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Showing posts from May, 2018

An Interview with Nico Daniels

i-D loudly declared in April that we should "remember the name!" Nico Daniels, and that advice seems appropriate. The fifteen year old photographer has already made waves in the art world for converting his bedroom into a studio and constructing some breathtakingly dreamy shots of his friend Nya Green. But Daniels' talent extends far beyond the series that has launched him into prominence. At an impressively young age, it would appear that Daniels has found a distinct voice that never comes at the detriment of scope. The images on his Instagram feed are diverse in milieu. The color palettes alone range from deep reds to pale pinks, primary colors to pastels. Yet they all retain an ambiguous similarity, an almost awareness of the futile nature of preservation, and the ironically everlasting transitoriness of life. Humble despite his recent celebrity, Daniels was kind enough to answer my questions.

How would you define creativity?

Creativity is everywhere and in everyone. Wh…

An Interview with Aubree of Fatally Feminine Designs

Ever since I was a child, I naturally gravitated towards an aesthetic that is deemed traditionally feminine, and while I do recognize that gender roles are often unfairly imposed on children and many girls grow up stifling their "boyish" interests, as I aged, I was faced with criticism for my excessively girly aesthetic. As a teenager, in the eyes of my peers, I had outgrown Hello Kitty and the color pink. Although I am very fortunate to have met many friends through my eccentric style, even to this day, I often feel that people don't take me seriously because of the way I dress, because I don't conform to the standards of what society sees as professional and appropriate for certain occasions.

As I was coming to terms with the backlash to my fashion sense, I discovered the Etsy shop Fatally Feminine Designs. I was immediately entranced by the coterie of confections that flooded my computer screen, but once the initial awe of the artistry put into these kawaii charms …

An Interview with @ashtomaton

Scrolling through Ashley's Instagram feed feels like stepping on the set of a 1940s musical that history has forgotten the name of. Her extensive collection of vintage toys is impressive enough, but her sewing prowess is even more worth marveling at. Her sense of style is entirely unique and her ability to brandish it so beautifully is altogether enviable. On top of all that, she is remarkably kind and has a warm presence, even through cyberspace.

What work are you most proud of?

The handful of dresses I've made that turn out exactly how they looked in my head.

Who do you think is the most creative person alive?

She's never been a particular inspiration [of mine], but I think Bjork is incredibly creative and never apologizes for being a weirdo.

What's your favorite toy in your collection?

It's so hard to pick a favorite; there are so many, but a new favorite is my Felix the Cat toy from the 1920s before he got cute and cartoony.

Has your style changed at all over the year…

Mitsuna Vinilo

I first happened upon Mitsuna Vinilo's work on Twitter, and I was immediately enthralled. Her drawings of sultry women glancing at the viewer through flowering, spider-like eyelashes procures a feeling of intrigue. Her figures are elegant and sophisticated but never censored, unbothered by their suggestive poses. They appear entirely comfortable at peace, and although they are often exposed, their facial expressions are complex and mysterious. I've scrolled through photo after photo trying to figure out what they're hiding with no avail. It's the surreptitious nature of her art that makes it so addictive.

Who are your favorite artists?

Masakane Yonekura
Kuni Fukai
Yasuomi Umetsu

How would you define creativity?

Even if I suck at it, I'm going to do what I love.

Who do you think is the most creative person alive?

It's difficult.

What work are you most proud of?

I like to draw the sensual and erotic. I like to express the fascinations of women.

Do you think your artistic st…

My Collections: Pocket Mirrors

Although not one of my more extensive collections, the amount of pocket mirrors I have is a bit excessive given how little I use them. I never wear makeup (I'm actually super envious of people that can do their makeup, I'm just really bad at it). I like to think that I'm not particularly narcissistic. I don't even enjoy looking in the mirror. The true appeal of these mirrors, to me, is the back of them. They're laid out on my shelf as decorations. That's not to say that I shame self confidence, and that we shouldn't be proud to look in the mirror and appreciate our own beauty, but I feel like ignoring the artistry of mirrors is pretty one-sided (pun intended). 

An Interview with Annya Marttinen

I've followed Annya Marttinen for years. From a distance, I've observed her artwork undergo nuanced changes, favoring earth tones as opposed to pastels, more digital work instead of strictly hand drawn, and uncomplicated structure prevails over extravagance in her later work. But none of these discrepancies have affected the way I view her work, because the ethos behind the illustrations have remained the same; if anything these alterations have made her work more closely match her ideology and have heightened the visceral response viewers have to it. Annya's drawings have always made me feel at home. They evoke in me a feeling of serenity but not in a paradigmatic way; she does not paint pastoral scenes or landscapes of equable lakes, still and unwavering ("natural" scenery that ironically in no way reflects the peaceful chaos of the real natural world). Rather, Annya's work reflects the tranquility of everyday life, which isn't flawless. The comfort her…

An Interview with Molly Soda

Amalia Soto, better known by the pseudonym Molly Soda, calls the internet her hometown. It's an apt description and she's a devout resident. The internet personality she's crafted provides not always flattering but oddly endearing commentary about the internet through digital performance art pieces and miscellaneous web ephemera. Molly Soda understands the pain of watching people tune out of your Instagram live stream, of the likes on that one selfie being considerably less than what you were expecting, of a carefully-curated digital life not extending to the gritty realities of everyday existence. She understands this because Molly Soda is this; she's an online presence and is confined to the realm of cyberspace. Amalia and Molly are inextricably linked, though, more than the typical art and artist relationship, more than the typical online persona vs. real character relationship. Molly Soda is specific and universal; she's a projection of Amalia, but also a proje…


I am by no means a photographer, and I would never insinuate that the photos I have taken are in any way, by any conventions, good. But freshmen year I bought a pink, vintage Polaroid Cool Cam 600 and there was something intensely gratifying about having an immediate print of a shot you just took. Obviously, the lines between preservation and the present are blurred in the age of iPhone photography, but with a Polaroid you have tangible evidence of this intersection. You can be holding a moment, an event, as it is happening. I think that's such a strange and addictive feeling.

Here is a selection of Polaroids that I have taken and that have been taken of me over the years. Even though most of these are recent, like I said the medium lends a sort of instant nostalgia to the work.

An Interview with Kate Gabrielle

Kate Gabrielle is one of the people that made me want to start this blog. Scathingly Brilliant is still one of the most carefully-crafted blogs I've come across, and her style is something I've desperately tried to rekindle in my own life, a quest that has led me to buy numerous products from her shop. Although Kate's tastes might be niche, I am so thankful that she chooses to share them and makes products for like-minded people. Kate treats the internet the way she would want to be treated, and her good attitude is contagious. It's nearly impossible to browse her shop, blog, or Instagram page without smiling uncontrollably. As a longtime fan, it meant the world to be able to ask her a few question.

What work are you most proud of?
I'm especially proud of my Time Machine to the '90s kits. I am so smitten with the concept; I really enjoy putting them together, and I especially love when I hear back from people who opened up the kits and experienced the kind of nos…

An Interview with Bao Ngo

Bao Ngo's work is incredibly diverse (from glam neon lights to hazy motel shoots) but it is all unified by the uncanny ability to transport the viewer into visionary realms. Bao is ludicrously talented. It's evident that she's not a one-trick-pony. Her body of work is a library, and each photo in it is a genre unto itself. With every new project she introduces, I'm captivated. I was able to talk to Bao about her inspirations and upcoming projects, and I'm honestly still over-the-moon that she responded to me.

What work are you most proud of?
There are actually a couple other works I'm super proud of, none of which have been released. I apparently take forever to finish projects I deeply care about. Two of them are set to come out later this year (late summer/early fall maybe?) actually. We'll find out then!

What's the best piece of storytelling you've ever encountered?
Hospice by The Antlers is probably one of the best pieces of storytelling I've en…

"You cannot beat death, but you can beat death in life, sometimes."

Hello everyone!
My last few weeks of high school have been very contemplative. It's not exactly the sorrowful occasion I expected it to be, but it's certainly not the sigh of relief I wanted it to be either. I guess I've come to the realization that the worst parts of high school probably extend beyond the metal fence of my campus and into the "real" world. 

The things I'm looking forward to are also the things that I'm dreading. On the one hand, I'm happy to be leaving tumultuous teenage life behind in favor of hopefully more stable, adult mindset, but I also think the dramatics and the ability to feel things so strongly was definitely a driving force for me creatively, and I'm worried that once I leave that head space my writing, creations, etc. will become diluted and bland.

But I think the conclusion I'm starting to reach -- I say starting because my thoughts remain perpetually out of my grasp, and in a sort of fog -- is that the way you live…