local wolves â€” 1
ummer is upon us. Ever since I was young, three months’ worth of summer vacation was the best time of the year,
besides Christmas and Thanksgiving break, of course. This time allowed me to catch up on sleep, go explore new places in LA that I list on my phone and just chillax. It’s been only a few short weeks since commencement ended and I value time so much more than when I was younger. The word “productive” has been in my everyday use of vocabulary because I constantly value each and every time that I have with my family, friends and the magazine. Finding my own niche, it took years and I am still learning as a twentyone years old living on the west coast. I love photography since it has so much history and filled with stories. My short hair, don’t ask. Short hair, don’t care—but real talk, thick hair problems that fits in with my personality. My love for fashion and just being simplistic with my wardrobe helped shape me to not be conformed to trends but to feel confident in my own skin including my style. Plant parenthood to its finest, I love cactuses, succulents and don’t get me started with plant nurseries—love it. Local Wolves readers, my continuous love for inspiring more creativity is what I want you to get from our monthly issues. A source of inspiration and a platform where you can once your thoughts and opinions with us—no questions asked. Lettering (Above): Leah Lu / Illustration (Right): Laura Filas / Artwork (Far Right): Cloe Sison.
Cathrine Khom founder / editor-in-chief
contents BTS BY EARL DAVIS
C l a ss i cs 07
do it yourself
food for the starving artist
f e at u r e s 32 36
coffee shops in nyc krista marie yu
ashley zamora XYLĂ˜
john the ghost
fragment of dreams
ISSUE 38 // CHARLIE PUTH 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
founder / editor-in-chief cathrine khom copy editor sophia khom music curator sena cheung maker madison bass-taylor videographers jessica eu, summer luu head stylist katie qian h/mua/grooming jessie yarborough publicist ashley bulayo social media caroline edwards, nicole tillotson front cover logo fiona yeung back cover logo isabel ramos cover photo cole kiburz
ashley ballard @closetvomitfashion phoenix, az
design / illustration kelsey cordutsky, christine ennis, laura filas, lisa lok, leah lu, megan kate potter, lauren wright contributing writers lexie alley, kamrin baker, sadie bell, kendall bolam, ashley bulayo, orion carloto, sydney clarke, rachel coker, nathaniel crawford, karina diez, meghan duncan, morgan eckel, brindy francis, anna hall, alexis jarrett, chloe luthringshausen, hudson luthringshausen, kaela malozewski, emma matthews, harriet stanley contributing photographers lexie alley, mila austin, pamela ayala, madison bass-taylor, 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
ashley zamora @ashleyzamora los angeles, ca charlie puth @charlieputh rumson, nj gavin macintosh @gavinmacintosh los angeles, ca
polyenso @polyenso st. petersburg, fl
jade hassounĂŠ @jadehassoune montreal, qc
xylo @wearexylo los angeles, ca
john the ghost @johnmaine tempe, az
krista marie yu @kristamarieyu los angeles, ca kyle schuneman @kyleschuneman los angeles, ca laura supnik @laurasupnik manhattan, ny
localwolves.com twitter | instagram | snapchat @localwolves read online issuu.com/localwolves print shop magcloud.com/user/localwolvesmag
playlist + JUNE 2016 +
coverage BY sena cheung
local wolves â€” 7
munchies + C ARTEL C O FFEE LA B +
Cartel Coffee Lab has forged the way for specialty coffee in Arizona. From roasting, to building 6 cafes, and having many wholesale accounts they are a prime example of what it looks like to successfully create strong community while distributing quality coffee. Every one of their cafes are unique in their own right, but their shop located in Skyharbor Airport is something truly original. Locals look forward to visiting their favorite coffee shop when traveling and those from out of town are excited by the enticing smell of specialty coffee brewing throughout the terminal. Now, when you are trying to catch a connecting flight or visiting Arizona stop by the Skyharbor location for some good coffee and passionate service. COVERAGE BY JENSON METCALF LOCATION: C Gates, Terminal 4 4225 Sky Harbor Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85034
local wolves â€” 9
do it yourself + FL O RAL S P RA Y +
S U P P LIE S + empty spray bottles + essential oils + vodka or witch hazel + water + dried flowers COVERAGE BY MADISON BASS-TAYLOR
S TE P S
fill bottle about 3/4 of the way with water
pour about 1 oz of vodka or witch hazel in
add 25-30 drops of essential oils
add any dried flowers with the branches sticking up and use the spray nozzle to help push them down
local wolves â€” 11
Perhaps you could say that it took me quite sometime to find my niche. A whole 19 years (and counting) and I believe I’ve found what my soul is happiest and best at doing. Second grade me thought her niche was painting, but after realizing that my people I painted looked like creepy mystical creatures, it’s safe to say that wasn’t exactly my forte. Sixth grade me, up until eighth grade me, thought her niche was cheerleading. After 3 years of chanting “GO WILDCATS!” and accidental kicks in the face from being in many girls’ spots, it became exhausting to me. I didn’t really enjoy doing it, to be quite honest; I just liked the title of being a cheerleader. Ninth grade me thought if she could take on cheerleading, she can take on the swim team. HA. HA. Big. Joke. I quit after the first day when realizing how much those skin tight swimsuits gave me wedgies and how early I actually had to wake up in order to show up to practice on time. It really wasn’t up until tenth grade that I found what I really love doing, and that’s writing poetry.
I found myself in the back of Mrs. Brewer’s 10th grade literature class sitting with people who could give a shit less if they were there or not. After many classes of sleeping on my crooked desk and pretending like I actually read and enjoyed, The Scarlet Letter, the long awaited lesson on poetry and ‘The Romantic Era’ was brought up. I can remember it as clear as day, the second Mrs. B pulled up her 20 page PowerPoint titled “POETRY”, the entire class let out a prolonged moan followed by a bunch rude whispers and eye rolls from kids that were too-cool-for-school. So here I am, sitting in my desk acting like I didn’t give a sh*t (hey, I tried fitting in), but deep down I was biting on the sides of my cheeks low-key excited for this lesson. Turns out, I loved poetry. From every simile to metaphor to stanza, I couldn’t get enough. Of course when I wrote my first poem, it wasn’t quite the best. The assignment was to create am “I am _____” poem only using metaphors. So I used a word that sounded pretty rolling off of the tongue. Bliss— I am bliss. After weeks of learning about poetry and the complexities that go behind all of the pretty words, I bought my first journal and started exploring my talents behind the door of Mrs. Brewer’s 10th grade literature class. It’s only been a few years since I discovered this near and dear obsession of mine and every day I experience myself getting better and better at my art— my niche. Now, in a few years, when I’m 21 or when I’m 50, there can be something else that I find that I’m not too shabby at. Finding your niche isn’t some sort of challenge but more of a game. Experiment with things you may think you’d love and also experiment with things you think you may absolutely hate. You never know what you’re good at until you knock it out. And even if you’re f*cking terrible at it, but LOVE doing it, keep on doing it until you progress and become pleased with its outcome.
Everyone is good at something (even if it means that you’re good at making toast or petting dogs) so don’t belittle yourself because you think you haven’t found that niche quite yet. That’s the beauty of it, the good things in life come when we are least expecting it. Focus on your passions and never stop believing in what you believe in. “If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.” - Sam Walton.
local wolves — 13
finding your niche + W O LFIE S U B M I S S I O N S + not the best idea towards becoming an articulate writer, I threw every ounce of my being into writing. I would write and write until my hand would cramp— once it felt better I would begin again. It was uncomfortable, anxiety inducing, and as tedious as erasing and rewriting could possibly be, but the pull still yanked at my chest and I couldn’t stop. The effort put into satisfying the hunger of your passion is a hard process, but the result is one of the most rewarding feelings a person could have. There is not a doubt in my mind in knowing that it will be difficult. People will step on you and thrive off of your failure. You will crash and you will fall, and the goal will sometimes seem triple as far away than as it was when you first began— but you must not lose that pull. See the beauty in the struggle and appreciate the journey that takes you to where you wish to go. Do what makes you happy and grip it as if it were dissipating grains of sand and pray you will never have to grab another handful. Do not fear judgment of the misguided or lack of support from those who once stood behind you, for now instead of moving forward you move up— they are now below you. At times, if you ever feel like you are chasing a completely hopeless dream, feel the pull. Discover your passion, and never let it go. Find your niche. – Alexa Arevalo / Ontario, Canada
– LORA POKRAJAC / VANCOUVER, BC At first, I thought my passion was the night sky and the stars scattered amidst it. It was not until after I had written a story about the creatures living in the constellations that I discovered my passion was in the action of writing, and not the subject itself. If you put your ear next to a cup filled to the brim with my thoughts, you would hear nothing but the sound of doubt and self-deprecation. It’s inevitable, and expected to come alongside being a creative yet there seems to be a certain addictive pull attached to it. It lingers on the fingertips that type at my keyboard during late nights and early mornings, and I find myself needing more. When this pull grabs at my chest there is nothing I want more than to write. As if I were a desperate madman I find myself scrambling for paper and a pen. I discovered that this pull was called passion one particular three-am writing binge when I typed into Google, “words that mean never wanting to stop” and “what is it called when I want to do a certain thing more than I would like to breathe”. After realizing that relying on online thesauruses for a more extensive vocabulary was
The question that haunts you when you hit your twenties is that very same one you were so happy to hear as a kid. “What do you want to do when you grow up?” You could find a million things you wanted to do, and you were oh so certain you would definitely become an astronaut or a veterinarian. You didn’t doubt yourself. You didn’t question your worth. You weren’t discouraged by your peers or pressured by society. When I was five I wanted to be a singer. I knew I needed to express myself in an artistic way, but I didn’t know yet how much I would enjoy writing essays until middle school. I didn’t know yet that I would win several writing competitions, without telling anyone, before I turned 20. I didn’t know yet how much I would touch readers by blogging later on, and I sure didn’t know yet that despite those encouragements, I would still study marketing, instead of literature, just to please my parents. After working for a few years in the corporate world, it became clear to me that I couldn’t express my creativity in those types of jobs. I felt like I was dying inside. So I eventually made the biggest decision of my life, at the age of 28: going back to my first love, writing. Life always catches up with you anyway. I burned out at a very demanding fashion job and decided I would no longer repress, dwindle or shut down my passion for one
more day just for the sake of my bosses, my family, my peers, or society. From then on, I knew I had to take the leap and go towards the unknown, the risky but beautiful path of life. I didn’t care if that meant living a financially poor life, if it were to be infinitely spiritually richer and immensely happier. That day I promised myself I would no longer work for others’ dreams but start working for my own. At one point it became vital to let my inner child express itself, my artist to blossom, my soul to expand, my body to wander. To find your niche, you have to listen to that tiny voice inside trying to guide you, and the universe will make it happen. Just have faith. Like when you were five, when you were the strongest, bravest spirit on earth. – La Meuf Qui / Paris, FR Growing up I never seemed to quite fit in, I didn’t exactly have an outlet in which I could fully express myself, or let out my emotions. I didn’t have any hobbies, play an instrument or play any sports. Although my parents encouraged me to give these things a shot, it always felt very forced. It wasn’t until high school when I was placed on the school newspaper that I figured out what my passion was. Although I had trouble with it at first, I stuck through it (mostly because my grade depended on it). But I found that I really enjoyed to document things. Whether it be capturing a moment, expressing how I’m feeling or assisting in telling someone else’s story. Today, I am fortunate enough to be photographing, not only as a job, but because it is something I truly enjoy doing. – Bryan Fernandez / Los Angeles, CA For as long as I can remember, filming has always been a passion of mine, although I did not always discern how much I loved it. To me, there is nothing more amazing than knowing I can put a camera up to my eye and show anyone else who’s watching exactly what I see without having to use words or actions. During Christmas when I was around seven years old, I remember finding my last present, tucked all the way by the trunk of the tree. When I opened it I found a small video camera from my parents so I would stop wasting their tapes on the camera they filmed our home videos with. From then on, my life consisted of constantly filming videos and editing them on my parent’s 2004 version of iMovie. Even if I was playing with Barbies, I had to be filming them. When I was around eleven or twelve, I moved states. It didn’t seem to affect me much during the time, but I couldn’t get over the feeling that I left something major behind in the process. Although I left a lot of my family and friends behind, there was something else I just couldn’t get my hand on. I lost my video camera during the move, which caused me to subconsciously stop filming videos. Little did I know that my move would be the greatest thing in the world to fuel my passion. About two years later, my mom came into my room one day with a small packing box that hadn’t been touched during the move. Inside, I found an assortment of plugs and a Nintendo, along with a few other little trinkets. Once I fumbled my way to the bottom, I stumbled upon my old camera. After going back and watching every
horrific video on the camera, I realized how much I missed filming videos. I went and found my mom’s nicer camera and called up a few friends, which somehow led to me starting a YouTube channel that lasted for about a year. Looking back, I really just copied what was already on YouTube, but it was a great way for me to practice filming and editing, as well as get feedback and really find myself and my style. Before last year, I always thought I would be a doctor or a teacher and let all of my passions go. Last year, something inside of me just clicked and I realized that I could make a career out of my passion. Now I am doing so many things to pursue my passion and do all that I can to take in and enjoy it as much as possible. I’ve had to deal with so many people, mainly in my family, telling me that it will be hard to make a living with something like film, but I believe there is nothing worse than waking up every morning unhappy for the day ahead. So many people settle for less and forget their dreams in order to make ends meet and I believe that you should fight as hard as you can to learn your niche and completely consume yourself with it. – Ruby Kline / New Orleans, LA There was inspiration to be found in the way her words danced in the back of my head on an endless loop, and weighed heavy on my heart for days on end. And once I discovered this feeling, I realized there was nothing I wanted more than to transform the hearts around me, just as she had done with mine. – Kate Watson / Atlanta, GA
– Marina Sung Marques / São Paulo, BR
local wolves — 15
– Rachel Tung / Bristol, UK During my teenage years I struggled to peg down a career aspiration because, despite knowing that I wanted to do something creative, I was inspired and infatuated with so many different concepts, areas, and mediums that the idea of choosing felt too daunting a task. What I decided upon instead was ultimately not to decide. I turned inward and focused on nurturing and harnessing the art forms or practices I was passionate about. I began to curate my outer world to reflect every magical idea or inspiring thing I felt attached to— I watched and re-watched every film I loved and made lists of new ones I had to see, I highlighted excerpts of my favorite books, tore whole pages out and framed them, made mix CDs for essentially every mood or moment I experienced. I felt instinctually that if I knew myself well at my very core—if I allowed myself to really dive deep into my own thoughts, that I could eventually manifest these abstract and disjointed hobbies/preferences into something tangible or visual that would utilize everything I loved. I had to really learn myself first though. I couldn’t allow myself to feel judged or embarrassed when I put in hours working at the mall to save up cash while my friends went away for school. I had to learn that saying “I don’t know what I’m doing” doesn’t translate to “I have no interest in doing anything” it simply means you’re navigating your life at your own pace. You’re giving yourself time, and that’s okay. Eventually I began to collaborate through my blog with other bloggers, artists, and brands. I would write short stories and my friend would shoot a photo series for a clothing company we loved, or I would feature female artists on
my blog and we started a conversation about women in the arts and how we can support one another in pursuing our dreams. Last year I decided to take a leap of faith and started a tiny clothing company. I used my savings and released my first item and look book inspired by Sofia Coppola’s adaption of The Virgin Suicides. Her film was one that shaped the way I viewed cinematography and storytelling. It changed my perception creatively and I wanted to utilize something that felt close to my heart creatively to reach out to other girls who are just now experiencing a time in their lives where they’re learning who they are and what they love. I shot the look book myself and with it shared the story of how I came to love Sofia’s work, and what it felt like to find yourself within another person’s creative expression— when you see yourself in the lyrics of a song, in the clothes you choose to wear, in the characters you love. Everything you choose is a reflection of who you are on the inside, it’s all your diary. When I launched the brand and it was well-received it felt like my heart was crying, I was more than happy. I’ve continued on in releasing new items, selling wholesale to companies like Gypsy Warrior and building a tiny family of collaborators for shoots and for advertising— makeup artists, models, bloggers, photographers. It feels now as though I’ve found an outlet for everything I’ve loved and one that I’m able to channel however I see fit— telling stories, making models into mermaids, allowing people to say something funny or reflective of their personality with their clothing choices. Sometimes I’ll open up my email and it’s a sweet letter from a girl in Singapore who bought some of my items and wanted to send me photos or a group of girls in middle America who wear my stuff together to school. I kind of feel like I have this little club now of dreamy girls pasting collages on their walls and running home barefoot at 2 in the morning from running through the sprinklers at their local parks and listening to Led Zeppelin way too loud. Sometimes the easiest way to find your niche is to stop looking for it. Forget rules and guidelines and criteria and standardized bullshit and allow yourself to be exactly who you are with seemingly reckless abandon. You may find that what you’re looking for isn’t the place you fit into in this world, but a place here to carve out for yourself. – Amanda Lynn / Los Angeles, CA
– Amanda Lynn / Los Angeles, CA
– Bryan Fernandez / Los Angeles, CA To find my niche is like connecting dotted lights in the night sky. It takes quite a lot of time and effort. You have to connect the stars to form constellations; you have to stare at the night sky to do so and be patient to form pretty shapes. It also takes great courage to roll out of bed, to drop the negativity somewhere you know it won’t exist and to step out of your shell because to find your niche is to find great courage from within even if it’s risky. To be bold is to take risks. One of my favorite teachers once told me: “keep pursuing your dreams”. Those fourworded-syntax gave me a warm blanket of reassurance, hope and joy which was when I truly found my niche. So from then on, I never stopped pursuing them. I kept on writing poems, proses and kept on making my life a living art that I will share to the world. If I find myself amidst in the sea of lost souls, I don’t look back but instead I venture what the universe has to offer because not only will I learn new and old things but also, I may find a wandering soul that I would gladly help. To find your niche is to find and accept who you really are, it doesn’t matter if you’ve made a zillion mistakes in your life. So what? Keep making mistakes and learn from it. We sometimes forget we’re human and the world was not made perfect. So are we. Mistakes are lessons, a guide to better yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You’re still young; don’t rush finding your niche. Oh, and if you do, a little criticism won’t hurt but don’t let anything and anyone hinder you from doing what you love best. – Samantha Marie / Kent, UK I was always reserved and collective in the things I did. Whether it be things within school or my life outside of school. I was an introvert of sorts and continue to be one in some aspects. All of this changed when I was placed in a theatre class in my school my junior year. I was skeptical at first but looked forward to whatever may come out of it. I liked the atmosphere of the class and the charismatic people within the class. I began to become more comfortable with my fellow classmates within the class. My teacher then announced that there would be auditions for the winter production of ‘A Christmas Carol’, I wasn’t sure whether to audition but I went out
on a limb and did it. Auditioning for the production was out of my comfort zone but I at least wanted to try. I ended up being cast as Shank/The Christmas Spirit of Yet to Come, I was in utter shock but looked forward to the experience. I soon realized that theatre was my missing niche, it would go on to become a very important part of my life as I would continue to participate in the forthcoming productions that came. I learned important aspects of how one works together with others in order to achieve a greater outcome; like putting on a great show. It helped me become who I am and discover who I am in a sense. I was more comfortable in my skin, more talkative and it helped me shape myself into becoming someone I wanted to be. I would feel an artistic awakening, one that had been dormant since my young years. I began to become more elaborate and animate in the arts; theatre, photography, painting and writing. In the end I learned that I had become a thespian nonetheless and overall an aesthete; one who shows appreciation for beauty and the the arts. – Robert Jimenez / Salida, CA In college I always told people I wanted to be in Public Relations although it was never my passion. I had this idea that I’d be living like Samantha Jones from Sex in the City, sleeping with hot guys and throwing amazing parties for my friends and their successes. Then somewhere around sophomore year all the partying caught up to me and I soon found myself knocked up. Seeing that little, plastic pee stick telling me my future was going to be less booze and boys and more diapers and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I freaked out. For days I walked around with my head in a fog. This wasn’t the plan I had made for myself and I felt like everything was crumbling down around me. I spent my pregnancy in a depression that lasted until I finally met the person who had been using my bladder as his own personal punching bag. Suddenly, seeing that tiny chubby face, I knew that it didn’t matter what I did as long as I gave this kid the best life I could. A year later I woke up one day and suddenly had the urge to write. To jot down all my feelings. This sensation wasn’t new, I’d been a lifelong reader and had tossed around the idea of writing a book a few times. I just imagined it’d be a tell all memoir I wrote when I was sixty about all the scandalous things I’d spend my twenties and thirties doing. Eventually I started a blog devoted to all things in the beauty guru realm, but at the beginning of this year I decided to start an experiment. I was going to write everyday this year about anything and everything letting my dirty laundry out in an environment where I controlled the conversation. This decision has turned out to be my best one yet. It’s allowed me to reach deep down into my soul and pour my stories out on paper. It also helps me sound a little bit cooler when people ask what I do for a living and I tell them I’m a writer. So while I didn’t turn into a Samantha Jones reincarnate, I did get my Sex in the City ending after all. I’m just a Carrie Bradshaw. – Megan Poe / Catawba, NC
local wolves — 17
deserve. It is your life. You deserve to know what you are amazing at. For all you know, it could lead you to something spectacular that you would have never even imagined on your best days. Don’t let other people tell you otherwise. I found my passion through self-discovery. Allow yourself to self-discover. It is one of the most life changing processes you can go through. You become so much more than you thought you could be. It all starts with your mindset. Step away from your comfort zone and allow yourself to trust your passion. I made the decision to not listen to the voice of fear. I was able to remove myself from a dark, scary, negative state into one that is now filled with life, happiness, passion, and purpose. Remember to not give up right away, great things take time. If someone were to ask me where I would see myself back then, writing for Local Wolves would definitely not be the answer. But I ran with my passion and I’m happy I did. – Chalisa Singh / Bowie, MD
– Jolene Ung / Long Beach, CA It is the one thing that makes me get out of my comfy, warm sheets every morning. It is the one thing that gives me a sense of purpose. It is the one thing that makes me feel alive, that makes me happy, that feels right. It is the oxygen for my soul. It is my passion, my passion for creation. I have a voice that I want to be heard. I have visions that I want to bring to life. I have moments that I want to share with the world. My passion for creation pushes me to bring the best quality content that I can for anyone and everyone. I do it to inspire, to motivate, to connect. It is so strong that every waking hour, minute, and second, I want to feel it. Whether it be capturing the perfect photo, editing the most cinematic video, writing or blogging about a topic that is close to home, or painting/ drawing to release artistic tension, I live to create. I feel in my element when I am being forced to make artistic decisions. I crave the challenge that comes with bringing an idea to life that I thought about at 3:08 in the morning. There is no greater feeling than being able to stand back and take a look at your finished work when you’ve spent all hours of the night perfecting every detail and over analyzing every inch of footage. I never thought I was artistically good enough, but I gave myself a chance to prove myself wrong and it was the best decision I ever made. I was ready. I was ready to let passion move myself beyond my darkest fear. You never know of the opportunities and doors that can open until YOU decide to believe in yourself and give yourself the chance you
– Cloe Sison / Manila, PH It’s all about being honest with yourself. And once you’re honest, I mean truly honest, everything becomes so clear, or at least way better than it was before telling yourself what you had been needing to hear for a while. We are so afraid of admitting what we love, maybe because once we admit it, it will hurt way more once it’s gone. And the scariest part is that we have no idea if what we love, our passion, will disappear from us or stay forever. If you lack
confidence and always seem unsure of yourself, it can be terrifying pursuing what you want to do. I’m afraid of what people will think, afraid of my dream not working out and being left lost and defeated, and afraid of a lifetime not doing what I love to do. I think the answer for “what do you want to do for the rest of your life?” is so unclear to some of us because we are so afraid to admit what we want. We become vulnerable when we reveal something we are in love with. We expose ourselves to judgmental eyes and thoughts, and we do our best to put on our brave faces even if our voices are trembling and we can barely think straight. What has saved me from the pressures, standards, and molds that I feel like I’m forced to squeeze myself into is this: Be vocal. Say what you want and what you want to do in full confidence, and I promise you what you think other people are thinking is probably what they are not thinking at all. Making assumptions is destructive. Be selfish when it comes to your future. I promise you, and this is something I can never be more sure of, that in the explosive and breathtaking chaos that is the universe, things will happen that will either destroy you or nurture you. Let go of things you can’t control. Do not waste time worrying about things you cannot possibly do anything about. You are the creator of your own life, and your tool is your voice. It is only with things you cannot control you then let the universe do its thing. Said by the great Ted Mosby of How I Met Your Mother, “If you’re not scared then you’re not taking a chance.” If you are scared in the process of achieving your goal, that’s when you know you are doing something right. Life is grand, and absolutely anything can happen. – Annaliese Segoviano / Los Angeles, CA I am about as fake as it gets. Let me explain. For the longest time, I struggled with the idea of figuring out where I should map myself in the school community, as though all my peers in the school magazine belonged to the 49th parallel, and if I looked up the members of the volleyball team, I would undoubtedly find them all positioned along the same longitudinal line. I thought it was all so definitive and would hide certain things about myself because I felt like it didn’t project one, cohesive image to my peers. I was a patchwork of interests, but I would put up a facile façade in attempt to sell a concept that I figured was digestible to everyone else. I was a liar, and cheated myself ultimately. I knew that there was always a duality in my hobbies. I was invested in my academics, but remained drawn to photography and creative expression. I separated those two realms for a long time and would only be proud of the content I produced in my own privacy, feeling almost ashamed if I shared it with my friends. In retrospect, it makes little sense, but at the time, I felt that it was necessary to maintain the persona that people at school knew me by. I felt bound to a role, a niche in the stereotypical social scene of high school. It took a gradual shift for me to register that it’s okay to not fit into preceding conventions. It’s okay to have polarity in your identity. A niche is not a one dimensional, stagnant label, but rather a constantly evolving entity that
must be cultivated through the pursuit of passions and relationships with the people around you. A niche is not a permanent designation, but a place of evolving entity that must be cultivated through the pursuit of passions and relationships with the people around you. Getting over this misconception, or perhaps even subconscious fear that I was ‘confined’ by a niche has allowed me to live authentically without reservations. This whole time, I thought I was a mere coordinate in the sky, when in reality, people are all complex constellations, consisting of many points that form a vivid kaleidoscope, an image that varies for every viewer, much like how certain people in our lives only know specific aspects of us as individuals. And all of this, these diverse constellations, these niches, each different from the next, form the beautiful galaxy of humankind. – Selina Ye / Vancouver, Canada Throughout my life I have been pushing away my love of art. I think the reason for that is because everyone always says that you can’t make a career out of it. The starving artist is a phrase that is too often used when art is brought up and I just felt that when I drew or painted and showed anyone they would bring up the fact that making art isn’t really a career. The truth is that I wasn’t actually expecting a career to come out of making art. I was doing it because I loved it. And that’s what I’ve come to realize recently. I don’t have to make perfect artwork because I’m not doing it for anyone but myself. It makes me feel happy and powerful and in control. I’ve started drawing almost every day because it’s what I’m passionate about and I know that I’m good at it. You don’t need to worry about what others think when you’re doing something that you truly enjoy. – Taylor Ussher / Ontario, Canada
– ILLUSTRATION ABOVE / LAURA FILAS
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pinpoint + N E W E N G LA N D C O A S T + COVERAGE BY CJ HARVEY / MELISSA TILLEY LETTERING BY LEAH LU
What’s better than packing a bag, turning on the tunes, and taking a road trip with a best friend? Not much, in our opinions, so that’s exactly what we decided to do. We knew we wanted to make a trek up north to soak in the beauty that is NEW ENGLAND before it got too hot. We mapped out a few stops along the way that were important to us, and we set our sights on Boston and Ipswich, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. When planning out our trip, we felt that April would be perfect because of the fresh spring weather. Little did we know that mother nature had a slightly different idea in mind for our getaway, which you’ll see from our photos.
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I close my eyes and gauzy visions of summer materialize— washed out color palettes in the still, hot air. My ideal warmweather wardrobe is straight out of THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. Who wouldn’t want to evoke Lux Lisbon’s aesthetic, as she lounges carelessly in SLIP-DRESSES and looks like she owns the world without lifting a finger? Basic slip dresses have been resurrected from their 90’s resting place and reigned every collection on the catwalk for the Spring/ Summer 2016 season, proving to be unbelievably versatile whether your look is more Michelle Pfeiffer or Courtney Love. But if you’re like me and get easily bored with single piece looks, try throwing a favorite top over or under dresses and let your wardrobe options be transformed. For a daytime Margot Tenenbaum at the skate park look, the slip dress with a layered polo shirt underneath is unexpected and so on-trend. Swap for a floral cami to give you that girlish glow. If nighttime is your time, the dress paired with a dainty metal choker and chunky platforms will make you feel like the 1999 Prom Queen of your dreams. Any way you like it, the slip dress won’t let you down through all of your wildest summer solstice adventures. WRITTEN BY MEGHAN DUNCAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY RILEY DONAHUE BANNER BY LAURA FILAS
L O O K 1 / D REA M Y P U N K vintage slip dress brandy melville babe top unif may socks vans checkerboard slip-ons
L O O K 2 / S C H O O L G IRL vintage slip dress ecote kinley smockedÂ cami onecklace carrie name necklace converse chuck taylor high top sneaker
L O O K 3 / P R O M Q UEE N vintage slip dress brandy melville metal choker vagabond dioon sandal
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food for the starving artist COVERAGE BY NATHANIEL CRAWFORD
Hello, friends. I must start this column of FOOD FOR THE STARVING ARTIST with some sad news, this will be my last time writing to you. It has been so much fun working with Cathrine, Ashley, and the rest of the Local Wolves team, but I must bid my dearest farewell. With school, work, clients, and my own blog/brand, I find myself being spread too thin and in much need for an internal regrouping. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day! I have loved working with Local Wolves. They had been so supportive and loving during the few short months I’ve been able to work with them. From my featuring in the March issue to being offered a chance to write my very first column, I will always have a special place in my heart for Local Wolves and the community they have introduced me to. Will I one day return to LW, maybe? But for now, I must say goodbye. For this month’s recipe, I was asked to feature a summer inspired pasta dish. When I think of summer, I think of gardens overflowing with the season’s bountiful harvest and the fresh flavors it produces. Summer is also the perfect time to throw a party, sharing a table with friends and family, and exchanging stories and laughs between bites of food and sips of wine. One of my favorite dishes to make when I’m entertaining is baked pasta. The sauces can be made ahead of time, which makes for easy assembly. It’s simple a mix, top, and bake. The combination of the flavorful tomato sauce mixed with the subtle herbal aromas of the Mornay sauce (a Mornay sauce is essentially a fancy term for a cheese) and topped with toasted bread crumbs and melted cheese, this pasta is a showstopper for any backyard dinner or weeknight supper. You could even experiment with a plethora of variations including add in grilled chicken or Italian sausage. Now go out and enjoy your summer!
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simple garden tomato baked pasta
I N G RE D IE N T S
S TE P S
2 tablespoons olive oil ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 4 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped 2 teaspoons Fresh basil, chopped finely 2/3 cups red wine 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper, to taste
1 For the tomato wine sauce: In a medium size skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, basil, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Cook until the mixture reduces by half and begins to thicken, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove heat and cover until needed.
1 tablespoons olive oil 4 teaspoons flour 3 cups cream 1 teaspoon lemon thyme (or any dried herb) 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese ½ cup parmesan cheese Salt and pepper, to taste 16 oz. penne pasta ¼ cup bread crumbs 1 teaspoon olive oil ¼ teaspoon fresh basil, minced
2 For the herb Mornay sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly pour in the cream, whisking while you to pour to incorporate. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, then add the lemon thyme (or dried herbs) and cheeses. Stir until the cheese has fully melted and been incorporated into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Remove heat and cover until needed. 3 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large Dutch oven, cook the pasta according to the instructions. Undercook the pasta slightly so it won’t overcook in the oven. Once strained, add a dash of olive oil to avoid the pasta from sticking. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, olive oil, and basil. Set aside.
Mozzarella, grated for garnish 4 In a large bowl, toss together the pasta and both sauces until well combined. Transfer pasta into a 9 x 13 baking pan or large casserole dish and bake uncovered until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are perfectly toasted, 20-25 minutes.
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coffee shops + I N N E W Y O R K C IT Y + QUESTIONS BY MORGAN ECKEL PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEXANDRA TELLEZ
sweatshop nyc INTERVIEW WITH LUKE WOODARD
WHAT IS SWEATSHOP NYC? LW: Sweatshop started as a concept of creating an open-door design studio, using coffee and good vibes to encourage the local community to engage with the sense of creativity inside. We realized that there wasn't anywhere that offered the cafe culture that we grew up with in Melbourne, so we decided to kill two (or three) birds with one stone by designing and building our ideal cafe, which we could also use as our workspace and a way to showcase what we are capable of in terms of creativity and execution of graphic, physical and spatial design. Ryan and I have been mates since studying Industrial Design together at university, and we both ended up in New York about 4 years ago. We've always had a passion for design, and the idea of pairing that with amazing Melbourne-style coffee was something that we've always wanted to pursue. HOW DID THE IDEA COME INTO PLAY OF OPENING NOT ONLY AN ESPRESSO BAR, BUT A SPACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN CREATE AND WORK TOWARDS THEIR OWN PERSONAL BUSINESS? LW: Ryan and I have been mates since studying Industrial Design together at university, and we both ended up in New York about 4 years ago. We've always had a passion for design, and the idea of pairing that with amazing Melbourne-style coffee was something that we've always wanted to pursue.
We wanted to create a space where freelancers, artist and makers of all types could come and interact and use the creative energy of the cafe to inspire and empower them to follow through with their ideas and passions. We feel that the recipe to a great cafe isn't just about the cup of coffee, but everything else in the space; the music, the people, the design, the colors, the furniture etc., that all contribute to the good vibes and we feel that Sweatshop offer just that. WHAT WAS IT LIKE SEEING YOUR VISIONS COME TO LIFE? LW: Seeing the space being used and full of people digging the coffee and atmosphere is the most rewarding part of this journey. All we ever wanted was for people to be able to step inside and feel like they've walked into a little slice of Melbourne, and be able to hang out and chat and have a good time. WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR SPACE LEAVES CUSTOMERS FEELING? LW: We hope that our customers can relate to coffee and design on a deeper level, and understand that a good cafe is about much more than just the quality of the cup, but everything that surrounds you while you enjoy your drink.
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two hands INTERVIEW WITH GILES RUSSELL
WHEN DID YOU GUYS OPEN UP THE SHOP AND HOW DID YOU MAKE THE DREAM A REALITY? GR: We opened Two Hands Café in June 2014 after two years of planning (and dreaming). Twenty months later in February 2016 we opened Two Hands Restaurant & Bar. The dream of owning a cafe and restaurant became a reality through the a lot of hard work, a lot of help from our friends and family and a desire to provide a place that all our guests could call home. YOUR SHOP IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! WHAT WERE A FEW THINGS YOU WANTED THE DESIGN OF YOUR SPACE TO CAPTURE? GR: Thank you so much! We designed our space to reflect things we love. We love the beach and nature, so we wanted the space to feel airy and open like the beach, we also wanted it to breath in a way nature does, so we added lots of plants because that's something you don't have easy access to in NYC. We also love NYC very much, so a lot of the design takes cues from the classic architecture of the Tribeca area. HOW DID THE NAME, TWO HANDS ORIGINATE? GR: The name Two Hands represents the fact that we care about every little aspect of the cafe, the restaurant and our
brand. We built the cafe with our own two hands and we make the coffee and food with our own hands because we care so much about the end product and that's the attitude we bring to everything we do. WHEN IN NEW YORK, WHAT MUST OUR READERS TRY AT TWO HANDS? GR: At Two Hands Cafe, you can't go past our Avocado Toast and a Acai Bowl with a flat white. At Two Hands Restaurant & Bar, our Brassicas Bowl is healthy and delicious and our ricotta hotcakes are unbelievably tasty, they go nicely with our house cocktail the Palmy Spritz. WHAT ARE A FEW THINGS YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS FROM OPERATING TWO POPULAR NEW YORK CAFE/RESTAURANTS? GR: We've learnt that there's no way that you can do everything yourself. Finding talented, dedicated and passionate people is so important and we are very lucky that we have so many of those people on our team. There's no way we'd be where we are today without them. And despite how stressful the restaurant business can be, its also taught us not to stress to much because there is always a solution to every problem, you just have to take a deep breath and start working towards that solution, being stressed just stops you from enjoying the process.
greecologies INTERVIEW WITH AKI
YOUR SHOP IS SO UNIQUE, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA TO OPEN A SHOP COMPLETELY DEDICATED TO GREEK YOGURT MADE FROM GRASS FED COWS? AKI: There are two ideas here, "store dedicated to Greek yogurt" and "yogurt from grass fed cows". The founders arrived at the idea when they (Greeks) were not able to find Authentic Greek Yogurt in America. We want to create a brand focused on creating authentic Greek Yogurt of the highest quality. New York is blessed to have some of the best milk in the country. It was simple logic for us. Using best ingredients will lead to the best results. There are also huge health benefits to the grass fed milk vs grain fed milk. We didn't stop with just grass fed either. The milk we receive are from A2 gene Jersey cows. WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO CONSUME NON-GMO PRODUCTS AND EAT LOCALLY AND ORGANICALLY GROWN FOODS? AKI: The consequences of consuming GMO products are highly debated. That said, we strive to not cut any corners and gene modified foods is a way of cutting corners. Our philosophy of complete transparency in our product definitely starts with the ingredients we use. Supporting local agriculture and understanding the seasonality of food production is a part of our responsibility and contribution for sustainability. HOW DOES NEW YORK’S FOOD SCENE INSPIRE THE SHOPS MISSION STATEMENT? AKI: New York is the world's capital for many things, restaurants included. It is the combination of our proximity to both high quality agriculture and a consumer base that desires such products that allows us to do what we do. If we were to set the bar in the highest quality yogurt, we can't think of a different place to do it.
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krista marie yu WRITTEN BY anna hall Photography BY Kyle Blatchford HAIR & MAKEUP BY Alexandra Schafer
You can find Krista Marie Yu as Moly on the ABC sitcom Dr. Ken, playing the teenage daughter of Ken Jeong (from The Hangover and Community fame). Yu describes her character as “fun, feisty and super fashionable” and has a blast playing her. Though the part requires a lot of hard work and long hours, Yu is constantly laughing on the set— and how couldn’t you be working with Ken Jeong? Molly is Yu’s first major role and she feels lucky to have such a supportive, positive and hilarious team surrounding her. But Dr. Ken is just the beginning for this talented rising star. Yu has always loved performing, from singing to dancing to acting, and she honed that passion while at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. As an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon, Yu undertook intense training. “Classes were super intense and strict,” she says, “but I know I wouldn’t be the actor I am today without the training I got or without the people I met there.” After graduation Yu hightailed it to Los Angeles, picking up bit parts in Parenthood, Switched at Birth, and Agent Carter as well as working as a restaurant hostess to support herself. “It definitely was not easy,” she says. “I worked many hours as a hostess while I auditioned and was in between acting jobs (or even during— including the Dr. Ken pilot!). But truthfully, I just feel so fortunate to even be in Los Angeles pursuing my dreams and I want to work as hard as it takes.” This hard work ethos, from Carnegie Mellon classrooms to LA sets, has certainly paid off for Yu. She moved into the big screen with the film Love the Coopers, acting alongside an all-star cast. ‘I was in awe of the amazing cast and their dedication to such a heart-warming movie. I worked directly with Alan Arkin and Ed Helms and will never forget what pros they both were, while at the same time so very nice.” Yu’s next project is a completely different venture; she is starring in the horror-thriller film The Darkness, a story supposedly based on real life events about a family’s struggle with a supernatural force. “Luckily my part didn’t involve any super scary moments, but reading the script is what got me sleeping with the lights on,” Yu says. “It was so scary! I wonder what will happen when I do have to be in a scary scene!”
A typical day for Yu is surprisingly normal; it “pretty much always starts with an almond milk latte and an upbeat song, and ends with a candle burning and an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” When she’s not in front of the camera, Yu is cooking, talking to friends, running errands, or dropping in to a ballet or pure barre class. She’s recently had some free time in between projects, and has enjoyed visiting friends and family— “while it was an amazing time, I’m definitely ready to get back to work!” What’s next for Yu? She’s eager to land “a role in which a young girl is strong, determined and totally takes on the world.” Sounds just like Yu herself!
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polyenso WRITTEN BY ANNA HALL PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES LANO
POLYENSO’s sophomore album, Pure in the Plastic, grapples with the very modern predicament of remaining authentic amidst a technological landscape. Technology continues to impact and define the arts but it isn’t always a warring case of man vs. machine. With Pure in the Plastic, the Florida trio (Alex Schultz, Brennan Taulbee, and Denny Agosto) has carefully fused technology with their art in a sonically symbiotic relationship. “The process was a big challenge,” says Denny. “We attempted to maintain a pure sound while in a studio full of tools to help you mold all your ideas exactly how you want them. It's very easy to overproduce.” And that’s where the album title comes in. The idea behind Pure in the Plastic is duality. “It’s about how can we write and produce this album exactly how we want it (production tricks and all) and remain true to ourselves and our sound,” Denny explains. The result is an album crafted with precision, an album that took two years to create, blending an authentic Polyenso sound with the myriad tools of production technology. “We ended up in that studio for the better part of two years writing and perfecting PITP. It was a beautiful experience that really opened our eyes to what we could do with music. Our last album was created in a fairly common and simple process. We would show up to rehearsal with a new start, then we'd build on it from there. Live. All in a room together. There was a fair amount of pre production, but nothing extreme. With PITP, we were rarely in the same room at the same time. We wrote everything in the studio. Until rehearsing for this upcoming tour, we hadn't played a bit of it live together. We got the opportunity to create without bounds.”
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At its core, Pure in the Plastic is about the push and pull of art and technology, man and machine, but with each track it explores other warring impulses. “Dichotomy plays a huge role in shaping the album both lyrically and musically. Pure and plastic, gluttony and apathy, light and dark, aggression and pacifism,” says Alex. Denny describes the album as moving back and forth from extremes of dark and mysterious vibes to a light and uplifting atmosphere. From the dreamy ambiance on tracks like “Moona Festival” to the whispered and breathless vocals of “I.W.W.I.T.I.W”, to the Brian Eno-esque experimental sounds of “/// (A Pool Worth Diving In)” and even jazz influences in “Not My Real Life”, Polyenso plays with juxtaposing genres and feelings.
experimental, they just pour out what comes naturally to them,” Alex explains. “Then they say "take it or leave it, this is what I have created." With us, our love of pop music (Michael Jackson/Prince/Paul Simon/Beatles) is just as strong as our love of "experimental" music, so naturally the two are blended when it comes our turn to create.” In fact, Polyseno’s sound is so layered that it cannot be described without the risk of being reductive. Alex describes their sound as if “Bjork's Vespertine album had a baby with the jazzy hip hop beats from the 90's, then that creature had a baby with Radiohead's Kid A, then their spawn spent a lot of time listening to Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, and chilling with Flying Lotus.”
Subtle details such as sampling, experimental instruments such as kitchen utensils, and live sounds blend to create an album with incredible depth and richness. The genre of experimental music became a perfect playground for Polyseno’s exploration of dichotomies and polarities. “Experimental music is limitless and what’s more interesting than that?” Denny says. Experimentalism allowed the trio to create a sound without limits. “I don't think that many artists set out to create music that will be classified as
It is rare find such a careful combination of music and technology. Some artists rely too heavily on synthesized beats and auto-tune, creating tracks void of emotion. It is even rarer to find a band that has taken two whole years to create an album instead of churning it out for mass consumption. This is what Polyenso is, a juxtaposition of old and new, a step into the future but with a firm grasp on the past. In these dichotomies, Polyenso has found their authentic sound.
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gavin macintosh WRITTEN BY Sadie Bell GROOMING BY JESSIE YARBOROUGH Photography BY Kurt collins & Claire Leahy
As the crew becomes hushed and the camera starts to roll, actor Gavin Macintosh finds that he steps out of himself and into his character’s world. His reality starts to fade and he finds that he is in somebody else’s headspace; a creative challenge, but one that he takes on with great enthusiasm and artistry. “I like to look at the artistic space of acting as a little world— a little world where you can be someone else for a time and test your limits,” said Macintosh. He has been testing his limits and pushing well past them ever since he stepped into the spotlight with his role on Freeform’s The Fosters as Connor Stevens, the love interest of Jude Adams Fosters, one of the adopted children in the show’s central family. While the role made many strides in terms of Macintosh’s career, it also gave much needed representation to young same sex relationships in the mainstream media. And consequently, not only did Macintosh rise to stardom with his standout performance; he also set foot on the road to advocacy as a straight ally by learning the importance of his character’s role. He said, “It’s been an incredible journey. I’ve learned a lot about the issues that society is facing today, as well as earned a lot of respect for the LGBTQ community.”
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“If no one spoke up for what they believe in, the world wouldn’t be as we know it today. A truly great person speaks up for what they believe in and gives their best effort in everything they do.” Since playing Connor, Macintosh has gone on to advocate for LGBTQ rights and taken a strong stance against bullying, taking his activism to social media and a number of campaigns like the “Be Good To Each Other” campaign. He said, “I have found that having a voice and the ability to influence lives through television and the media is something I’m most grateful for.” In fact, Macintosh has made steps towards genuine change. For example, after a scene aired on The Fosters of Connor and Jude sharing their first kiss, YouTube applied viewing restrictions to a video of the scene, but once Macintosh took to Twitter to call for a removal of the viewing restrictions, appropriate changes were made. “If no one spoke up for what they believe in, the world wouldn’t be as we know it today. A truly great person speaks up for what they believe in and gives their best effort in everything they do,” he said. Though Macintosh is a now a rising star and vocal ally, he originally got into acting as a child because his mother wanted him to break out of his shyness, which he certainly did proven by the success of his career. Macintosh, who is originally from Phoenix, Arizona, now lives in Los Angeles where the acting world is at his fingertips and a variety of roles are bountiful, meaning a bright future is undeniably within arms reach of the young actor.
Aside from his work on The Fosters, Macintosh also recently starred in the SXSW premiered indie drama American Fable, playing Martin, the troubled son of a Mid-western farmer. He said, “I have to say, it was really fun. Playing the bad guy is my favorite because there’s more to play with. You can decide whether you want to give a mischievous smirk here and there, or just give long cold gazes to an opposing character.” This is just another one of the unique, miraculous worlds that he falls into when taking on a new role— a world completely nothing like his own, though captivating nonetheless. As Macintosh moves forward in his career and enters the worlds of a variety sweet, sinister, and daring characters, he said he is open to grasp whatever challenge may come his way, working creatively to find his way into the mindset of each and every role, whilst continually aiming to improve his artistry. “The more challenging a role is the more open and eager I am to take it on,” he said. “[Acting] is an art, which means that you can never gain perfection. You can only strive for it and get as close to it as possible. I love the mental challenge it creates for me.” Though Macintosh’s career is only just beginning, his dynamic portrayal of Connor Stevens on The Fosters truly illustrates momentum that one role has had on his career and outlook as an actor. While many roles are sure to come Macintosh’s way, he said it will always be important to him to take on roles that can have a profound impact “because those are the roles that you will be remembered for. Who doesn’t love doing some good in the world?”
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ashley zamora written by ashley bulayo Photography by kristine morgan Hair by Marley Gonzales makeup by Alexa Hernandez
Sharing the stage with one of the biggest names in the industry for your first time on prime time can be ridiculously nerve wracking. Rising actress, Ashley Zamora definitely felt the pressure in the beginning when she landed the role as George Lopez’s daughter in his new TV Land comedy series, Lopez. “At first, I was really nervous because I wanted to do a good job and live up to the expectations of the rest of the cast and crew, but after I realized that everyone was cheering each other on and everyone wanted to do a good job, it was a lot less intimidating and much more uplifting. I learned how to focus and not let pressure get the best of me,” says Zamora. Raised in Dallas, Texas, Zamora stumbled upon the idea of acting by total random. It just so happens that her parents signed her up for a theater camp one summer when she happened to not be doing anything. Years later in 2014, her first big TV appearance was a guest starring role on FOX’s Gang Related where she played a 17 year old victim of human trafficking who had her leg amputated. Talk about intense. Since then, Zamora has been patiently waiting for a part to come her way.
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The day finally came. For those of you who have yet to catch the comedy show, Lopez follows successful comedian George Lopez (playing himself) while he struggles between his two worlds. Auditioning for the co-starring character was a huge step forward in Zamora’s career, “In any audition situation I always give 110% and do the best job I possibly can, and I never let an opportunity go by where I regret what I’ve put on the table,” says Zamora. “With this one in particular, I just fell in love with her quirkiness, so I just kind of felt like this character was something I could relate to and have a lot of fun with.” Once landing the part, she really tried to portray Erica offscreen, “Sometimes in my head I’ll respond to things as my character would and try to figure out if Erica were in this situation, how would she react. It helps me get a deeper understanding of my character outside of the realm of the world and situations the writer’s created.” And for those of you who are doubting you’d ever want to flip the channel to TV Land, you might want to think twice. The network has completely changed its platform since premiering hit series such as Younger starring Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff or the absolutely hilarious NSFW show, Teachers. Zamora adds, “It is amazing to see TV Land change its image and there’s a bunch of new and fun things coming. It’s very exciting to be part of TV Land’s new, emerging network.”
As of now, we only see Zamora on the small screen but her dream role? Grabbing some screen time with the legendary Meryl Streep in a dramatic film. It could even be possible to see her behind the screen but don’t assume it’ll happen anytime soon! “I love being in front of the camera and creating characters so for now, I think I’ll be in front of the camera, but if I find a project I feel really passionate about I would be happy to direct or produce.”
“I think it’s so important to engage with the viewers and the fans of the show, so I try to respond when they tag me so they know that their thoughts matter!” So little Ashley, so little time. Or so we thought. Just this year, she finally hopped into the crazy world of social media! “I’ve never been a social media bug so at first it was a little weird. My little sister gave me an orientation on Snapchat and Twitter, so slowly but surely I’m trying to keep it updated. I think it’s so important to engage with the viewers and the fans of the show, so I try to respond when they tag me so they know that their thoughts matter!”
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XYLØ WRITTEN BY Karina Diez Photography by Meagan Sullivan
Both Chase and Paige Duddy, of the brother-sister duo XYLØ, grew up with fondness for music but were affected by it in different ways. Chase began playing the drums “as soon as [he] could hold sticks in in [his] hands,” as he puts it. Paige, on the other hand, didn’t even consider pursuing a career in music until she was about eighteen years old. Being siblings surely comes with its difficulties but the two manage to balance this relationship with their work lives through making effective communication high priority. XYLØ’s sound is a blend of indie rock, electronica, and hip hop. Their melodic style has been compared to that of Lorde and Lana Del Rey, whom they love. “I think it’s a combination of all the things that inspire us. Artists like Arcade Fire, Kanye, Lana, and some other collaborations going on with electronic artists, producers, and DJs,” said Chase. XYLØ’s music has been featured in Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s PacSun commercial after they sent them what was only a demo at the time. The duo was unsure if the song was what the reality-star sisters were looking for, but they adored it and the rest is history. “I think seeing the reaction to our music and how fast music can spread all around the world is wild these days,” said Chase.
Chase and Paige work diligently to ensure that their audience is vitalized at their shows. “There is a lot of energy coming from us when we’re up there performing. I never feel like our shows are boring because each of us brings a unique element to the show that keeps it exciting,” said Paige. However, their on-stage performance differs slightly than that of their digital recording sessions. “Our current live set-up is a little more organic than our recordings. I’m playing drums and we have hired musicians on the guitar and keys,” said Chase.
“I think the lyrics are very important and the vocal performance. I want to believe whatever the artist is singing to me.” For Paige, a good song requires two key ingredients. “I think the lyrics are very important and the vocal performance. I want to believe whatever the artist is singing to me,” said Paige. For Chase, on the other hand, is the melody and the manner in which it is sung. “I was just listening to an artist this morning (Christine and the Queens),” said Chase. The particular song was in French so I had no idea what she was saying, but the way she was singing combined with the melody had me captivated.”
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Sadi e Bell Photogr aphY
co le k i b u r z lettering
lisa lo k
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Nearly every morning of his youth, artist Charlie Puth woke up to the same chirp of a morning dove outside of his suburban bedroom window in Rumson, New Jersey.
“It hit a B flat,” said Puth, “and those morning doves hit B flats everywhere around the world.” Quite literally, Charlie Puth hears the world differently from other people. He has perfect pitch, or the ability to recognize any given note, which is why every time he hears a morning dove, he knows it is singing a B flat; the sounds of his daily life make up their own special symphony. But in Puth’s case, he also has the ability to produce a perfect note— his keen ear for sound having the capability to hit most any note with ease— and because music speaks to Charlie Puth in such a profound way, he feels it more intensely, too; it paints the color on the canvas of his world. “I don’t even know how to fathom a world without music,” said Puth. It is integral to his life and always has been— for as long as he can remember, he has constantly been thinking in terms of chord progressions and production styles. He said, “Who I was growing up, was that kid in the basement on synthesizers producing out a record.” And ever since at twelve years old he filled in for his church organ player (knowing all of the songs note for note simply from hearing them time and time again), he has realized that he is special, and now he is taking his gift of perfect pitch far beyond recognizing the pleasant wakeup call on his windowsill.
While his immense talent led to his passion for music, the inspiration to pursue this passion came from the drive he witnessed in his parents. “My parents didn’t have a lot of money right away, but they’ve always had this work drive that I witnessed from an early age on,” he said.
“They went from nothing to quite something, and that was very inspiring to see. I wanted to follow that musically.” He said, “I think that’s where it all came from— really my parents lit the flame.” And a spark they did ignite in their son, as he would go onto produce and write a number of pop sensations soaring the Hot 100 charts and gain three Grammy nominations for writing the number one single “See You Again”, even prior to the release of his debut album. “The theme of my musical life this past year and a half so far seems to have been overall unconventional, so I like to continue that in how I create music, too. I don’t write music in a traditional way,” he said. “It just makes it more special.”
The specialness Puth prescribes to his music expands even beyond the way he creates it, be that a song he wrote in ten minutes and recorded on his iPhone, or one he spent days on in the studio. Puth said just as he hears music differently, he feels it differently, too; he constantly considers the way bodies might reaction to a song’s rhythm and thoughtfully integrates compassion into his lyrics, hoping to provide solace and a source of inspiration to his listeners. His music consists of polished engineering in line with sharp, modern pop sensibility, along with a hint of a sort of retro sweetness, drawing on doo-wop melodies driven by his flirtatious tenor/falsetto and the romantic lyrical content of the fallen teen stars of the nineteen-fifties. But unlike many of those manufactured performers, Puth writes and produces all of his own music. He draws from personal experiences like relationships, loss, and the struggles that he faces as a songwriter to create music in a way that speaks to him as an individual, but resonates universally with the mass of pop music fans. Puth said that while he feels as if he has to have a personal connection with what he creates, he notes the universality of the human experience. “People are similar. I’m not the only person to have ever felt [what I’ve felt] and I know that maybe if I’m real about my experiences, people can insert their own. I’m really sensitive and like to put my sensitivity and empathy for others in my music,” he said. Like his song “See You Again”, for example, which held the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for twelve weeks. Though the song was about Puth’s personal experience with the loss of his friend, the way he constructed the song’s infectious melody and expansive lyrics allowed for a sort of accessibility that only comes with the knowledge and thoughtfulness of a seasoned pop musician. While he feels a deep sensitivity in terms of his music, he also feels the hypnotism and melodic pull of sound pulsating throughout his body, as well. “When I’m making a record, I can hear the type of pitch frequency it’s going to reach on the radio, like what the programmers might do to the record, because sometimes on the radio they speed the song up by one percent. So, when I’m producing out a song, I hear the whole thing in my head and the goal is to take everything that I have in my head, out of my head and into ProTools, the computer program that I use to produce music and record. I have it all in my head and then when I hear it out of my brain coming from a different thing, I think of different people reacting to it, like my mom reacting to it when the chorus drops.”
Though Puth is always thinking of his audience’s immediate reaction, he said that overall he hopes that his music is a source of inspiration for his fans. “I want them to feel like they can make their own music,” he said. “Then I can hopefully sign them one day and collaborate with them. I want to inspire them. That’s the thing I want the most.” As Puth continues to produce new music and set out on tour, it is only inevitable that he continues to greet new accolades and reach new levels of success, but despite these hopeful prospects Puth said, “My hopes for myself going forward is that I don’t become jaded. I don’t want to ever come down on this music industry because it’s done so much for me. He said, “[But] just by saying that, I don’t think I will become jaded. I don’t want to become unappreciative of any accolade that I might reach. I always want to feel hungry and inspired to create new stuff.” That boy from Rumson, New Jersey has come a long way— his parents inspired him to work hard and his faith in music drove him to create— and now that he’s finally found the success that he always dreamed of, he looks out hopefully at the prospects of his career. While once a little birdie on his windowsill used to be his daily reminder of the power of music in the world, but now his music, fusing through the radio waves, is here to send this reminder out to the masses. Puth said, “A world without music is beyond impossible. I would rather have a world without feeling, like [not] being able to touch a fabric and feel it. I don’t think I would be living if there was any world without music.”
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laura supnik WRITTEN BY Emma Matthews Photography BY ashley yu
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For illustrator Laura Supnik, her interest in art began at an early age. “I took classes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art when I was six years old,” she explains. “We sat in front of a Picasso painting discussing how people can see one another differently, and I knew right there that I wouldn’t be able to do anything else with my life.” Currently studying fashion business in New York City, when she’s not dog watching Supnik creates dainty illustrations that have took the Internet by storm. “I carry around a small journal and constantly fill it up with sketches and words, so most of my drawings are pretty tiny and fragile looking. I draw a lot of flowers and portraits of people,” she says. “I like drawing very normal things and then putting a twist on it. Like a person with flowers growing out of a hole in their head for example. Something normal, but slightly off. I always get told, “Your art is very Wes Anderson-y!” which is extremely flattering, I love his movies.”
“I carry around a small journal and constantly fill it up with sketches and words, so most of my drawings are pretty tiny and fragile looking.” Alongside finding fans in over 10,000 Instagram users, Supnik’s work has also caught the attention of fashion site Man Repeller and Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter. “It’s really crazy. Like the piece I illustrated for Lenny Letter was accompanying an essay written by Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches. I love that band, and it’s sort of a rush to know that someone you look up to has seen your art. And then having people you don’t know tell you how much they love your work!” she recalls.
“That is all I’ve ever wanted to get out of creating art, having people relate to my work or be inspired by it. It makes me so happy every single time someone says something positive about what I do.” Having moved to Manhattan from Pennsylvania, Laura considers the city a massive source of inspiration for her work. “I’m a big believer in looking for inspiration everywhere I go, but New York specifically is so special. I love the diversity here. In people, in buildings, in everything. I love the old with the new and the opportunity that exists in between them. Everyone here is doing their own thing too, so it’s great to be surrounded by people who think completely opposite of the way I do, or maybe even think the same.” She also looks up to other illustrators including Rebecca Green, Leah Goren, Maria Herreros and Julia Rothman. “[Julia] has this book, which is literally just filled with illustrations of things in New York City and it’s amazing. She paints scenes that I appreciate and notice as well, but her take on it is so fun. Like certain things I sometimes don’t think other people seem to take note of, but she does. For example, a bodega on the side of the road or a pigeon. She uses a lot of bright colors and lines, and it’s wonderful.” So what’s next for Supnik? “I don’t know actually. Recently I’ve decided I want to move to the west coast after graduation, but that could change in a couple months. I just want to be traveling a lot in my upcoming years, seeing new things and meeting new people. I have no idea, but it’s sort of fun not knowing.”
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jade hassounĂŠ WRITTEN BY Karina Diez PHOTOGRAPHY BY Kristine Morgan
Since he was ten years old, Jade Hassouné was determined to establish himself as an actor. “The first time I performed a scene on stage, I experienced the feeling of being connected and in the moment,” said Hassouné. From that moment on, he knew he could not let this feeling go and began his journey. Growing up, Hassouné did a lot of moving from country to country. His parents bravely moved their family from Lebanon to Switzerland, and then to Montreal. “[My parents] left Lebanon because of the civil war that had last seventeen years. With my brother and I being babies, they became scared for our safety and escaped,” said Hassouné. “They rebuilt a great life for us from scratch in Switzerland and then Montreal. It’s an epic story that I will write into a film one day.” Because of constant traveling and being suddenly immersed in new cultures, Hassouné never felt like he truly belonged to any of them. “In a way it has made me somewhat of an outsider looking into each culture, feeling like I belong to all these places and yet not,” said Hassouné. “Traveling a lot at an early age allowed me to feel like I am a citizen of the Earth rather than identifying with one country or city.”
Hassouné soon discovered that where he did belong was in front of the camera. In 2014, he worked with the late Paul Walker on one of his last films. “He was probably one of the sweetest humans I’ve worked with,” said Hassouné. “[I] spent a few great days with him. He was a wise, peaceful, generous soul. I’m glad I got to hug him before he went.” Hassouné is currently in production with Freeform’s Shadowhunters where he plays the role of Meliorn. “Meliorn, [is] a Seelie (Faerie) who is part of the Court of the Seelie Queen. Faeries are half-angel, half-demon. They are neither good nor evil,” said Hassouné. “In the Shadow World, having any demon-related blood makes you a Downworlder. It can sometimes be a limiting label where one might assume that a Shadowhunter is superior because they have pure Angel-human blood.” With a strong connection to nature, Hassouné sees a lot of similarities between himself and Meliorn. “Like the Fair Folk, I feel very connected with nature. I love to meditate and try to cultivate a peaceful state of mind,” said Hassouné. “I love everything that has to do with the idea of alternate universes and mystical realities.”
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Hassouné also dabbles in other avocations, besides acting. He is extremely drawn to comic books and has recently been working on a project which he cannot wait to release to his followers on social media. “They are a magical thing. They transport you into [infinitely] possible worlds, stories, and styles, and each one feels like a movie,” said Hassouné.
“Then you add to it the soundtrack and timing of your imagination. It is like a timeless frozen cinematic book experience.” In terms of how his path is unfolding, Hassouné feels that everything that has happened to him has been beneficial to his career and has led him towards amazing opportunities. “The amount of synchronicity and meaningful guiding clues along this entire path since the beginning of my journey as an actor has been surreal and too much for me to ignore. I’m enjoying how it unfolds,” said Hassouné. “I am meeting people that I used to watch on screen and I am slowly realizing that it is all happening how I dreamt it.
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kyle schuneman WRITTEN BY Rachel Coker Photography BY Kristine Morgan
Not too many thirty year olds can fill out a resume with “entrepreneur, designer, author, art director, and TV personality”, but interior designer Kyle Schuneman could easily list all that and more. Though he started out as a creative kid from Chicago who got his start as a set designer and stylist assistant, Schuneman’s vibrant and modern designs are now for sale as feature collections for companies like Apt2B and Bed Bath & Beyond. The young designer exudes passion and energy as he shares about his rise to fame in the design world and just how much can be accomplished in your first three decades when you are too anxious to create to let anything else stand in your way. “I’m a total city rat, and a proud Chicagoan,” Schuneman told me, by way of introduction. “I was always inspired by the beautiful architecture of the city and all the urban life. I used to draw floor plans for ‘dream houses’ on napkins [and] computer paper and give them to family and friends.” Though he dreamed of being an architect from a young age, Schuneman admits that he didn’t want to spend the time in school that an engineering degree would require, so he moved to LA instead to study set design, eager to create beautiful spaces right away.
Early on, he landed a position as an assistant to a stylist and took on small assignments on the side in order to start building his own portfolio. It wasn’t long before the industry recognized his growing mastery of clean, modern design executed in bright, saturated colors. Color and line are everything to Schuneman— a fact that becomes quickly evident when he speaks about the four collections he’s produced for LA retailer Apt2B or his signature line Studio 3B by Kyle Schuneman at Bed Bath & Beyond. Describing his newest collection, which just launched this past March, Schuneman explains:
“The process was collaborative. I usually come up with a theme, whether that be an inspiration or a style, and for this new season it was all about clean lines. Not doing extra details just because but instead embracing modern design. Once that is established I’ll do sketches and pull inspiration image and work with the factory [until] we get it right.”
His vision for styling these clean and colorful pieces of furniture is just as modern and simple. “Because all the pieces are customized with 30 different fabrics it can really reflect the person’s point of view which is so important in a home. I would use them as the star of the room with a big pop of color and then keep the walls white with really structural accents— it would be a beautiful modern statement.” Schuneman is all about bold statements— a trait he possibly picked up from years of urban city life. He is drawn to tall buildings and quirky spaces, but also understands the importance of looking outside of his surroundings and drawing creativity from unlikely places. Not only does he refer to the “greats” like Frank Gehry and Tom Ford when listing his design inspirations, but he also loves traveling to diverse locations (everywhere from Costa Rica to Scotland) and rummaging through vintage shops (like Brimfield in Chicago), eager to birth new ideas from a plethora of sights and sounds. Of course, no great artist is perfect, and Schuneman laughs about his own fair share of past mistakes— everything from creating a headboard too large to fit inside an apartment, and painting an almost windowless room chocolatey brown. But with great persistence comes great reward, and Schuneman’s budding design empire is proof that anything is possible if you just work hard enough. “Convincing people to see your vision [is the hardest part of my job]. It’s so easy to just roll over and say ‘okay you’re right’ even when you know in your heart you know the right thing. So it can feel exhausting to go to battle for your vision constantly but the end results is so worth it if you can withstand. Don’t let ‘no’ deter you. The amount of times I was told no is endless. But I didn’t take any of the no’s seriously enough to stop me. I respectively thought ok they just don’t get me but I know what I’m doing is cool and so I would knock on another door or call another person until someone got me.” He adds one more word of sage advice, for all the budding designers out there who feel declined right out of their future: “You only need one ‘yes’ to change your career.” For now, it seems like Schuneman’s career is set on a one-way track: Up. Not only has his newly launched line with Apt2B been a hit so far, but he has three more styles expected to launch with Bed Bath & Beyond later this year. Until then, he’s sure to be working hard—seeking creation, designing more simple and inspiring collections, and never taking “no” for an answer.
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ashley ballard WRITTEN BY BRINDY FRANCIS PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENSON METCALF
ASHLEY BALLARD, writer and creator of blog, Closet Vomit, is an inspiration for youth worldwide. Not only is she highly ranked in the fashionista chart, but she has a passion for journalism, essays, film, literature, and music. Ballard has a strong love for fashion. She even went out of her way to make a fabulous blog that can help her share her connections and creativity with all things clothing. “Closet Vomit was a product of coming out of an artistic dry spell. I was 17, depressed, a freshman in college, and I was vintage shopping every day. I had always been passionate about clothes and connecting with others, and I had been learning HTML since age 12, and I guess it took hitting a low point in my life to realize that I had all these tools to create things on the internet,” said Ballard. “My self-confidence was shot, I was recovering from some traumatic events, and I was having a hard time making friends at college, so I felt I needed to do something for myself that would allow me full creative control and a chance to grow as a person. After filling a notebook with countless ideas that were spewing out of my brain like a broken fire hydrant, I created my own little corner of the internet. It is my digital living room where I can invite people to stay and talk for a while. I didn’t even know what a fashion blog was.” There are many types of blogging. There are sites for cooking, literature, pictures of Zac Efron, fashion, lifestyle, and so much more. “I suppose some aspects of my work seem to stay static. When I post an outfit, I like to tie it into my thoughts and feelings and treat it like a journal entry. I also title my posts after song lyrics that I relate to at that moment,” she said. “In all honesty, my blogging style is a mess. I want to write essays, but I just know it would be impossible to keep people engaged. So, I end up with these weird hybrid personal narratives about what is going on in my life, both in reality and online.” You may be wondering what style she has been aiming toward with her site. What is it all about?
Ballard said, “I’ve been making the shift towards being an all-around lifestyle blogger, rather than just focusing on fashion, so my followers have been anticipating more details about my house and vintage finds lately. So many of my followers are like family to me. I follow a lot of them because their lives are so beautiful, and I feel like I can’t make quality content unless I know who is reading it on a personal level. I want to make things that will benefit their lives and inspire them.” Ballard’s computer skills and eye for formatting is just the beginning! She also has a strong love for writing. In fact, she is currently studying journalism. “I am a fourth-year student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State. My focus is in print and digital content. The school is wonderful and competitive, and I enjoy being pushed to do my best.” Having a passion for writing is rare. Many are born ready to pursue the literature world, while others are hit with the love later in life. “I feel like the desire to write for a living has always lingered in my brain somewhere, but I didn’t start out that way. My original major was declared in psychology and pre-pharm, and it wasn’t a fit for me at all. I aspired to be a clinical psychiatrist, but I found myself having a lot of moral conflicts with the pharmaceutical industry, and realized that I didn’t have the passion and bulletproof mindset needed to be happy in that field. Though I do still care about psych very much— it’s my minor,” says Ballard. “Essentially, as I ventured further into creating content and art in my spare time, I realized that I needed to find an area of study where I would thrive and feel challenged, and also be able to channel my skills into something that people could enjoy. And now I am here.” Our favorite fashionista, with an ‘unhealthy’ obsession with Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, has had some of her greatest achievements in her blogging career.
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“I learned to be confident. It sounds stupid, but it becomes difficult to like yourself when you have had tens of thousands of photographs taken of you. I am very self-conscious about the way I look and how I interact with others. I am still constantly learning how to accept myself for who I am, but I have come a very long way from when I first started. Being able to acknowledge that this is a process is definitely my greatest achievement,” she said. Outside of blogging, so far her biggest accomplishments are her black belt and being able to eat an entire pizza and a pint of ice cream while binge-watching Twin Peaks. Ballard has strong beliefs, especially those regarding the large movement of feminism. “I am an extremely intersectional feminist. I firmly believe in making sure everything I do and support includes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, levels of ability,” she said. “I admire a lot of women. In a world where we have a surplus of male role models, it is so important to have those idols that share the female experience. I admire Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian Nobel Peace Prize recipient who is an advocate for helping young girls all around the world have access to education. I also look up to Sylvia Plath, Frida Kahlo, and Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna. These women were never silent; they projected themselves through art.” Sometimes, it’s okay to get up close and personal with our favorite celebs. I asked Ballard what one of her favorite stories was.
She states, “I flew to Seattle for a day to see a close friend of mine, and we decided to get tattoos to commemorate the one moment in our lives when we got to spend the day together. So, we chose not to premeditate what we were going to get, and figured we would come across something special while we were hanging around downtown.” “We were in a basement vintage market in Fremont and came across these cards (which I presumed were tarot cards or fortune-telling cards of some sort), one with a moon and one with a deer. She bought the moon, I bought the deer, and we decided to get the exact same moon done in blackwork on our arms. I hung the deer card in my living room. Then, six months later, I had a dinner party and someone asked why the hell I had a Lotería card hanging up. That’s when I realized that I was an idiot and got a tattoo of a Mexican card game. That kind of made me love it more, though.” Music is something that helps all the work we are basically forced to do go by smoother and more exciting. Ballard has an extreme strength in music taste. It is something that most definitely should be shared. “My music taste is a clusterf*ck of a bunch of different genres. I grew up on the essentials: Queen, Paul Simon, Bowie, Misfits, Prince, Joan Jett… and I feel like this was a gateway for me to discover what I loved on my own. Which, incidentally, was nearly everything. I’ve been on a huge folk kick lately— anywhere from Bob Dylan to Keaton Henson.”
I’m also really into garage music and small punk bands; I’ve been to four festivals hosted by Burger Records. A lot of eighties, too… I have a tattoo of Morrissey’s face. I feel like I could talk about this forever, though. My taste spans all over the place.” She says, “On terms of favorite records I own at the moment, I am a very proud owner of an original pressing of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. I also have this awesome 12” of New Order’s Blue Monday / The Beach. My copy of Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear is also another favorite of mine. My boyfriend went to three different record stores to surprise me for Valentine's Day the week it came out. Some other vinyl essentials I have are Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Beirut’s Gulag Orkestar, The Dead Weather’s Horehound, Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse, and Girls’ album.” One of the greatest parts of working through social platforms is being able to collaborate with other artists. Ballard has collaborated with many people since starting up the blog. “I have collaborated with a lot of wonderful people and brands. I am extremely fond of my relationship with Lookbook; the staff is incredible, the community is so inclusive and positive, being a guest writer and Instagrammer for them was an honor and I want to do more work for them in the future. The users in the community are like family to me, too, so there was a lot of emotional investment in the content I made for them,” says Ballard.
Everything you try to achieve will most likely have a challenge involved. Challenges are meant to be accepted and attacked.
“I WANT TO BE ABLE TO INFLUENCE A MUCH LARGER AUDIENCE. I ALSO WANT TO BETTER MYSELF, BOTH AS AN ONLINE PERSONALITY AND AS A HUMAN BEING, AND I FIGURE THE BEST PLACE TO START IS BY MAKING THOSE TWO SYNONYMOUS.” “The biggest challenge of being apart of the social media industry for me is trying not to be hard on myself. There are days where I’ll be online and see all of these accomplished bloggers with so many followers and amazing collaborations, and I’ll wonder if that level of achievement is unobtainable for me. I’ve had to learn to stop looking at my phone and getting distracted by comparing myself to others. I have to constantly remind myself that, if I work hard, that could be me too someday.” Ballard will forever keep attacking obstacles and inspiring us followers. Ballard has a strong future and plenty of plans.
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john the ghost WRITTEN BY Sadie Bell PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jenson Metcalf
Miss Loneliness greets us all at unpleasant times. She hangs around depleting us of our confidence and forces us to feel small amidst the vastness of the universe. She tells us that we are alone— when truly, we never really are. John O’Callaghan of The Maine has come to realize this, and as he sings in his new song “Sour Grapes” off his latest work John The Ghost, he does not miss Miss Loneliness one bit. Though O’Callaghan spent some time in a dark place in recent years, he has matured— he traded loneliness for catharsis, and discovered The Ghost, an extension of himself that could act as the resolution to his emptiness and hopefully bring inspiration to some of the other lonely souls seemingly passing through space. John The Ghost is the latest release from John O’Callaghan, the lead singer for the independent rock band, The Maine and side project, Eagles in Drag. John The Ghost is a creative work that includes a prose poetry book and a solo EP of the alternative singer-songwriter variety with honest, stream of consciousness lyrics laced together with personal anecdotes and seamlessly special self-realizations and universal sentiments. “This project is just an extension of who I am,” said O’Callaghan. “I think this is maybe more of [what] I am too afraid to say in other platforms. I think it is a good representation of a look inside of my head over the past probably two years.” While misery may have clogged O’Callaghan’s mindset in recent years, he took to pen and paper and the company of melodies and lyrics to discover within himself that creation could be the friend he was searching for. He said, “I took loneliness and the idea of being alone as a negative thing and I think selfdiscovery is just that— you’ve got to find it out by yourself.” And O’Callaghan did find that for himself, as he said, “Writing in this manner is a form of catharsis. It’s very therapeutic for me.”
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“The world is yours to create and I think the earlier that you hear that, maybe the sooner you’ll actually believe it.”
He said The Ghost is and was his reflection on everything that he could have said or done to change the outcome of the tumultuous pains that life tends to force onto our paths. He said, “For me, it’s more important to get it out and get it away than it is to cling onto and let it fester. [Like] where somebody would pay someone to sit on a couch and talk about it, maybe this is my version of that,” he said. O’Callaghan came to this realization through growth and maturation, a process we must all face to find that loneliness need not wrap its holds on our existence. “I think that I’ve grown a lot over the past couple years,” he said. “I think that’s a testament to the things that I’ve gone through and the way that I handle things now and how I approach situations. Life isn’t as sh*t as I thought it was. I think you can confuse solitude for loneliness and there’s something to be said for solitude because a lot can be found about yourself by being alone, if you so choose,” he said. In discovering the growth that solitude can bring, O’Callaghan said, “The world is yours to create and I think the earlier that you hear that, maybe the sooner you’ll actually believe it.” He said, “I think all of life is about your approach and that’s what makes it unique. Originality, nobody can do it like you can. Now, as John The Ghost is set for release, O’Callaghan acknowledges the “many a dark places” that he has found himself in, and hopes that the art he has created will provide his fans a “sort of solace and some sort of comfort knowing, ‘Well he didn’t know what he wanted to do either, nor does he now.’” He said, “The two biggest things [with this project] is inspiring somebody, and just letting them know that they’re not alone.”
While O’Callaghan describes loneliness as a “sentiment so universally shared” since the dawn of humanity, he believes that it is something that we can face. “The concept of loneliness has always been around,” he said. And though a resolution to this destructive feeling is not simple, it can be attained, just as O’Callaghan found for himself. He said:
“Don’t concern yourself with the things that don’t make you happy. That sounds really simple, [and that is] because it is. Find the things that bring you joy and hold onto them and cherish them and revisit them all of the time. If you can pinpoint what’s making you feel alone, you’ve got to face that head on and move past it.” This is what O’Callaghan did, and in turn, he created a work as a reflection of the process that now stands as a positive representation of the moment. So, invite John The Ghost’s songs into your speakers. Let his lyrics haunt you and let his poems be the possession inside of your very being because there is no one true reason that Miss Loneliness needs to stick around any longer. Just as John The Ghost does not miss her, and you need not miss her either. As John O’Callaghan said, “We’re not alone in feeling alone,” with time we may all find a resolution for this feeling, too.
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John O’Callaghan has been a big inspiration of mine for years since he’s a part of The Maine, and I’ve been listening to them for as long as I could remember. John’s side project, Sincerely, John the Ghost , is currently my favorite ep/poetry book. The way John chose to express his depression through personal music he made in his bedroom as well as a 90-page poetry book filled with thoughts that cross his mind on a daily basis really shows how raw of an artist he is and how he is not afraid to share his story to his listeners. John suffered through a dark depression no one ever should have to go through. Connecting to a song he made with his band, The Maine, in “24 Floors”, he made it clear that suicide was his only option, but there were voices in his head telling him to keep fighting. With Sincerely, John the Ghost , he does just that. I truly do believe that John’s side project will help a lot of people suffering from depression, knowing they’re not alone and even the people we’d least expect could be going through something horrific. in “Red House”, the lyrics, nobody needs saving, just a little bit of empathyand you can’t save the ones you love, I can personally connect to. Some try so hard to save another person that they fail to realize the only person who can save them is themselves. John O’Callaghan is a special one. Something the music industry is lacking. John the Ghost has my attention and it is not going anywhere. – Meg Leilani / Brentwood, Ca – KATIE READ / ENGLAND, UK
Over the years I’ve seen The Maine test the limits with their music, and it’s always something different. I have such a respect for artists who branch out of their comfort zones, and try something new. John the Ghost is so unique, creative, and honest. When I decided to get away from Florida and move, I was scared, alone, and just sad for the most part. I had many perks out here, and yes I did enjoy it at times, but I was so sure this is what I wanted, just to come to the realization Florida is my home. It’s a weird comparison but seeing other people try something new, taking a chance, it motivated me to go out of my comfort zone and do the same. It sounds cliché, but when I had one of my “bad days” simply putting on the record calmed me down and helped me find peace. I realized it’s better to be honest with myself, and family, and to not hold back. I may not be staying here but I can at least say I did it and tried it, rather than wishing “what if?” It’s rare to find artists who put honest efforts into their music. Do it for themselves, yes, but also do it for the fans. To connect, share, and be open. John the Ghost did not disappoint one bit. Music goes a long way; without a doubt this project is one of the best things John has done. I wish I could thank him for that. – Christa Calabraro / Orlando, Fl / Colorado Spring, CO
– jude albenayan / saudi arabia, mecca
– CHELSEA WOOD / NASHVILLE, TN
Genuine and inspiring. As I live in a distant country, my copy of Sincerely, John the Ghost hasn’t arrived yet, so I’ve spent the past few days pondering between searching some excerpts of the book on the internet or turning off my curiosity until I can read the physical copy. I ended up scrolling through social networks and reading every piece of the book I could find. For what I had the chance to see, John really puts himself out there using the Ghost’s voice. The last time I was so captivated by a poetry book was when I read Sylvia Plath’s Ariel weeks ago. I truly appreciated listening nonstop to the EP too, it’s incredible. This is such an honest and inspiring project. It’s amazing how John transformed a variety of emotions into words and songs. The balance between sadness and happiness seems perfectly expressed in a spontaneous way in Sincerely, John The Ghost and there’s so many verses I could relate to, especially when his writing describes how a lot of us struggle to find ourselves sometimes. I felt grateful to experience the Ghost’s catharsis. For me and a lot of people, being a fan of The Maine is something way beyond the concert-going experience. It’s amazing how we can connect with John’s words and lyrics. He’s always encouraging us. When you’re feeling low, it’s really important to have someone telling you that you’re fortunate to be here, that it’s worth it to push through, that you can take that pain or insecurity, understand it and get comfortable with yourself because it will get better. Also, the Sincerely playlist contest was such a great idea. It’s incredible how the band’s always thinking of ways to say thank you to the fans and reinforcing this sense of community. – Amanda Azevedo / Brazil
– AL PARKER / DALLAS, TX
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fragment of dreams
POETRY BY Melody Gulliver PHOTOGRAPHY BY Coco Horsager
Wander into the intimacy of fervor without a tremble of dismay. Watch the world twirl into the satin, promise of a dream. Stand at the crossroad of attraction and a new beginning. Feel the pull. Take a chance.
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For love will bloom in shades of strange and trouble. And love, will speak in moments entwined in charm and uncertainty.
So go on.
Let yesterday’s echoes light the road. Venture beyond the stumbles, tantalize the truth.
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Live and love. Purely and ever so furiously. (beautifully and without
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unfiltered wires + W IT H J E N A P H ER M O O RE +
FULL NAME: Jenapher Moore AGE: 19 CITY, STATE: Downey, CA OCCUPATION: Student / Long Beach City College WOLFIE GOODS: + Music (cannot live without it) + Laptop (used for reference photos) + Coffee (for working late nights) + Plants (a touch of nature to soothe my mind) + Kitten (my number one fan!)
BESIDES SUCCESS OR FULFILLMENT, WHAT OTHER EMOTIONS CAN YOU IDENTIFY FEELING AFTER HAVING FINISHED A PROJECT? During the process of creating a work of art, there is a special type of connection that is formed between you and what you have created. In a way, creating art is like a relationship because I always grow very attached to the works I have created. I continuously struggle with letting go of my work. When my art is sold, it is a bittersweet feeling. I am ecstatic that the painting has sold but am overcome with sadness because I will never get to see that piece again. ARE THERE ANY TOOLS IN YOUR CREATIVE ARSENAL THAT YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT?
TELL US ABOUT THE STORY OR RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE BEHIND ONE OF YOUR ARTWORK For this painting, Pink Matter, I wanted to paint someone that holds a special place in my heart: my boyfriend. Initially, this was a challenge for myself because most of my subjects are females or models who have inspired my work. However, I saw in the subject of my boyfriend, a chance to get out of my comfort zone and explore various techniques previously unknown to me. In this oil based painting, I decided to experiment with my color scheme by mostly using primary colors. My goal was to emphasize color, while still creating a very realistic portrait. IS THERE A ROUTINE YOU FOLLOW IN ATTEMPTING TO CONVERT YOUR IDEAS INTO CREATED CONTENT? Like most things in life, ideas come and go. The painting process starts off when an idea is formed within my mind. In turn, I take this image and make it physically exist by writing it down. I will then ask my friends to model as subjects, which serves as a reference photo for the painting. When I am painting, there is no continuity. It is a form of trial and error because I am always amending my works. WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FIND YOURSELF FACED WITH AS A CONTENT CREATOR? HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT THESE CHALLENGES DON’T CONSTRAIN YOUR CREATIVITY? I often find myself admiring and comparing my art to well known artists. Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself discouraged because I feel that I will never be able to create something as beautiful as the artists that I look up to. But then I realize that I’m not in a rush and I must take things slow. All things come with time and I remind myself that with enough practice and perseverance, I can one day be like the artists that I look up to.
Though it is not considered a physical tool per se, I would never be able to live without the support of my parents. I am thankful that my parents always encouraged me to do what I love and for that, they are my best tool of creativity. Aside from my parents I do have various physical tools that I cannot live without. These include: my palette, brushes, and paint thinner. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUTHFUL, ASPIRING NEWCOMERS TO YOUR INDUSTRY? I wish someone had told me this when I was much younger but, not everyone is going to love what you create and that’s okay. Don’t let other people’s opinions get in the way of how you express yourself and especially your creativity. Also, learn how to take criticism, whether it be positive or negative. Criticism can actually be beneficial in improving your artistic techniques. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE APP/WEBSITE/OUTLET THAT MAKES YOU FEEL THE MOST OF YOUR “UNFILTERED WIRES” POTENTIAL? Definitely, Instagram. Instagram allows me to observe my favorites artist’s techniques. When I see these techniques, it gives me more ideas for other works of art. I guess, all artists are connected in a way because we receive inspiration from each other’s work.
QUESTIONS BY MEGHAN DUNCAN ILLUSTRATION (LEFT): LAURA FILAS
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