I used to kneel down on the floor in my bathroom praying that God would make my curls looser—like the mixed girls with green eyes and freckles in the magazines. In middle school I’d get my hair straightened at the salon almost every two weeks. I always felt more beautiful strutting through the school hallways with long, straight hair than I did with shrunken naps. It wasn’t until high school that I began the long process of accepting the hair that grows out of my scalp. Though I’d never gotten my hair relaxed (which is extremely damaging to black hair), I realized that running a hot piece of metal through it every two weeks wasn’t exactly healthy either. I suddenly started seeing black girls with curly hair all over YouTube.
When I walked into school for the first time wearing my natural hair I was terrified. I was afraid that people wouldn’t recognize me with this new, afro-like thing on my head. Or that people sitting behind me in class would complain that they couldn’t see the board with my hair in the way. Surprisingly enough, everyone responded to my new look quite positively. Despite the inevitable, unasked for hair touching, I almost got through the day without any negativity. Almost. It was 6th period. Last class of the day. I was explaining to a group of classmates why going out in public with my curly hair was such a big deal for me. One of these classmates stopped me midsentence and laughed. She said, “You call that curly?” I could’ve cried right then and there. I could’ve gone home, thrown all my (expensive) new natural hair products away, and begged my mom to make an appointment to get my hair straightened that same day. But I didn’t. I kept embracing the thing society had taught me to hate. I kept buying new products. Continued experimenting. I adopted new hairstyles and even invented a couple of my own. I learned how to twist and braid and manipulate my tresses just like the YouTube naturalistas.
I was an artist, really. And everyone loved my work. People would stop me in public and ask, “How do you do it?” A friend even told me once that my hair was a “defining characteristic” of mine. So, you can probably imagine how surprised everyone was when I chopped all of it off. That’s right. The last week of high school, I went to the salon and asked for a big chop. Even the hair-stylist was appalled— she had the manager of the salon come speak to me, to make sure this was what I really wanted. But it was exactly what I wanted. My entire life, hair had always been such a big deal. The form and fashion it took on always came with deeper implications about my confidence and sense of beauty. And I wanted to liberate myself from that. I gotta tell you, when those thick tresses left my head and fell to the floor, I felt not a single tinge of remorse in my body. I walked out of that salon feeling lighter, (physically and metaphorically). I felt dangerous and bold. Unstoppable, to say the least. I’d taken a blade to the thing that for so long had defined me. And in doing so I was finally able to see my hair for what it truly was—hair. The thing about the girls at the rink is, for them hair has always just been hair. They’ve never had to worry about finding hair products that work for them in certain parts of town, or about their luscious locks being deemed “unprofessional” in the work place.
They can put on the Afro wigs for a night of fun at the roller rink, but after the lights have gone down and the Instagram photos have been taken, they will go home and take the wigs off. The black woman, however, does not have this luxury. At the end of the day she goes home, moisturizes her hair with water and coconut oil. She twists her hair in small sections around her head and wraps it in a satin bonnet. In the morning she wakes up early to diffuse the parts of her hair that are still wet with a hair dryer. Then she undoes the twists, picks it out, and styles as she pleases. The black woman then out into the world where people are bound to stare at her hair on the train, ask questions about it in the breakroom, or even touch it without permission on the elevator. And yet, she is not afraid because her hair is her crown. A crown she has earned after many years of conforming to societal standards of beauty that are not in her favor. And she wears this crown proudly on the bus, in the breakroom, in the elevator, despite the spectacle it makes of her. The Afro wigs, though reminiscent of this crown, are void of the true beauty and struggle that comes with it. Because hair for the black woman has never just been hair. To be a black woman wearing natural hair is to resist the forces that have caused us to suppress such an important part of our heritage. Natural hair is not simply a “trend” as some have suggested. Rather it is an act of resilience and a political statement. A testament of who we are and where we’ve been. It is a reclaiming of a quintessential piece of the beauty that has always been in us. And I am proud to carry this with me into every space I enter.
local wolves — 23
Fishnets are, without a doubt, the best accessory to be able to pull from a messy drawer and throw under any not-quite-there outfit. But they shouldn’t have to be used strictly to level up a boring outfit. Put them under a plaid mini skirt and collegiate t-shirt instead of your average black slip dress. It’s boring to box them into their sexy reputation; because clothes don’t have reputations and neither should you. COVERAGE BY MEGHAN DUNCAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY RILEY DONAHUE BANNER BY LAURA FILAS
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womenâ€™s march + WOLFIE SUBMISSIONS +
Whether you showed your support online or went out and marched alongside the crowd in the Women's March, our readers share their #whyimarch experience on this monumental day in history. ILLUSTRATION (LEFT) / LOUISE CLIFFORD As long as I live, I will never forget the way it felt to march alongside thousands of men and women, young and old, promoting equal rights. I will always hear the voices ringing out through the streets, proudly proclaiming “this is what democracy looks like”. Any time I feel hopeless and small, I will remember the faces I saw, the people I met and the voices I joined at the Women’s March, and I will rise up in the face of adversity and opposition. Everyone has their own specific reason to march, but we all share a common goal: equality. We want to create a world that is more inclusive than the one we were handed. Personally, I marched for my little brother and sister. I marched because I see the hope and the light in their eyes, and I know that they will be the ones to build this country into something better than we have ever dreamed of. I marched to lay the groundwork for them, just as previous generations have done for me. In recent years, protesters have been met with scrutiny, many critics asking the same tired question: “What is marching around with a sign going to change?” Did anyone pay attention in history class? The Suffragettes didn’t just sit back and wait for someone to hand them the right to vote, they protested outside of the White House every day. They organized rallies and fought hard for their right to vote. We take a day off from work and school to celebrate a man that organized one of the most famous protests in history. Do people discredit Martin Luther King Jr.’s protests? Do they belittle the movement he gave his life for? No. So, why do so many people belittle modern protests when we are still fighting the same battle? The Women’s March was unlike anything I have ever experienced. There was so much hope in the air, it was almost tangible. There was a sense of safety and comradery as we all marched together, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder. I spoke with strangers who immediately became friends. I saw children holding signs promoting love and kindness, their parents following close behind and beaming with pride. As I marched with the people around me, I was very aware of the fact that there were people in every single continent marching along with me. I could feel history being made. It’s nearly impossible to put that feeling into words. Growing up, I read about the heroes in my history books and could never imagine myself in their shoes. I never thought I would find a cause worthy enough to fight and sacrifice for. I never thought I would be part of a movement that changed history. God, was I wrong. Today
proved that for me. This march showed me, and the world, just how powerful women can be when we stand together and fight. So, to the little kids who don’t think they can make a difference, you are in for a big surprise. You are the future. You are going to do big, incredible things. To my little sister and brother, you both have the heart and the ability to change the world. You WILL change the world. I can’t wait to help you do it. – KENDALL KINDRED / NASHVILLE, TN We as women have overcome many obstacles that we have ever been challenged with. We have continued to fight back like our ancestors did, we march, and we march to win our fight that we ultimately deserve. We march because since we were little girls we were always told to never go anywhere alone if we can help it. We march because we were told to always carry your keys outward to use as a weapon if needed. We march to protect our sisters from abuse that we were told was normal since boys only poke at us because they like us. We march because we are seen as property and not humans. We march because we are forced to live with things that men are not equally forced to do. Women for years have been, and continue to be, oppressed by the same people who find it okay to continue to view us as those from the early ages. It doesn’t matter where we are from or our status, we as women suffer the same. However, together we can stand up, finally speak for ourselves, and start a revolution across the world to be the ultimate girl bosses. WE ARE POWERFUL! – TERINEY KEYSER / GLENDALE, CA Conformity. It's human nature to conform to something, whether it be physically or by identification. If you conform to something you are against, it is like giving up a piece of yourself. I refuse to conform, that is why I march. I believe that standing up for what you believe in makes you a better you. It creates a sense of identity in a world where people rather be anyone but themselves. It takes a strong moral background to be able to make your own path and let others follow. It takes guts to put yourself out there, so this is for the people who do. This is for the people who stand up for those who can't. This is for the people who are being dragged down when they just want to be heard. This is for the right to protest in what you believe in. This is for me, a female, to believe in myself and my future even when times are lowest. You don't have to march to take a stand. I march by defending myself. I march by protecting the people closest to me from verbal attacks. I march by spreading word of what I believe in through whatever means. I march by being unmistakably me. – MIRANDA MILAN / FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
local wolves — 27
i march for myself for my mother and for my sister. i march for equality for LGBTQ+ rights and for the simple fact that love is love. i march for myself for the fact i am a bisexual woman a minority within a minority within a society that doesn’t care. i march for myself because if i don’t, then trump wins. – MEGAN BENNETT / LONDON, UK Never have I felt as much anger, passion, and unity all at once until marching alongside my fellow colleagues. It was truly a day of solidarity, a day to represent those who feel powerless and inferior, and a day of giving a voice to the voiceless. Together, we must take our overwhelming frustration and turn it into compassionate action and change. – DANIELLE DEL ROSARIO / SANTA CRUZ, CA We live in a fascinating time. It feels like the world has never been filled with such love and hate. We live in a time where many chose to let life pass them, but others step up and make a change. We live in a progressive day and age, and I refuse to take steps back. Women everywhere— not just in the United States— deserve to have their voices heard and that’s #whyimarch. I believe the peaceful gathering of masses across the globe is such a powerful way to make a statement. Let it be known we are here and we will not stop until we are respected equally. We will not stop until women’s healthcare is no longer neglected, the pay gap no longer exists, and women are simply viewed with respect and equality in all societies. I am proud to be a women, and refuse to let that negatively impact anything, and that is #whyimarch. – SOPHIE GRAGG / LOS ANGELES, CA The morning of, the Seattle sky was drenched in pink from dawn to sunrise. I smiled as I grabbed my camera and thought to myself the universe was ready for us. It was important to me to shoot film at the march in order to focus on connecting with the strong women, men, girls and boys around me standing up for what they believe is right. Walking out the door, I never could have imagined how many people would be there. It was a never-ending sea of literal miracles we call humans, protesting silent and loud, promoting justice and love. Solidarity. I had chills for the majority of the 4-hour march, and it wasn’t just from winter temperatures. The most magical moment for me was an interaction I had with a woman who was standing alone on the sidewalk. She had the most kind smile on her face, and her arms folded at her waist gently holding a sign that read simply, “LOVE”. I asked if I could take her photo and she said nothing but wore a smile as she nodded once. I triggered the shutter and lowered my camera to thank her, but now she had tears in her eyes and suddenly so did I because I realized then that we probably didn’t speak the same language but it didn’t matter at all— she and I were connected by something bigger than words. We all were. – BRENNA NICKELS / SEATTLE, WA
ILLUSTRATION (ABOVE) MIRANDA REYES / LAKELAND, FL I march for men and women to come together to celebrate the diversity of women everywhere. I march to look patriarchy dead in its face and scream, “WE ARE STILL HERE”. I march to fight for equal pay for equal work, an equal future for our daughters, and an unlimited range of opportunities for women across the globe. To unite women from all walks of life. I march because this is something I believe in. I believe women are made of steel and grit and so much badass-ness. I want to make my voice heard in a world that is continually trying to silence it. I want to fight, not only for my future daughter’s right to succeed without obstacles or limitations, but for me and my best friends and my mother and my sisters who deserve to meet their every goal without being weighed down or held back by bars that aren’t set high enough. We have been told we have no power, our voices aren’t loud enough, we will be overlooked. So we fight, and we scream, and we make ourselves impossible to miss. I march because I want to experience the energy of being around thousands of strong, empowered and beautiful women and feel a part of something bigger than myself. I march because I’m a damn feminist— and I’m proud to be one. “So here’s to strong women; May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – KYRAH WARREN / MECHANICSBURG, PA I used to sit in my social studies class in elementary school, flip through pictures of civil rights protests and suffragettes, boycotts and sit-ins, and think to myself, “Oh, I so would have been there if I was alive then.” (Could you tell I was going to be a social worker?) I mean, you’re 10-years-old and you never had to experience a world like that, so it’s easy to assume that you would have been out on the front lines, arm-in-arm with MLK through Selma. I imagined myself as a tiny social justice warrior, headlines in newspapers, not backing down. I would endure tear-gas if I had to. I think most people think they would have been that guy, too. We’re all the good guy in our own eyes. Today I got to march alongside 16,000 people in St. Petersburg, Florida. Men and women. Black and white and every shade in between. Straight and gay. Children and old ladies in wheelchairs. It was easily one of the most diverse groups of human beings that I have ever seen in my entire life. I wonder how many of them, of us, have people rolled
their eyes at? How many people were hushed for speaking their mind, for showing their heart? How many people were mocked? Cried out in fear or in anger? Felt belittled or scared or disrespected? I realized today that protests get a lot of eyerolls, whether it was in 1962 or on January 21st 2017. They get a lot of disrespect, because “Suck it up. You’re being a sore loser. It’s not that big of a deal.” But yes it is. Because people are that big of a deal. Because love and acceptance, valuing people’s dignity and sense of worth is a very big deal. Big enough that it’s worth fighting for. It must have been harder than our history books portrayed it. When the majority of your life is telling you that your cause—your existence—isn’t really worth the fuss of roadblocks and picket signs. It has been a hard year for minorities. For people of color, for Muslims, for women, for the working poor, for the elderly. It made it hard for people to remember what they’re still standing for. But they were standing for something today— for each other. Because in the end, we weren’t really all that different. We weren’t “nasty women” or “brutal Muslims” or “violent black men”. We were just people believing in each other. Today, I saw a lot of hope. In the wake of hypocrisy and strife, of violence and fear and inequality, I saw a lot of people love each other today. I saw a lot of people remind each other that they have value, that who they are is okay. My mom marched in D.C. I marched in Florida. My cousins marched in Pittsburgh and in LA. We stand united in the ideology that we won’t be bounded by bigotry and by hatred. That we won’t be divided. America’s greatest asset will always be its diversity. It’s ability to bring together, and to surprise us. To buy back the good stories, the ones of redemption and hope. I think it’s people’s greatest asset, too. I believe in people a little more after today. – HALEY GRAHAM / ST. PETERSBURG, FL
Let us all come together because we refuse to be divided, We must fight for what is right, we must stand united, Whatever skin colour, whatever sexuality, We are one and we stand in solidarity. Anything that threatens to come against us and anything that stands in our way, Will not affect us in any such way. We have the power to determine our future and the future is great, We will not be shaken and we will not be afraid. – ILLUSTRATION (ABOVE) / JOKE AMUSAN / LONDON, UK
The hunger the world possesses rocks me until I am retching up last night's chicken and feeling sweat decorate my skin in tiny droplets like what little kids and kind men and calloused workers and worn mothers split amongst themselves in the remains of countries we ripped with bare hands and dirty fingernails. We are desperate, ravenous to feast on aliens who are blue with green spots or have white stripes that replace the star of David in a modern twist on the definition of scapegoat. My social media could be described as political, but I despise the word, said as though it is a mere category, as though it is just me talking about favorite shows or malls or school. My online words are not posted to simply have a say in the world's conversations. My online spaces live and breathe and come to life, stretch their arms and spit stardust into the mouths of starving aliens, alienated for being foreign like the shade of their skin is a crime so we punish over, and over, and over again. After all, you cannot punish once if the criminal returns— you must keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it until they change, which we are aware is impossible, or they are lifeless, which is our hidden goal, tucked under the table, out of sight of other humans, to feed to our puppies. My online space changes the world one person to one person to one person until that one becomes three million people. I march because I am Muslim. Because my heart slows a little every time I learn my hijab may one day choke me and become an excuse for torture, for punishment, for pain. My eyes shut very tight when a headline screams a vile lie about Muslims that the world takes in stride as though the government has proclaimed 10 AM is considered nighttime now and with a nod we carry on. I march because I am seventeen, and my voice is powerful, and I have more to say than my mouth or fingers can do justice, thoughts whizzing and whirling around my brain like tangled spider webs. I march because while stardust may be a luxury in space, aliens on earth do not quite enjoy glitter on their plates or the ashes of burnt homes sizzling on frozen cheeks, relieving for the first few seconds, then burning through the skin until relief is a distant thought, a removed relative you forgot ever visited you. Aliens on earth prefer glitter on posters that scream words their cracked spirits lost in the madness. Aliens on earth prefer to refer to earth as theirs. So here I am, aliens! Don't pay any rent. Don't offer labor. Let the stardust that fell from your stunning mother when she was hit surround your feet. That's okay— I won't make you wipe your feet. Drag your magic into my world. Come, live wherever my love is offered. A country is a country is a country, but I am a girl, and a girl is a human is a community is a force never to reckon with. A girl is a creature born with the same stardust threaded through her silky hair. And when you catch sight of gold glimmering like dandruff under the pale sun, know that home is yours once again. Home is yours forever. – AIMAN GHANI / CHICAGO, IL
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ILLUSTRATION (ABOVE) / LEAH LU Everyone always talks about how nice drunk girls are in bathrooms. They give you tampons, talk you out of a bad relationship, and touch up your lipstick for you when you’re three sheets to the wind. It’s a sense of sisterhood that I hadn’t felt in five years. That is until I attended the Women’s March in Charlotte, North Carolina. I had gone with the sole purpose of showing my son that even when our backs are against the wall, women will always help other women. But I left that rally with so much more. The night of the election I felt defeated and I spent the following days grieving the profound loss of not just what should’ve been the first female president, but a president that I believed cared about all its citizens. This grief manifested itself in me as anger and I’ve been angry every single day since November 8th. A deep, hate-filled anger that sat in my stomach and threatened to spill out at any moment. I felt my world was suddenly being invaded by these racist white men with contempt for women. Everywhere I turned there they were in their red hats talking about how Trump was going to ‘drain the swamp’ and ‘grab some pussies’. It was a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. The election of this hateful man had inspired them to show their true colors. It gave them the courage to be as hateful and ugly as they’ve always wanted with no consequence. Being around these men made me feel like I was walking on eggshells constantly and the stress of it all had even taken a physical toll on my body. My face had begun breaking out and I started clenching my teeth in my sleep. I was starting to worry how I would cope with this level stress for the next four years. Would I need anti-anxiety pills,
anti-depressants? Would I have to start working out as a coping mechanism? Then I went to the Women’s March and for the first time in three months I could finally relax. It was a feeling I can only liken to diving into a pool. You’re swimming up as fast as you can and you feel like your lungs are about to burst when suddenly you break the surface and inhale the sweet air. Being surrounded by women who were fighting for the same basic human rights as I was made me happier than I’d been in a while and I eased the sense of being invaded. To put it frankly, it gave me hope. Hope that the next four years will be spent beside my sisters fighting until we get what we deserve. It’s also reaffirmed my decision to study political science and to one day be President. But that’s a story for another day. – MEGAN POE / CATAWBA, NC There are too many reasons to why my sisters and I marched on the twenty-first of January along with masses of people from around the world. This man, who many reject as their president, has no respect for my body. He has no respect in the fact that I am the only one who can make any choice about my body. Because every single female should be able to make their own choices concerning their body. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants, my sisters are immigrants, and I am one myself. We came to this country in search of creating a life with opportunities, and of what more life could be in a country built by immigrants. We are not rapists, killers or any of the negative ways this so called president has referred to us non U.S. citizens. While I was at the Women’s March, I felt in power, loved,
encouraged, it was full of positivity and possibility. Something I hadn’t felt since the announcement of the president elect. Knowing that I was surrounded by those who are also fighting for a world with opportunities for everyone regardless of their sex, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion, just completely filled my heart. It’s just truly astonishing what we can accomplish when we use love as our driving force. There were people from all walks of life, from all continents, peacefully marching and ready to stand up for those who feel voiceless. I mean, wow! But my absolutely favorite moments from the march was witnessing these young children, holding signs and chanting messages of love and acceptance. I almost started bawling, knowing that these kids are our future, a future where we love without any limitations. I have an immense amount of hope that no matter what happens these fours years, we will all unite and speak out against injustices. – SHARON MARTINEZ / SANTA BARBARA, CA The little green train car transporting everyone to the Boston Women’s March was brimming with women from 2 to 75 years old holding signs and buzzing with excitement. It felt unlike any other time riding public transportation— eyes down, avoiding the male gaze, keys in hand to fight off a potential attacker. This time, surrounded by dozens of self-proclaimed nasty women, riding the train felt so damn right. When I arrived at Copley Square, I was greeted by signs boasting, “A women’s place is in the resistance” on my short walk to the Common. It quickly dawned on me that yes, every single person on that street was there for WOMEN’S RIGHTS! A simple yet enlightening fact; everyone was on our side that day, fighting, standing up for us. We were untouchable (in so many ways). Boston expected anywhere between 25,000-60,000 marchers— and 125,000 showed up. My eyes welled with pride for my city, my fellow women, and our allies. We sent a message that what’s happening in the world right now is NOT okay and we’re not going to sit back and take it. The speakers stoked the fire in our bellies to scream, cheer, yell, and chant— to fight, to resist, and to empower black, white, Asian, Latina, trans, gay, immigrant— ALL women. We demanded to be seen and heard. The strength of the energy was contagious, and we proudly made history marching in solidarity for a brighter, louder future. – LENA MIRISOLA / BOSTON, MA On January 21st, 2017, I woke up at 5 AM and stood for 5 hours protesting in Washington D.C., marching for women’s rights with half a million people from all across the country. From the moment we got off the metro, you could feel the presence of all the strong women who were cheering all down the escalators. We all made our way towards crowds of women waiting for our inspirational speakers. Our speakers were powerful women who encouraged us to never back down and told us that we need to stick together now more than ever. It was so
ARTWORK (ABOVE) MARINA SUNG MARQUES / SAO PAULO, BR
empowering to be around so many open minded people who wanted nothing but the best for the people of the nation. I march because I will not normalize bigotry, and I will not let a man filled with hatred and ignorance be my president. – JULIA FLETCHER / BALTIMORE, MD As I stepped out of the metro station on the morning of the 21st, I was unprepared for the amount of spirit that filled the streets. Over half a million people gathered together in solidarity, empowering each other? I was blown away and actually a bit overwhelmed at the enormity of everything. There was a sea of pink “pussyhats” throughout the national mall, clever posters, women with tampon loaded bullet belts, and chants that echoed throughout the streets of Washington D.C. I honestly couldn’t fully comprehend the whole experience until I had a chance to decompress. As I sorted through both my thoughts and my photos, it hit me. I finally understood who I was fighting for, not just what I was fighting for. It was for the half a million people walking with me, for those who were unable to march, and especially for those whose voices are unheard. I was surrounded by veteran protesters, first time demonstrators, brothers, husbands, and children, each with their own specific reasons for marching, but each walking together, unified. The spirit and the energy that came from the walk, made me proud to be a nasty woman. – SHEILA HARDEN / WASHINGTON, D.C.
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I march for myself. I march for the fellow ladies of the future: in hopes that their potential and value is realized. I march because this is how I show my resistance-- a million little voices is one loud roar. – ODOCHI AKWANII / OMAHA, NE i march for the elderly woman watching from the side wishing she could walk with us, a tear runs down her cheek fearing the return of the lifestyle she grew up knowing. i march for the single mother staring out the store window, working the extra hours in order to feed her children tonight before she rushes to her night shift. i march for the children, they're too innocent, brainwashed by ignorant parents, don't you worry they will have their own opinions soon. i march for the future yet to be conceived they cannot live in a world this divided so we just have to hold our ground until then. – HANNAH MORELLI / DALLAS, OR / Love was / When I marched I knew what love was; The real kind. The kind where every mother, Every daughter, Every sister and Woman alike, looks linto a crowd and knows they will never be alone again. When I marched I knew what love was; Love was this And love is now.
I am an artist. I document history, I capture raw emotion, and witness true passion. It was a very inspirational and empowering day, filled with an overwhelming sense of support for womanhood. Seeing such an immense amount of people gather together for a common belief was wondrous. As a photographer, I attempt to recreate whatever emotions, or feelings may be present at the time of the event in every single photograph. That's why we take photographs, is it not? To try and have other empathize with whatever we may have been feeling in that moment. My goal in photography is to evoke feelings and reactions from the viewer, whether positive or negative; they are supposed to make you feel. I am honored to have been apart of this experience in a real historical event. For the many who could not be there in person and the future generations, it is my hope that these photographs speak to you. – RACHEL ZELLER / BOSTON, MA This march was the physical embodiment of hope. Hundreds of thousands of men and women of all ages, ethnicities, and religions joined together to make one giant team for a cause they actually cared about. Generations amongst generations of women fighting for what they believe in was incredible to witness and even better to be a part of. People climbed onto scaffolding and chanted "Hands too small, can't build a wall", while others sang songs from Hamilton. I hate that we still have to fight, that we still don't have the freedom some of the same women on these streets today fought for decades ago. One woman I spoke to on the train back home told me about her short time at the march, laughed and said, "I'm too old for this now, but when I was protesting the Vietnam War in college, I could go for hours." I cannot believe that I got to be part of history, it was so surreal. – MANJOT CHHABRA / LONG ISLAND, NY
– KELLY BERTZYK / MINNEAPOLIS, MN
– FIONA STONE / WATERLOO, ON
People say to suck it up, just get over it. They say "oh, ya know, I just don't really want to hear about politics anymore." Well, I don't want to suck it up. It isn't about politics. It's about human rights. I am fortunate enough to live in a country where women are equal enough. It could be a lot worse, I acknowledge that, but does that mean it's ok? No. I will not be stand idly by as the icon of my country allows men to believe it's ok to "grab 'em by the pussy." I was watching someone's Instagram story as they were documenting the inauguration and one Pro-Trump man said something that I don't think I can forget. As a young man stood with a sign saying "F*** Trump", an older gentleman was arguing with him. The young man said "Donald Trump said he can grab women by the pussy. That is NOT okay." Then Trump's supporter, who was decked out in red, white and blue, said "I've done a lot worse." I march for that girl. I march for the young girls, the old girls, the sick girls, the poor girls. I march for the girls who don't realize what is happening, for the girls that said the women's march was "dumb". I march for the smart girls, the wealthy girls, the girls who are silenced. I march. – JULIA HARRISON / WASHINGTON, D.C.
ILLUSTRATION (ABOVE) / LAURA FILAS
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SHEILA HARDEN / WASHINGTON, D.C.
JULIA FLETCHER / WASHINGTON, D.C.
JULIA HARRISON / WASHINGTON, D.C.
LENA MIRISOLA / BOSTON, MA
MANJOT CHHABRA / NEW YORK, NY
MCKENNA SHUSTER / BOSTON, MA
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MEGAN POE / CATAWBA, NC
NATAHLIE COELN / LONDON, UK
ODOCHI AKWANI / OMAHA, NE
RACHEL ZELLER / BOSTON, MA
SHARON MARTINEZ / SANTA BARBARA, CA
Avery Warkentin / Montreal, QC
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nick fink written by LEAH LU photography by NAOHMI MONROE
It goes without saying that it takes a certain kind of hustle to make it as an actor in Los Angeles. For NICK FINK, the formula sounds simple enough (while heeding substantial results): unquestionable passion, doing the work, and persistence. Moving to LA and chasing dreams are two things that are commonly synchronous— one usually seeks the former in the hopes of achieving the latter, and vice versa. Fink, who made his way to the city at 19 years of age, claimed it just seemed as if it was “where I had to be… just the place I had to come to.” But after six years of grinding and go-getting, he fondly deems the place home. “I don’t think I’m some typical Hollywood guy or anything but this place has definitely changed me. I think it really helped me to mature into the artist I am now. I think I’ve learned that if you put in the work and show the city respect, it kicks some back at ya,” he explained.
Fink can currently be seen in his role as Tyler Finn on the MTV series, Sweet/Vicious described as an “offbeat superhero story for the millennial generation”. The series circles around the stories of college students staunchly set on stopping abuse on their campus, a feat that, in Fink’s words, is timely and important. “Every character on this show has their own relationship with sexual assault, and each of them is an honest and vulnerable look at how this topic effects people,” he described. “Getting to take this on alone would be overwhelming, but I was surrounded by an incredibly giving cast and writing team, and we all took on the responsibility together.” The show’s message is powerful and highly resonant, and the response received from viewers only affirms that, according to Fink.
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Previously, you may have also seen Fink in the independent films, Loserville and Trace or television roles on Glee and The Mentalist. The unflagging actor has a few new projects to keep an eye out for in 2017. The Great and the Small, an upcoming independent film drama, is an experience Fink recalls as some of the best months of his life. It’s one he’s excitedly anticipating to share and was just as enthusiastic to create.
Gracing the screen may be Fink’s notable craft, but he isn’t contained by just one form of expression. He is known to prepare for acting roles by immersing himself in the lives and hobbies of the characters he plays, which has led to artistic endeavors of all sorts. From visual art to music, he’s dabbled in it all: “I’ve realized that I’m just a fan of any creative medium. Acting first, but music, art, writing… all of it,” he said.
“It’s such a beautiful film and it isn’t afraid to just let you in on the intimate moments in people’s lives. Sometimes those mundane private moments can be more interesting than anything else,” he stated. The work launches on demand on multiple platforms, February 21st. Along with this festivalacclaimed film, Fink is also involved with AwesomenessTV’s thriller series T@gged, which releases its second season this year.
Juggling a handful of projects can call for creative burnout, but for Fink, these various avenues of expression are what keep him on his feet with a refreshed headspace. Those, and an undeniable sense of his calling: when asked about what it is that keeps him energized and driven, Fink responded, “I guess just knowing what I want to do with my life. That it’s what I love to do and there is no way I can burn out doing that. Also, coffee.”
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lindsay arnold WRITTEN by KENDALL BOLAM Photography by ANNA MARIE LOPEZ
Lindsay Arnold began dancing early in life. She credits dance for helping her remain confident, diligent, and determined when she wasn’t on the dancefloor. “Dance truly made me the person I am today and has taught me so many life lessons that I am so grateful for. I started dancing when I was very young and ever since I started it has been a part of every single day of my life. It truly taught me the definition of hard work and dedication. I went to public school growing up and would also spend at least 4 hours in the dance studio every single day. I would wake up, go to school, go straight to dance, come home, do homework, sleep, and repeat. There was never time for me to procrastinate on my school work and I really had to stay on top of my education if I wanted to continue to dance. Not only did it make me become a hard worker but it gave a great amount of self-worth. I truly found myself through dance and gained my confidence of who I am not just as a dancer but as person as well.” With dance being a central part of her life, Lindsay never doubted it was what she was meant to do. When Lindsay isn’t slaying the competition, she’s spending time with her husband and dog, Moose in their Los Angeles home. When asked what she enjoys doing with her family in her free time, Lindsay replied, “We love anything outdoorsy, whether it’s a walk in the park, a hike, going fishing or staying in for the night making dinner and watching a movie. I am a huge home body and as long as I have my loved ones I don’t care what we are doing.”
You need only look at Lindsay and her husband to see how much they love each other. When Lindsay describes what her greatest achievement has been so far, she says it’s marrying her high school sweetheart, Sam. “I could not have gotten luckier in the husband department and truly credit so much of my success to his love and support for me. He has made me a stronger and more confident woman and has helped me believe in myself.” Lindsay has been involved with Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) for 7 seasons and is the youngest professional dancer the show has ever had! However, Lindsay was ballroom dancing long before DWTS. Lindsay began competing in ballroom dance competitions at eight years old. “The thing I love most about ballroom is that when dancing with a partner it is the man’s job to frame his girl and to make her shine. That, to me, is the ultimate feeling as a woman. You feel so confident and sexy and I think that every woman should feel that way. It is definitely more difficult when you are dancing with another person because you not only have to worry about yourself but you have to take care of your partner and make sure it looks as if you are moving as one.” The experience she gained at such a young age helped carry her into stardom and prepare her for what was to come working on her favorite television show. Lindsay describes her involvement on DWTS as “a dream come true.”
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Having watched the series religiously since she was ten years old, Lindsay never believed she would be a seasonal favorite. Describing her favorite memories both on and off set, she says, “My most favorite memory that I remember was season 21 with Alek Skarlatos at the end of our freestyle dance. I can’t describe the feeling that I had other than to say that basically my life as a dancer sort of flashed before me and I felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude that I had never felt before. This happened literally right at the end of our dance and if you watch the video back you will see me crack a smile even though I was supposed to stay serious but I just couldn’t help it, I was so happy in that moment. I don’t have one specific favorite moment off the dance floor but every moment I have with my fellow cast mates is my favorite. We truly are a family and support each other one hundred percent and it is such a great support system.” Lindsay is the ultimate advocate for hard work and discipline, reminding us that nothing falls effortlessly into your hands. “I hope that I can inspire everyone and anyone who is watching that working hard, persevering, and staying true to who you are is the key to achieving your dreams. Always believe in yourself and know that you are good enough no matter what.” She reminds us to stay true to ourselves, no matter what. “Never give up! Big dreams never come easy but I promise that if you work hard and put in the effort that it will be worth it.” Lindsay continues to astound her viewers, performing on stages across the country in her new show, Born & Raised Utah along with fellow friend and dancer Witney Carson. Keep your eyes peeled and your televisions tuned, for this isn’t the last we’ll see of Lindsay Arnold!
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super vacation written by morgan eckel PHOTOGRAPHy by Taylor krause
Meet Danny and Jordan. Danny, a Minneapolis native, eventually made the move out to Los Angeles after “something in the air” told him to make the move. Jordan, having lived in Alberta, which he has so categorized as “Canada’s Texas” currently resides in Vancouver. Having only met in person a few times, Super Vacation has provided a fresh take on their own personal endeavors, and providing us with “unabashed pop that takes some risks”.
“We just threw out the idea to start writing music together, the first song we worked on came out so naturally and was such an escape from our other music projects that we just kept at it. There is never any pressure with Jordan, we both come at it doing whatever we want, and encourage each other to do that. I hope that spirit of freedom comes through.”
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“essentially we wanted to make something that was non-romantic but about the p o w e r o f r e l a t i o n s h i p .”
Living in two different cities— both incredibly unique and different, has provided a platform for both of these landscapes to shine through. “I like to hope that my melodies sound Pacific Northwest. I’ve been told as much in the past and it’s something that I take pride in,” says Jordan. Danny, has a different approach. “I do think the landscape has an effect on the music. Often times though I think from a creativity standpoint ones’ imagination of what a place could be more powerful than the reality of visiting. Right now I like to imagine visiting Iceland or the Galapagos Islands.” Super Vacation’s newest single, “It’s Getting Better All the Time”, exudes positive energy. Did I mention it has instant way of making you want to dance? (They’ve also kind of gotten that one down to a tee). “The song is about simple things, friendship, love, coming together and making things better. We are a species that needs each other to survive, I hope someday to embrace that.”
When asked what their plans are for 2017, Danny’s only agenda was “just trying to be a human.” But, the idea of another record isn’t off the table. “I think we’d like to put another record together this year. Like Danny said, the project is a no-pressure one but it would make sense to me if we had another 10 songs together by the end of 2017.”
Currently on repeat: DANNY: “I like Jamie XX, Lo Moon, Roosevelt, I was also just turned on to this band Few Bits that hits this awesome sound.” Jordan: “Currently jamming to Steve Mason’s ‘Meet The Humans’ non-stop.”
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nicholas pakradooni WRITTEN by leah lu PhotographY by NAOHMI MONROE
NICHOLAS PAKRADOONI’s Instagram feed is brimming with tropical blue-green hues highlighted with shades of pink. Something about the mood of his photos makes you want to leap right into the scenes they behold, but in concept, they’re simple, unshowy captures of moments often overlooked. Pakradooni’s knack for noticing the ordinary is why stopping to snap has become something he’s made part of his daily schedule. “I usually have to leave my apartment like 15 minutes early to account for the time I spend stopping my car to take photos of something I saw,” he stated. “Maybe I’ll be with a friend, and they’ll step into a certain light at just the right angle. You can’t just let that pass.” Pakradooni’s mother is a painter. His childhood was spent watching her create, visiting her at art school, and strolling through museums. He attributes his eye for photography to his upbringing, where he began developing a sharp attention to textures, patterns, and color. “I never realized that I saw things differently than other people until I started shooting and sharing on social media. Shoutout to 2007 Facebook albums named ‘photoz’,” Pakradooni said. And he’s been sharing ever since, garnering quite an audience on the platform he calls his “creative outlet”: Instagram. There, he shares vibrant snapshots of his life, mostly set in Los Angeles, where he currently resides.
“From growing [up in] a small town in Pennsylvania, to living in Sweden and Paris, Los Angeles is pretty different from anywhere I’ve ever been and it’s influenced me in my art, but also in so much more that,” he said. “The way of life is so different, the architecture, the plant life, the colors. I swear even the squirrels are like a shade more yellow than they are on the east coast! It’s very hard to not be influenced.” Pakradooni’s Instagram following is on a steady upward rise, but he considers it important to pursue authentic, organic creation over saying a sweeping “yes” to the abundant offers and opportunities that come. Continual and creative keenness is vital to churning out fresh content, according to Pakradooni, especially in a field as fast-paced as photography. “Everything has been done before. If you have a new idea, someone else in the world already has it, and it’s important to try and be unique as possible,” he stated. It’s a challenge of innovation, but Pakradooni seems to have it figured out. In his Instagram bio, he’s a self-proclaimed “20-something bon vivant”, and he most certainly has discovered the surprisingly uncomplicated answer to living well: finding beauty in the arbitrary and sharing it with the people around you. You might just discover a world in bursting color.
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anthony quintal WRITTEN by Meghan Duncan // PHOTOGRAPHy by Danielle Ernst HAIR + MAKEUP by Jessie Yarabough // STYLING BY Katie Qian CREATIVE DIRECTION BY SOPHIA KHOM
You could easily imagine finding Anthony QuintaL flipping through his copy of Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry zine under the hazy red glow of the colored lightbulbs he’s swapped for in the light fixtures around his room, while an Amy Winehouse vinyl serenely spins in the background. If you know Lohanthony as the prolific content creator he’s grown into over the years (and really—who doesn’t?), you more than likely could have conjured a similar image without much prompting, but maybe a Lana Del Rey or Stevie Wonder record instead. Quintal’s close friends and family and his subscribers and fans tend to have the same understanding of who he is, which is a scarcely dealt compliment for most public figures. He talks of interactions with strangers as highly as those with the ones who know him best, understanding them both to hold as much depth and value. This stems from his deep-seated belief in the completely unique essence of every person—and how he came to see this reality in himself. He recalled, “I have been through times of confusion, wondering why I attracted so many people online for doing what comes natural to me. In middle school and high school, I couldn’t get people to appreciate my existence if I paid them to. With the internet, I got paid for my existence. Who you are is something you don’t learn to cherish until you make yourself vulnerable to the world—until you say, ‘This is who I am, I’m proud of it, and I’m not going to change for anyone.’ I’ve had that mentality since elementary school—when my male peers would taunt me for being too girly. In front of them I’d make myself silent, letting them get satisfaction as they attempted to tear me down. Their words may have stung in the moment, but the self-love I had acted as my own bandage. Once you know your own relationship with yourself rules all, nothing can hurt you.” JUMPSUIT BY FILAS SHOES BY ADIDAS
Quintal attributes such a precocious evolution to his early access to the internet via his dad’s first iMac, where he would sit to make webcam videos of himself, posting the first of these at 10 years old. He describes his seasoned time on YouTube with nothing but gratitude for the vulnerability it taught him: “Being exposed on the internet for so long has made me more open of a person. It let me trust people I don’t even know, despite having a rough past with betrayal and bullying growing up. It has given me confidence I can’t ever shave off, and it has made me appreciate the things about myself that keep me excited to live each day. I’ve heard people complain about the fact that strangers think they know them based off seeing who they are online, but I don’t see the problem with that when who I am online is everything I am off of it.” Though he was more emotionally mature than most throughout his childhood, he readily admits to seeing the glaring naiveté in looking back on his younger self’s resolutions and accomplishments: “Through the ages of 13 and 16 I would go into each new year saying to myself, ‘Wow, the past 365 days have shaped me into a brand new person. Who I am now is going to be who I am forever and I am so happy about that!’ I look back today at that ideology I possessed and laugh. I learned that you are always going to be evolving.” Knowing that creation and success are both evolutionarytype processes is undoubtedly the best foundation for the confident progression of an artist or creator.
Such a deliberation was at work in Quintal’s decision to switch his YouTube uploads from a regular weekly schedule to, in his own words: “Whenever I feel like it.” Reflecting back on his thought process, he explained, “For anyone who creates on a scheduled basis, or anyone who creates anything at all for that matter, your feelings toward your craft may shift as people begin to expect things from you. I was scheduled to upload every Friday, but some weeks I wasn’t in the right headspace to do anything creative. I take pride in being proud of what I release to the world, and when I can’t feel excited about what I’m sharing online it can be very discouraging to not only me, but to those who are waiting for my next move. I began taking more time putting together videos I was eager to share with others, and major stress was removed from my life.” For the content creator, this process is only attainable through allowing yourself ample room to grow and stumble and try and fail, all only to keep progressing. Of Quintal’s eight years of making videos and finding himself he says, “My biggest word of advice is this: stop trying to be one thing. Stop trying to cut your growth process that is meant to occur over the span of your lifetime short because you think you have yourself all figured out. You don’t and you never will. I can tell you living without boundaries and room for change and improvement will get you much farther.”
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What does the color red mean to you and why did you choose to tie this theme into your cover shoot for this issue? QUINTAL: Red is my absolute favorite color and it always has been. It’s the only color that comes to mind during small talk when I’m asked about favorite colors. In elementary school, we had color coded notebooks and folders for each class. I vividly recall being the most excited when we had to pull out our red school supplies for coincidently my favorite class, Language Arts. Just this week, I purchased a 5 dollar pack of red bulbs to replace the ones I had lighting up my room. I felt it necessary to tie this love into my shoot with Local Wolves. It was only appropriate seeing how February is deemed the month of love. Solid red is so pleasing to me. This month’s WE HIGHLIGHTED ON THE TOPIC OF heartache/heartbreak. How have you found yourself best dealing with such situations in your own experiences? QUINTAL: I think I have too much pride to let my heart ever get broken. Either that, or little experience with relationships at all that has prevented from such an event occurring. Definitely a mix of both actually. I can say I have gone through heartache a number of times with friends that turned to crushes that turned into an endless hope for something greater. That cycle seems to be a repetitive process in my life. I meet someone, resonate with who they are and how they view their place in the world, and don’t know how to explain that to them; or if I should even explain that to them at all. I think that fear as a lot to do with never being in a real relationship, and not knowing what a real relationship consists of. Being on the brink of 18 and not having any romantic experience leaves me confused on what to do when I feel something unique towards a person. I feel trapped with thoughts of how my feelings could negatively change our friendship, leading to dreams about what could be if I shared my feelings with them. I get through this rut with the other person, dropping vague hints on my emotions towards them and revealing my appreciation for them in ways that don’t require me to spill my entire heart out to them. The idea of becoming so vulnerable to someone without knowing what they think of me is something I don’t know I’m prepared for yet. I also get through and combat this with myself, convincing my conscious if it was meant to be it would be, and that I wouldn’t have to second guess anything if that were the case. At the end of the day, I’m okay with dating myself and exploring my own mind, fulfilling my own desires and making my own wishes reality. I hope to be able to be in a polygamous relationship with myself and a significant other in the future. SHIRT + PANTS BY JOYRICH / SUNGLASSES BY CRAP EYEWEAR / SHOES BY ADIDAS
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this is who i am, iâ€™m proud of it, and iâ€™m not going to change for anyone.
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SHIRT BY JOYRICH SWEATER BY GUDRUN & GUDRUN 62
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welcome to the heartbreak club
TOPS BY TOPSHOP / HATS BY FREE PEOPLE
COVERAGE BY VALHERIA ROCHA STYLING BY VALHERIA ROCHA + DEANNA ROSS MODELS SHANNON FOGERTY + DEANNA ROSS
I recently broke up with the boy that I thought was the love of my life. We were together for a little over two years. I thought he was the boy I wanted to marry. Out of nowhere a stupid fight turned into a break and a break turned into a break up. I lost myself. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, I barely went to work, I stopped making art. In two weeks I lost 15 lbs and I was depressed. Nothing sounded fun, music didn’t excite me, food didn’t taste good. Every day was a struggle. Because heartbreak is a very real thing. It’s a heaviness in your chest, a permanent lump in your throat you can’t swallow. It’s tears that don’t stop falling. But with time, and a good support system of friends, a broken heart can learn to heal. Strong emotions inspire strong art. When my heart was the heaviest with confusion, fear of dying alone, and doubt in myself and
my potential, that’s when the words flowed through me. I wrote every hour of every day. And I slowly began making art that reflected my words. Angry words, confused words, sad words, I miss you words, I still love you words, I don’t want to love you words, and I’m gonna be okay words, too. What I’ve learned is that everything happens for a reason; even the bad stuff. And no one’s success or happiness is dependent on one single person. Heartbreak is the worst pain I’ve ever felt, but it was also the most necessary and rewarding. It’s okay to feel it. To be sad and have moments of weakness. But you can’t stay broken, your friends will help pick up the pieces and you will move on and you will be okay. My heart is still not completely healed, but I've come a long way and it took me a while to get here.
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66 TOPS BY AMERICAN APPAREL + ANTHROPOLOGIE JEANS BY TOPSHOP / PINS BY AMERICAN APPAREL CHOKER BY FREE PEOPLE
COATS BY FREE PEOPLE + ZARA SHOES BY FREE PEOPLE
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TOP BY FREE PEOPLE / JEANS BY LEVINS
TOP + JEANS BY FREE PEOPLE SHOES BY CONVERSE
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sundara karma written by Meghan Duncan photography by Anna Maria Lopez
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Sundara Karma have found themselves living out a sort of career reincarnation in their newfound LA headquarters. The four-piece British rock band has an established following in the UK, but have now found themselves in the underground stage of their career for a second time in coming to America. But they don’t see it as such a bad thing. As they put it, it’s been a nice change of pace and a new scene to collect inspiration from: “There is a difference between playing UK shows and shows here in America. Not in our approach, but in just the general amount of people. It kind of feels like we’re starting again from the beginning. In England, we’ll play shows to 1,000+ venues and here it will be like 300 or 500. So it really is like the early stages of our career again. But it’s nice, because it’s like a little bit more dingy and feral. We’ve yet to see a wild crowd here. We’ll get there though. People are still finding out about us.” As the guys continue to play to new crowds, they do so with experience knowing that the most rewarding results will come from having a very open mind. Artists seldom have the luxury of being in a position to pluck the best option from the assorted ones presented to them, and to expect such a reality will undoubtedly only limit the reach of a career. If you really want to make it and get people to pay attention to you the Sundara Karma guys agree: “You just have to make the most of what you’ve got. If you’re playing in front of a whole bunch of people, there’s bound to be a few people that like your sh*t. You have to go with an attack-type mindset and have that don’tgive-a-sh*t attitude to win support.” Not only do the guys understand the hustle it takes to present an artistic perspective, but they cling to the sources of their inspiration without any doubt of how they will be received. That’s the trick as an artist seeking true expression— assurance in your own taste and processes of inspiration will allow for the most original creations. They elaborated on their own process: “That’s part of the fun— to discover as much as you can and try to find influence from tiny little unturned shells. It’s more rewarding that way.”
“I think you have to go a little bit further to find tasteful sh*t. A lot of the times you turn on the radio and its just the same old bland, generic pop songs. You have to put the effort in, but whatever you put in you get back.” And while it’s important to avoid the obvious, it’s just as essential to avoid a clenching will over any artistic expression. In writing, it often comes down to letting the notes fall where they may. You simply can’t force inspiration as they guys explained. “It’s a natural thing. The more you try to force it, the more obvious the effort will be. It’s not like a conscious effort. It’s just that if I read something that I really like that resonates with me on some level I can connect to, then it will inspire me to create something. But it can also be an image that I see, like paintings and visual art.”
“ (w ri ti ng) i s a na tura l th ing. The more you try to f orce it, the more obvi ous the effo r t w i l l be.” In writing the songs featured on their Loveblood EP, the band found inspiration in classic literature titles like Romeo and Juliet and Oscar Wilde’s “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime.” Growing up, lead singer Oscar described some of his biggest influences: “I had the cassette of The Lion King soundtrack. I used to listen to that all the fucking time. And same for Tarzan. Now the thing is, indirectly I guess that was Phil Collins and Elton John inspiring me at the very beginning.” Allowing for inspiration and opportunities to present themselves without expectations of the form in which they will come seems to be the sweet spot where Sundara Karma is thriving as a band. With a debut album expected to be released this year, and a U.S. tour including a SXSW appearance, the band will be growing their fan base from DIY style venues to arenas in no time at all.
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diana amado WRITTEN BY CHLOE LUTHRINGSHAUSEN PHOTOGRAPHY BY RACHEL KOBER
As a content creator and a graduate from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Diana Amado possesses the creative vision and designer knowledge to shine both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Growing up, Amado never thought that fashion could be an actual career path, describing herself as a “math and science geek who worked toward getting into a university for medicine.” Fast forward to now and Amado has created successful fashion and beauty YouTube channel Slips and Stones, has a degree in fashion design from FIT, and has a vintage-inspired personal style that has influenced thousands of viewers around the world.
“right now i'm creating what speaks to me. in t h a t w a y, i a l l o w m y s e l f to make original content in the hopes that it will speak to someone else out there!”
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Amado realized she wanted to pursue fashion full time after graduating high school when she started watching her favorite fashion YouTubers, such as Clothes Encounters, Lauren Rose, and The Fashion Citizen. “I thought 'Man, those girls are so smart and stylish,'” admits Amado. “You don't really know how much of an impact you have as a creator, but when I reflect back to that feeling I once had as a viewer, I know what I hope to offer to my own subscribers!” After becoming inspired by digital fashion creators, Amado knew she had to pursue fashion herself, applying to FIT in New York and majoring in design. By learning about the ins and outs of the fashion world, Amado picked up her sense of style and experienced firsthand the demanding and fast-paced process of the industry. “FIT really helped me in discovering myself in a way I think I never could have without it,” says Amado. “Everything that I've learned about my style, putting together outfits, branding, and my target audience, I learned in school.” Not only did Amado learn new things about style in the classroom, but also out and about on the streets of Manhattan. While attending college in New York, Amado admits that she was inspired everyday from the diverse culture on the city streets. “New York, by far, gives me the most inspiration,” says Amado.
“You've got so many people of different background, interests, and classes that it really stuns you with so much inspiration!” When asked how she would describe her personal style at the moment, Amado admits, “New York City meets vintage meets girl-next-door. Absolutely everything inspires me. How I'm feeling, what I'm doing that day, the music I listen to, the weather, there really is no limit to your wardrobe if you just let it speak to you on the occasion!” There are always trends that come and go and then there are those that stay for the long haul, but Amado admits her favorite trend of 2016 was “the use of 60’s and 70’s silhouettes and fabrics. The 60’s and 70’s have always been the two eras that resonated with me the most since I was a kid, so it just made it a lot easier to find bellbottoms and flared shirts in the shops!” As for 2017? “Be on the lookout for similar silhouettes but with a mix of early 2000s style,” says Amado. Amado has taken her insider knowledge to the front of the camera, starting her own YouTube channel, Slips and Stones where she showcases her unique personal style for the world to see with just the click of a button. From DIYs to lookbooks to beauty tricks, Amado’s YouTube channel features a diverse playlist of helpful tutorials.
Amado not only seeks to teach viewers with her fashion and beauty advice, but also inspire them with her genuine passion for fashion and creating. “I started YouTube because I wanted to inspire someone, anyone, the way they'd inspired me to create,” admits Amado. “I was just a really shy person back then, so I decided that design was the safer route for me. After a while, I couldn't shake the idea that I should just do it, so here I am! Never looked back since!” Amado expresses her knowledge of fashion and unique personal style in creative visual experiences, such as in her lookbooks, where she skillfully instructs her subscribers on how to put an outfit together for any occasion. “Lookbooks are the most difficult to film but I know that they speak volumes as opposed to a DIY or even a haul,” explains Amado. “Nowadays I even like to incorporate lookbooks into my thrift hauls! They allow me to not only express my style but to also teach my audience small ways that they can up their looks at home!” Dedicated subscribers of Slips and Stones know firsthand that Amado is not only knowledgeable about putting together effortless outfits, but also is a professional when it comes to thrift shopping unique finds. So how does Amado find her cool, one-of-a-kind pieces in her closet, you ask? “Do not limit yourself to any labels or a specific aesthetic while shopping ever... especially at thrift stores! The best finds are the ones you allow to choose their own place in your closet,” says Amado. Amado’s talent does not just stop in fashion; she also delves into the beauty and craft worlds. Amado believes that taking risks in beauty trends is what makes you find fun, new ways to switch up your look. Take for example Amado’s cool rose gold hair color, which she even made into a DIY video for viewers to try at home. Amado offers endless beauty tips in her videos, from easy-to-follow hairstyle tutorials to her everyday makeup routine. However, Amado admits the best beauty advice she has ever received is from her mom. “She always used to remind me to work with the natural features I already have,” says Amado. As for her DIY videos, Amado finds inspiration from things she genuinely wants to add to her life, whether it is a crystal candle holder for her room or a pair of fringe jeans for the summer. “I hope someone out there has tried one of my DIYs and that the piece brightens up their everyday rituals,” says Amado.
and YouTube has given her a platform to share her personality freely and instantly. However, outside the Internet, Amado admits that the real-world fashion industry has a few setbacks. “Fashion is an insanely fast industry and it works at the pace of who can work the most, the quickest,” explains Amado. “There's something about letting work grow and cultivate at a slower pace that's beautiful and I think is now lost in modern day.”
With a degree in fashion design, one might question if Amado will ever switch sides and work behind the camera one day, but Amado is quick to reply that for now, she wants to stick to creating digital content. “One thing that I love about what I do on YouTube is the instant gratification you get from the viewers' comments once you upload,” says Amado. “You don't get that pretty often in design, especially if you work as a small design counterpart for a label.” One of Amado’s favorite parts about the fashion world is personal expression through creation,
So what’s next for the style icon? “My plans for 2017 are to take care of myself! 2016 took such a hit on me. I graduated college, went through some very real post-grad depression, and now I feel like I need some liberation of it all,” says Amado. “With that said, I will also be putting content into my channel with fullforce in the hopes that it will become greater!” With her iconic modern day vintage style, her insider fashion knowledge, and her informative digital tutorials, Amado will not only make her content greater in 2017, but the best yet.
With so many beauty and fashion creators on the Internet, it takes hard work, dedication, and a distinct edge to set yourself apart from the sea of influencers. However, Amado is not intimated by the endless vloggers out there, for she believes you should never compare yourself to other content creators because it can be drastically overwhelming. “I try not to allow other's work get in the way of my growth,” explains Amado.
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the regrettes WRITTEN BY SADIE BELL PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUCY BLUMENFIELD
It has long been said that the personal is political— and for the Los Angeles-based punk band The Regrettes, this saying is all too true. Though The Regrettes are just in the midst of their teenhood, they are using music and their platform to rally together to answer the calls of young people and speak out about today’s political climate, proving that the youth not only cares— they are active, and ready to retaliate. Lydia Night, the band’s precocious front-woman said, “[It’s important to use music as a form of political expression] because it provides a source of hope for people and hope is all we have right now.”
With calculated chords, rambunctious rhythms, and witty lyrics, the four-piece fronted by Night and made up of Genessa Gariano on guitar, Maxx Morando on drums, and Sage Chavis on bass chew up and spit out society’s conventions through song. Their recent, debut album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! artfully combines the classic West Coast sound of sixties surf rockers and girl groups with contemporary punk angst driven by Night’s unapologetic vocals and words, which tackle topics of adolescent grievances and the ridiculous expectations that face young women.
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Album-tracks like “Ladylike / WHATTA B*TCH” and “A Living Human Girl” see perceptions of women at the forefront of their lyricism, touching greatly on Night’s own experience and exactly how she feels about it. Night said, “if people see that I’m open with my feelings and not too scared of being vulnerable, maybe they won’t feel as weird about theirs.”This basis in feeling— seeping into their writing, album title, and entrenched in their politics— is really what The Regrettes are all about. “[Getting in touch with your feelings is] just healthy and leads to a much happier life. It’s so exhausting pretending to not feel,” said Night. Though they may be young, the band cares immensely for the issues facing themselves and others, be they surrounding gender, policy, or personal relationships, simply because the upwards-thinking group sees the value in self-expression and the possibility of change. On speaking out as a young woman, Night said, “It’s very important to me to break the ceiling young women are sheltered under because being a young woman myself, I can’t stand being placed into a box. I am who I am and if you don’t like it, I don’t care.”
While Night said, “Music is just my coping mechanism with everything. It’s just how I get through shit. Not playing music is not an option for me,” she suggests expressing your views and yourself through music is not the only option. “Just don’t be ashamed about speaking up and using your voice. Stay educated because the more you know, the more you can actually do.” The Regrettes have only just released their first full-length album and are on the brink of bringing their ferocious live shows far outside of the L.A. scene, a long, promising future is ahead of the dynamic teen band.Night said, “I hope for our music to reach as many people and help as many people as possible.” As their songs have been a rallying protest for so many young people already, it seems this ambition is not only feasible, but the very beginning of a greater movement— one that rocks, and most certainly feels.
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PHOTOGRAPHER + ART DIRECTOR Adam Ward MODEL Quintessa Meekins HAIR + MAKE UP Quintessa Meekins
INTERVIEW WITH SOPHIA KHOM BANNER + ILLUSTRATIONS BY IZZY LAMB
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