Page 1

on the cover


the big moon are four women on the frontlines of a rock revolution

editorials homesick 4

a look at new york city

poetry 8

on loving girls and loving art

colors of myself 10

a walt whitman inspired piece

those we lose along the way 12 part one of three

CONTENTS features daddy issues 14

keeping it real is what they do

cheyenne gil 18

a photographer advocating for self-love and female expression

bia jurema 30

a woman helping to change the entertainment industry one film at a time

michael morales


on finding inspiration and himself through his work



fame is knocking at their door, and they’re opening it

photography my fall in black and white


the season cqptured in a roll of film

forever love


an abundance of affinity, an abundance of you.



Ne Yo Ci

ew ork ity By Kira Traver ew York City is undoubtedly a place of wonders and takes years to explore. I’m going on eighteen myself and I still feel that I discover a new hidden treasure every time. Throughout my years I’ve compiled a collection of places that I frequent and will recommend to anyone whether they live in the city or are experiencing it for the first time.


First, perhaps a more tourist-like attraction, is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Every time I visit the Met, I spend hours wandering its galleries and never tire of the work there. To any fellow art lovers, I definitely recommend dedicating a day to exploring the wonders within the Met. Aside from the museums, a majority of my time is spent further downtown. West Village is a small, quieter section of Manhattan located around 14th street. The streets here are lined with old brownstones and family owned shops, my favorite being the multitude of thrift shops where you find the most unique pieces, and the record stores such as Bleecker Street Records. If you’re looking for a day of hunting for vintage pieces and staying out of the hustle of Manhattan, West Village is the place for you. Just east of the Village is Washington Square Park. This is another place where I can spend hours just sitting and enjoying the vibe of the city. The park is right near NYU, so it’s usually filled with students. The reason I love this park so much is because of the people. They have a public


piano for anyone to play and artists will sit around and create right in front of you. I love to spend spring days here because the weather is perfect and it always brings joy to me to be surrounded by art, nature and the city all in one. Located just south of West Village is Soho, the more hectic but just as convivial part of the city. Soho is home to many of my personal favorite stores, and is great for getting some traditional shopping done while still experiencing New York. Even if I’m not shopping I always end up in Soho to eat at my favourite restaurant, Jack’s Wife Freda. The family run mediterranean-inspired restaurant is situated just a block down from Broadway (Soho’s main street) in a small cafe style building. Half of the experience of eating there is the atmosphere. I’ve never seen an empty table sit for more than 5 minutes without being filled, and with only a handful of tables inside there is always a waiting list. However, don’t let this deter you, once you are in the incredibly nice staff and ever-delicious food will make any wait worth it.

Last on the list, and my favourite out of them all, is Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn is its own world within New York City. If the never stop moving-never sleep vibe of manhattan isn’t for you, or if you just need a break, Brooklyn is the go-to. Brooklyn Heights Historical District is simultaneously a showcase of amazing architecture, old school remnants, the classic modern charm of city life. The old brownstones and carriage houses sit on original cobblestone streets, and will appeal to any art or history lover, as well as anyone looking for photo opportunities. By now, my collection of pictures I’ve taken in Brooklyn is in the thousands. A few of the many places to see include Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jane’s Carousel and the Brooklyn piers. I can continue this list on forever, but in this I’ve highlighted the places that I spend most of my time in the city. Anyone and everyone should get to experience the magic of New York City at least once in their life and I’m forever grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to make happy memories in so many amazing spots.


y r t e o p

A Funeral Ode In Remembrance of Art

By Cullen Bohlinger

Of natural occurrences, of astronomical anomalies Of colour outside lines, of charcoal smeared patiently across life’s open pages Of endless riveting emotion, of raw intellect

You are present. You are hushed.

Of rebellion and not shame, of grandiose twinkles upon hopeless opaque sheets

A blank canvas, never to recover from its coat of dusting

You were of this. You were a voice.

To fall into place, like warm breath cools To appear a sleeping giant

Morphed into man-made platforms, made myths for the sake of publicity Rescinded into dull attraction, graphite scrawled hurriedly across manufactured trees Once viewed in awe within galleries worldwide Now glanced at on a cardboard cup in between bites at the local Chipotle


A pleaded cry as twinkles burn to absence, as stopwatches tick tick tick down the remaining moments of bliss a creak in floorboard dissipates the still oxygen and STOP...

To shush the children’s cries within an evening’s slumber To humanize this glowing glass that once reflected light in the eyes of us You shall be that. You will become silent. You have a voice. You are hushed. You are silent.

She Was There By Cullen Bohlinger

She was a poet. No, not with her words or her rhymes. But with her expressions, her stature, her figure. All the way from her forehead to her fingertips, to her china doll skin and down to the protruding bone from her ankle and back up again.

pose to even the most feeble beings. As she drew a stride, the arms of trees twisted to shape a pathway for her. Sensing her aura, the leaves took flight and spiralled in the air, curling slightly at the edges like the corners of her lips tend to do.

She was the air. She was the air and I was the mist, clinging onto her in some desperate, translucent state, so sure of her innate proclivity to wander and seek and sense my fleeting abilities, though she knew I would roll back through the valleys and the lush river beds once more and embrace her.

Her eyes, two reflected waxing moons, were full of promise. Stardust coated her eyelids, shimmering off of their brims as they waited on me with insistence. Her dress, a supernova with its folds and creases and smooth layers, bloomed radish red and velvet violet and spread out, pulsing itself like a jellyfish, across its own sea of space. Earth's axis titled itself in hopes of getting just one glimpse of her.

She was the woodland, and she rose up from the shore. The tide washed out to greet her and back in, pulling me, a marionette suspended from a set of tangled strings, closer to her edge. When she ambled, knolls of grass wrapped around those ankles of hers and weaved in between her toes like they were creating baskets to hold the field's fresh flowers. She nearly glided through the atmosphere, skating ever so delicately over the river's edge, ripples distorting her mirrored image upon the water and putting crinkles on her face. She was a blanket. The sky was ten tons and the cold clutched my face and arched my back but she was a blanket, her undergrowth and shrubbery offering its re-

I know this because the pines angled themselves diagonally to the sky. Like a rocket ship, ready to blast off. My legs were dangling over me in front of my eyes, my ankles not nearly as elegant as hers. Gravity was long gone, and in its place: her. Whenever she would go back to the sea, the river, the timberland, the silky valleys, she took it with her in strides. Whenever I would go back, I would lay down among the hollows and glens and billows alike, feel her breath envelop me, and know She was there.


colors of myself By Kassidy Neely


his winter, Walt Whitman has been the source of most of my inspiration, and it's fueled a creativity I've yet to experience. Whitman utilizes language in a charming, makes-you-think way that is not evident in many other writers that have graced their pen upon paper. Something that specifically stood out to me was the use of color in his writing. Colors are tough adjectives to use in literature because they are very specific, but he manipulates words so incredibly well that the specificity is working in his advantage. Color and creativity are the most important aspects of makeup, so knowing this and using it to find inspiration that works to your advantage is an important beauty tool!


Using my newly found inspiration, thanks to Whitman, I tried different makeup looks using colors I found in his writing and in other pieces of literature. It made me feel a little bit more fancy than I normally do with makeup on, and I loved having this little secret behind the purpose of what I woke up early to do to my face. It's important to find things in life that make you double think, and that make you realize you may not know everything like you think you do. Be inspired. Find reasons to make you change your makeup routine, even just a little bit, in 2017. After all, new year, new you, right?

"When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd, and the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night, I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with

ever-returning spring." - WALT Whitman


those we lose along the way By Kaycie Saxton


alking is hard, especially for me. Anyone who knows me knows that getting me to talk about my feelings is near impossible. I’ll curl up on my bed and sob and refuse to tell you why. I want you to know, but I don’t want to talk about it. Can’t you just know? For this reason, I tend to grieve alone. In the past year, I lost someone extremely close to me, along with a handful of other people I care about. I lost my father, an aunt, and two grandmothers. In the past year, I’ve helped plan more funerals than I have parties or celebrations. I know 2016 was rough for just about everyone, but it chewed me up and spit me out on at least four occasions. I’ve learned a lot this year though. About myself, about my family, about my friends.


The most important thing I learned is that when you’re grieving, you need to take care of yourself first. It can be comforting to share grief, but if you can’t come to terms with the ways you encounter it day to day, you may never get past it. This is why I may seem selfish at times. I have to take care of myself before anyone else or may never get past this. While I lost many other people besides my father, his death has been the hardest for me to process. I knew he had cancer for a while, but I never thought it would take from me him so soon. I sometimes even forget that he’s actually gone. Then, out of the blue, the tiniest thing will remind me that he isn’t just a call or a two hour drive away anymore. While watching a Series of Unfortunate Events on one of my sad days, I found this quote: “It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to

someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” The main aspect of grief is readjusting yourself day by day. (You can’t readjust other people, so this is what I mean when I say you have to take care of yourself first.) The first day without my father was the easiest. I didn’t even know he was gone. Things started getting difficult when I had to understand I couldn’t call him and hear him laugh again or go home just to feel his safe hugs. That’s when I started feeling the “sickly moment of dark

surprise.” I started figuring out that each new person that came into my life would never have the pleasure of knowing my father. Every new place I traveled to would be something I couldn’t share with him. All of my future successes, failures, slip ups and comedies would have to be experienced without his presence. I want nothing more than to hear my father’s encouraging words and lighthearted point of view to make me feel better. These things are why readjusting has been so important. They’re painful to face but impossible to ignore, so I have to find a way around. Everything around me has changed and I have to find a way to change with it or I won’t be able to move on and grow.


grrl For Daddy Issues, keeping it real is what they do. By Claire Torak.


addy Issues are, without a doubt, badass. The Nashville natives emanate the rocker-girl persona that trademarks their music as they sit on a small wooden staircase covered in stamped-out cigarettes on a cold November night in Atlanta. But accompanying that leather-clad bravado is a three-piece making honest music for the misunderstood, the misfits and themselves. Before singer and guitarist Jenna Moynihan, bassist Jenna Mitchell


power and drummer Emily Maxwell became a real force to be reckoned with, Daddy Issues was created as a joke. “We thought it would be funny if we pretended we were in a band,” Moynihan says. “We made a Twitter, wrote a song and then it kind of turned into a real thing.” Then, they decided to turn their parody into reality. After just six months, they landed a spot at SXSW. “It’s been very confusing, but it’s been very fun,” Mitchell says. “There are times where I find myself struggling to keep up with it.” After all, they had just learned how to play their instruments. “We got the main element to our sound because we literally didn’t

know how to play,” Maxwell explains. Their lyrics, though, have always been intentional. Centered around the truth of the female existence, Daddy Issues writes about what it’s really like to be a woman in the modern world. When it comes to songwriting, they draw inspiration from their own experiences-or from trying on a bunch of lipstick like they did the night before. “It starts with a scene of something that happened to us,” Maxwell says. “The songs aren’t verbatim of the situations that occurred, but they’re about one thing that happened and then we get really dramatic about it. We make it sound way worse than it actually is.”


Their latest release, Can We Still Hang, is a perfect testament to the forbidden side of femininity they write about. From loving boys with blue hair to battling low self-esteem, the band never hesitates to put it all out in the open. “A lot of women songwriters I’m influenced by say a lot of things you wouldn’t expect a woman to admit she does,” Moynihan says. “I look up to that.” Now, they hope to become a band that teenage girls can connect to. “When I was growing up, I didn’t have bands that were saying those kinds of things,” Maxwell says.


“It’s important for younger girls to have that now.” It’s clear that they’re that influence on their their fans. “Generally, the reaction to our music has been pretty positive,” Mitchell says. “But, I do my best not to look at the negative stuff. I don’t pay much attention to other people’s opinions about our music. We’re not doing it for other people, we’re doing it for us.” But just because they’ve started to push the glass ceiling doesn’t mean they’re intentionally trying to shatter it. “I like speaking out for things, but I’m not trying to be a

voice,” Moynihan said. “I don’t want people to expect that from us.” Their real message lies within their own journey, and the hope that others will feel understood by their music. “I hope that anyone, if they love music and they want to try playing it, knows they can do it,” Mitchell said. “Don’t let other people say you suck, just do what you want. Do whatever you want. That’s what all of our songs are about.” Despite their empowering, sad girl punk, being women in the music industry has been no easy feat. Catcalling, being ha-

rassed by audience members and poor treatment from venue employees can sometimes plague their tours. “I’ve had several people not believe that I play drums,” Maxwell says. “Some people seem to have the idea that only a man can play drums. It’s upsetting. We have a a lot of people assume that we don’t know anything, that we can’t set up our gear. I don’t need you to come save me from breaking a nail in my dress.” At times, it becomes frustrating. “You get to a point where you say ‘why am I doing this?’ but there’s always some-

thing good that will bring you back around,” Maxwell says. For them, it’s the music that makes it all worth it. “I love playing the bass because I love the feeling of the bass in your body,” Mitchell says. “You can literally feel it in your bones. I love watching the crowds, too. You get to see how music, whether it’s yours or somebody else’s, affects people.” Maxwell agrees. “When we have a show and there’s someone in the front singing along to every song, it makes everything else that happened that day unimportant,” she says. “Our music means something to people, and that’s really cool.” Though they’ve been catapulted into the limelight, Daddy Issues will never be done growing. “Once you become complacent, you stop,” Mitchell says. “Complacency is death. You’re done fighting. Never look back and say ‘this is it.’” And as far as they’re concerned, it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop fighting anytime soon.


body of


my own

Cheyenne Gil is a photographer using her work to advocate for self-love and female expression. By Adna Coralic.


heyenne Gil. A name that you might not know, but you should. As I’ve struggled through my journey to self bliss, inspiration from women who have lived what I have lived has become a necessary factor. Luckily, one day I stumbled upon Gil. Gil is a boudoir photographer based in Philadelphia. She started indulging in her love of photography at 13-years-old, when her mother bought a digital camera that she immediately took to. Like any normal 15-year-old, she was disinterested with the idea of getting a “real” teenager job. So, she began photographing families, kids, high school seniors and even a wedding to make money on the side. She continued her practicing her passion all the way through college where she finally decided to start her own photography business. And not just any photography business, but one centered entirely around Boudoir, which are intimate photos that are centered around celebrating your mind, body, and soul. She has since been a strong force on the front lines of the fight for self love for women everywhere. What got you interested into Boudoir photography specifically? I have been a visual artist my entire life. I was always drawing women - mermaids, fairies, witches, gypsies. I loved the beauty of women. As I grew older, I started deal-

ing with some pretty severe body images issues which was a result of watching my own mother be totally uncomfortable in her own skin. My mom, a woman who I viewed as, and still do, the most beautiful woman in the whole world. Watching her hate her own body made me hate mine. She never told me I was fat or ugly. She only ever told me how smart, funny, and beautiful I was, but I have always been curvier, thicker, and weighed more than my mom so all I could ever think was that if she thinks she’s fat, she has to think I’m fat. Anyhow, throughout college I was really working through these things and I was making a lot of work that explored the relationships between mothers and daughters, specifically the relationship between myself and my own mama. I was making large scale drawings—diptychs —of my mother and I in the same pose, displayed side by side. When it came to photography, I was mostly taking pictures of people and honestly not really exploring that in a particularly ‘artsy’ way. When I decided to get my act together and really run the business, I came across boudoir photography and admittedly, I found it to be pretty tacky and tasteless. One day my mom and I were talking about it and she suggested I try to make it my own - put my own spin on it. She was my first boudoir client. That very day we dressed her up in a bra and panties and I shot my first bou-


doir session. Watching my mom transform from someone who did nothing but talk badly about herself into a giggling, glowing goddess of a woman brought me to tears and it was that moment that I knew that this is what I was going to do. This is why I’m here. So, from that day forward, I started marketing for nothing but boudoir and almost five years later here I am.

the fact that after a few years of shooting boudoir and hearing the stories of every woman who came in for a shoot, I realized that we all feel totally alone when it comes to our insecurities and what we feel are our flaws. I wanted to start to change that. I wanted to create a community where women would know they aren’t alone and where they can feel supported and safe.

What is the Body Love Tribe? We are a tribe of women who have chosen to celebrate our body, mind and soul as well as those of the women around us. We uplift, empower, and support one another. We are fierce and bold and full of love—love for each other and love for ourselves. Coming in for a boudoir session or a portrait session means you’re part of the tribe.

What does self confidence mean to you? To me, self confidence is not just about appearances. It’s not just about feeling comfortable enough to wear a crop top or a bikini—this is a whole package. When I chose to get help and talk to a therapist, it was because my entire self was suffering. I hated my body, which affected every single aspect of my life. I thought no one would want to love me, I felt terrified to put myself out there, I felt scared to even walk my dog because I thought people would see my belly jiggle and judge me.

What inspired you to create this movement? What really inspired this movement is


I am 5’7 and, at the time of feeling that way, I weighed 135 pounds. I was in no way overweight or unhealthy. I was literally just so in my head about how others viewed me and it was crippling. My mind, body and soul all suffered, so to me, self confidence is finding the strength to accept, respect, love and nourish our bodies, which will in turn feed our mind and soul. What words of inspiration would you give to someone who is trying to gain more self confidence? I have a ton of advice, but I’ll just say this: start right now. The way your life will change is unbelievable. I would highly recommend seeing a therapist. There is absolutely no shame in getting help, even if you think your case isn’t that ‘severe.’ A therapist or a counselor can really help you get on track. Other things you can start doing right now to take the first steps on your self love journey: start accepting compliments. When someone says they

love your eyes or your hair or your outfit, just say ‘thank you.’ No need to say ‘Oh, my hair is such a mess, ugh.’ No deflecting. Also, start speaking kindly to yourself and about yourself. How would you speak about your best friend? Your daughter? You deserve to be treated with the same amount of love. How do you think social media affect girls that are growing up at this point in time? I think social media really sucks in a lot of ways because there are plenty of people who have a beautiful social media account with a gorgeous this and a gorgeous that and a skinny this and a toned that. I think it makes a lot of young women feel inadequate. At the same time, though, there is this really incredible self love movement that is taking over the world and that is definitely thanks to some real ass chicks on social media. Staying true to myself and speaking my truth are two things I remind myself daily because


it’s very easy to get caught up in the horrible game of comparing my own life to someone else’s seemingly perfect life. What is the most important thing for you to accomplish during a shoot? Making my girl feel comfortable. 100 percent. It is so important that my client feels comfortable with me and feels good in her own skin. I have a zero bullshit policy in my studio. The studio is a sacred space. No body shaming, no ‘omg I’m so fat,’ no ‘can you get rid of my cellulite?’ None of that crap. This is not about your body and I work very hard to make sure my client isn’t thinking about her so-called ‘flaws.’ How has the experience of a shoot with you impacted your clients? I think a shoot with me really allows my clients to be in a space where they’ve never been before. They’re allowed to feel sexy and free. I’m creating a space where they can allow themselves to feel that confidence I know is in there. I create a space where I’m telling them to shut up about their bodies, let loose, and trust me. They always do. Where would you like to see the Body Love Tribe Go? The Body Love Tribe has been all over the US, which is sooooo freaking rad and I’m very proud of that. This year we’ll be building up the community a bit more and holding gatherings and parties. I’ve taken on some awesome past clients who are so excited to help me lead the tribe so it’s going to be so amazing. We are still working on getting way more involved as a community. Big things are coming for 2017.



the big MOON 24

The Big Moon are four women on the frontlines of a rock revolution. By Sam Hsu.


he Big Moon embodies “girl power”—a concept that’s popping into modern media and music more than ever nowadays, and it’s one I’m so here for. They’re a self described “rock driven, loud, clashy band” comprised of four badass ladies: lead singer/guitarist Juliette Jackson, bassist Celia Archer, drummer Fern Ford and guitarist Soph Nathan. I mean, sometimes you just get a little tired of seeing rock bands consisting of four or five tall, skinny white dudes… The band originated as the brainchild of Jackson. At the time, she was working as a waitress and playing small roles in various bands. Nevertheless, she decided to make something happen for herself. “Rather than becoming a solo artist or playing in other people’s bands, Juliette wanted a gang to hang around and from there, began looking for potential members” which led to the formation of the band, Archer explains. Although The Big Moon officially got together a little over two years ago, the band’s chemistry is undeniable. “Juliette and Fern met up in a park and decided that they could spend an unreasonable amount of time with each other and make music together,” Archer recalls. “It was just them for a bit until Fern joined, and then they found me.” The Big Moon’s inspiration for music comes from a myriad

of different places. From “local bands on the circuit” and artists along the lines of the White Stripes, the Pixies and Elvis, “We have diverse music tastes, which I think is good for a band,” Archer says. “It keeps [our music] interesting.” A Big Moon song comes to life with Jackson in her room “noodling with a guitar until something comes.” Sometimes the outcome is specific, and sometimes it’s vague. Either way, she brings the result to the rest of the band, and it usually ends with everyone playing “the right thing at the right time,” and allowing the song to grow into something spectacular. “A lot of the time, we’ll work out together what’s going to fill in the spaces in the songs,” Archer explains. “Then, we’ll go to the rehearsal space, hash it all out, change things, and work out drum patterns until it’s right.” On the topic of lyrics, they explain that Jackson writes about feeling “totally extreme, insane, and exciting emotions while doing really boring, mundane things that everyone has to deal with.” It could be anything from working in a shop while thinking about the person you’ve just fallen in love with to everything else. “Ours songs are juxtapositions of normal with crazy, intense, obsessive feelings,” explains Archer. However, sad songs are a topic the band steers clear of maybe not forever, but at least


now. “It’s quite easy to write sad songs,” Archer says. “Because of that, on our latest and forthcoming releases, Juliette tried to write happy and positive stuff.” Their latest releases leading up to their forthcoming, debut album are an amalgamation of the piles of songs written over the years the band has been together. “As we’ve been growing, Juliette has always been writing,” Archer explains. “We found that there were some older songs that we all agreed wanted to put on the album.” Giving a


new life to the songs, they “sat in a room for twelve days straight for fourteen hours a day” and added little bits on top of the existing songs. Although the recording and writing processes for The Big Moon are important, and at times tedious, they agree that live is where they ultimately thrive. “I enjoy recording. It’s nice to get these songs we’ve been working on, have them locked in, and have everything sound the way we want it to sound,” Archer says. “It’s a really amazing process, but nothing beats

jumping around on stage and getting to meet people who like our music.” For the band, their latest tour with The Japanese House was a breakthrough, and it’s what we can expect from them in the future. “We’ve wanted to play in the U.S. for ages, and that tour was great for us to play in front of new people who maybe haven’t heard of us and show them what we’re about,” Archer explains. From here on out, we can expect new music, live shows, and a whole lot more girl power from The Big Moon.


women in film

a i b ema r u j M eet Bia Jurema, a freelance shooter and editor in Los Angeles. She came to L.A. with no job, no place to live and an aspiration to pursue film. Her passion for film carried throughout her childhood. She always loved the idea of film. When Jurema was four she was quite the storyteller, and when she was in high school she was in theater. A year and a half into her LA life, she’s already caught the eyes of many. Her film Dear, Venice (SK8) is currently being screened in the Interactive Space at the Staples Center during basketball games as well as concerts. When asked how the video came to be she says, “falling into this overhyped, oversatu-


rated career driven society, like you have to do this, this and this by this age… in a time where I was being pressured to make money, like if you come out to LA you better be making something. So I took my camera out there and I just shot and edited this video.” Jurema also had the opportunity to work at iHeartRadio serving the Video Production department. After hearing about her, we scheduled a Skype interview and within a few weeks I was face to face with an incredibly lovely person. I’ve never met someone so passionate about their dreams, and Jurema is surely on her way to accomplishing many of hers. She gathers inspiration from everyday life, stating that people

watching actually encouraged her love for filmmaking. “I wanna tell stories about people,” she says, “so I love keeping note of what my friends say, characters that I want to build eventually, or even films that are based on people I know and circumstances and situations I’ve been apart of. Everyday people.” Jurema also mentioned her love for Frida Kahlo. “As an artist as well, I’m inspired by people who have paved the way before me, such as Frida Kahlo,” Jurema says. In the midst of her talk about Kahlo, she jumps excitedly and shows a little Frida Kahlo collection she’s accumulated over the years. “She was told ‘you aren’t going to be able to do anything in life’ and she was like nope and basically defined the impossible at that time,” Jurema explains. As for films that give her an extra dose of inspiration, her heart belongs to the French. “The acting to me is just more riveting,” she admits. “They aren’t afraid to linger on certain angles, and foreign films really dive into humanity. They really aren’t afraid to sit on those uncomfortable topics.” With any field that’s male dominated, Jurema express-


es her feelings on male directors, “I have a big issue with males telling female stories. I think more women need to start writing, more women need to start directing, and they are, but like there are still films that men make about women, and I think women should start making those exclusive. There’s just going to be a better storyline because they can relate to said experience, but directors such as David O’Russell is an exception to that. He’s such a feminist, as a man, the stories he chooses are about women he empowers and are empowering, what other guy is doing that?” You can find Bia proudly working and creating more films with many other companies, as well as passionately fulfilling more of her dreams in the future. “People with the ambition to go through the crappy phase, cranking out art that may not exactly be their taste yet, but you're getting there, you know you're getting there. People who are in it for the long hall will make a difference, or will make something special and that’s exactly what I’m willing to do, I'm willing to fail, make some crappy things, because I know something better is out there.”

picture perfect Michael Morales is making a name for himself, one industry at a time. By Adna Coralic and Claire Torak.


n a surprisingly warm weekend in October, Atlanta’s East Village is thriving. Inside Joe’s, a local coffeehouse hotspot, is no different. A random indie mix played over the speakers. Patrons were lazily spread throughout the interior, each wrapped up in their own little worlds. The sun streamed through the large windows, offering the kind of peace people seek in such a hectic city. And then there’s Michael. He has this strange familiarity about him, almost as if you’d known him for years. He places a small camera on the table, one that he always carries around. Because for the Atlanta based photographer, it’s important to never miss the opportunity to capture a moment. Morales cultivated his passion from a young age, finding inspiration from his grandfather. “My grandpa was really into capturing family events,” he says, “and he


was just the coolest guy ever.” Even with his early interest in the field, he didn’t start to pursue it until later in life. As a Michigan native, he went to medical school until he eventually dropped out “I just realized that it was somebody else’s dream for me,” he says. From then on, he channeled his focus into film and photography, albeit with hesitation. “For me, I was older and doing it and I never thought of pursuing it,” he admits. “I was kind of scared to, and it was a lot of learning because and then slowly transforming it into something.” And transform it into something he did. He moved to Atlanta in order to further his career. “For the film industry this place is the best,” Morales says. “People are also super collaborative, rather than looking at you like competition. It’s really warm and inviting and there’s so much possibility for that kind of stuff here.” Along with

the change in scenery, he began to see his work change as well. “At first I was very into your typical Instagram photography, which is fine but not what I was passionate about. I started getting some more paid work, helping out with a portrait photographer and then I bought my own studio lights and started doing more portrait, intimate kind of things. Soon I got really sick of that, and that’s when people started noticing my photography. I suddenly found myself feeding into what I knew people liked, and immediately, I was kind of angsty. I backlashed and thought about what I could do to take myself out of the equation and I started doing snapshot stuff. I was riding my bike to work and I was carrying a little point and shoot. It became capturing stuff that’s already there and showing people specifically what you think. I like it a lot more because it’s more for me.” Since then, Morales has tackled one project after another. From starting the live music sessions at Public Radio, working with The Walking Dead and companies like Coca Cola, Microsoft and the Atlanta Film Festival, the world is at his door step. “I’m very select on what I work on because if I’m not into it, I’m not sure if I can deliver,” he says. “I want to be proud of it.” But with such a demanding list of clients, Morales is constantly having to be innovative without stretching himself too thin. What helps me creatively in general is meditating on stuff,” he says. “Just sitting there and playing with something in your mind. It’s beautiful and it definitely opens up your mind. If you just clear your head and open the container, things will just fall into it. Then, it becomes not coming up with ideas because they’re in abundance,

but it’s taking them and making them into something real.” Though Morales found his start in photography and made the eventual transition to the world of film as well, it was a very natural process. “It was actually both at the same time,” he explains. “I was really getting into photography while I was in film school. They pushed us to tell stories in one frame. It was like a double training.” Despite their similarities, each one forces Morales to be in a different creative mindset. “They’re both different expressions of the same creativity,” he says. “They manifest themselves like that. I feel like [photography] has the potential to be immediate. I can take a photo and it’s instant and immediate. Video can be the same, but for me that’s not how I work. It’s more planned out, it’s scripted, it’s thought through. It’s intentional.” Morales hopes that the people who see his work, whoever they may be, will see that intention and draw inspiration not only from it instead of being daunted. “It’s so hard to keep stamina because when you look up, you get discouraged,” he says. “People only post their best work so you don’t see that truly you can do it too, and I hope that they get that out of it and that they’ll find their expression. I just want to see more good stuff in the world. I just try to put my heart into it and do what I think is good, and hopefully that will inspire other people to do what they think is good.” Before he parts to go pack for a trip to New York City, Morales offers his best advice for not only being successful in photography, but in life, too. “You need to see the picture before you even turn the camera on.”


Fame is knocking on COIN’s door and they’re opening it. By Maggie Lavengood.




OIN are exactly what you want indie pop to sound like; infectious synth beats fused with masterful guitar progressions, all under joyful pop lyrics. The Nashville-born quartet—composed of Chase Lawrence on synth and vocals, Joe Memmel on guitar and vocals, Ryan Winnen on drums and Zachary Dyke on bass— formed COIN on Nashville’s Belmont University Campus. Back then, they were a relatively anon-

ymous name in a crowd of other bands struggling towards success. In Nashville, at a university with a penchant for creating country music stars, it seems easy for a band with New Wave sensibilities to get lost in the shuffle. But the idiosyncrasy of a Nashville band dabbling in pop, rock, indie and new wave all at once prevailed. The band’s single ‘Talk Too Much’ has become a ubiquitous hit on alternative radio and a fixture on the Alt Nation charts for weeks on end. The glowing success of their debut self-titled album rocketed the band into the opening spot on Bad Sun’s Disappear Here Tour, where thousands of fans have wracked their vocal cords to COIN’s anthemic lyrics. I spoke to Chase Lawrence while he was in the midst of a hectic tour commute from Minneapolis to Chicago overnight. In a voice not untouched by the strain of tour, he explained to me how COIN got from where they were to where they are. “It all started with our search for a one-word band name,” he says. “Everything was taken, so I was looking through a book

of Kentucky Derby horse race winners and losers and found one named ‘Lucky Coin’. I just deleted Lucky and brought it to the band and we never looked back. There’s not much meaning to it but it worked out for us.” Work out it did. The band has been steadily rising in the alternative scene. In November, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy remixed the band’s kiss-inducing single “Talk Too Much,” which created an explosion of hits to the band’s online streaming pages. With all this newfound attention comes newfound labels. The band has country-town roots, yet they have been called every combination of pop and rock and indie in the book. The genre confusion is enough to give anyone an identity crisis, but the band remains unfazed. Lawrence laughs, “I’m fine with whatever you want to call it.” Sensing the need for elaboration, he continues. “If you were to walk into a rest stop at 2 am and somebody’s like ‘y’all a band?’ and they’re like ‘oh, what kind of music do you guys play?’, it’s become more convenient to say

pop rather than alternative. If you’re in the middle of Montana, people don’t always understand what alternative-pop or indie-pop is, so if I say alternative they’re like ‘what’s that?’” The pop label has historically carried plaguelike connotations in the alternative world and so it feels almost brave for Lawrence to accept it so freely. “I used to negate that term and be scared

of it,” he admits. “Now I’m okay with just not even worrying about anything genre specific and just writing the music that we’re gonna write. The convenience of saying pop had really allowed me to break free of everything genre and to not be afraid to use hip-hop elements, to use new-wave elements, to use pop elements that I’m engaged by.” On the tail-end of a huge year, the band doesn’t plan on relaxing anytime soon. Album two is deeply in the works and from Lawrence’s tone, it promises it be somehow better than the first. The so-far nameless second album was born under phenomenally different circumstances than the first. The album was co-written, an approach new to the band, and recorded in L.A. “We wrote ‘Talk Too Much’ in three hours,” Lawrence says. “That night we were walking around the grocery store, buying cereal and we were like ‘yeah, this album is gonna be so easy, we’re gonna be done with it in 10 days. And here we are 150 songs later and we’re just now getting to the point

where we’re able to say it’s done. So it has been a journey.” “Talk Too Much” was released as a single in May of 2016 and as it climbed in the alternative charts, the band mulled over which songs would join it on their forthcoming release. “Here we are ten months later and we’re still working on some songs we’ve been working on for ten months. I think that some songs, some of the best ones, take a long time. I wish they were all that easy, but it’s definitely worth the wait when you get that one moment of inspiration.” It was definitely worth the wait for the hundreds of fans that stood outside Chicago’s Double Door in October, braving the biting wind in order to be the first inside when COIN took the stage as Bad Suns’ opener. The band is exuberant onstage, despite their self-proclaimed fatigue. “We’ve only been on tour for five shows now and these five shows have been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced ever.” Although five shows doesn’t seem like very much on a tour that ran four times that many dates, the level of


vigor the band brings to each performance makes it a wonder that Lawrence is upright enough to carry a conversation. During their set, he whips himself across his keyboard, body flailing from one end to the other. He electrifies the stage, which is too limited for a band with COIN’s energy. Memmel balances himself on the edge of the stage, his euphoric guitar


playing echoed in the faces of the crowd below. Winnen is consumed with his drums, and his sole focus seems to be carrying the steady beat upon which the band’s most powerful tracks are based. Dyke has a similar composure, tackling the bass with an subdued but enthralled dedication. Their dizzying, constant motion is almost exhausting to watch, but it’s the

exact kind of enthusiasm one hopes to see with a band as new to the scene as COIN are. Still, I wondered how exactly it was possible to have so much vehemence and still remain functional. “We noticed ourselves a year ago on our first headline tour playing an hour long set that felt like we’d played two hours because the intensity was so high.” The secret lies in slowing down the songs live. “The intention of writing ‘Talk Too Much’, and this entire [upcoming] album was to keep the energy up but slow the tempo down so we’re able to move in half-time mode. We’re learning now to keep the energy up but to move slower. And that’s how it works. When I hear a song now, especially a COIN song, even if it’s an old one, I’m kind of moving at exactly half the tempo onstage. And that mindset really goes along well with me because I used to find myself so winded after the first three songs.” The band’s energy peaks towards the end of their set. As Dyke strums out the opening chords to the band’s fi-

nal song, Lawrence steps to the front of the stage, hands in pockets. It’s a movement that seems ultra-slow in comparison to his jumping only seconds before. He stands completely still, but the smile on his face still holds all of his ecstatic energy. The crowd screams back

and for a moment it is just them and him; the music and the reaction all being contained in a bar on the West Side. Lawrence’s smile grows impossibly bigger and he laughs into his microphone.“We’ve got one more for you.” And the crowd goes wild.


my fall in

black and white T he first thing I bought when I moved into a world of my own was a roll of black and white film. Because that’s how everything was for me. After getting back the final 36 exposures, I found myself immersed in a world of interpretation. What I had grown to love is not remembering the exact colors in a shot and filling them in my creativity. What I see in these is not what you see. The funny thing is, that’s how the world works, too. By Allison Barr.






forever love It was the way the sun hit your eyelashes, and how the soft ground was made just for us. It was the way it was cold outside on the dewy grass bit it didn’t matter to us and how it felt like there was a blanket of warmth on us. I don’t remember what I said, but I remember how it felt. An abundance of affinity, an abundance of you. By Gabi Barrerra.









Ruse Magazine's winter 2017 issue featuring The Big Moon, Daddy Issues, Coin and more!

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