offshoot. offshoot. ISSUE 1 : AUTUMN 2009
ART & WRITING ISSUE 1: AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009
art is... a by-product of life: every thought in our heads, every sentiment in our hearts, every fluttering piece of ephemera which must be transcribed by word or line or color.
“offshoot” is... a collection of visual art and writing from around the [english-speaking] world. Offshoot’s purpose is to celebrate art made genuinely; that is, for personal expression or the natural need to create. It has been my goal to give the creative-minded a place to share their perspectives, even if their names do not grace every blog or headline every gallery opening and poetry reading. I hope you enjoy this first issue of Offshoot as much as I enjoyed opening my e-mail inbox every day. This issue’s theme is simple: “come as you are.” The only parameters given were that all submissions must be exemplary of the contributor’s work, what they do best. Thank you to all who submitted work; your enthusiasm is awesome. Hope you all enjoy! --Melanie Richards
table of contents STUFF
10 kickboxing in thailand 18 from object to letter 46 contributors 47 next issueâ€™s call for entry DRAWING/PHOTOGRAPHY/DESIGN
WRITING: SHORT STORY/POETRY
by author: 5,39 david stuzin 7 paul stanley 8 erin talanda 15 gladis balbuena 16 sarah beth almendinger 22-23 katie torrington 26 katherine carleton 33 nate legaspi 37 j.d. 38 jaymes faulkner 41 ashley lauren tedesco 41 rebecca williams 45 chancellor page
by artist: 4 willy harris 5,32 jen collins 6 anastasia nikolaeva 9 bente miltenburg 12 greg abbott 13 ingridesign 13 michelle krewet 14,42-43 caitlin coons 16 hannah f. 17,39 chrissy lau 24 tom bakker 24-25 marylyn peden 25 marlon rabenreither 27 abigail halpin 28-29 mary ocher 30 shain labarge 31 albert sidey/frances macdonald 34 alice yumi sinzato 35 betsy kershner 35 liz wysocki 36,43 matt austin 40 wendy tan lui chan 40 bridget tan 42 denis villegas 44 tiffany jyang
LEFT: THIS IS MY MUM; RIGHT: TASTY FACE BOTH BY WILLY HARRIS
I was not there yet, I think, rambling around the streets of Paris ‘89 having circular arguments over maps. My mother, with her curls draping over her face, asks a man in a turban for the avenue Victoria; he asks them to have a drink and persuades them to come with him to Turkey. In a town 220 miles outside Ankara the turban man disappears. My mother gets sick after drinking unpasteurized milk. She stays in bed most of the day throwing up, attempting to translate antibiotics vials. Meanwhile my dad, with his T-shirt tucked into his khaki shorts, haggles a traveling merchant for a raindrop diamond; he hides it under some fabric in his shoe.
While he’s gone the room is robbed by two women disguised as maids. My mother barfs in the bathroom while they steal the passports. My parents are offered help by a bearded British Indian in exchange for companionship. My dad swears he is Salman Rushdie undercover. I think they end up all squished together on a Turkish school bus towards Istanbul: My curly haired mother, my khaki shorts dad, Salman Rushdie with a beard, and I was there too, I think; tucked away in her stomach, tucked away in his shoe.
“TUCKED” DAVID STUZIN ILLUSTRATION: JEN COLLINS
“TRANSFORMATIONS IN GEOMETRY” (FASHION DESIGN) ANASTASIA NIKOLAEVA PHOTOGRAPHER: DARIA ALEXANDROVA
“Scramble” Paul Stanley Love is a game. Shooting the shit, playing scrabble is sorry. Still I imagine your face ripened rubicund, with your tongue in check and your cheeks an emcee. Why are things bigger in Texas and is Paris for lovers? Culture doesn’t override predestined silk covers. I am a diminutive, avid-eyed child of love, yet a leper of liaisons in all that is taught; alas, OCD is my weak spot. I am prone to patience at your behest instead of high school sects. Love is natural. I can see the lush forest splashed with sexy serotonin. Penis pines. Oak oananism. Bawdy tree. Your lips taste of delicious exclusion, and our stare is sparkling yet sedate. Natural selection got us here, and we are kept abreast of the honeysuckle in spring. Why do animals mate for life? Why do your hazel eyes cast If not for life? Passion is at least purgative. Your olives thighs impart a part of individual taste, well-oiled, metallic, and rancorous. You pack gusto, phish, and Jacques Cousteau and I project my past toward the future of an unconscious mind, Bound not by my conscious body. Smile here, stay you. Six-pack, stolid, sobering, and cynical are my trails of love. Feel your frail shoulders tremble and your will wane. Intercoital cataclysm, I am a mushroom-cloud laying mother-fucker, mother-fucker. Any stiffness? Become soft and incomplete, and sense my submission to the architecture of your curls, And let me topple over the strain of your smoothness. To me you are all of one notion, prozac more or less the ocean. Nature loves you. That’s why breath goes in and out. Any stiffness? Life evens it out.
sarcoma erin talanda by
They all notice. Questioning faces in the office. I pretend not to notice. But those faces make me shudder inside more than that sheet of paper does. I feel sick. Sick that I am grouped in with those people. Sick that I don’t know why either. Why he won’t look at me. She says, you should know of all people what these results mean. Yes, but. She says, if we hurry now. You know. Yes, I know, but. She says, it is funny. You know. That you didn’t know. Where is he? Why isn’t he telling me this? She stares back at the sheet. They are having a contest. She says, I don’t know. I sit on our steps. Wait for him, like I would when I was small. His white coat used to smell like bleach. Clean. But now. Now it smells like medicine. Like sickness. And after a few hours, I get nauseous and puke on our plastic potted plant. I fall asleep on the steps. Fuck this. Fuck you. I refuse to work here. I scream it in her office. I’m lying. I don’t scream. I want to but her office is so small, you can barely speak at an audible level. I quit. She fumbles with my resignation and looks outside the window. She says, does he know? He will. Soon enough. She says, if this is about your… No. She doesn’t believe me. But I’m telling the truth.
I probably could have gone my entire life never knowing the color of his eyes if I hadn’t learned to wait up for him. He would turn on the one o clock news, never bothering to do anything else first. And I would sit next to him and watch it for the entire thirty minutes before closing my eyes. When I woke up, I hadn’t been covered with a blanket. Or carried to my room. Or changed into pajamas. But there was always a glass of water on the table. She says, I thought you quit. I scoff. I can wait for him, can’t I? Her face is twitching. She wants to say something, I can see it. She wants to be cruel. But she can’t. Say it. Say it. She says, I’m sorry. I am still waiting. I am still waiting. I am still waiting. But the sky is blue. Bright blue. How can this be a bad day? You shouldn’t smoke, he says. I stub out my cigarette. Well, well. I think I could go all my life just saying Well, well. Decided to make an appearance? Say a final goodbye? He refuses to look at me. That’s not funny, he says. But he sits on the bench. Too soon? There is no one out today. No one but us. I heard you quit, he says. I would’ve told you, but you weren’t there. He doesn’t people watch. He squirrel watches. You’re doing fine, he says. I contacted a good friend, he’ll take care of you.
Perhaps I will be a squirrel in my next lifetime. There was never any pain before I found out. And they say if you go looking for something, you are bound to find it. I don’t watch the one o clock news anymore. I’m far too old for only six hours of sleep now. But I will watch the eleven o clock news. Morning or night, now that I am free of work. I breathe better knowing we are watching the same current events. My sleep has changed. I toss and turn and don’t sleep well for twelve to fourteen hours a night. He tells me I sleep too much but I cannot help that I am always tired. The cause is avoided and ignored. I cannot help that either. Things do not change. He still passes messages to me through my new doctor. And he manages to not get home until very late, even on his days off. But when I wake at two, three or four o clock in the afternoon and sometimes in the morning, I find a full glass of water, sometimes ready to overflow, on my nightstand.
“THE WAY YOU WANT TO LIVE” BENTE MILTENBURG
kickboxing in thailand The more an artist experiences, the more inspirations he has to draw from. Kyle Dyson (keyboardist for The Royal) answers questions about a recent stint in Thailand, as well as the band’s plans for the near future.
Why did you go to Thailand? I actually got the opportunity to go to Thailand from my father. He’s been going over there for the last 10 years and had witnessed their style of kick boxing-Muay Thai. My Dad figured that since I had trained in Western style boxing for several years that I would be into learning a new style and he offered to fund the trip. Needless to say I took him up on his offer. What did you do there? My Dad owns a couple condos over there, nothing too fancy (they’re in an old part of Bangkok) and he showed me around. My Dad basically just introduced me to the Thai culture. After the first few days, [my] family took the train to Rangsit, a small town in Bangkok, where I would be staying to train [in kick boxing] at The Muay Thai Institute. I spent about 5-6 days per week training between 4-6 hours per day. The training was intense to say the least, but I enjoyed every second of it. Tuesday and Saturdays were fight nights; the gym hosted professional Muay Thai fights and
broadcast them on Thai Television. There were a couple Sundays where I went to a nearby gym and watched fights there. I probably saw close to 50 fights while there. Near the end of my trip I took a bus ride 2 hours north, just outside of Bangkok, to ride elephants. A part of the tour was also a short raft ride down this Thai river, and also a visit to “The Queens Waterfall”. One of the last things I did while there was to tryout a Thai club. It was pretty much just like an American club. They played American rap music; their drinks of choice were Smirnoff and Johnny Walker Red. What was the most interesting thing you experienced in Thailand? Probably the most interesting thing was visiting the Thai Temple where I received my tattoo. I spent the entire trip trying to find the right place to get a tattoo. I was planning on getting one at a normal Thai tattoo parlor, but Francisco (a native of Spain who had been fighting Muay Thai professionally) showed me a couple of his tattoos called Sak Yant. I ended up having
my step-mother translate and speak with the monk that had tattooed Francisco about me getting a tattoo. I brought along a friend I had made, and he too got a Sak Yant tattoo. Did you eat anything cool or weird? Almost all of the food I tried was excellent, but probably the weirdest was duck head and steamed minnows. What did you discover about Thailand’s history or culture? Well first off, they love American’s and they’re very friendly people. I made friends with my instructors to the point of going out to dinner and hanging out with them. How did your visit change your view of the world? Before I went I didn’t really understand just how different other cultures are from ours in the U.S. Anyone can say they do, but until you travel you won’t understand.
“The difference between surviving and thriving is life.” Did Thailand inspire you in any new ways, whether it be musically or otherwise? I learned something I now know as one of the most important lessens to be learned in life... The difference between surviving and thriving is life. You’re just not living if you’re only doing the minimum to get by. I’m really glad I came back to the U.S. and was able to make life fulfilling through school, work, and the band.
have to play before I was in the band.
How did you end up joining The Royal? I actually was working with the then guitar player of RORY and I always bugged him about playing music together. After RORY broke up he mentioned that his new band was looking for a replacement keyboardist. By this time we’d gotten to be friends and he asked if I wanted to try out. I went over to his house first, sort of a pre-tryout, and then he brought me to a practice. The other guys I guessed liked me so they let me in. I didn’t even
Which of The Royal’s songs is your favorite, and why? Definitely the new song we’ve been working on. This is the first song in our repertoire that I’ve actually had a first hand part in writing. Every previous song was already written when I joined the band. I like playing my parts a lot more.
What is it like playing with the other guys? Everyone in the band is ridiculous talented at their instrument so it’s sort of intimidating. Chris is just straight born to play music, Brad is one of the tightest guitar players I’ve ever seen, and Joel is a super talented drummer. We actually just replaced our bass player with our old bass player and
What does the group aim to do with its music? Inspire peace, instill wisdom, and promote prosperity... and maybe tour a
little, and get a bunch of people to rock out. Do you have any shows coming up? Yeah, we actually have one in Orlando August 16th with our buddies Awestruck. They’re pretty cool guys who play some pretty cool tunes, so it should be a lot of fun. Any exciting band news to share? Well we replaced our Bass player with RORY’s old bass player, the original bass player for The Royal, so now we have 4 ex members of RORY. Other than that, we’re working on this new sweet tune and it’s coming together very nicely. It’s definitely a step up from the other songs we have written and I’m super excited to finish it; although, the process is a lot of fun. One can only hope that our future songs match up or exceed it. Check out The Royal on http://www.myspace.com/265210735
“THE BIG SLURP” GREG ABBOTT
TOP: INGRIDESIGN; BOTTOM: MICHELLE KREWET
UNTITLED CAITLIN COONS
“Thursday in Suburbia” Gladis Balbuena Crescent apple sings countertop tales of smooth surface coffee-stricken mornings. this week’s bread molds in suffocation [a pantry death], spoiled milk cries over curdled words. Our words, thick…vanity perfume. I strain to hear your voice, Far, On your pillowcase island. You are away, and away, and Stooping on the long-grassed lawn And I am Lifetime tears on reruns. 2PM: peanut butter sandwich and redundancy. This son, this boy who Speaks into his plate,“whatever.” Dinner: flat screen lives on platters Silence holding the door you won’t be home till late. Muted lamp, bedside reading sobs behind crinkled pages. pause. Tea with unsteady hands, goodnight to a closed door. Nothing. saving air for Exaggerated deep breathing when Your weight (3AM) sinks on the blanket next to my (empty) body. shift: our faces are strangers on
by false breathing patterns.
< “Untitled” Hannah F. “The Subject” Sarah Beth Almendinger I must have mistaken the year again, reaching into the refrigerator I smelled an old friend and with the scent on my arms, I am sublimating in front of the sliding glass door while you stand on the other side and then look up to see me licking my right arm where the sun hits the cat scratch that I got some other prime year ago when we noticed all the men dressed in yellow shirts carrying white plastic bags along the brown of the treeline. I'm not forgetting all, and it's likely you don't remember how I've become a person who is unfocused. The years spent behind trepanned doors and the hopeless look on a girl-face well past slipping into herself who listens to people speak of the weather as if it were her own emotions.
UNTITLED CHRISSY LAU
from object to letter: lucy player on illustrative type While perusing Flickr on a lazy summer day, I bumped into a great photostream belonging to Lucy Player. Lucy is in the Honors BA Graphic Design program at South East Essex College in the U.K., and has quite the knack for whimsical type and charming line drawings. She kindly agreed to answer some questions on her work.
How often do you digitize your type creations? What programs do you prefer to use in doing so? With illustrative alphabets like the bunnies and birds, I take them in to Photoshop to get rid of any blemishes, and adjust the layouts. I have tried applying the Live Trace action on Illustrator to create smooth vector images, but they loose to hand-rendered quality which gives them character. The same goes for the hand-lettering based on existing typefaces - it's the slightly wonky nature of it that sets it apart from the original digital version. The oven typeface is really interesting. Why did you pick the oven, of all pre-existing grids, to work with? I considered many many grids for that project - some others I attempted to work with were branches of trees and drain covers. The kitchen stove, though, had some lovely shapes within it - nice curves as well as straight lines. Looking at if for a while and running through the alphabet in my head whilst tracing the lines with my eyes, I could see it had potential to work!
How did your love for experimental type begin? What was the first "typeface" you ever drew? I've been a fan of words and writing for a long time, and text often seemed to become integrated in to my projects in some way. Creating a whole unique typeface is quite a new thing to me, though - a college typography project saw me finding letter formations in the grid structure of a kitchen stove. In a more illustrative sense, the bunny rabbit alphabet was the first. Describe the process of drawing your type, from the initial idea to the final alphabet. I like to start with a concept - be it restricting myself to a shapes within a grid structure, or a more fun animal theme etc. There's times when it's nice to just draw lettering that looks attractive, but I think a concept gives me more focus and more interesting results. It tends to go from mentally visualizing the idea to see if it could actually work, through to rough sketches, inking-up and scanning the drawings. Or in the case of a more digital typeface like the stove, tracing lines from a photograph of the grid using the pen tool on Illustrator.
ABOVE, ACCORDING TO LUCY: A sign advertising “banana’s” makes me want to shout “the banana’s what?” Nothing belongs to the banana. So I decided to give the banana possessions, by sticking labels saying “banana’s” on various objects. In addition to your "public transport" project, what else do you do to promote sustainability?
What is it about design that you like most? Do you have any goals for your design career?
To be honest, not enough! Though I was really glad that my Final Major Project at college led to me discover British Food Fortnight. It's a great concept, dedicating two whole weeks to the celebration of British produce. Made me think more about air miles & carbon footprints, and the benefits of sourcing local, seasonal food.
I just like the idea of creation - creating something completely new and exploring ideas, either for a specific purpose of simply just for the sake of it. It may seem like a pretty basic goal, but to graduate from college and be able to actually make a living out of something I enjoy is something that not everyone gets to achieve.
What are your favorite media to work in?
That awful, general question: what inspires you?
There is something nice and simple about a black pen a plain piece of paper. I recently dug my water-colours and inks out, though, which made a change - I tend to be very neat and a bit scared of colour, so that opened my mind a bit! I am a bit of a sucker for printmaking, too, and think my screen printing kit was one of the best things I ever bought.
Gosh... I feel I need some deep and meaningful answer, but I don’t think I have one. Browsing around websites like Flickr, Etsy, Folksy and various design blogs always gives me creative urges. Other than that, it might just be some random object or pattern or colour combination I see that I’ll make a note of for later use.
You seem to have an affinity for line drawings. How often do you draw from observation, and how often from memory/imagination? I seem to have become obsessed with line drawings in the past 18 months or so, but I'm very much an observational person. For someone supposedly creative, I don't seem to be very imaginative! I find it quite difficult to draw without some sort of reference, and I like to try and capture the details of an object - the things that make it unique, and the imperfections that drawing from memory might allow you to forget. What tips do you have for peers looking to improve their drawing skills? Until recently I was convinced I couldn't draw. I think I was looking for perfection, and was too concerned at what the outcome might be. Just draw and draw and draw without worrying, and really look at the subject. I was always told to 'draw what you see, not what you think you see', and it does make sense, actually.
Any fun projects in the works? Got a few bits and pieces on the go, and hoping to use my summer to try out some new ideas before I'm back at college again - about to enter the final year of my degree, so come September it's going to be pretty full on! Just finished some work experience at a couple of graphic design agencies in London, though, and worked on some pretty cool projects there which I might try and develop a bit more. I'm certainly not bored, anyway! For curiosity’s sake - have you ever used your “Mix it Up Meal Cards?” No! Shame on me! Only to the extent of picking a random selection of ingredients and laughing at the outcome haven’t got as far as making a meal out of them, yet. Check out more of Lucy’s work at lucyplayer.com or http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucyrose/
better late than never? katie torrington by
She’d never planned to kill him. It just worked out that way. The relationship was fairly decent, and the two possessed all the “important things” a “good relationship” should have: common interests, shared spirituality, a love of the Miami Dolphins, the desire never to have children. Last summer their trip to the Caribbean had been the greatest vacation either could recall. Never had there been a noticeable hiccup in the relationship. In fact, most people saw Mia and David as the most adorable couple in Sebastian. One could easily attribute the pleasant outward appearance of the duo to Mia. Avoiding conflict like the plague, she rarely argued with David about anything, thus giving onlookers the impression that the two never fought. Giving credit where credit is due, this was a rather incredible feat. With his terrible temper, David was the definition of a loose cannon. Every conversation made Mia feel as though she was walking through a field of land mines. Carefully testing each subject, ever so gently pressing her foot to the ground, Mia took every precaution to keep David’s inner demon at bay. Despite her caution, Mia still found herself in the crossfire every day. She was forbidden from grocery shopping on Wednesdays and Fridays while Mike was working (David absolutely knew he was in love with Mia), yet would have a full arsenal launched at her should there be an absence of fresh-squeezed orange juice on the breakfast table Saturday morning.
It wasn’t that Mia minded David’s bi-polar tendencies; after nearly two years, watching Mia handle David was similar to watching a tranquilizer gun take down a puppy. She knew every trick and trap for whatever David threw at her. The drinking wasn’t a big deal either. She simply told herself “boys will be boys,” knowing it was a phase he would outgrow. When he came home smelling like a distillery, she simply made him a grilled cheese sandwich, turned on the TV, and let him pass out watching David Letterman. Mia ignored those filthy cigarettes he insisted on smoking in the house. And in the car. And at every restaurant. Rather than ask him to take his chimney outside, Mia spent half the monthly grocery budget on air fresheners and carpet deodorizer. She found it amazingly simple to ignore all the flaws, even the extra hours he put in at the office “teaching” his gorgeous intern, Suzie, the tricks of the real estate trade. That whore. But none of these were the reason Mia ended David’s life. No, she didn’t smash his head in with a bottle when he came home drunk and drove the car into their mailbox on Tuesday. She didn’t tie him to the bed and burn him alive after one of his cigarettes caught fire to her favorite Chanel bag, as well as her entire shoe collection, the following Wednesday. She didn’t even shoot him between the legs when she came home early from work on Friday and found Suzie, half-naked, hiding
in their bedroom closet. After all, these were all minor disasters, not something to kill a man over. Despite all she endured, Mia harbored one secret pet-peeve about which she had never spoken to anyone. Neglected growing up, all Mia ever wanted was the love and attention she rightfully deserved. She believed in her heart that if she dealt with David’s issues and catered to his needs, he eventually would love her in the manner she had always dreamed. Two years down the road, David still pressed the button that would always cause an explosive, yet suppressed, anger within Mia. She truly loved David; there was no doubt about that. Mia enjoyed nothing more than to hold Kyle in her arms, look deep into his eyes, and softly whisper “I love you.” It truly was reminiscent of a love film. It wasn’t that David didn’t reciprocate the statement. He was never too slow in returning that incredibly intimate statement. It was simply that David never looked at Mia when he spoke the words. He glanced at her face, sure, but never did he really and truly look at her. At times he had the audacity to stare into space during their most intimate moments. Mia always hated that David simply looked at her face as he offered what she took as completely insincere intimacy. She wouldn’t have minded the faux-declaration had he just looked at her. The “I love you” was simply icing on the cake for Mia. All
she craved was for the love of her life to stare deep into her eyes--no, into her soul-and silently declare the connection the two, in Mia’s mind, undoubtedly shared. It wasn’t as though she hadn’t given David plenty of chances to prove himself. Their first Valentine’s Day together Mia gave David the perfect opportunity. When David came home from work, he walked through the front door and into a romantic wonderland. Roses and candles gave the room a pale pink hue with a heavenly scent. Sitting on the table, cooked to perfection was his favorite meal: steak and lobster. Mia thought the bounty of surf and turf was her one-way ticket to the love she truly craved. Expecting an Oscarwinning kiss a fireworks flying everywhere, she was incredibly disappointed to hear only “that’s cool babe, I guess I love you too” following her most sincere and intimate declaration. Several instances passed in much the same manner, yet Mia still gripped tenaciously to her belief that she would one day get exactly what she needed. It was their second anniversary, and Mia knew it was going to be the day. Not just any day, but the day. She headed out early, giving herself plenty of time to prepare for a day of perfection. Mia left a small note a piece of pink stationary taped to the front of the fridge; David always headed straight for the fridge for a drink after work. The delicately-written note was
inscribed with every clue David needed to lead him to Mia’s secret getaway. Down near the secluded river, Mia placed a fluffy white blanket on the exact spot she and David had had their first date. Around the blanket she put a circle of little candles. The sun slipped closer towards the earth, creating an atmosphere that grew more romantic by the moment. Tossing a few pillows onto the blanket, Mia checked her watch. David should be arriving any minute, she thought. She trotted off to the car and fetched the final accoutrements necessary for the date. The basket of food was strategically filled: tiny sandwiches (no crusts, of course), strawberries, cheese and crackers, and a big, juicy peach pie for desert. Just as Mia lit the last tiny candle encircling the blanket, David walked down the worn path, pink note in hand. Mia led him through the candles onto the blanket. The night proceeded exactly as planned. The two ate sandwiches as the sun set; David didn’t even notice how Mia took the time to remove the crusts he so despised. “It looks almost as though the sun doesn’t want to leave, like it will never come back if it does,” David commented on the slowly-sinking sun, which finally disappeared with a sluggish sense of finality. David brushed the thought from his mind. Just one too many vodka-tonics, I guess he said to himself. When the sun had gone, the two fed one another
strawberries in the glowing candlelight. Mia gently pulled the scrumptious pie from the nearly-empty basket. “I brought your favorite babe!” she exclaimed with utter delight. Mia popped the lid off the pie and grabbed two paper plates from the basket. Just as she picked up the large stainless-steel knife to slice the pie, Mia paused, sliding across the blanket closer to Kyle. “You know sweetheart, I really do love you,” she proclaimed. “I’m so happy we’ve been together all this time.” Mia tilted her head ever-soslightly in Kyle’s direction, waiting for a reply. Time slowed to a standstill as she waited, and though it was barely a second, Mia felt as though she waited an eternity for a response. The candles flickered, bouncing off the white blanket and making it glow. Mia held her breath in anticipation as David’s lips finally parted.
TOP: TOM BAKKER; BOTTOM: MARYLYN PEDEN
TOP: MARYLYN PEDEN; BOTTOM: MARLON RABENREITHER
destruction katherine carleton by
Beyond the grey sky, the miles and miles of charcoal, past layers and layers of peppered dirt and red clay cloaked in shades of deep green and merciless trees, there lies a house named Destruction. The shack sits on its foundations of mud and clay, a ruler on his throne. Green vines coil up and around the wiry driftwood edges; worn white and ramshackle red. Its front stairs slope up and wind back down at the seams, jumbled together like scattered building blocks, and finite chips of concrete curl up in places like smoke only to peel back and reveal a wayward skeleton of cedar. The planks that pile on top of each other, too many to one space, carving into each other become, somehow, not self-destruction, but a form of creation. Red and concrete grey, the broken-down house sits on its foundations, a self-obliterate palace. And it waits. It waits for someone to remember. It waits in the echoing silence for someone to find it, to creak up those broken steps and move along the edges of the worn wood and into its darkened halls. Destruction waits for boots to brush its dusty floors and taste the pain in its walls. Because Destruction remembers. Destruction remembers the flickering lights and the sinewy, dark figures that used to move through the shadows, in and out of doorways and across the floors, remembers the creaking sounds that reverberated through the stillness; the broken mirrors with their own secret agendas, the thunder that belonged to no one and nothing--but mostly, it remembers what came next. Destruction remembers the leaving best. The empty sound, echoing, pulling through the air, viscous like blood, like fingers through water, because the light crept up through the trees, purple with the sting of dawn, its winding fingers reaching
down and pulling Destruction’s inhabitants out. There was snow on the ground then, and the tires, as the broke away from the frozen ground, flung it out and across the land like ignorance of something sacred. The silence was broken, and Destruction was left in solitude. Over and over, it ended this way. But next time, next time, Destruction was wiser. It cut its own scars, red wounds of licking fire, cracked, bone shards of wood cast into themselves, peeling concrete and flaked red paint. Next time it didn’t matter, because nothing is forever, everything is made to be broken, no one can shatter what’s already shattered. Next time Destruction felt footsteps on its floors, it didn’t dare to hope. When the darkness came again, it crawled in and curled up like smoke, it took things and whispered lies into the dust-kissed corners, it trailed up into the sky, and it’s hunger stabbed and killed, left nothing untouched. It reminded the house of its fire, and when the light broke through the sky and the trees and climbed across the mountains, when the cool air sang to Destruction’s dwellers, shaped lyrics to the tune of chase the wind, and you’re missing so much, and you’re not happy here, when they obeyed and left the palace of demolition cold like a razor blade, the house coaxed it’s own flame to burn through it’s halls and across it’s floors until it no longer felt the icy chill of desolation, until all it could feel was the fire, the heat like barbed wire through its wood. And Destruction learned that houses can bleed. Residents trickled in like water and passed through Destruction's doors like seasons, marked by their changing and good only for the months they inhabit. No one ever stayed long, and Destruction convinced itself it liked it this
way. But every time they left, the house carved out pieces of itself to mark their passing, tally marks scratched in its own walls in the form of fire or slivered wood or slices scored into it’s floors, or something something something. Years and years passed and Destruction racked up these marks like tattoos written is some ancient, dead language, the instruction manual tossed by the side of the road somewhere (forgotten and unwanted), until its every particle was built of obliteration and self-destruction, until Destruction was two million fragmented pieces of fucking-beautiful nothing, shining out through the broken sky and against the stark blue mountains. Somewhere, beyond the grey sky, past the miles and miles of charcoal, Destruction sits on its throne and gazes out across its empire of dirt. Lonely and alone, tumbledown, the palace re-creates itself in the image of its pain. And it waits. It waits for someone to remember.
“MILTON” ABIGAIL HALPIN
“ORIGINS OF EVIL” MARY OCHER
on “origins of evil” “Some truly believe that there is a birth-given right to discriminate against others, merely by belonging to a different ‘clan,’ be it the color of their skins, the names of their parents, the language that they speak or their species. Decades of mistrust and alienation of people of different nations, foreign both in tongue and in heart. The hidden Hitler is a symbol, he represents the subtle fear or the loud hatred that is almost immediately identified with him, he is the immediate hatred, as in ‘there is no other.’ But hatred did not die with him. It is crawling and lurking in the shadows of the media, on its screens, in its papers. It is quiet and polite, covered with soft make-up, its teeth are sparkling white, trustworthy smiles, all political correctness... ...Manipulated by the idea of nationalities, the false promise of a freedom that is yours and yours alone, by that same ole’ birth-given right, given to your people. But there cannot be ‘yours’ and ‘theirs,’ there is just hatred, blind and slow, and in that we are all equal.” --Mary Ocher
What was it like collecting these images? “The moustache is a symbol of what certain people identify as evil. Here, a certain potential of evil. Some people refused to participate. Nationalities were clashing with history and the [potential participants’] personal and political agendas, and although most participants were rather radical-to-moderate left-wingers, sometimes we had to discuss the issue for a very long time, to decide whether it is really a worthy cause to pursue. Sometimes I got really mad, when I was scolded for even suggesting that Hitler’s potential might reside in others, especially when it came from a young Israeli patriot, a country where I myself grew up. In several places even the mentioning of Hitler is a taboo, places like Italy, Israel and Russia, that’s why I became more determined to continue no matter what. It seemed relevant, still.”
This page: Untitled fashion Shain LaBarge “I’ve taken my loses during this economic mess for artists to another level, recycled unsold abstract paintings into fashion designs.”
Apposite page: “Graffiti Love” Photographer: Albert Sidey Fashion Editor & Stylist : Frances Macdonald MODELS: Andrea Guzman & Cesar Cortes Make up by Mary Ann Richardson Hair by Rhi Yee Fashion Assistant Martha Sidey
“you smell nice.” Frank Sung i am behind you. crouching. just pretend im your shadow.
DECIDING JEN COLLINS
earth, edge of dreams nate legaspi by
I haven’t sleep like this for almost a lifetime, and it had been a week since I have been sleeping early. Dreams are becoming more vivid everyday; and it is a consolation for all the things I've lost. Waking up is even harder; dreams are taking over even in the waking hour. My tongue starts to feel strange as I trace them with my fingers and taste all the alphabets flowing around my mouth. There are just too many words I want to say, too many words I want to tell someone. It feel so bizarre that my mouth flowed with so many words that I can taste every adjective to describe a feeling. A feeling that when I start to spit out, starts to burn my tongue. My head starts to hum, a message perhaps. Hum, hum, it says; my head told me to reach for my shoes and walk on the street. There is nothing else to do on the street that day as I packed my bag and wore my sunglasses. I am more than aware to the fact that the pavement is more or less the only thing that's holding me. Maybe I should just check my shoes again, make sure they’re intact and shoelaces are in place. The crowd is oblivious to my existence, custom concern is their own journey as I am to my own. I always walk the path of least resistance and yours looked like one. So I play a song by a band that doesn't exist in a conversation and dancing
like crazy, smiling like crazy. It keeps spinning in my head even in my sleep. My dreams are a remix of Apocalypse Now and Dr. Strangelove with their love of Napalm and Atomic Bomb with the song cuing on the background. I hear a whisper of the same song, and there it is, a girl sitting on her own under a tree. Her humming creates a vivid image of a piano and a violin playing Vivaldi's Concerto No. 3 in G. Major. I can see letters and words flying out of her mouth as she hums the same song. I wish I could make out the words flowing out of her as she fixed her hair up a little because she thinks it looked terrible in the morning. The tree she's sitting on looks like the one in my postcard that I kept in a house with a sunspot on a wall. It is the same house that I visit as a child, but you can't really tell whether it's a house or whatnot. I kept it there for some time, but I burned it one day because I claimed my life wasn’t exciting anymore. It was my treasure back then as I kept coming back every afternoon at the house with a sunspot on a wall. I held it up with one hand as it burned on the other end and I closed my right eye as the other stared on a pretty sunset. The postcard was halfway from burning, and there it was, not just an image of a tree on the postcard but the same girl sitting on a tree humming the
same song I kept on hearing. Then I laugh; laughed harder than the day a friend got stuck on a hole in a rice field back when we were still boys. She looks at me with a funny eye, then she smiles and I stop laughing. She wouldn't understand, maybe if I hadn't burned the postcard and had shown it to her she might have laughed too; but would I be laughing too? So she asks me to sit at the same tree that I had in a postcard as a boy with a picture of a girl sitting and humming under a tree. It is surreal, and we end up humming the same damn song in our head with letters and words came flying out of our mouth and mixed together like a prose. *An excerpt from a dream*
TOP: BETSY KERSHNER; BOTTOM: LIZ WYSOCKI OPPOSITE PAGE: ALICE YUMI SINZATO
“JONO” MATT AUSTIN
May 23, 2007 Holding hands, kissing in the rain Like good couples do Time passes; we grow older, closer And share everything, or so I think Long-term plans are made I looked, and I saw that it was good. April 27, 2009 Overblown lies of cheating fly through the air The previous day’s promotion lots to the ether News flash: scrawny, clean-shaven nerds are out Big beardy sports fans are in June 25, 2009 Everything you ever said about valuing honesty is a lie Isn’t that ironic? Like rain on a nonexistent wedding day Apparently I’m “living in a fantasy world” So I don’t realize I ever wanted “someone new, someone better” How much of the lovemaking was a spitefuck, because you couldn’t stand me? How many poisonous “I love yous” did you spit out, not meaning a word of it? I can finally move on with my life. July 5, 2009 I write this in the shadow of America’s birthday Which reminds me of another one in a week Barely able to contain my elation That I won’t be dragged to Disney for it ever again I know now that when civility gets you blocked, it’s a lost cause. If you’d rather curl up with a bottle than someone who (once) loved you, so be it. One last hope I have for you: That your moment of clarity doesn’t come in a car wreck. If you insist on abandoning your home and all your friends, change your name (again) The girl we knew would hate the bitch we’ve recently met. “Untitled” J.D.
rainbow jaymes faulkner by
It was dark, that was all I knew for sure. What time it was, where we were, even who was left of the crew I was proud to call friends—family—none of those questions had answers; not anymore. All I knew was that the storm, perfect and deadly in its fury, had swallowed us, holding us in its relentless grasp as it had done with the blessed light of day. My mind told me that I had only put the morning Sun behind me, setting our course running southeast true towards the straits, a matter of hours ago; my heart, though, screamed otherwise. It was convinced that we had been running against the storm for longer. Forever. Time no longer had any meaning. I knew that each and every second could bring us closer to breaking through the storm front and reaching calmer seas—reaching safety; I also knew that each and every second could bring us closer to the doom that waited for all who made their life from tempting Aegir’s fury. And the God of the Sea’s temper knew no bounds. My father’s father’s father had fished these straits, three hundred miles off the coast of our village, and every generation since had gone out to where no other men—at least none who still claimed sanity as a friend—dared to go. The waves were more treacherous, the waters colder and the storms darker, stronger, and more unpredictable here than anywhere. The rewards, though, were just as mighty as the risks. The cod, the mackerel and the herring were bigger and more plentiful and, if you were lucky, good or blessed— all three, my father had boasted of himself the last night he spoke to me—you could make such a catch in one trip that would make your fortune and see you through the worst of winters. As my father’s father’s father before me had done I had taken my ship, and crew of one and twenty, out early on Winter’s coldest and longest day. I,
Orik, son of Wulfgar, would cry out to Aegir, God of the Oceans’ depths, and let him know that I was coming. I would challenge him and take his riches. I would return to the Hall of my fathers having proved my worth. I would make my name and carve my legend. As the rain fell in horizontal fury, shards of ice hitting my skin with the sting of a thousand knives, as the clouds that gathered overhead became as dark and impenetrable as the gates of Nifelheim —only worse for they were real—as the waves that I had grown to love rose and fell as if the were trying to shake me free and as the relentless winds raged against us, threatening to take the sails from the mast and the mast from the ship itself, I forgot my boasts and claims. What mattered, now, the warmth of my father’s hearth? What mattered now the embrace of a willing woman? What mattered now my fame, my legend, my worth? Salt stung my eyes and, as frost limned my lashes so that I could hardly open them, I had only one thought in that ever-cursed darkness. Survival. Please, Odin—All-Father—let me simply survive. The ship—my father’s ship that was now mine by bequeathed right— lurched precariously in the roiling and rolling of the furious waves. I had laughed, as a child, as I found the name ‘Rainbow’ to be so funny but my father had proved—with hands calloused and deft in equal measure—that she could live up it. Under his hands she had danced across the waves. So light, her prow cutting the waves, that the spray left in her wake danced out with all the colours of her name. I had thought, in my younger days, that perhaps Odin had gifted him so that, at his hand, the ship could actually fly across the waves, never touching them at all. I had believed that this was how
he, more than any of the hunters of our people, could go so far, so deep, into Aegir’s cold realm and always return with the finest of catches. I stopped believing that the day that the ‘Rainbow’ limped back into the bay and he was not at her helm. I didn’t need Jogur, his oldest and dearest friend, to tell me where my father was. If he had been alive he would have been laughing his joy upon their return, steering his ship to safety and catching me in a rough embrace. I didn’t need him to tell me that Aegir had finally won. Finally beaten my father. I didn’t need him to tell me anything. I knew. My father was dead. Sideswiped the ship sluggishly responded to my silent efforts as I was brought back to reality. Muscles protested as tried to hold the wheel steady, to follow the course that I had set. It was dark, that was all I knew for sure. I was my father’s son, however, and he had stared Aegir in the face and laughed. He sailed the waves better than any man and he had taught me everything he knew. I had set my course and, while I couldn’t see the Sun nor stars—while I didn’t know if they even still existed or if this storm was THE storm —Ragnarok come among us—I trusted in his ship—my ship—and his training. I trusted in myself. I would prove to be more than my father’s father’s father had been. I would face Aegir. I would win. I glanced around and saw that the deck was empty. I was alone. Silence deafened, sound retreated until, finally, all that was left was the darkness. The wave. Bigger than any I had seen before. All consuming. My fingers clenched frozen to the wheel as I set a new course. Into the wave. Into the darkness. “Father!”
UNTITLED CHRISSY LAU
CHAOS THEORY DAVID STUZIN
Somewhere in the sunsets of the South, after the farmers had tucked away their sons, sniff hounds, and shotguns, a yellow leaf steadily glided away like a Russian ballerina with dark circles burrowed into the canyons beneath her eyes; this is how I was born. DRAWING
TOP: WENDY TAN LUI CHAN; BOTTOM: BRIDGET TAN
the new closure: ashley lauren tedesco
redefining life after love in the techno generation
When we were 13, it wasn’t a party unless someone was taking pictures to post on MySpace. Now all of a sudden, we’re in our twenties and news isn’t news unless you heard it on Twitter. But the dominance of social networking Web sites has worked itself into even deeper recesses of Generation Y life—love. The romantic courting of our parents’ generation was made up mostly of girls waiting by their telephones for their gentleman callers to, you know, call. These days, it’s nowhere near that simple. Drew Barrymore’s character in He’s Just Not That Into You was right—it’s exhausting. “I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies.” It’s become more than just waiting for the phone to ring. And I’m not talking about cleaning out your locker and hoping the mysterious “he” has dropped you a note. Nope. You have to check your text messages, your Facebook wall, that dreaded AIM account, BlackBerry Messenger, Twitter replies and seven different email addresses. And then, of course, there’s what happens on those social networking sites when he finally does call (or text or email or tweet). I’m talking big questions. Should you be “in a relationship” on Facebook?
Should you engage in Twitter PDA like @ aplusk and @mrskutcher? Should your new beau be called “boyfriend” in your Gmail contacts list? But perhaps the biggest difference when it comes to new technology and new young love is what happens when it’s over—the closure process. We’ve all dated and broken up and been caught in that exhausting post-relationship limbo. You know, that the teetering between wanting to get back together, wanting to be friends, and wanting to jab pins in a Voodoo doll. And it’s easy to maintain perpetual contact even post-breakup with 140-character regular updates on life. Reminded of the good times by pictures posted on Facebook, it’s easy to let the reminiscing lead you down the “friends for now, but maybe, sometime in the future…” path. Until you hit your breaking point. Maybe it’s the initial breakup. Maybe it’s seeing flirty comments coming up in your mutual friends’ news feed. Or maybe it’s the “is now in a relationship” update that finally directs you to ultimate closure. What’s that ultimate closure? Deleting him as a friend on Facebook, of course. And taking his phone number and email address off your contact list. Cold turkey techno-quitting. There you have it. No more temptations to text you when I’m missing you. No more allowance for you to stalk through my newly-posted photo albums when you’re bored at night. It’s complete technological
closure. And it makes me wonder—back in the days of passed notes and home phone calls, what kind of closure was there? Maybe just a good cry, plain and simple. Technology has replaced our tears. There’s no app for that.
“The Truth” Rebecca Williams I don’t know why I feel this way Happy Loved Appreciated It’s clear that none of these are real I am a just a brilliant flash, a
moment in time
I am regret Loneliness Convenience I am a drunken kiss A deceitful night I am nothing
TOP: DENISE VILLEGAS; BOTTOM: CAITLIN COONS
TOP: CAITLIN COONS; BOTTOM: “FANORE DUNES” MATT AUSTIN
CONTACT SHEET TIFFANY JYANG
â€œThe Queenâ€? Chancellor Page How the gowns of the curtains billowed in synch as the light winked in and out of her consciousness. Her once regal uprightness brought down, consumed by the mouth of a quiet maid pressed against a window pane closed to a dark port of clipper ships sinking and capsized in docks.
contributors MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED:
Greg Abbott, England http://emptees.com/people/3086 I work freelance as a web / graphic designer and illustrator and specialize in character and t-shirt design.
Jaymes Faulkner, Northern Ireland www.carpetempus.com I am a martial artist, writer, sketcher, fantasy-fan, husband and father.
Carter Adams, Florida, USA http://auteursandovations.blogspot.com/ Carter Adams, born and bred in the Florida sun, would love to continue to express himself as a writer/director one day; however, teaching the next generation about those of the past suits him just fine.
Abigail Halpin, Maine, USA www.theodesign.com Abigail Halpin is an illustrator, graphic designer and consumer of coffee.
Sarah Beth Almendinger, Florida, USA sarahbethalmendinger.tumblr.com Sarah Beth Almendinger was born in 1989. Racheal Anilyse, Connecticut, USA http://www.rachealanilyse.com/ I am an illustrator, graphic designer, and visual communicator. Matt Austin, Illinois, USA http://mattaustinphoto.com I like to travel and I’d like to get to know you (and whoever ends up seeing these). Tom Bakker, The Netherlands www.flickr.com/photos/toooom I’m a starting photographer from the north of the Netherlands. Gladis Balbuena, California, USA I am a college student interested in all aspects of the creative world, striving to improve my craft. Katherine Carleton, Hawaii, USA I am a college student in between schools, currently working towards a professional and creative writing certificate, and plan to attend school for a Bachelor’s in the same next year. Jen Collins, Scotland www.hellojenuine.com I like making things & looking at what others make.
Willy Harris, UK www.flickr.com/photos/tri_an_gle/ Born in december. Ingridesign, Leeds, UK www.flickr.com/photos/ingridesign/ Im Ingrid, I’m a graphic designer, and I love being creative. Tiffany Jyang, Georgia, USA http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiffanyjyang I want to explore everything under the sun. Betsy Kershner, Pennsylvania, USA www.betsykershner.com Betsy Kershner grew up in Philadelphia, lived in New York, and still is terrible at making plans after twenty four years of practice. Michelle Krewet, Missouri, USA www.michellekrewet.com I’m pretty simple; I just like to make things. Shain LaBarge, Arizona, USA http://www.ustrendy.com/shainbird/ Chrissy Lau, Sydney, NSW, Australia http://www.deciphertheday.co.uk/ I’m 25 and absolutely love drawing and would like to reach as many people with it as possible.
Kyle Dyson, Florida, USA http://www.myspace.com/265210735
Nate Legaspi, Quezon City, Philippines http://www.wiredfractal.com Nate Legaspi works as an Art Director in a No Line Ad Agency in the Philippines and he has written recollections of his dreams since he was 7 years old.
Hannah F., Florida, USA hananddan.etsy.com Sentence about self: I am a student studying science. People intrigue me and inspire me to make art.
Frances MacDonald, Vancouver, BC Canada http://www.modelmayhem.com/1253868 Raised in Colombia, South America, Frances has been living in Canada for the last 10 years . She loves fashion and art
and the ability to create lasting impressions and tell stories without words. Bente Miltenburg, The Hague, Netherlands www.changeofhue.blogspot.com My ideal life is best depicted in beautiful homes Anastasia Nikolaeva, Moscow http://www.flickr.com/photos/clockworkme/ I consider myself a scientist who does experimentations with textiles. I find inspiration in science,geometry,physics and math. Mary Ocher. Moscow/Tel Aviv/Berlin myspace.com/maryocher Has wanted to become an artist since the age of six. Chancellor Page, Texas, USA In debt and depressed, Chancellor Page teaches college in Texas. He is barely getting by. At everything. Marylyn Peden, New Jersey, USA www.flickr.com/photos/chchchk/ Just an 18 year old girl trying to figure out what to do with herself. Marlon Rabenreither, L.A., California / London, UK www.flickr.com/photos/rabenreither/ Marlon Rabenreither is a young Viennese artist living in Los Angeles, he is currently studying fine-art at Goldsmiths, University Of London. Albert Sidey, Vancouver, BC Canada http://www.flickr.com/people/13725404@N00/ Born and raised in Mexico, Albert has been living in Canada for the last 4 years . He loves art and to capture the essence of a moment in every picture. Alice Yumi Sinzato, Brazil www.flickr.com/photos/aliceyumi I’m a fashion student who just loves to draw. While I struggle with sewing and garment making the one place I can express freely through drawing, painting and collage.
Paul Stanley, Florida, USA I try to perform many “reality checks” throughout a normal day in order to draw a distinction between waking consciousness and dreams. David Stuzin, Florida, USA “David Stuzin is a student at the university of Florida who has done only one sentence worth of notable things in his life” Frank Sung, New Jersey, USA http://takingnaps.blogspot.com/ Frank is someone who is undecided on most things. Erin Talanda Erin Talanda is currently studying English at the University of South Florida in the U.S and hopes to one day do something with it. Ashley Lauren Tedesco, New York, USA www.ashleylaurentedesco.com Ashley is a journalism student at Fordham University in New York and has given her heart away to Jewcy Magazine, where she serves as the editorial intern that never goes away. Denise Villegas, California, USA http://www.flickr.com/people/hellodenise/ girl extraordinaire Wendy Tan-Lui Chan, Florida, USA http://www.flickr.com/photos/wendy-lui/ Bridget Tan, Hong Kong http://thezits.deviantart.com/ Katie Torrington, Florida USA Rebecca Williams, Florida USA Liz Wysocki, Florida USA
All copyright belongs to the artists and no images nor writing from this magazine are to be used without the authors’ prior permission. Offshoot accepts no responsibility for the copyright of artworks used. Next issue’s theme: basic needs. Please visit http://www.offshootmag.blogspot.com for more information.
Art and writing from across the globe. This first issue is themeless.