GUCCI x GLSEN || 12.9.14

 Mantra of the Week

“An emotion of gratitude will speed the process of all I hope to manifest.”

-Morgan Ryan

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As I entered the main foyer of the newly renovated GUCCI store of Beverly Hills, (champagne flute in hand) something felt mildly ironic as Lorde dreamingly purred in the background “And we’ll never be Royals.” Unfortunately there were no tigers on a gold leash in sight, yet this was nothing shy of a fantasy. From the moment I arrived I was ushered and welcomed in with the Royal treatment.

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After taking in the first floor with excited eyes, Christian, a Gucci employee approached and offered to chauffeur me to the second floor. The suspense built with each stride I took as I made my way up the grand marble steps trimmed in glistening gold. Once we made it to the top I was breathless and not because of the climb (c’mon this girl puts the Master in StairMaster). This was a different kind of breathlessness. The kind where you are taken aback by the sight of sophisticated beauty and refinement.

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We made a quick once around before landing at the main destination, the Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear Collection. At that moment, it felt as though the room was reeling me in with magnetic force and the clothes were enticing me to come closer. Pastels Hues + Tailored Jackets= Recipe for a Maverick Takeover. Of course I admire an innovative take on the classic trench coat, who wouldn’t? After that baby was on it was game over. James Tuttle, another lovely associate did not hesitate as he slipped jacket after jacket off the hanger and onto my frame. I felt like a little girl again, playing house and dress up with my Barbies, only this time I was the doll and this was reality.

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RAWards 2014: Natural Born Artists


Photo Cred: @indiehair

“Art is our past as well as our future. We live in a time where barriers are being broken between people everywhere. The landscape of the art world industry is ever changing. There has never been a better time to be an independent artist.” -Heidi Luerra


RAW’s slogan playfully states “We dig the underground.” The eclectic organization acts as a platform and a bridge for a various set of artists to be seen, heard, and loved. On January 19, 2014 they held the RAWards: The Indie Arts Awards at Exchange LA in DTLA to commemorate the top RAW artists in the nation.

This celebration electrified the room and showcased the driving force inside each and every passionate artist who continues to lead the charge forward in creating a more inspired, abstract, and innovative world.

It takes a tenacity to follow what you’re born to do. The courage to express, create, inspire, provoke, and to make a statement.|To have the guts to never ever give up|.



Photo cred: @taytomp

I leave you with the wise words of the multi-talented Mr. Rutledge:

"Find out who you are and figure out how to use it. Lets remember life is good. It is as we choose it. It all depends on what we make what we take and what we do with all these little choices." –Chris Rutledge, poet, tap dancer, painter

If you’re all about being ‘in the know,’ be sure to check out their site so you can keep up to date on what’s going on within the underground arts and attend the next show in your area: Raw Artists

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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