Issue 09

True Blue

The art of making meaningful work

Photographed by David Cortes

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“It’s important for me to use virtual platforms to express my sense of self, body, ideas, etc., because I like feeling connected to something bigger than myself. Virtual platforms are also a space for exchange. Radical learning happens online.The voices and hixtories that are centered are those of the cis, white, able-bodied. I am fighting to decentralize these voices.”

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“After a while you get tired of seeing society shame women for being full-bodied and curvy. I just felt like showing women that embracing authenticity can be the most beautiful thing about you.”

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“I try to create unique and complex narratives around individuals and communities that are often marginalized. It’s artists’ responsibility to foster better understanding in this world. I hope my work will inspire people to love themselves more and have more compassion for others.”

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“Making art is a tool through which to see, and I am dedicated to a practice that reveals the structures of power in our society that shape us. It’s one of the few ways I’ve been given the opportunity to remake myself and the world around me after the experience of pain through oppression.”

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“Representation matters. I make a conscious effort to focus on highlighting the stories and people that reflect the world I live in. I would love for people to see the beauty that exists outside of what is considered conventional.”

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“I like to bring up certain social awareness issues via subtle ways. I had little tampons hidden in a print a while ago that was my way of saying, ‘Hey, let’s talk about tampons and periods and all that stuff that I was shy to talk about when I was growing up.’ I think it’s a responsibility of anyone who has eyes on them to stand up for what they believe in.”

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“As image-makers, we are storytellers. We are influential whether or not it's our goal. In this day and age, it’s imperative to be culturally sensitive, to be researched, and to be inclusive. Does it make sense to shoot a campaign under the guise of female empowerment when your director and his crew are comprised of men? How can you unpack the queer perspective without queer people behind the scenes weighing in? Consciousness is a must.”

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“In the creative community, artists, people in fashion and music often lose sight of the reason they love art in the first place and let money influence what they do. You can be an artist and make a living, of course, but remember that being artistic is ultimately about the power of expression. We can use art as a tool for social changes and to help others in need, which can be much more influential and satisfying than just money in your pocket.” ­—NY4PR

Stylist:Courtney Raniszewski Hair: Levi Monarch Makeup: Meredith Menchel Casting: Cast Partner Special Thanks: Candy Studio

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