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BROKEN C O N N E C T I O N S || Makeup Monday ||

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 || ” I’m hoping, I’m not the only one that keeps recalling.
All those memories, they used to happen so often.
Look at me (look at me), I’m still
searching, for you. ” ||

Majid Jordan, U

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________________

|| MAKEUP ||

Emily Gruen 

|| CREATIVE DIRECTION x PHOTOGRAPHY ||

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|| THE MUSES ||

SG Lewis

Majid Jordan

BIRDS OF P A I R A D I C E || 3.15.15 || H E R M O S A BEACH

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

-Albert Camus

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This weekend provided a taste for what I believe Summer 2015 has in store. The weather was hot, the nights were long, and the vibes were strong. Let the good times roll on, like the rockin’ sea below. Cheers to another weekend in paradise; this is only the beginning.

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s e a ling the d e a l

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Team USA, 2015

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Duckin’ Around

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Hermosa Beach, 2015

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Five o’ clock shadows and a smile between sweetened sips of tea. And I watch him, as life changes before my eyes.

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Shout out to Fender for sharing my photo

THE S U M M I T || 12.29.14

“And she soared high above the trees,
towards the vast escaping light.
From the shallows of her darkness,
she broke free in majestic flight.”
– m.r.

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It was not even two hours after my flight had landed in Los Angeles that I found myself back where I had left off, Elysian Park. Before departing for New York two weeks ago, the crew and I headed up to the same spot after our latest shoot to watch the sunset and revel in our potential, which twinkled in the city lights below.

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Jet lagged and running off of four hours of sleep, it was safe to say I was in need of some Vitamin D, product of California. This I figured would dust off any remaining cobwebs created by the New York Winter I just encountered.
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With my leather backpack slung over my right feather-coated shoulder, I made my way up to my favorite spot to detox, re-center, and grab a dose of fresh air. The sun was warm, the air crisp, as both penetrated my very being in the friendliest manner. Before me lay a scenic playground. I lightly played ambient music, hoping to drone out the plentiful amount of thoughts that raced through my mind, quite similar to the twirling streets that lay ahead of me as I made my way to the top.

// The Summit //
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As I parked at the peak’s overlook, I opened the car door, turned up the volume on my radio, and took a seat on the stone ledge. Something felt mildly ironic as I placed my feet, properly protected by synthetic floral Doc Martens on Mother Nature’s rich soil. Breathing deeply from my diaphragm, I began to welcome in happiness, kindness, peace, and love. In return, what goes up must come down–and on the exhaling breath, out came any traces of sorrow, malice, discomfort, or greed. I continued in this way with a rose quartz in one hand and a cooling green stone in the other. A warming sensation washed over me. This time it wasn’t the sun, but rather the sunshine within me.

// My light //

I began to work my way into a trance. Visualizing a time I was very happy and in a way, transporting myself back into that landscape. I imagined Santa Cruz. I smelled the fresh ocean breeze laced with sea salt and remembered the uplifting presence I once felt. At the time I was in love, madly, adding to the natural high I had experienced and was currently cultivating once again. Time stopped as I freeze framed a once picture perfect moment. I didn’t care about anything. Not a moment that came before, nor anything in that present moment. And definitely nothing that lay ahead of me.

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I can in part owe much of this to you, as at the time I wasn’t fully aware of many concepts, including that of Tao. I only saw that you were totally and utterly awake. Because of you, I saw and experienced the highest feeling we as humans can encounter, the Present Moment. I realize now, you were only the vessel of this message that now lives within me. To my surprise, this was only the beginning of my journey,
a journey of self.

I realized each individual in our life serves a very specific purpose. We are all vessels of light and by knowing this, we are encouraged to touch one another with our unique power. When we touch others, we impart a piece of ourselves on one another, in hopes that they may now carry it within themselves. These people either stay, leave, or come in and out of your life like the ebb and flow of a tide, to serve as a reminder that
 all we seek can be found within.

Mantra:
I know I’m never alone–
because I always carry a piece of you,
within me.
.  .  .

 We give so that we can receive.
And where you end, I begin.

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FLIGHTLESS B I R D || 05.12.14

Soaring east–

Three birds took flight

 chasing away the demons & shadows of your yesterday.

M.R.

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As the Summer sun trapped its heat in my apartment, I began to lose energy. Before I could melted into a relaxed state similar to that of a sauna, I decided to kill two birds (never a Mockingbird) with one stone; I headed out for a late afternoon stroll to escape the heat and re0energize. This has become something I look forward to each day and a rewarding experience to say the least.

Four minutes into my walk I end up dropping my iPhone, shattering the screen. I guarantee you I am the most graceful klutz’s you’ll ever encounter. But instead of reacting I just let it be. I pivoted at the end of the street for my return up the hill and the idea of manifesting your own reality resurfaced from the depths of my restless memory. Something or someone said to me,

If you need something, just ask for it. 

Is it that easy? Can I really just ask for an opportunity to get a new iPhone? I smiled to myself for I was happy I could transform a negative into a positive and chase any trace of pessimism away with a dose of optimism. As this thought passed, I looked up at a tree that stood majestically in front of me. Its limbs sprawled with blossoms delicately placed along each intricate branch. In between these branches something appeared–a hummingbird. She stopped long enough for me to notice but quick enough for her beauty to be missed. Having occurred consecutively after a moment of clarity made the impact seem even more surreal. This little bird won’t leave my side, for she plays a pretty song in my life story. I’ve never met a creature so delicate yet so strong. These are the moments that allow me to see life for how it truly is,

//beautiful//

Meditation Music

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O B S E R V A T I O N S || 4:42 PM || 05.09.14

“Imagine if the life that you thought you shared
Wasn’t really there–
It was made up in your mind,
Could be anyone, anywhere.

Dust Clears by Clean Bandit

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Looking out my bedroom window, my eyes became fixated on my neighbors kitchen window. There hung a string of dead fish that were strung like clothes on a clothes line. Living in Chinatown, this is sort of the norm, only I hadn’t really noticed it since I first moved in. I think becuase I’m accustomed to it now–or I have been too wrapped up in my own world to notice; totally unaware of a world outside of myself. What matters is that I noticed them this time around with a more welcoming perspective. What once creeped me out and seemed unpleasant had transformed into a sense of understanding.

As a the blinds began to shift, two hands emerged from the shadows while a face remained concealed. (Now thinking on it, there was probably a reason they remained anonymous in that moment as I could picture myself behind those two hands). The stranger began to remove the fish one by one from the line. This time instead of cringing I simply smiled. This is their way of life. Their culture. Their lifestyle.

//Who was I to knock them for that?//

I’m sure when I walk around Chinatown with a sunflower wire headband twisted into a set of quirky ears they probably silently think to themselves…Who’s this crazy chick with antennas on her head? In Echo Park a more accurate response would be who does this bunny rabbit think she is, Bugs Bunny? Speaking of, let me take a second to sip this carrot juice.

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The thing is, we really don’t know why we do the things we do, or if we think we do it’s because we dug deep to draw something from our past to explain our habits. One thing’s for sure, we are all humans and we do weird shit. (had to bring ya to Pari’, ‘cuse the French).

I guess we just need to be more accepting and refrain from jumping to conclusions. We’re too quick to pass judgement and too slow to create understanding. That’s the overlaying connection, it’s not what sets us apart but what binds us.

.  .  .

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Awaken The Dreamer

“The secret to success?

It’s simple, consistent originality.”

-m.r.

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Dream boards are useful visualization tools for manifesting your dreams into reality. A constant visual reminder of your goals and intentions helps spark a mental motivation. Ever since I could remember I have been an artist with clear vision. I know what I want and I go after it, by all means necessary. So as a visual learner, having that extra boost of motivation only helps propel me that much closer to attaining my goals and ambitions.

I took a more artistic and unique approach in creating my dream board. I looked through magazines for inspiration. Any words or images that jumped out to me, I ripped out. This was my way of using intuition as my means to reach the root of what truly resonates with me. My background in art and composition is apparent in my use of space, psychic lines, and color coordination. This subliminal collage resembles my tendency to speak in riddles, but art is suppose to be subjective anyways. To get a better idea of my rather ambiguous portrait I thought I would break it down for you.

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My Main Goal (Cara at the Hearts Center):

Become a Face of Beauty in a iconic sense by staying true to who I am. Sharing Love & Originality. Staying driven and persist will cultivate a tunnel vision that can’t be disrupted. I can therefore break down any walls or barriers I may encounter in the pursuit of reaching my ultimate goal of gracing the cover of VOGUE. 

The rest are daily reminders:

– (Smart is Beautiful): there is beauty in Intelligence, be more than a pretty face

– (Nostalgia): Embrace the vintage. It creates feelings/emotions for the viewer

-(Maverick Muse): break the rules

-Use my Passion & Love in everything

-(Flowers): follow your sweetness in life

-(The Magic Touch): psychic capabilities in setting trends vs. following them

-(Changing Your Mind): happiness is a choice, I was taught to always give 110%. The #59  represents my decision to be happy versus sad 59% of the time in the 50/50 option

– (Jesus is my Homeboy): keeping the faith. b.e.l.i.e.v.e.

. . .

This past weekend I reunited with my creative counterpart, Evan Woods, who reminded me of my positivity and optimism. He  said to me in his characteristic sincere & passionate tone,  “Keep up the positivity boo boo. People feel that.” I hope he knows just how much of an impact he’s made on my life and continues to as we progress in this creative pursuit.

In the matter of my first week in LA I managed to allure influential people all around me. I met Britney Spears’ designer, Skrillex’s music manager, Kate Compton followed me on Instagram, met Aaron Ramey, the Co-founder and Creative Director of Babylon Cartel, and last but not least, bumped into Bryant Eslava, continuing the ongoing mystery between me and the photographer. The chances of our paths crossing again in LA hit me in a funny. Guess it just goes to show when you put out positive creative energy you attract it back to you. I think they call that the |law of attraction|.

I’m excited to see where this journey leads next. This is only the beginning.

T.B.C.

(to be continued)

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Smashbox Photo Assist Show

“It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning –So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
 – The Great Gatsby 
 
 

One day I was searching for contact information on the Smashbox Studios website where I happened to stumbled upon a landing page banner that read:

Twenty Thirteen

The Original SMASHBOX

Photo Assists Show

-Since 1995-

On a whim, I applied with about 4 photos from my Semester at Sea experience, of which were previously exhibited at Chapman University. To my complete surprise, 2 were selected to be featured in Smashbox’s Annual Photo Assist Show. As one of the youngest artists recognized at the show that night, it hadn’t registered in my mind just how significant this was or the magnitude of this acknowledgement until a good friend, Clinton Wallace, put it in perspective.

I had just met Clinton for the first time that night, a night that marked an encounter with a soon to be mentor as well as many new friendships and surprises. He and I took a picture together which is the fourth photo featured below. Clinton, along with another photographer at the event had asked me how it felt to have been chosen out of thousands of submissions? I noticed that in that moment, I became self aware of my tendency to downplay my accomplishments or recognitions. I’m not certain why, but I feel it may be because I refuse to become too attached to those moments as a means to refrain from slowing down my progress. I never wanted to become comfortable as a child, and now it is represented by my continuous inner drive t0 grasp, accomplish and reach my full potential as a storyteller and artist. Just like a shark who needs to constantly swim and roam in order to stay alive, we must similarly remain in motion, for that is where creativity lies.

Never the less, it was truly was one of the most amazing nights within my senior year at college. The night was garnished with artistically clad individuals ranging from laid back street wear styles to mysterious faces shielded by interesting hats. There was a tribute band to the Beastie Boys who performed in halfway throughout the night, changing up the energy of the event, creating some up beat excitement. The Beastie Boys theme was cohesively reflected as well in the photo shoot set, which encouraged the partakers to openly masquerade the bedroom scene. My friends, Ashley, Austin, Christian and I decided to take a domestic stance posing as a future newage family portraiture on a Sunday afternoon. My cousin Jake Ross, spun that night, continuing to supply the event with his funky, electro-disco infused set. Just hours before heading out the door for the event, my Mom called me telling me that Jake works for Smashbox and would be there all night spinning a live set. I probably hadn’t seen him for 8 years. It was a night where I entered with no expectations and left thinking:

Expect the unexpected. 

Random coincidences never were part of my vocabulary

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