COMING OF AGE || 24 ||

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence,

as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”

Douglas MaCarthur

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This year, I truly felt a sense of “coming of age,” which I regard separate from “growing up.” This is because characteristically, I will never lose my jovial youth, it’s just part of who I am. Coming of age for me is an understanding of who you are, what you’ve seen, and where you’re going. I consider myself lucky to have lived an authentic life in this space falling somewhere between kid and adult, for here I have found undeniable purpose, courage, wonder, wisdom, laughter, and beauty.

 In this “coming of age” thing, I’ve learned life’s journey is meant to be shared, and it’s with those who you choose to surround yourself with that shape that experience. This is the exact reason why this years celebration was so special to me. It was a fun weekend filled with pleasant surprises and a few destinations.

DESTINATION 1:

Orange County.

I spent the eve of my birthday in Orange with my best friend and creative partner, Evan Woods. The small antique town was the first place I called home upon arriving in California 6 years ago, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. However this place wouldn’t be as special to me if it weren’t for the people I think of every time I visit. With each arrival comes a new wave of nostalgia much different from the one before.  I smile upon the speed at which life progressed yet I still feel a desire to regress. I gratefully thank my memory for the moment in which I was able to relive, and carry on my way into the unknown upon a familiar road.

As I arrived at Evan’s place, I was greeted with an iconic E. Woods scare. Popping out from behind the dark abyss of his bathroom, he successfully sent my shrieks echoing throughout his entire house. Already breathless, the master of surprise got me once again as I opened the door to the studio to find a complete set filled with 70 tie-dye balloons, configured into a birthday throne. We played, then got down to business and “worked”, then played some more until a balloon would pop, then we screamed, then laughed some more. Post-shoot, we danced around the studio pretending to be fitness instructors, encouraging our pseudo audience to “drop that Cheetos bag” and move to the Hi-NRG music with us. We giggled until our stomachs hurt. It was not a bad way to ring in the birthday if I must say.

DESTINATION 2:

Hermosa Beach.

The next day, I spent my birthday happily relaxing in Hermosa Beach. I lived simply and enjoyed the down time and peace that comes with life at the beach. A slower pace paves the way for deeper breathes. As for the rest of the chapter, that will have to be left to the imagination. Hey, a smart girl knows when to reveal and when to keep to herself.

I will leave you with this,

I was treated like r o y a l t y for the day.

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RAWards 2014: Natural Born Artists

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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

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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|.

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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

Desert Oasis

“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”
― Deepak Chopra

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Stylist, Hair, Makeup: Morgan Ryan

Photographer: Natalie Wentworth

Assisting: Ariel Stark

Dazed and Confused

“Long you live and high you fly. And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry. And all you touch and all you see. Is all your life will ever be”

-Pink Floyd

Crafting the illusions of high end style gracefully with budgeted taste

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Aquaserene

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”

-Hermann Hesse