| HAWAIIAN H E R I T A G E |

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” 

– A E S C H Y L U S

94338DAA-80F3-4C3D-9229-9D0A83B20D5D

Ever since I could remember, I’ve been visualizing. As a young girl in elementary school, I used to be the last person to finish reading. I blame my creative mind, which would wander to exciting places mid-sentence (side note: still happens). The only spot I truly loved was the art room – probably because it was the only place I felt I belonged. The time I spent daydreaming and visualizing was welcomed here.

With anything in life, I realize it’s not all daydreams (although I wish it was). It’s vision combined with hard work that brings what you want into being. Strangely enough, with any accomplishment I’ve made, it’s through a balance of activity and inactivity. Many times what appears to be inactivity, is in fact is very active after all. Taoist refer to this as Wu Wei, and in this case, I call it active visualization. Let me explain…

IMG_1904

Whenever I feel stuck, I pause, reflect and visualize. I’ve always been an advocate for vision boards. Not strictly for its artistic nature, but because it focuses energy and attention on the passion at hand. Love, fitness, career, whatever it may be, it helps the mind ‘go there,’ thus stimulating that dreamer we all have within.

In the midst of all the moving pieces of my career right now, which I’m extremely grateful for, I’ve had little time for inactivity. Feeling more pressure than before, I began to think, what’s next? As a result, I’ve negatively begun to doubt my creativity and the future. As dreamers, we should welcome if not anticipate the thought of what could be. In truth, I was running from the very person I am. When I slowed down to realize this, I knew I needed to take time some time out. I did just that in a rather unconventional way; when things picked up, I slowed down.

C24379ED-FB64-43F0-8327-AD8427C658E9

There’s a method to my madness. When you’re speeding ahead, you fail to catch the glimpse of the pretty house along the street you’ve never explored. You overlook the excerpt in a book that will inspire your next project. In slowing down, you find everything you need. You’re re-inspired. Thus I found a way to combine my work with my passions.

As I prepped for my Mane Addicts Instastory Takeover (<- click for a highlight), I applied my new found knowledge to social media. The weeks leading up the gig, I used my account to play and test new ideas. Not only was this personally fulfilling, it also left me reassured I could do my best when it came time to take over their account. In fact this methodology helped me successfully accomplish my immediate goal (hitting over 9,000 impressions) while I created a road map for future ones. One of those destined ventures being Hawaii. The idea: reconnecting to the source.

awapuhifarm

When I initially dug up information on the Awapuhi Farm and Nature Retreat, my ears were ringing, “ready, set, location, shoot!” For years now, I’ve had the reoccurring vision of being on a remote island, sourcing ingredients and creating botanical/herbal products. One thing many people don’t know about me is that I turn to natural remedies and concoct my own beauty products.

Ayurveda or life science, has always been a secret passion of mine. It became more prevalent in my life when I was diagnosed with ADHD. After years of taking medication, I desired a more long term and natural solution. Thus, I begun to self-educate myself on nutrition and natural means of healing. When I realized this ‘ailment’ made me special not slow, I began to use it creatively to my benefit. That’s when the holistic healer kicked in and I hope one day to help others heal and reach total wellness too.

EAEEA426-E775-4FCB-A3AF-8047D8670C79 (1)

A73E920C-FD1D-4CB2-A7FF-81EA87D96A22

When I learned Awapuhi Wild Ginger was born and sourced in Pa’auilo, Hawaii, I saw the initial blending of my two worlds; the muse meets the the healer. I saw myself there, exploring the nature, science and culture of this area. I saw me hosting, traveling, educating, and most of all, learning through personal experiences. Clearly, the passion alarm went off.

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking the first step in that direction. In attending the Paul Mitchell Innovation Center in Santa Clarita, I learned all about the Awapuhi line. It was invigorating to be educated on a product I use often and is rooted in Hawaiian culture. The herbalist in me enjoyed hearing about the ingredients and putting a face to the scientists in the lab. To see the work that goes into perfecting and delivering a product into the hands of the consumer was something special to experience.

Later that afternoon I left feeling all the hope in the world. In fact, I used the positive energy of the day as an opportunity to make my own slice of HI in CA. I made my way to Malibu and created an experience that one could equate to the Aloha State. The strange thing was, that weekend I truly believed a huge leap was made in the direction of that island. I felt one step closer towards actualizing that goal.

FullSizeRender (11)

FullSizeRender (10)

I’ve always had this island dream and I always will. Who knows, maybe the dream is better than reality. What I do know is I will eventually realize this dream and find out one way or another for myself.

Aloha,

M

Palm Tree, Desert, Vintage, Rustic

S T O N E || W A S H E D

“We are all given the power to create the story we wish to tell. It’s up to you how you tell it. If you live your life as a reflection of this story, authenticity will shine as your actions align with your words.”

-M.R.

Palm Tree, Desert, Vintage, Rustic

All of us in some way or another have tried to live up to the expectations of others. We’ve all had that one teacher who never gives us the grade we think we deserve. Or the mentor that constantly expects more from us when we feel we’ve given our all. Despite the critique of others we forget that in most cases we are our own worst enemies. How many times have you looked on Instagram and compared your life to someone else’s? I’ll be the first to admit I have.

We allow the mental chatter from outside or create our own stories to tell us whether we’re good enough or not. The thing we don’t realize is when we do finally get what we’re after (that A on your paper, a promotion, your soulmate) it will still not be enough if we don’t believe we’re enough now.

Beauty, Head Shot, Red Lip, Pink, BeautyRock, Timberlands, Fashion Blogger, Palms, Los Angeles,

Whether it be another persons opinion or our own mental image of “perfection,” we seem to look outwards in order to validate our existence. We seek approval by reaching for another’s hand when we really should be reaching for our own. In reality, this short-term fix merely fuels the ego and the ego alone, therefor providing a false sense of security. We will come to find this will no longer make us happy and we will begin the search all over again, not realizing what we’re looking for is right in front of us.

True love and approval comes when we stop looking outward and begin looking inward. The funny thing people don’t understand about seeking approval is that it has the ability to make you invisible. When we rely on something impermanent to make us feel good, we’re only dimming our authentic light.

Jump, Active, Lifestyle, Skater, Urban,Hussle, Hands Up, Energy, Denim, Acid WashIt’s time to move away from the role of the victim and into the creator. Redefine your beauty. Redefine your health. Redefine your wealth. Redefine your strength. Realize you’re already enough right here, right now. It is already manifested within, you just have to be willing to peel away the layers of the past.

This takes time, patience and faith to work through these emotional layers. Once you release them you’ll understand that the outside is not all there is. Unseen changes take place within you when you take responsibility for the issues instead of pushing them under the rug. It might get dirty, but never let your circumstance define the beauty of your unique tapestry. Know who you are. Define life on your terms and yours alone. And never forget to reach for your own hand.

Palms, Denim, Acid Wash, Shades, Fashion BloggerCat Eye, Sunglasses, Details, Fashion, Legs

| MAV MANTRA |

I will let go of the need to be perfect.

Mantra, Grateful, Present, Mindfulness,

  Cactus, Nature, Lifestyle, California, Desert          Cactus, Green, Beauty, Nature,

|| PHOTOGRAPHER ||

Sabrina Hill

|| PHOTO EDITING | STYLING ||

Morgan Ryan

|| OUTFIT ||

70’s Vintage Jacket, Sunday’s Best Thrift

Crop Top, Watch Me Hussle

Acid Wash Shorts, Urban Outfitters

Vans Socks, Timberland Boots 

Earrings, Rocksbox

PLEASURE & CHAOS || PART I: THE C R O S S R O A D S ||

A Collaboration with

THE M I G H T Y COMPANY

– – – – – –

“What is meant to be, is just that, and will unfold. Still, show some guts. Say to destiny, “I am calling the shots around here, go take a hike.”

-RUMI

hitcharide

If you were to ask me where I’m headed, I would throw you a curve-ball and say, “hopefully somewhere I get lost.” Then again, I’ve never been one to give a straight answer to a simple question. Life seems too unpredictable not to play the same game. As a test of my self-awareness, I welcome the chaos of the unknown. I’m beginning to believe the sure-fire path to creating yourself requires getting lost…a little.

tresspassingThere was a confusing period where all I knew about myself was who I was not. I couldn’t explain it then, but by following my heart, I was confident it would lead me where I needed to be. If becoming lost meant I’d meet “a moment,” one that had the capability of reminding me just who I am, well then I’m certain I was wise in letting instinct be my guide.

A moment is far more complex than a simple label. It can be dynamic, as it has the capability to define in ways a word can not. “A moment,” such as the wind warmly greeting soft tousled hair, that has now become textured wisps, from dust in the air. As I reflect on this, it elicits a parallel memory from the day you and I met, and I let the wind carry me away.

– – – – – –

peekkiss-2

Before me I see a road which meets in the middle and splits two separate ways. Torn between a place of safety and the unknown, I softly close my eyes as I slip away in a deep meditative bliss. I imagine my surroundings as my senses attempt to paint the landscape. I listen to the wind as it brushes tall feathered grasses which sway back in slight rebellion to the wind’s demand. As I escape into this daydreamers delight, I discover a place of repose; as you approach, and I alight.

In the midst of the cascading dance between wind and grass, I hear a voice that kindly calls me to relax. Instantly every muscle in my body calms as his voice soothes. It was in this instant my heart told me to open my sleepy eyes and awaken. I look up to greet smiling eyes, which mirrored the crystal-blue sky that hung overhead. One might say his sideways grin concealed a veneer of danger. I never was one to listen to the opinions of others, for they only noticed the obvious. It was only me that could see, he held all his power and meaning, behind those two eyes.

Locked in a gaze, I sink into eyes that genuinely smiled like my own as the sensation of butterflies stir within. In a blink of an eye, the moment evades me as my mind tries to make sense of these sensations and sends me into paralysis from over-analysis. He speaks again. Relief fills my mind and silences the voices in my head. An internal war begins to ensue, as I battle between the two: The path of feeling or logic.

pocket

twirling

I found him–Or he found me

An informal harmony

of stable unpredictability

A life of excitement—we ignite the flame

and play with a fire

that neither of us could tame.

| Together we burn in a fury of Pleasure & Chaos |

theapproachgrazinggoldenage

Down at the crossroads I was asked to make a choice, to listen to my feelings or a little voice of reason. Confused and unsure of which to trust, I remembered the one thing that brought me to this turning point, and that was my heart. I learned something that one fateful day; An unexpected encounter may not be easy to explain. People are placed here as we stumble along our way, to remind us who we are, and sometimes who we are not. It’s when you stay in the center of your own life that you begin to trust yourself enough that you may flow; and the more you can flow within, the more you can flow without.americanbarnmodernprom

Today I stand before you uncompromised, demanding who I am: I am that unknown path, the one you might hesitate to explore because you never know what you’ll get. Just know that’s okay with me, for I only want to see the wild ones. The ones who join me in dance, and rage on in jovial laughs, not kissing ass because we’re too busy kicking it.

Once again, I find myself down at the Crossroads. Whether you follow or not, that is up to you. As for me, I continue to take the unbeaten path. The one that encourages me to get a little lost, so that I’m encouraged to listen from within. In my heart I hold with me an unwavering hope, that I might come to find someone like you, who reminds me why I chose to get lost in the first place. For now all that remains is a trace of calmness amidst life’s chaotic storm. I thank you for that moment of pleasure, a warm breeze and a smile held the day’s treasure.

meetmeatcross| MAV M A N T R A |

Lead with the heart

 

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
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.
Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
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 //
Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
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.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset
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.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

W H I T E KNOLL DR.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old,
but on building the new.”
 
-Socrates
 
Photographed by Evan Woods, Ace Hotel DTLA
When I first moved to Chinatown, I was curiously drawn to a large hill on White Knoll Dr. As I ascended, the familiar flow of Jay-Z and Kanye flooded my mind, “Made a right on 79th, I’m coming down South Shore Drive (I remain Chi-Town) Brooklyn ‘til I die.” Only in my case, Chi was short for Chinatown not Chicago, and, well, Brooklyn was close enough to my NY upbringing I suppose. If you’re unfamiliar with the reference, you best get up on your rap game. |Gotta Have It|.
Following my inner gut, I set out to tackle the steepest hill I had ever encountered; a surprising game changer ensued. I found a great view of Downtown Los Angeles including an abundance of accumulated litter. McDonalds wrappers and styrofoam cups adorned the pavement and grassy knolls by my feet. It was at this exact moment a thought ran through my mind and created an impactful wave of consciousness.

// We over-produce, over-consume, and as a result, over-pollute //

One thing was for sure, we need a change. But with change, I realized the first place to start is with yourself. I began to look within and make major amends to my lifestyle. I wanted to create positive and progressive habits for my future self. That same week I came across an article that emphasized the importance of creating a monthly focus and goal. Each month I would hold myself accountable for 31 days or longer, until it formed into an innate habit of everyday life. When I reached a point where I no longer had to think twice, I knew it had become muscle memory, much like memorizing a routine back in my dance days.

Last months focus was body image. This included all aspects such as fitness, my perception of my body, and my eating habits. Prior to setting this goal, my eating routine was heavily influenced by the typical Los Angeles “vegan stereotype.” This didn’t do much for my body, and I was often lethargic. So I took it up notch, tailoring it in a different direction more suitable to my lifestyle and body. Everyone is different. I am very active so I focused on a protein and veggie “diet.”

I say “diet” because I really dislike the word to be honest. When I hear diet I think of deprivation. Much on the contrary, this couldn’t be farther from the truth when it came to my new eating pattern. I began eating more from the earth, which meant less processed foods and I began reading labels.

I wanted to know what I was putting in my body solely out of curiosity. Like what the hell is maltodextrin, for real though? I realized unless you’re buying fresh foods, you’re most likely eating processed food. This then forced me to start from scratch and prepare and cook my own meals.

Green Machine Salad with Quinoa, Mushrooms & Hazelnuts

 

Mix it up

 

I saw this as another artistic outlet to express my creativity. I can honestly say I have never felt stronger, healthier and more connected to nature ever since. My body has noticeably transformed in a matter of one month, more lean muscle and less fat. I am excited to see and feel the continued benefits.

It seems things have a way of having perfect timing. A week ago marked the 3rd annual Food Revolution Day. This global action focuses on getting the youth excited about healthy food, teaching them cooking skills and raising worldwide awareness on the importance of better food education. I guess this is just another form of validation from the universe that I am on the right path. Others are taking note of the same need for a health shift in terms of the food we eat as well as in its production.
These are the things that deserve to be talked about, not Kim K’s extravagant wedding. Food is essential in our overall health and well-being. I know we need a transition, and I believe all aspects of our lives need to move towards a more holistic lifestyle. But first we need to begin with the most prominent, our eating habits.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps Gingergrass in Silverlake
.  .  .
When was the last time you entirely sat down with company (without your cellphone in your hand) and entirely enjoyed a meal? No not enjoyed, thoroughly tasted the ingredients within the food. Did you pause to notice how the sweet taste of mint complimented the tang of the coconut sauce? Or did you just scarf it down in order to move onto whatever was next on your agenda?
Try using chopsticks next time you dine. It will help you slow your pace of eating as it forces you to consume slowly. (Like I said, Chi-town till I die). In addition, you’ll become a chopstick boss so the next time you’re awkwardly stuffing a whole roll in your mouth in front of your date, at least you can impress them with your technique while looking like a cute chipmunk.

That day on White Knoll Dr. taught me an important piece of advice. Nourish your body with the correct foods and re-learn your ability to taste.

// This is the key to avoiding gluttony and guilt //

No deprivation here, just a keen believer in listening to your body. Plus I’ve always been one to leave room to live a little. Dessert or cocktail? Yes please.

For more tips and insights on my fitness, health/diet and recipes contact me to set up a wellness consultation, msmorganryan@gmail.com

THE T H I N I S H LINE

“Some people want it to happen,

some wish it would happen,

others make it happen.”

-Michael Jordan

photo (31)

As I made my way up the third concrete hill of my hood, I repeated to myself,

// you’re stronger than you know //

For the entirety of my run, I compared my physical stamina to that of my mental endurance. In life there will always be hills. Most of us see the hill and run for cover, I know I used to. Some attempt to climb and fail halfway. Only a few see it and run for the top, for they know a spectacular view awaits them as well as a sense of triumph that accompanies those last few steps.

If you feel like you’re the one who is stuck in limbo, like myself, remind yourself of the importance found in fortitude of diligence. Remind yourself of what matters; that you crawled until you could run again because you knew one day you would be strong enough. It’s the art of the climb. The Journey. Those who push make it to the top, even if they have to crawl. That’s the thin line that distinguishes mediocrity from greatness.

For me, It’s safe to say today was one of those days. A hill day. Not even intervals, just straight hill. One where your hope is shattered, your belief is weary, and the heat, paralyzing. Everything seems to irritate you. The only thing I wanted to do was escape from the ball and chain was the attachment to my computer, which, by now, was overheating in exhaustion. I broke away from ‘cyber reality’ and made my escape for the freedom and solitude of the great outdoors.

My optimism was rattled, but never shattered. Reflecting back on the day, there was truly no reason for any lows to affect my highs. I was presented with challenges from the outside world, and, well, I’ve got a competitive spirit—so challenge accepted!

I’m learning to take control of the reigns of attitude when thrown a curveball. Today, I ended up landing a Brand Affiliate program with Lulus, as well as representation as a Brand Ambassador for WhatIWear. So, really not a bad day at all. I just lost sight of the positives because I was too entangled in what I perceived to be the negatives. What I am slowly learning is that perception is reality and that you are the creator of that reality. This happen for a reason and you become what you fuel. If you feed the victim role you’ll become the victim, but if you nurture pacifist, you’ll be rewarded with peace of mind.

My peace of mind came in the form of a daily reminder. The Hummingbird. Flying so effortlessly and with more strength than ever, I instantly smiled at this diligent little creature. If I never learn the exact meaning of this symbolic reoccurrence in my life, I’ll know it at least reminds me to always smile and feel resilient. Someone once told me, “your smiles are your alms,” and because it was you, I’ll never forget the power of my smile.

// I guess your attitude really does define your altitude //

.  .  .

Day Tripper

Got no deeds to do, No promises to keep.

I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.

Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.

Life, I love you; All is g r o o v y ||

59th Street Bridge Song,  Simon & Garfunkel

photo (28)

It was the first week of May and a heat wave engulfed the city of Los Angeles. A wave similar to that of the ocean when it casts its lazy spell and shifts your energy into a mellow mood. Refusing to become controlled by the heat of a delicate summers daydream, I waited for the blazing sun to slowly cool, then made my way out into the nights setting sun.

photo 1 (9)

I walked along a windy path which led me in the direction of Elysian Park. Soon after setting out, I found myself walking heel-toe in a straight line, mimicking a linear cracked path that lay beneath my feet. Merely an act of instinct, I soon realized this was my way of actively finding balance within my body.

Before I started dancing, my mom enrolled me every summer in gymnastics camp. I would spend all my time by myself at one station, the walking beam. I worked everyday on perfecting my foot placement, alignment, and balance, which required a lot of focus and patience. Many things a kid has yet to develop.

My mind quickly tries to catch up to me from the past but decides to make a pit stop about two years shy of the present moment when I visited a friend in Santa Cruz, CA.

He was the king of “slacking.”  Although it did seem like time stood still whenever I found myself in Santa Cruz, I’m referring to his mastered technique of slacklining. He made balance look effortless and even when he decided to add an ambitious trick; He seemed to always land on both feet like a cat. When he encouraged me to try, I let shyness overcome me as I feared being embarrassed in front of him. I realized I had lost that sense of pure innocence and wonder we’re all born with as kids. Crazy how much two years can make a difference as I fast forward to the present moment as I’m looking at the world once again through eyes of wonder.

// Restored //

Long-A line made by walking

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/long-a-line-made-by-walking-ar00142/text-summary

.  .  .

As dusk approached, the rambling trail of thoughts I left behind had now brought me to a final realization. About a year ago  I had saved one photo on my laptop from a History of Photography class. It was called “A Line Made by Walking,” by Richard Long. At first glance, there’s nothing overwhelmingly captivating about the photo but never the less it intrigued me at the time. Now as day turns to night, I’m beginning to make sense of the intricate simplicity of this work in relation to my life.

“Nature has always been recorded by artists, from prehistoric cave paintings to twentieth-century landscape photography. I too wanted to make nature the subject of my work, but in new ways. I started working outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking…My first work made by walking, in 1967, was a straight line in a grass field, which was also my own path, going ‘nowhere’. In the subsequent early map works, recording very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, my intention was to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art.”

 I find myself using nature as a resource. From observation, I’m aware of the relationship between life and art. This notion that life imitates art seems to reappear–But maybe in contrast, we are all art and life/nature are just imitating us.

photo 3 (9)

photo 2 (15)

We glamorize a life in which we live fast and die young, but we have it all wrong. What if we were to live slow and die wise?  

You see, we label it as laziness if we’re to slow down. Moving so fast we tend to feel like we’re being pulled in several directions because we lack grounding and a connection with what’s truly important. This false reality we paint online doesn’t connect us  it separates us. Maybe that’s what drew me to Santa Cruz in the first place; Its ability to allow me to slow down and reconnect. 

The beauty I encountered that day within my hour journey made we realize one overlying idea. Everything is alive, connected, and communicating you just have to

//L I S T E N//

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.

The Wanderess

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water.

She belonged to no man and to no city.” – Roman Payne

 

20140220-192452.jpg

Arsenic Magazine Feature 
Photographed: Ev Marquee
Hair/MUA: Daisy Palos

Elysian Park, Los Angeles. January 2014

As snow falls in New York, it seems as if Summer has arrived in Los Angeles. I arrive in Elysian Park as the sun shines over the City of Angeles. Palm trees line the left side of the dirt path that I drive along, windows down and the sunroof peeled back. My face greets the cooling breeze. As I draw in a dose of sunshine and a breath of fresh air I couldn’t imagine a more perfect moment-That’s when I caught a quick yet distant glimpse of the Hollywood sign as I turned the corner. I marveled at the sight of the infamous letters that lay staggered in the hillside. I had never seen them at eye level. |That’a the thing about corners, you’re guaranteed a few surprises|.

20140220-195354.jpg

The park was so grand that I got lost a few times before finding the set location; Whether that was by choice or default I will not say. The views were spectacular and characteristically different from the next. In one instance I felt as though I was in Palm Springs and just around the bend I was promised a sight similar to that of Northern California. I wanted to see where the road would lead next, but I was already lost and 15 minutes late so I refrained.

I pulled up to the location where I found Ev and Daisy awaiting my arrival under the shade of a tree. We made our way to a park bench to set up for todays transformation which was that of a woodsy, hunter wanderess. Daisy got situated and propped open her make-up case which effortlessly unfolded into two levels like a London double decker. I likewise proceed to get comfortable, situating myself in my usual cross-legged ‘Indian Style’ fashion facing Ev. I noticed in those moments sitting with Ev there was a peacefulness. A comfortable silence washed over allowing me to focus on the present moment of the atmosphere. I gently closed my eyes as Daisy began to work on my makeup and my senses sharpened. I listened to the natural music made by the birds who sang lightly from the same relative direction of the sun above that kissed my skin.

About 30 minutes had passed before I was handed a mirror. The usual tinge of excitement mixed with fear rushed through my veins as I pick up the mirror to reflect on who I had just become. A few auburn wisps fell beside my face and danced playfully in the afternoon breeze. I slipped into a burgundy one piece and draped a faux-fur jacket over one shoulder.

“Wow,” an onlooker mumbled under his breath and then proceeded to stumble over his own two feet. All three of us looked at one another and giggled like young teenage girls at the affect I seemed to have over the stranger. With the tone set, we were ready to shoot. We jumped in Ev’s Jeep Wrangler and headed off into the winding streets of our next adventure.

20140220-200454.jpg

20140220-200635.jpg

20140220-200832.jpg

photo (16)

20140220-202249.jpg

Be sure to check out the full submission: http://arsenicthemagazine.com/submissions/2014/2/4/ev-marquee-evmarquee

And heart it while you’re at it (if your feeling fancy).

The Hummingbird

20140205-113452.jpg

You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go agaisnt the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though everybody is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit it.”

-M.H

20140205-113228.jpg

I always noticed the hummingbirds. They seemed to follow me everywhere I went. They especially showed up whenever the self-doubt began and I was on the verge of giving up.

The hummingbird is a symbol of resilience as it is capable of the most amazing feats despite its small size. Whenever I see a hummingbird it serves as a reminder to continue being adaptable and resilient while maintaining a playful and optimistic outlook.

Following your dreams isn’t as glamorous and easy as its made to seem…if so, everyone would be doing it. That’s what I find the most upsetting; When people settle. Don’t settle for the ordinary when you can have the extraordinary.

If there’s anything I have learned throughout the process, you must be yourself, know your strengths and limitations, stop comparing yourself, and always adapt. You’re YOUnique for a reason, you have to have that extra spark that distinguishes yourself from everybody else doing the same thing for a reason. Never hide who you truly are, go out a show the world your brilliance. So next time when you’re thinking about quitting, think of a hummingbird.

20140205-121110.jpg

20140205-121134.jpg

20140205-121154.jpg

20140205-121218.jpg

20140205-121234.jpg

20140205-121251.jpg

20140205-121305.jpg

Teenage Wasteland

IMG_1794

Golden Slumbers by The Beatles plays through my mind as beams of sunlight creep through the canvas sheathed windows . As I open the door to  greet the sunshine that welcoming knocked, I’m instantly paralyzed by the intensity of the desert heat.  I surrender to the warming embrace of the sun and lift my face in exhilaration towards the breathtaking skyline. The view is a spectacular sight, where the mountains meet the endless blue sky . I look down at the pool area from the balcony to catch a wave of nostalgic daze.   The crystal clear pool water looks like a quenching oasis, adorned with circular shaders scattered alongside lounge chairs where vacationers sip on cocktails and sway along to  indie pop music and the classics such as, Bob Dylan.

I couldn’t help but feel as though I was transported to another decade…

I walked directly into the 1960’s.

The Ace Hotel has maintained the retro essence and culture of Palm Springs through its decor and architectural design. Classic shades of cream and burnt orange splash the walls. As you walk into the hotel room, you can’t help but feel as though your a rebellious teenager crashing at someones pad for the weekend while they’re out of town.  This ‘lived in’ shag pad feel is created with posters and magazine clippings hung on the paneled walls, giving it a hipster dorm room flair. The light fixtures are two toned lights with bulbs on either end, one is red and the other is white, creating a cool option for mood lighting.

There was so much life at the Ace Hotel and Palm Springs in general, a sense of a long lost soul creeped into my bones. I definitely felt a sense of home here, maybe many lifetimes ago I had been here once before.

IMG_1996

IMG_2075

IMG_2137

IMG_1990

IMG_2071

%d bloggers like this: