Page 1

THE COVEN MAGAZINE

I SSU E N O . 1 THE INTERVIEWS WINTER 2 0 1 4


THE COVEN MAGAZINE


THE COVEN MAGAZINE

ISSU E N O. 1

WI N T ER 2 0 1 4

The Coven Magazine is a bi-annual creative arts publication produced by WITCHES. Its purpose is to introduce its readership to the people that are creating groundbreaking and unique projects. Each issue features 13 individuals / groups that comprise the latticed framework of our cultural movement.

EDITOR IN CHIEFS CHRISTINE TRAN & ANNE ALEXANDER DESIGN EMILY TURNER PHOTOGR APHY KELLY KAI PRINT PUBLISHER SHERIDAN PRESS COVER ART IL ANA SAVDIE ADVERTISING & INQUIRIES WITCHES info@witchesofbushwick.com

5


THE COVEN

CONTENTS

IS SU E N O. 1

WI N T ER 2 0 1 4

ROBERTA COLINDREZ

8

Actor & Writer

COLIN CAULFIELD

14

Musician & Songwriter

DARK SISTER

24

Performance Artists

JAY WILLIAMS

36

Model & Actress

KENDALL TICHNER

42

Marketing Director

PATRICK MACLEOD

50

Photographer

SIGNE PIERCE

56

Photographer & Artist

LAUREN FLAX

64

DJ, Songwriter & Producer

BECCA MCCHAREN

72

Fashion Designer at Chromat

YAN SZE LI

80

Senior Designer at Wednesday Agency

LEAH WELLBAUM

86

Musician, Artist & Talent Booker

ZAC THOMAS

94

Designer & Fabricator

KATHRYN GREENBAUM

102

Photographer & Video Game Screen Capture Artist

6


THE COVEN

ROBERTA COLINDREZ

9


THE COVEN

ROBERTA COLINDREZ AC TO R & W R ITE R

Be d-S t u y , N e w Yo rk WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO NEW YORK? The wind? I really don’t know. I never planned it. I never had to. Mentally, it was like going to high school or eating or being a woman for the rest of my life. Like, of course it was going to happen, I didn’t ever have to think about it. It was just certain. My whole life I knew I’d end up here. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN ACTING AND WRITING? Well, it came time to sign up for an elective in 7th grade and my brother and I really wanted to be in the same class. Theater was the only thing available, so we both signed up and our first assignment was to write our own monologue and then perform it. It helped that I’d been blessed to have some really great language arts teachers, even in the shitty public schools I went to, so I felt confident with writing. I really didn’t know that I wanted to be an actor until that day. And it didn’t happen the moment I stepped on stage, or the moment I felt someone really react to whatever it is I was doing or saying (the monologue was kind of dark: it was about a girl taping her suicide note), it was the moment I got off the stage. I was like, “When do I get

to do that again? Can’t I just do that forever?”. It was intense. And awesome. And I felt really powerful. Or something. Whereas writing just came out of necessity for self-expression. TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Bed-Stuy is my jam. Gentrification, both it’s presumed causes and the stresses it inflicts on the preexisting community are pretty much at the forefront right now. This place is changing very quickly. This is something that though I’m extremely passionate about. I can’t really get into without this interview becoming a bit radical, or angry, or seemingly hypocritical, or just something else entirely. But what I will say is that as an immigrant to this country I’ve always lived in really diverse places and all the bullshit aside, Bed-Stuy, at this exact moment and unfortunately probably not for much longer, still holds a lot of things that I most related to or gravitated towards as a kid. I like plight, I like struggle, I like passion and soul and, like I said earlier, I really like what I don’t understand. Some of the changes, I guess, I am totally a part of and some of them I kind of fear and really detest. Luxury condos?? Get the fuck out of here.

11

WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE LEARNED THROUGH/ABOUT YOUR WORK? That only very, very, very few things in life are actually precious. Most things change a lot. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS? I don’t know where I see myself in 10 days, let alone 10 years! Jesus! I mean I would love to at that point have enough leverage to be taken seriously as an artist, to have the freedom and the support to accomplish the dreams I’m too shy to talk specifically about now. But I do have big dreams. At the moment, it’s all I have. These tremendous dreams. I want to make films that I’m proud of, and be part of projects that I adore, I want to love and be loved by someone truly special, and be a positive influence, and an artist who inspires people to think and to act and to do and to be. I basically have this fantasy of doing something major, because, as cheesy as it is, a long time ago I dedicated myself to the fact that anything is possible. So in 10 years, I guess I see myself still working really hard.


ROBERTA COLINDREZ

FROM (I grew up in) Austin, Tejas LUCKY NUMBER 3 SPIRIT ANIMAL I don’t know yet SIGN Gemini, mother fuckers MUSIC IS The beginning, middle and end FAV O R I T E S E A S O N I don’t have one, which adds to the appeal of NYC. FAV O R I T E C O L O R Yellow & Black NEW YORK IS Limitless M Y SU P E R P OW E R W O U LD BE To fly. That shit would be dope. I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Beef

12


THE COVEN

13


THE COVEN

COLIN CAULFIELD

14


THE COVEN

COLIN CAULFIELD MUS IC IA N & S O N G W R ITE R B e d-S t u y , N e w Yo rk WHAT INSPIRES YOU? I’m inspired by positive people, love and probably more so heartbreak, life on the road, changes within myself, social cues and niceties especially in the realm of relationships, great sex, finding visual sense in chaos, top 40 pop tunes, bleak jazz, my family, embarrassment, minimalism, the societal collapse, unknown diseases, and national parks. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN MUSIC? I started playing drums when I was 16 and had a rhythmic knack a la Mitch Mitchell, but was never able develop as an incredible drummer. When I started college in Chicago, I took a break from drums out of necessity, ie lack of space, but also as an opportunity to write some songs. Which I had no idea how to do. I started spending probably an hour every day teaching myself piano in different school buildings. Learning songs, writing melodies, and just losing myself a little bit. After a few months of that, I bought a classical guitar and started recording pretty bad songs on my Macbook. For some reason, I had no reservations about putting songs I was making on YouTube accompanied by embarrassingly intimate videos of myself playing the songs. I started putting up covers, too, and those started getting noticed by blogs and other people of note. I moved to Paris to study, started playing shows there, and then eventually I was talking to managers and labels about releasing an EP.

IF YOU WEREN’T PLAYING MUSIC WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I was very close to having a very real job selling hair loss restoration surgery in Chicago. I was very good at phone sales and I vibed with the startup world, it’s really similar to starting a band and investing all your time and money into something that has a really good chance of utterly failing. My boss at the time tried to convince me to cancel an upcoming month long tour in exchange for a promotion. He said something along the lines of “doing what you love in a creative field just isn’t sustainable.” This was before I joined DIIV, ate donkey in Italy, chilled with K-Pop stars in Seoul, rediscovered spirituality in Tokyo, moved to New York, opened for My Bloody Valentine, and met countless amazing people. I’m 24 and sustainability can kiss my ass at this point. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT TO DATE? I saw my first show at First Avenue in Minneapolis when I was younger. It’s a super famous venue, Purple Rain was shot there, and they have painted stars on the sides of the building with the names of different bands that have headlined. Young Man didn’t headline, but we opened the main room for The Walkmen. It’s a huge production with a screen that lifts after your name is announced and seeing the sold out room really fucked me up. I smiled that entire show and that entire night afterward. I’ve done cooler things and will go on to keep

16

topping my past accomplishments, but that was an extremely proud moment. WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW? WHAT’S ON YOUR BOOKSHELF? I’m reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami right now. I went to Tokyo recently and have been listening to a lot of Cornelius along with reading Murakami consistently. I’m pretty sure I’m getting into a Japanese phase of my life. There’s really no way to say that without sounding like a d-bag, but it’s real. Seeing Tokyo and how similar it is to New York got me psyched to learn about the everyday culture. Murakami has been a good vehicle for doing so because he puts so much nuanced and subtle content in his books based on his own experience living a mundane life in Japan. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? I’m currently listening to a lot of The Pavillion of Dreams by Harold Budd, Heaven or Las Vegas by the Cocteau Twins, Alphabetical by Phoenix, Forever Dolphin Love by Connan Mockasin, Nothing Was the Same by Drake, Tender Buttons by Broadcast, Overgrown Path by Chris Cohen, and Monomania by Deerhunter.


18


COLIN C AULFIELD

FROM Saint Paul, MN LUCKY NUMBER 4 SPIRIT ANIMAL Ilama SIGN Aries MUSIC IS Everything FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Early Fall FAV O R I T E C O L O R Black NEW YORK IS Home M Y S UP ER P OW ER W O ULD BE Telescopic vision

I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Passion

19


20


21


DARK SISTER

24


THE COVEN

TIFFANY NICOLE

P E R FORMA NCE ART IS T DARK S IS T ER Bu sh w ick , Ne w Yo rk

AT 15 WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO? I wanted to be the girl in White Zombie. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Alchemy, control, conspiracy, the limitless self and all its layers, detritus, “cyberpunk”, the return to the mother, Hellraiser, shamanism and psychonautic exploration. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN MUSIC? I have been a huge music nerd for as long as I can remember. I was a chubby nine year old with a huge, stuffed case logic in my backpack at all times. I would stay up all night at my grandmother’s watching music videos, then make her coffee in the morning and run through the yard barefoot while the grass was still wet with dew. Going through lots of things as a child, my cd collection was my everything. My dad was a drumming prodigy when he was growing up and I always begged him to teach me, but he never would. Instead my parents insisted on piano lessons, which I hated. My uncle was also a professional guitar player from the age of 12, so I guess it must be in my DNA. I have never been too astute at instruments though. I can play guitar and bass, but I never really caught a true passion for playing them. My guitar teacher was funny and never too strict with me. He tabbed songs out for me and told me stories about meeting famous musicians over and over (the one about System of a Down being communists was

his favorite). I took a vocal class in college that was humbling, to say the least. My friend Hope and I had a radio show then called Wave of Mutilation, where we would play a random mix of whatever we felt like. One time we played “Return to Innocence” seven times in a row. All of my friends were involved in music - they were in bands or had solo projects, they were recording industry majors, they went to all the house shows and raged. The scene was tight knit and really fertile. I think the network of support and the freedom, the creation of temporary autonomous zones all over this small suburban town, gave me the confidence to finally try and make something of my own. I went to SXSW in 2011 on a school bus with a bunch of my friends. I saw a lot of bands and concluded that I would play there in 2012. Jessi was on that same trip with me, and it was right after that we began Dark Sister. Our friendship really opened both of us up. We both always wanted to be lead singers in bands, we wanted to make heavy music, so we helped each other alchemize this experience. Without her, I would probably still be afraid of my own dream. HOW DOES LIVING IN NEW YORK INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? New York is harsh and heavy. Before I moved here, I had these ideas about reality. My whole life I have had this gut feeling, and uneasiness about the constructs in which we exist. As a whole, I think our society is in the throws of death. New York being the epicenter of our “culture” means that everything here is exaggerated. Life here can be really hard. It is polarizing and uniting, collapsing and expanding, all at once. It is the machine. It is the matrix. It is unnatural. It gives you a deep exfoliation on the soul level. It forces you to cut away what is unnecessary and push yourself beyond your limits. Basically living here gives me conviction in my work. I can’t deny what I see and what I see is the human race being boxed in, distracted,

26

lied to, manipulated, programmed, and the various ways in which people respond to this, or react against it. IF YOU WEREN’T PLAYING MUSIC WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? If I wasn’t in Dark Sister I would probably be very different. Making music has really helped me discover aspects of myself and undergo a lot of transformation. Without making music I most likely would not be who I am right now. It has helped me become a whole person, to integrate and align different aspects, interests, and energies. I would like to think I would be creating regardless. I wanted to go to fashion school and still have ideas in that realm I would like to manifest one day. I also have visual works and writings on deck. I used to write lots of poems, so I may have continued to pursue that path. I wanted to re-elevate poetry. Poets used to be held in high regard, like rock stars, and I wanted to bring it back! It’s so hard to say because music has really freed me. My writing was always best when my mental/emotional/spiritual self was at its worst. I would definitely be self-destructive without music I think. Performance helps me purge. WHERE’S YOUR SPECIAL PLACE IN NYC? My bed with the space heater pointed straight at me. The Nepalese Indian restaurant in Ridgewood. I also really love going to my friend Christina’s house in Greenpoint, it feels super homey like going to your favorite Auntie’s place.


TIFFANY NICOLE

28


FROM Memphis, TN LUCKY NUMBER 6 SPIRIT ANIMAL Dennis Rodman SIGN Virgo – Sun Scorpio – Moon Leo – Rising MUSIC IS Magick - “all songs are spells” FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Summer FAV O R I T E C O L O R Green & Purple NEW YORK IS Exfoliating /serendipitous / alchemical M Y S UP ER P OW ER W O ULD BE Delivering spiritual ascension via touch (like a reverse Rogue), instant inter-dimensional travel...my superpower/curse is extreme attention to detail I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT warmth, transformation, hot beverages, raw honey & silence

29


THE COVEN

JESSI WADE

DA R K S IS TE R PER F O R M A N C E A RTIS T B u s h w i ck , Br o o kl y n AT 15 WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO? Be a punk, break stuff, become a werewolf, make out, stay up late making art, be in a band. I think 15 year old me would think I’m cool, I definitely think she was cool. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? My menstrual cycle, sexual frustration, conspiracy theories, nighttime, punk rock, the void, leopard print, gross stuff, feminist stuff, fight club, the moon. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN MUSIC? I’ve wanted to be in a band my whole life. My parents are both musicians and were in bands seperately and together since before I was born. It’s what I was raised around so I guess it’s natural that I think it’s what I’m supposed to do. Around my junior year of high school I started going to house shows in Murfreesboro. I got exposed to a ton of different shit, like noise/ art shows at a house venue called House House stand out for me. Most important was New Years Eve 2008/2009 at a place call Megachurch where I met some of the most important people of my life, namely Tyler

Walker and Charles Hareford (of the band Blastoids) who introduced me to a community of amazing people and friends that constantly birthed mindblowing musical and artistic shit. I met Tiff through those friends in the Murfreesboro music scene. For a while I tried going to college, but I dropped out and went on tour with Blastoids a bunch. It felt extremely right and I could tell I was within the realm of my destiny when I was on the road for the sake of music. After a big group of us went to SXSW in 2011 on RADBUS (Charlie’s home & tour vehicle) Tiffany and I were inspired and started hanging out a lot more. We would go to “tha club” with our friends and watch a lot of Golden Girls late at night after riding our bikes to Jimmy Johns to eat sandwiches and we became best friends forever. In April of that year we recorded the first Dark Sister songs in our friend Joe’s room with beats produced by Charlie. That later became SWAG HAG, our first EP. Our precious friend Ricki told us if any girls from Murfreesboro were going to make it big in a band it was me and Tiff. We took it to heart and we’re never going to stop now.

31

IF YOU WEREN’T PLAYING MUSIC WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? Working at the MAC counter at Belk and searching for some other artistic channel for my rage. Terrorizing Kim at Just Love for free coffee. Lurking Murfreesboro like some fiendy ghost. Or I don’t know, maybe volunteering at the animal shelter. I could do that anyways. I wouldn’t be in New York. WHO ARE YOU MOST INSPIRED BY? Teal (thespiritualcatalyst.com), Marilyn Manson, my mom, Tiffany Nicole, Siouxsie Sioux, Robert Smith, Henry Rollins, Britney Spears, Aaliyah, Davey Havok, Tegan and Sara, Beth Gibbons, Salad Fingers, Jimmy Urine, Tori Amos, Frida Kahlo, Kaypacha, my friends in their bands, all female artists, a lot of my friends in general. ON A DAY OFF WHAT ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE DOING? Sleeping so deliciously.


JESSI WADE

FROM Tennessee LUCKY NUMBER 8 SPIRIT ANIMAL Tiger SIGN Gemini MUSIC IS Healthy & Necessary FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Spring FAV O R I T E C O L O R Purple, Red, Black & Pink NEW YORK IS A slut, a challenge, dirty, fun & the internet M Y S U P E R P OW E R W O U L D BE My superpower IS my charm & my resilience I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Spaghetti

32


THE COVEN

33


THE COVEN

JAY WILLIAMS

36


THE COVEN

JAY WILLIAMS M O DE L & AC TR E S S Br o o kl y n , N Y IF YOU WEREN’T DOING MODELING/ACTING WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? Something labor intensive like gardening or woodworking. AT 15 WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO? Murder bass lines on my baritone saxophone. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Texture, mystery, and genuine moments. WHAT HAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE BEEN SO FAR WITH MODELING/ACTING? Time management between my day job and creative ventures. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT TO DATE? What stands out most is when my mom called from South Carolina, saying she saw my first national ad campaign, for a cell phone company. TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Soul food, quiet nights, and beautiful people of color. No complaints here. IF NOT NEW YORK, WHERE? I ask myself that every day. I’ve heard good things about San Francisco. WHO ARE YOU MOST INSPIRED BY? My great grandmother. Much is to be learned from one who’s experienced everything from getting chased down train tracks and rocks thrown from ‘N-word’-yelling peers, to making calls on her new iPhone 5. She’s seen it all. ON A DAY OFF WHAT ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE DOING? Lying on my back in a big patch of grass, journaling and sketching with honey buns and beer, falling in love with someone’s daughter.

39


JAY WILLIAMS

FROM South Carolina LUCKY NUMBER 3 SPIRIT ANIMAL I don’t know yet SIGN Capricorn MUSIC IS A feeling captured FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Fall FAV O R I T E C O L O R Black & Red NEW YORK IS Motion, motion, motion M Y SU P E R P OW E R W O U LD BE Teleportation I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Pastries and positivity

40


THE COVEN

41


THE COVEN

KENDALL TICHNER

42


THE COVEN

KENDALL TICHNER MA R K E TIN G DIR E C TO R MA N A C O N TE M PO R A RY

S o uth Wi l l i ams b u r g , Br o o kl y n WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO NEW YORK? Being close to my family is what brought me here, and the opportunities and people I have met along the way made me stay. AT 15 WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO? Smoke in my white on beige Sebring convertible. WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE LEARNED THROUGH/ABOUT YOUR WORK? I guess the most surprising thing is that if you keep good company and are surrounded by creative individuals, you realize how effortless it is to network. Mana also has this “go big or go home” attitude so I have learned how to properly utilize resources and work with people to make big projects come to fruition. WHAT HAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE BEEN SO FAR WITH WORKING AT MANA CONTEMPORARY? Mana is pleasantly overwhelming. We started as two artist studios in a warehouse in Jersey City and now we are well on our way to taking over 1.8 million square feet of space with some of the most innovative projects and people I have ever met. The projects and people that walk through our doors are brilliant. Knowing what projects to take and invest time into is also something I am learning. My relationship with my job and my future relationship with a partner will most likely be similar, continuously surprising me as we grow together. ON A DAY OFF WHAT ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE DOING? Waking up too early. Organizing day trips and exploring new places with my friends, or completely spoiling myself brunching for hours on end.

45


KINDALL TICHNER

46


THE COVEN

FROM Atlantic Beach, NY LUCKY NUMBER I am unbiased towards all numbers. SPIRIT ANIMAL Still searching/waiting patiently for it/them. Sugar glider and baby wolf are tied for first place. SIGN Aquarius MUSIC IS Folk n’ Top 40. Sorry not sorry. FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Fall FAV O R I T E C O L O R I really don’t have favorite things, depends on the shade, texture, use, juxtaposition etc, etc. NEW YORK IS The best and the worst of humanity M Y S UP ER P OW ER W O ULD BE Super powers seem more trouble than they are worth. If I had to pick one it would be being able to multiply myself or transport instantly from place to place. I am constantly moving and buzzing and this would save me a lot of time and stress. I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My friends & family

47


THE COVEN

PATRICK MACLEOD

50


THE COVEN

PATRICK MACLEOD PH O TO G R A PH E R

East Wi l l i ams b u r g , Br o o kl y n

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO NYC? I actually came to New York to attend a masters program in international affairs. I subconsciously wanted my student loans to bankroll my transition into photography. AT 15 WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO? I think that was during my international super spy phase. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN PHOTOGRAPHY? I won my local state fair’s photo competition when I was 14, it was kinda silly, but that’s when the concept stuck with me. I really didn’t start commercial work until New York pulled it out of me, and there was certainly no magic bullet there. Lots of late nights editing sloppy nightlife shoots, C list celebs, and pushy PR philistines, and you’ve got to be nice to them all. HOW DOES LIVING IN NEW YORK INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? Honestly, I dedicate my career to the city of New York. If I hadn’t moved here I would probably be in a miserable cubicle somewhere in Middle America hating myself. I’ve certainly had my rough moments but I have to say, if you can stick to what you love and stay serious about it, New York will pay dividends in the long run. WHO INSPIRES YOU? Richard Misrach, Alfred Stieglitz, Annie Leibowitz, Gregory Crewdson, Edward Weston, Edward J. Steichen, Weegee (Arthur H. Fellig), Tim Zaragoza, Matteo Montanari.

53


PATRICK MACLEOD

FROM Western Massachusetts LUCKY NUMBER 3 SPIRIT ANIMAL A duck. I love ducks. SIGN Pisces MUSIC IS Eclectic, but most pop is awful FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Spring FAV O R I T E C O L O R Green NEW YORK IS Home M Y S U P E R P OW E R W O U L D BE This is actually something I think about a lot... It would be the ability to have an invisible hand slap to anyone who is doing something spaced out, inconsiderate, or rude and then a voice from above explain to them why it happened. I think I would be called Principles Man, or something like that. I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My sight/Mexican food

54


THE COVEN

55


THE COVEN

SIGNE PIERCE

57


THE COVEN

SIGNE PIERCE

PHOTO G R A PH E R & A RTIS T S o uth Wi l l i ams b u r g , Br o o kl y n

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN PERFORMANCE AND DIGITAL ART? I’ve always been a performer, and I’ve always been a web savvy internet gurl with a knack for Photoshop, so it’s all been a long evolution of interests throughout my life that’s led me to this point. A few years ago I started blending my love of acting and digital manipulation by photographing myself as different characters and using Photoshop to transform it into something kind of grotesquely cheap and digital with some pop performativity. Over time I became less focused on the still image and more inspired by performing in actual reality, aka playing my characters on the streets in real life. This phase is currently still in-development, but the work I’ve done with reality performance thus far has proven to be the most personally fulfilling of my entire career. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING ALL THIS MADNESS WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I genuinely don’t think I could ever do anything other than what I’m doing right now. This was my destiny, child. WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE LEARNED THROUGH/ABOUT YOUR WORK? The way that people react to me when I’m performing on the streets/in real life is totally insane. The characters I play always have

some sort of sociological purpose that I’m seeking to explore by dropping them into space and time, and I’m always shocked by the way that people act when they’re in my presence. I usually play hyper-feminine characters that are representative of unattainable beauty standards the media perpetuates. Because of this, people think that I’m there to be consumed, which is sort of the point, but it’s led to physical, sexual and verbal abuse in multiple cases. I sometimes feel violated after a “reality bomb”, as I refer to it, but I get just as much validation from feeling like what I did brought out something revealing about humanity. When somebody pushes me or tries to reach up my skirt or calls me ugly or weird, that’s sort of the entire point. The relational element of performing in real life is what inspires me. My favorite and most probing question that people like to ask is “Are you real?”. I’ll never tell. WHERE’S YOUR SPECIAL PLACE IN NYC? Times Square is an enigmatic playground for me. I absolutely love it. It’s where I go to think and muse the state of the world. I think it’s so crazy that tourists come to the Big Apple just to get dropped off in a hyperactive version of where they came from. It’s basically a huge neon mall disguised as a theme park, the theme of which is like...bloated consumerist banality. You like

58

Olive Garden and TGI Fridays? Well guess what, we’ve got that too but this one is gigantic and it glows! The Square has two candy emporiums respectively titled Hershey World and M&M World-- the latter of which has literally any consumable product that you can imagine with an M&M printed on it. If you need a teapot with M&M’s on it look no further. I also like the sad Disneyworld-esque characters that linger around the hub of Times Square posing for photos with tourists. They’re all dudes in bootleg costumes just hoping to get a dollar for a photo but people come up to these gnarlyass Buzz Lightyears and give them big hugs and pose for photos and think nothing of it which astounds me. To me Times Square is Hypersuburbia. It’s a simulacrum of the American Dream and for that I love it. I would live there if I could. On the opposite end of the spectrum I love The Met and the MoMA. I spent a year and a half working at the Met and it allowed me the opportunity to sit around by myself after the museum had closed in rooms full of Picassos and ancient Roman sculptures. Those years spent musing beauty and existence in art history’s temple will inform my work for the rest of my life.


SIGNE PIERCE

FROM Tucson, AZ / San Diego, CA / Frederick, MD / New York, NY (6 years in each place) LUCKY NUMBER 8 SPIRIT ANIMAL A magical rainbow unicorn while it’s still a pony SIGN Sagittarius, duh MUSIC IS That rare kind of art form that makes people scream and move their bodies FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Spring FAV O R I T E C O L O R Neon Green NEW YORK IS Where you come when you want to be great M Y SU P E R P OW E R W O U LD BE Teleportation I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT The idea that your dreams can come true if you work hard and don’t give up, so cheesy but so true

60


THE COVEN

61


THE COVEN

L AUREN FL AX

65


THE COVEN

L AUREN FL AX

DJ, S ONG W R ITE R & PR O DUC E R B us h w i ck , N e w Yo rk

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN MUSIC? I grew up playing the drums with my best friend, Missy Ruffner. Her dad taught lessons and had 2 kits in the basement so we pretty much played constantly. We even had our own “best friend drum language” in which we would write notes to each other in “drum sounds”. Then after high school I started taking guitar lessons and went to the Recording Institute of Detroit. It was right around then that I started DJing as well. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS? Oh boy. Thats a dreadful question because I try to keep it limited to 3 year goals. Anything could happen in 10 years! I certainly hope to find myself living comfortably working on projects that are still dear to my heart. Touring is always difficult so by then I would hope to have everyone traveling in comfort. It would be great to see our handsome little cellist, Rico, and the rest of our band living a nice life through our accomplishments as well. I also see myself scoring

films. Obviously only the most depressing films. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT TO DATE? I think it would be playing our third live show ever in London at Fabric. We were definitely thrown in the deep end. It was the kickoff to our first tour and we were definitely still learning. I’m not sure if we were good or bad but we got through it and that felt really good. As a DJ though, that would be in the year 2000 when my parents came to see me DJ at the very first Detroit Electronic Music Festival. They sat in the audience to the left of the stage and the people sitting in front of them turned around quizzically and said “You like this kind of music?!”. My dad turned to them and said “Thats my daughter up there.” Was a big moment, considering how much I tortured them with loud music for all those years. TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. I’m in a residential part of Bushwick. It is a godsend.

67

There’s lots of foliage and we have a nice big yard, complete with a bonfire pit. My block also ends at the cemetery. I love cemeteries. When I’m home it feels more like I’m upstate, which for me is super important. I’ve lived in the thickness of the East Village and Williamsburg and I was ready for nice and quiet. Although I did have to kick a raccoon out of my kitchen a week ago. These aren’t things you would imagine happening in Brooklyn. WHERE’S YOUR SPECIAL PLACE IN NYC? The Cloisters. It’s always so nice up there, especially during fall or spring. Plus who wouldn’t love a room full of unicorn tapestries?


L AUREN FL AX

68


THE COVEN

FROM Detroit LUCKY NUMBER 7 SPIRIT ANIMAL Polar Bear! SIGN Libra MUSIC IS The answer FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Spring FAV O R I T E C O L O R Grey NEW YORK IS limitless M Y S UP ER P OW ER W O ULD BE My first real home I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Friendship

69


THE COVEN

BECCA MCCHAREN

73


THE COVEN

BECCA MCCHAREN FA S H IO N DE S IG N E R C H R O M AT B us h w i ck , N e w Yo rk

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN FASHION? I learned how to sew while in Architecture School at the University of Virginia. I worked in the Drama Department Costume Shop as a seamstress. After graduation I started doing some fashion projects just for fun and, long story short, the pieces I was making at the time ended up in a holiday pop-up shop in NYC. It all snowballed from there, and now I live in New York and work on my architectural womenswear label, Chromat, full time. HOW DOES LIVING IN NEW YORK INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? New York’s club kids inspire me to go further with the over the top show-stopping editorial pieces we design every season with Chromat. WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE LEARNED THROUGH/ABOUT YOUR WORK? There is a very real market for strange garments. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT TO DATE? The first time I showed a Chomat collection at NYFW and when I won the grand prize at the Fashion Institute of Technology Business Plan pitch off. Both were nerve-wracking and exhilarating experiences of just throwing myself out there and luckily getting a good response back. WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW? WHAT’S ON YOUR BOOKSHELF? Um, QuickBooks invoices mainly. What I’d like to be (re)reading: Calvino’s Invisible Cities.

75


BECC A MCCHAREN

FROM Lynchburg, VA LUCKY NUMBER 13 SPIRIT ANIMAL Zebra SIGN Gemini MUSIC IS Bjork / Missy Elliot FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Summer! FAV O R I T E C O L O R Cyan NEW YORK IS BIG M Y S U P E R P OW E R W O U L D BE Creating objects with a snap of my fingers I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Baguettes

76


THE COVEN

77


THE COVEN

YAN SZE LI

81


THE COVEN

YAN SZE LI SE N IO R DE S IG N E R W E DN E S DAY AG E N C Y B u s h w i ck , N e w Yo rk

then were such a comforting niche,

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO

and

because back then the internet was

RIGHT NOW?

memories. But I do spend a lot

for “nerds”, but everyone was 100%

I’ve been listening to a lot of

of time thinking about human

genuine in terms of communicating

mixtapes on SoundCloud as of late.

behaviors,

conspiracy

and sharing thoughts with random

I’ve also started listening to a lot of

theories, and fictional worlds. I

strangers who made the same type

happy hardcore dance stuff. There

especially find history and legacies

of websites as I did.

is this person named nightcoregirl,

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Mostly

people’s

stories

animals,

fascinating. I suppose part of that

and she makes the most insane

infatuation is that no one can ever

HOW DOES LIVING IN NEW

songs. I dig them a lot, but I

access the past. What we read and

YORK INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?

probably sound insane saying that

what we see is what all I we know,

Living in this city has certainly

because I don’t think it’s for a lot

but there could be and probably

pushed my limits in terms of what

of people.

are, so much more than we will

I think I want to do versus what I

ever realize, and that in itself, is

actually need to do for myself. Of

ON A DAY OFF WHAT ARE YOU

enough to pique my interest on

course New York has an abundance

MOST LIKELY TO BE DOING?

those subjects.

of people, art, and objects to inspire,

Taking long walks alone, going to

there is a reason why so many

the gym, cleaning my apartment

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START

people flock to this city, but that can

or trying to muster up any sort of

IN GRAPHIC DESIGN?

also be a big problem on its own.

energy to draw. I used to take a lot

I am a big, obsessed nerd and

It’s incredibly easy to get distracted

of photos, but I’ve been finding it

grew up with a lot cartoons and

with a million desires, and wanting

less meaningful over the years.

video games. I used to make

to create everything, but the real

There is something really nice

websites and fanart for my favorite

question is, what am I really good

about remembering something in

characters. I was an otaku; all my

at doing? What do you really give

your head and reproducing it again

hobbies of drawing and collecting

a shit about? What is something

through your very own hands;

memorabilia were geared towards

that will feed my satisfaction in the

making mistakes and then doing

those things. Eventually I taught

long run? I think these questions

it all over again, until you have it

myself coding and had my very

have surfaced up more and more

exactly the way you want it.

own FortuneCity/GeoCities website

as I continue living here, because

when I was in middle school. I

at the end of the day, all we have

remember specifically, every month

is ourselves and it’s up to us to

or so, I would redesign the site and

filter what we see and hear, into an

send out the links to various forums

actual creation that will make us

where other people would critique

happy for own goddamn sake. And

and comment on them. It’s great

sometimes that can take months, or

how those online communities back

even years. I’m still learning.

82


YAN SZE LI

84


THE COVEN

FROM I was born in Hong Kong, and grew up in Arizona after the age of 6 LUCKY NUMBER I don’t have one SPIRIT ANIMAL A shy fox maybe. I wish I could say wolf, but they travel in packs and I’ve always been more of a loner SIGN Capricorn MUSIC IS Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode, Tori Amos FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Summer FAV O R I T E C O L O R I don’t have one NEW YORK IS Neverending M Y S UP ER P OW ER W O ULD BE Mind reading I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Water, Candy & Coffee

85


THE COVEN

LEAH WELLBAUM

87


THE COVEN

LEAH WELLBAUM

MUS ICIAN, A RTIS T & TA L E N T BO O K E R Be d -S t u y , N e w Yo rk HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START

night and it’s easy to find people

to do that anyway. I do a lot of

IN MUSIC?

to collaborate with. There are a lot

drawings under the name magenta

I can’t remember a time when

of really talented and passionate

phillips. It is a dream of mine to

music wasn’t a part of my life. I’ve

individuals that live here and it’s

make some of those characters

always made up songs since I was

a very stimulating place. However

three dimensional. Even if I was not

a kid. It varied a lot depending

it’s also very competitive and can

playing music I would be hearing it

on what I was interested at the

become false in the sense that some

in my head and throwing tantrums.

time. For instance when I was 10

people only support each other’s

I tried to write songs that sounded

work because they want support

WHAT

like Destiny’s Child, Blaque, and

in return. It can be about feeding

RIGHT NOW? WHAT’S ON YOUR

3LW. Also, my Grandma was an

egos instead of creating something

BOOKSHELF?

orchestra harpist and my Grandpa

that comes from an inspired and

I read a book recently called Dahlia

wrote the leading book on piccolo

honest place. Despite the fact that

Season. It is written by Myriam

technique. They were both in the

it’s incredibly useful, social media

Gurba. The tags associated with

Cincinnati Orchestra. Most people

can really distort people’s visions

this book are gothic / Mexican /

on my dad’s side of the family are

of themselves and change the way

lesbian / erotica. I’m so down. She

musicians in one way or another,

they process experience.

writes a lot about having awful

ARE

YOU

READING

racing thoughts. I can relate to

so I think it’s genetically embedded in me whether I wanted to pursue

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF

this. It can become a compulsion,

it professionally or not. When I

IN 10 YEARS?

thinking about the worst things you

was much younger I was in this

I spent a lot of time when I was

can imagine. On my bookshelf you

professional children’s choir. We

younger envisioning my future and

can find a lot of graphic novels. I got

were supposed to go sing in an

making plans. In the past few years

really into them in high school. My

opera at Carnegie Hall one year, but

I have tried to stop doing that and

favorite graphic novelist is probably

it got cancelled because of 9-11. I

am at peace with the fact that no

Daniel Clowes. It seems he is most

can’t remember which opera it was,

one really knows what will happen

famous for writing Ghost World, but

but I know that it was in German,

next. I find comfort in that. Further

he also has these epic surrealist

and that the part we were supposed

down the line I’d like to play in a

novels. One of my favorites is called

to sing was from the perspective of

reggae band with a residency at

Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron. It’s

demonic lemurs.

a tiki bar. Also a blues band with

pretty disturbing, I read it before

a residency at someone’s weekly

bed once…yikes.

HOW DOES LIVING IN NEW

barbecue.

YORK INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? IF

YOU

WEREN’T

PLAYING

New York is over saturated with

MUSIC WHAT WOULD YOU BE

artists, particularly musicians. This

DOING?

has its plusses and minuses. There

I would totally be a toy maker.

are lots of events happening every

Although to be real, I am going

88


LEAH WELLBAUM

FROM Boston, Massachusetts LUCKY NUMBER 34 SPIRIT ANIMAL Sloth / Seal / Whale / Bush baby SIGN Leo MUSIC IS Fun & Flirty FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Summer FAV O R I T E C O L O R Red NEW YORK IS Craycray M Y S U P E R P OW E R W O U L D BE The ability to duplicate my limbs and remove them in order to give myself a back massage whilst playing Scott Joplin on the piano and feeding myself delicious pizza. I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT bl00d

90


THE COVEN

91


THE COVEN

Z AC THOMAS

94


THE COVEN

Z AC THOMAS

DES I G N E R & FA BR IC ATO R S o uth Wi l l i ams b u r g , Br o o kl y n HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN FASHION? I couldn’t find anything I liked so I started making custom handmade sneakers. And then it slowly progressed until I realized that I could really make anything I needed. The technical understanding about materials and construction gives you a design freedom and accuracy that I find very valuable. It helps you communicate your vision more efficiently and effectively. HOW DOES LIVING IN NEW YORK INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? I think it tends to push you to the more extreme side of things, at least for me. Because there is so much going on here, it makes you push it that much further to stand out. There is also so much more stimulation here, and if you can withstand the onslaught of it all, it is much more inspiration dense than many other places. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT TO DATE? I don’t know if I have just one. I got accepted to army flight school at 18, that was big. I guess I’m more proud of the path I’ve walked than particular incidents along it. WHERE’S YOUR SPECIAL PLACE IN NYC? I have a few special little spots that I go to, they are very high up on structures you’re not supposed to climb. The view is great, and there is no one to annoy you. ON A DAY OFF WHAT ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE DOING? I don’t really have days off anymore, some days I get paid for, some days are an investment, but I am always working these days. Sometimes it’s something for next week sometimes it’s stuff for next summer, but it’s always something.

97


ZAC THOMAS

FROM The Bay area LUCKY NUMBER 21 SPIRIT ANIMAL Some type of big cat...a panther probably SIGN Capricorn / Aquarius Cusp MUSIC IS whatever sounds good in my earhole FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Summer FAV O R I T E C O L O R All of them NEW YORK IS Aging M Y SU P E R P OW E R W O U LD BE Flight I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT New

98


THE COVEN

99


THE COVEN

KATHRYN GREENBAUM

102


THE COVEN

KATHRYN GREENBAUM PHOT OG R A PH E R & VIDE O G A M E S CRE E N C A PTU R E A RTIS T B us h w i ck , N e w Yo rk

IF NOT NEW YORK, WHERE? Berlin for sure. It’s my absolute favorite city and I’m always scheming ways to get myself back there. AT 15 WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO? I think by the time I was fifteen I had figured out that I wanted to be a photographer. I had found Helmut Newton’s book Portraits and Richard Avedon’s In the American West in my parents library, which were some of my first bits of photographic inspiration, and had started taking pictures while I was away at boarding school. Reading Susan Sontag’s book On Photography also had a huge influence on me in the beginning. A lot of my interest in photography has stemmed from the dynamic of intimacy and power inherent in photographs, particularly those of people. I’m also very interested in the mechanical but at the same time ethereal way that a camera becomes the catalyst between photographer and subject. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? I’m perpetually inspired

by

the evolution of culture, particularly via the internet. More classically, I’m inspired by physicality, bodies, movement, particular landscapes, and the little details of things. HOW DOES LIVING IN NEW YORK INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? New York has a curious influence on my work in that I don’t make that much of it in New York proper. Most of my pictures are taken on trips outside the city, to places with very different landscapes from the ones I see daily. In a more indirect way, living in New York has been fairly influential in terms of my style and on occasion, my subjects. For instance, the person I have photographed the most is my best friend, who I met five years ago on the L train, so if it hadn’t been for New York, she and I wouldn’t have met, and I would be a very different photographer. WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW? WHAT’S ON YOUR BOOKSHELF? Right now I’m re-reading The Secret History by Donna

105

Tartt; she’s one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her latest book The Goldfinch just came out, and I can’t wait to read it, especially since she only writes a book every decade or so. On my bookshelf are other top faves, including Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, Crush by Richard Siken, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a handful of photography books and everything Joan Didion has ever written. TELL US WHAT YOU EXPECT IN THE NEXT YEAR. I’ve always been of the mind not to expect anything in particular; what I am looking forward to is a shift in the kind of work that I’m doing, and the possible opportunity to spend more time traveling and by proxy, more time taking pictures in real life, rather than inside video games.


KATHRYN GREENBAUM

FROM South Hamilton, Massachusetts LUCKY NUMBER 8 SPIRIT ANIMAL Weasel SIGN Taurus MUSIC IS 100% Necessary FAV O R I T E S E A S O N Fall FAV O R I T E C O L O R Green NEW YORK IS A beautiful mess M Y S U P E R P OW E R W O U L D BE supersonic flight I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My dog, Ace

106


THE COVEN

107


W

WI TCHES


The Coven Magazine Issue No. 1  

The Coven Magazine is a bi-annual creative arts publication produced by WITCHES. Its purpose is to introduce its readership to the people th...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you