Girlâ€™s story inspires self-love project
SHOUT OUT Abstract artist motivated by originality
A night of fashion supports local women
Issue Three : July 2013
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR Issue Three : July 2013
The editor’s letter is always last part I write before finishing OutLoud. I wait, so I can understand the cohesion of the stories, how they fit together. What, at a minimum, do I want readers to take from OutLoud? This issue stumped me. Seemingly irrelevant to one another, I struggled to think about how July’s articles relate. There’s a story about a photographer’s project to promote self-love, a feature on a multi-talented artist, and a preview of an upcoming fashion show for a local nonprofit; for me, no message was obvious. After thinking of, dreaming about and writing out ideas, however, I realized these articles correlate in several powerful ways. The theme on which I want to focus is pushing limits. Whether we make them or they’re created for us, we all have boundaries. Some boundaries keep us from disaster, but others are worth breaking. Becky Fontaine Melton turned a negative situation, where a girl selfharms, into an ambitious, positive message of loving oneself. Her notion, that strength comes from within, and if one has a strong foundation, external pressures are less likely to infiltrate. Alissa Renzetti believes in the original, one-of-a-kind lifestyle. She believes in telling stories and expressing herself through unique, imaginative, abstract art. The New Directions Young Professionals began to infuse a younger generation in a nonprofit which helps women achieve economic success, and hosts a fashion show to support their mission, as well as promote a new initiative for New Directions. Each of these stories encourages people to make their voice their own. Reading is just the beginning. Push your boundaries. Do something radical. Be a catalyst for change. And most importantly, love yourself.
THANK YOU Jillian Anderson Rena Collins Jennifer Combs Linda Danter Amanda Fox Anita Kwan Lia Jen Laston Becky Fontaine Melton Lindsay Miller Alissa Renzetti Alyce Snyder
OutLoud Magazine, LLC PO Box 174 Grove City, Ohio 43123
www.outloudmag.wordpress.com Facebook: OutLoud Magazine Twitter: @RaeLivesOutLoud
With Gratitude and Love,
Rae Reed Founder, Editor-in-Chief
All content is property of OutLoud Magazine, LLC. Reproduction of any content, in whole or in part, without expressed written consent of publisher, is prohibited. All rights reserved.
Refocusing the Impact page 4
Feature on local photography project about self-love Written by Rae Reed Images provided by Becky Fontaine Melton, FmPhoto
The Surreal Life of Alissa Renzetti page 8 Featured Artist, Alissa Renzetti Written by Rae Reed Images provided by Alissa Renzetti
GO OUT Forward Fashion page 14
Written by Rae Reed Photography by Rae Reed Logo provided by Linda Danter
Preview of nonprofit fashion show
REFOCUSING THE IMPACT A girl’s story inspires a self-love movement by a local photographer, makeup artist and videographer.
Lia struggled with bullying in school. As the bullying progressed, Lia, at just 11 years old, began cutting herself. Through the strife, Becky Fontaine Melton, a friend of Lia’s mother, got an idea that would alter the perception. “My heart shattered. We go through many hardships in our life, and to think that they started at such a young age, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. So I wanted to do something that kind of talked about that, talked about how kids being bullied and how something so ‘small’ sets a ball rolling throughout life. I just wanted to talk about that and I wanted to talk about the things that broke me in my life, and how it was okay to be broken. What mattered is how you can put yourself back together, that you’re the only person that can put yourself back together,” Becky said. Simple, but powerful, The Lia Project began.
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Photographer and owner of FmPhoto, Becky began a project about the celebration of life and compassion for others in honor of Lia. She requested nomination letters from people who know someone deserving of a day of recognition. For example, Brian said “My wife is a beautiful, nurturing woman. Those who know her, love her. She is friendly to everyone that she meets... ...I want to nominate her for The Lia Project so that she can see just how beautiful she is, I want her to see her as others do, I want her to see the beautiful woman that I see every day.” Heather nominated her daughter. “I tell her everyday she’s beautiful. I tell her I love her curly hair, but she wishes she had straight hair. She wants hair like me, ‘white hair.’ I hate that ignorant people have crushed her spirit. It breaks my heart that she can’t see how truly beautiful she is. I hope if she sees her potential on camera, sees her beauty exposed, that she will finally embrace and accept how gorgeous she is, both inside and out.” And Jenna about her cousin, “she’s so young and it scares me to pieces at fifteen she could feel her life isn’t worth living anymore... ...I’d love to surprise her with this. We are all so beautiful and unique and I know this is something she’d remember forever.” Chosen entries receive an Affirmation Session with Becky, which celebrates the person by photographing them. “Photographing them” is the tangible impact Becky wanted to offer, but she provided much more. Becky created a way to give people love, support and appreciation that they need, to remind them that they are special and beautiful. Becky started with herself. Disclosing her own story on her blog, which includes her own struggles with bullying, depression, and a realization that many of her experiences derived from a lack of self-love, was necessary for Becky. “I felt like I needed to tell her and other people that we all have bad times. Nobody’s perfect. And
dation, shadow pallet, curling iron, an open makeup case, and brushes in her apron. While she sets up, Becky and Anita work out the details with the participant, such as outfit changes and make-up styles, as well as talk out any nervousness. Anita conducts an open interview, where the nominators read their letters aloud. This is usually the part when the tears roll, ‘I love yous’ pour, and hugs exchange. “I love watching the nominators read their letters to everybody; it’s been so much emotion. I love that
entourage travels to a fun location, where they spend the day focusing on and applauding the participant. It is a day of love, support and appreciation for life. At the close, each woman gives a message to Lia. Grateful, the women thank Lia for inspiring this project, as well as offering words of encouragement. One participant said, “thanks Lia for inspiring this, because this actually helped my life a little because I felt like I was important... ...it gets tough sometimes and I’m not too far from where you are, but it does get easier and you’ll find the right people and they’ll help you through it. But you mean a lot to everyone, and that you have someone who would do this for you, it already means that you’re important.” Sharing experiences, refocusing the mentality of the subject, and paying it forward make a difference. “I told Lia about the paying it forward thing, it’s the best way to heal yourself. I just really believe that. When you can do something for somebody else it makes you feel good,” Becky said. Photos of and information about The Lia Project can be viewed at photo-fm.blogspot.com. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit suicidehotlines.com.
“What mattered is how you can put yourself back together, that you’re the only person that can put yourself back together.” moment. Some of these people never heard or read the letter until that moment,” Becky said. While Jen applies the makeup, Becky and Anita wiggle their lenses through gaps to get the best angle of the women, filling the room with smiles and the sound of clicks. When Jen finishes, she gives the women a hand mirror, revealing the work she did in embracing their natural features and bringing out the color in their eyes. The
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we can take that and attempt to fix ourselves and loves ourselves and take that and pass it on to someone else. So I wanted to show her that if she’s going through this terrible time, we’re going to take it and do good for other people. That’s healing right there. I don’t know if it’s service or what you want to call it, but thats monumental in healing yourself, to be able to share experiences and do good for other people,” Becky said. Inspired by Becky’s story, makeup artist and owner of Oh Snap Makeup, Jen Laston, and videographer at True Studios, Anita Kwan, volunteered their services for the cause. Therefore, in addition to a photo session, each winner receives an optional makeup application and a mini-documentary of the experience. “My hope is for them to kind of keep this as a positive memory. My videos, I want them to stay with them forever and remind them that ‘you are a beautiful, wonderful, amazing person,’ and that’s my way of showing them, through my videos. That’s my outlet of contributing and that’s what I hope that helps them,” Anita said. Anita, Becky and Jen work as a team to create a comfortable environment for each session. At the beginning, Jen prepares her station, ready with airbrush foun-
THE SURREAL LIFE of Alissa Renzetti
A painter, sculptor, illustrator and dressmaker, Alissa Renzetti creates the surreal, the fantastic and the impossible. In her cozy closet-turned studio, surrounded by paints of all kinds, yarn and thread, markers, brushes, buttons and beads, awards, a sewing machine, some of her newest dolls and anything she would ever need, Alissa makes her masterpieces. Art is an integral part life for Alissa, who is also a mother of two. Her paintings and dolls are displayed throughout her home, above her dining room table and above her bed, in addition to her husband’s photography of nebulas. Throughout her life, Alissa has always been a talented artist. In grade school, the concept of selling and distributing art began as she would draw pictures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and sell them to classmates for $5 each. Beginning with Play-Doh, she sculpted from a young age; she was never really into television, so she found hobbies to occupy her time. “I really love surrealism. That’s what really got me interested in art and that’s my whole style. I just love surrealism. I love the idea of using your imagination to just make anything possible. Because for me just being able to paint an object or landscape, it’s not enough for me. I want to see something really bizarre, do something that has to feel fun,” she said. Alissa never duplicates an idea. This becomes challenging during preparation for art shows, when she needs to create at least 60 new dolls. But she makes it work while incorporating her discipline and detail to each original piece. “One thing I think is really important is being original. I think with art, the main important thing that you can do is be original because I think that’s what art is,” she said. Though she has gained several customers who visit every show and collect her pieces, not everyone understands her art. “When you do start to show your art at galleries you realize you’re really opening yourself up, and you don’t know how people are going to take it. So you have to have a tough skin to deal with it and I think a lot of artists kind of know that.” Enter the realm of Alissa Renzetti.
SHOUT OUT PG 9 PICTURED: Blueberry Pie
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PICTURED LEFT: “Emma Mess,” “Bystander,” “Carlotta Cutting,” “Owls” PICTURED RIGHT: “Until the End of Time” PICTURED BOTTOM: “X-Mas” PICTURED BELOW: “Two Owls and a Skeptic”
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SHOUT OUT PG 13 FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Koi, Squid Head, Long Face
Young professionals host fashion show to promote B’s Boutique and other resources available to center’s clients
GO OUT PG 14 MANNEQUINS & MODELS: Professional attire available at B’s Boutique.
An evening of wine, food and fashion aims to introduce young professionals to new opportunities. Focusing on summer and fall trends, The New Directions Young Professionals (NDYP) invites the public to their first fashion show. As a new extension of the New Directions Career Center (NDCC), whose mission is to “empower women in transition to achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency,” NDYP strives to attract and involve a younger generation into the center. The event takes place at the NDCC on Thursday, July 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. All donations and tickets can be purchased through the NDCC website, with proceeds benefitting NDYP. The fashion show supports organization initiatives, as well as raises awareness to another new addition to NDCC, B’s Boutique. B’s Boutique opened in March, serving the center’s clients by providing professional attire for their careers. “We wanted to showcase that we’ve opened up a boutique for our clients. We are driving to get professional clothes for them and it seemed like a good fit to do our fashion show as a fundraiser and to get the word out to young professionals to have a fun and light event that also introduces them to the center itself,” NDYP Events CoChair Alyce Snyder said. Jennifer Combs, a client of NDCC, is one of the many clients participating as a model in the fashion show.
“Whenever they come up with something, what it’s really done for me is make me go up against my comfort zone, so when I do it and I succeed, then it gives me confidence. It’s not as hard the next time to do something I need to do,” Jennifer said. Much of the time, sponsors and donors of NDCC do not get to meet or network with the clients. By inviting clients to be models, it connects all involved in a meaningful way. “I hope the clients involved as models get something from this experience as well. Not only fashion tips and advice on how to look their best, but also a boost of energy from the whole experience,” President of NDYP, Jillian Anderson said.
With focuses on hair and makeup, jewelry, staple pieces and accessories, the event is separated into rooms, with rotating presentations. Bits and pieces from all over Columbus are integrated in the event. Regency Beauty Institute, Thread Boutique, Laurel’s Boutique, Pre-
mier Designs and Second Chance Consignment Boutique are some of the brands involved. Appetizers and wine is available, in addition to raffle prizes with donations from places such as Limited Brands and Figlio Wood Fired Pizza. “I’m most excited about showing off center to new members who
haven’t seen it yet and kind of see it in action. There’s a new member orientation where you see the lay of the land, but actually seeing clients there and interacting with clients there is probably the biggest impact for a new member to really understand why we’re doing what we’re doing and why its a great organization to get involved with,” Jillian said. “It’s really exciting to get involved with something that is benefitting women in the area to help them get into a situation where they’re reaching and maintaining economic awareness, so I think that’s something important for all of the young professionals,” Alyce said. “We’re all trying to maintain economic security and provide that assistance to others to do the same.”
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ON THE RACK: Assembly of the outfits which will be modeled by clients at the fashion show on Thursday, July 18.