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Q&A WITH VISUAL ARTIST JADE PURPLE BROWN

 
Photographed by Norman Cacho

Photographed by Norman Cacho

 

A Question and Answer with visual artist and art director Jade Purple Brown ( @jadepurplebrown

 

What does a busy morning look like for you?

I normally wake up around 5 am to spend a few hours catching up on freelance work and returning emails. After that, I'll write out a list of everything that needs to get accomplished for the day and then start doing my hair & makeup so I can head out to my full-time job. I work at Moroccanonoil as a Digital Designer. So, I hop on the train and head to the upper east side to be in the office around 9 am. 

Are you listening to anyone good at the moment? Who’s on your musical playlist that we should check out? 

Lately, I've been having Majiid Jordan and DVSN on repeat. You'll love them both if you're into alternative R&B. 

How did you get started? 

I went to school for fashion marketing and management because I originally wanted to pursue a career in styling. While I was in the program they taught us the basics of photoshop, illustrator & InDesign to create marketing materials, and I quickly fell in love. With the help of online tutorials, I started using the programs in my own time to create wacky designs. I slowly started to figure out that my true passion was graphic design and that I had a natural talent for it. 

Who were some of your inspirations early on when you first started graphic design and illustrations? 

I was really into experimental/psychedelic digital art when I first started. Artist & Designer, Leif Podhajsky were huge inspirations to me, as I used to work with dark yet punchy color palettes and incorporate organic patterns/textures similar to his work. 

What are some of your responsibilities as an art director? Was that a natural progression for you as a graphic artist? 

My main responsibility is coming up with visual concepts for still life and on-figure photography for digital platforms and ad campaigns. This includes working with a photographer and stylist to make sure that images are produced to reflect the concept of the shoot and that all objectives are filled. Design and art direction go hand and hand so it can be very natural to me.

What inspires you now? 

70's interior designs, simple color blocking, and powerful women with grace & style.

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What has been your favorite project to work on? Why?

I really enjoyed working with Toyota to create content for their social platforms. That was the first project that I felt like I was hired solely for my own personal style, which gave me the confidence to go crazy and not limit myself one bit. 

How would you describe your personal style (fashion wise)? 

Being comfortable is key to me. I love simple no fuss outfits that I can just put on and go. My everyday look normally consists of high waisted denim pants, a vintage t-shirt, big gold hoops, and a pair of comfy sneakers.

How would you describe your artistic style? 

I love to create unexpected art that’s a visual feast for the eyes and explores different relationships between shape and color, and powerful women.  

 

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What do you think has made you unique amongst your contemporaries?

I think my dynamic use of color and texture and my abstract interpretations of women has really set me apart from the crowd. 

Do you remember the first piece you created? 

My dad actually has my first painting from preschool framed. It's an abstract watercolor piece with swirls of green and purple. 

What’s your own personal motto?  

"Create Your Own World" is something I always repeat to myself. It is a reminder that there are no limitations and that I can create the wold I want through hard work and consistency. 

What’s empowering to you as a creative? 

Knowing that I have the ability to bring something that's floating in my mind into existence is the most empowering thing. I'm constantly encouraged to keep experimenting and keep pushing my art forward. 

What do you want people to take away from your designs/illustrations? 

My number one goal is to encourage others to be more optimistic and free. I hope my work brings joy to each viewer, even if it is just for a few seconds. 

What’s the thing you heard the most when you were starting out? 

You can do anything if you put your mind to it.  

 

Don't forget to check out JADEPURPLEBROWN.COM

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF FITNESS INSTRUCTOR AND LIFESTYLE BLOGGER, TAYLOR MIKISKA

 
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By Taylor Mikiska, (@taylormikiska

Well hello!

I’m Taylor- a Midwest transplant to LA, a realistic optimist, and collector of Polish pottery.  I teach group fitness (weight training and spin) and run a lifestyle blog (www.taylormikiska.com).  I love love love teaching.  It brings me so much joy to give people the tools and encouragement to find their own strength. Even though teaching is a huge part of who I am, it isn’t the only thing I am, and I’m a huge believer that everyone is much more than the ways they make money, so that’s where the blog comes in!  I love exploring all different parts of “lifestyle” and finding out all the ways people are more connected than they realize.  Every day is completely different for me, but here’s what this one was like… 

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I’m an unbearable early bird. I love mornings and usually wake up between 5 and 5:30 every day.  Having time to be alone and to make sure I have everything ready for the day is key to keeping my stress levels low.  I start every morning brushing my teeth and washing my face with cold water, which is kind of awful [tbh], but I have rosacea and find the cold water really does help! 

 

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Then I’m off to teach!  This is David- one of my lovely co-workers.  The studio I teach in (The Wall) is currently going through some pretty huge changes!  We’ve been in this pop up space for just over a year, but are closing the pop up at the end of this month before our flagship studio opens!  It’s going to be HUGE and have tons of classes.  We’re set to open in April, but it’s definitely been slower since announcing the flagship. My days may not be jam packed with teaching right now, but the current schedule is giving me tons of time to work on my blog, which I’m really loving. 

 

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After class, I grab a juice from Moon Juice.  I love the add ins moon juice offers. This particular green concoction is blended with avocado, spirit dust, and CBD oil.  The “moon dusts” at Moon Juice are comprised of different herb and mushroom blends and are a super mood boosters.  I love that CBD is an option here as well.  It always helps me relax after a high intensity class.

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Post juice, I go for a grocery run! I’m low on pretty much everything lol. I get lots of veggies, some dates and blackberries, and restock my honey! A bunch of oranges too because I love me some citrus! If I have food at home, I’ll eat at home. I love going out to eat, but it’s definitely not ideal for my wallet. I’m trying to actually use recipes more often, but I mostly graze and just eat whatever’s around throughout the day! I don’t have any specific diet- I’ll literally eat anything, but if I’m eating at home, It’s usually just fruits and veggies, and big breakfasts on my mornings off!

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Next, I meet up for some social media planning with one of my favorite bloggers and good friend @sarahcarolincrawford of www.thefluf.com . Sarah and I get together once a week to help each other shoot content for our blogs and social media.  It’s made such a huge difference in the consistency of my content and takes away all anxiety of not having anything to post.  It’s also just really wonderful to have someone who I know isn’t going to judge me for taking too many pictures or caring about my social presence in the first place. We talk about our grand visions, brands who'd we’d like to work with, and ways we try to navigate the crazy Instagram algorithm. On this day, I knew I needed fitness content! I’m always trying to find new ways to make my fitness posts really me . I think a lot of fitness can come off sort of intimidating, so I always aim to bring some light and color to it.  We just shot these around our neighborhood (did I mention we’re neighbors?!) and had a blast doing it. 

 

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After hanging with Sarah, I head to Mama Shelter in Hollywood for my last meeting of the day! It’s one of my favorite spots to just hang out and get some work done! Idk why, but hotels make me feel fancy, and I like that.  I usually just order fries and bring my laptop!  I’ll work on playlists for class, plan content, and answer emails. I have my meeting- a fellow blogger who just moved from Virginia! She’s not launched yet, but I’m so excited for her. I’m always happy to meet with girls I’ve connected with on social media and see if there are things we can work on together. And why not meet up with a new friend in a pretty place and just appreciate that you’re there ya know? So, that’s what we did! 

 

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I head home, have dinner with my boyfriend, shower and finally get to finish my book! I have the full review posted on my blog now actually! Also, don’t judge I wear the same PJs for a few days haha.  I always try to read before bed instead of looking at my phone. I adored this book- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. Highly recommend!  It was about 4 siblings, and I’m the oldest of 4 siblings, so I felt very connected to it.

But that’s all for this day!  Like I said, every day is different, but I know each day is mine to make what I can of it and I really love that.  Thank you for reading along!

xx

Taylor 

Stay connected! Follow Taylor on Instagram @taylormikiska and check out her blog taylormikiska.com

 

KRISTINA TODINI: HOW TRAVELING MADE ME APPRECIATE MY OWN FOOD CULTURE

 
Photographed by Kristina Todini

Photographed by Kristina Todini

By, Kristina Todini (@fork.in.the.road)

I grew up on macaroni and cheese and hotdogs and my family has a tradition of ordering takeout for holidays. There are no beloved recipes handed down from my grandmother and I didn’t know how to bake a chicken breast until the tender age of 22. Raised in the landlocked American Midwest, I didn’t see the ocean until I was 11 and at the time the only “ethnic” foods I dared to consume were tacos, pizza, and chicken fried rice.

To say I was sheltered culturally would be a severe understatement.

It wasn’t until I began working in restaurants in my early twenties that I ventured outside of my food comfort zone. I slowly began to like seafood and realized brussel sprouts were no longer the bane of my existence. I gained a taste for good wine and cheeses beyond those melted and drizzled on top of fried foods. And at the same time I was expanding my palate, I was also stepping outside my comfort zone with a newfound love of travel and exploration.

I first stepped foot on foreign soil in Italy at the age of 24 and the trip was a pivotal moment with my outlook on food...and on life. The Italians’ commitment to fresh, seasonal, and simple ingredients shine through every dish and they do not cut corners when it comes to quality. In a twist of fate, six months after my trip to Italy I met an Italian man while I was on vacation, married him in Vegas five months later, and spent many summers in Italy with his family drinking espresso in tiny coffee shops and cooking homemade pizza in backyard ovens. It was quite a culture shock coming from my hometown in Missouri, but in the best possible way.

I have since eaten my way through twenty countries and countless cities on my treks across the world. I have barbecued kangaroo and emu in the Australian outback, munched on fried crickets in Mexico City, and hiked the jungles of Thailand for a cup of coffee. I have drank coca tea while watching the sun rise on Machu Picchu and sipped on caipirinhas while viewing the sunset over the hills of Rio de Janeiro. And in each of these places I found that no matter where you are from or what you believe, loving delicious food is what we all have in common.

If I had to choose one thing that has changed my outlook on life it would 100% be travel. Exploring new countries and immersing myself in different cultures has pushed the limits of my comfort zone, tested my biases and preconceived notions, and humbled me with a respect for not only the profound differences of the people in this world, but also for the stark similarities.

And it was in travel that I realized something: I did not come from a “lack” of food culture. I realized that my own food upbringing was a culture in and of itself. A culture of backyard barbecues, casseroles, fast foods, and beer in red Dixie cups. A culture of baseball, swimming in rivers, catching tadpoles, and chasing lightning bugs. I had spent so many years trying to escape my Midwest upbringing and looking at other cultures as more refined, when in fact my own region is what shaped me into the adventurous eater I am today.

So instead of looking back on frozen pizzas and boxed meals with disdain, instead I now appreciate the experience of the fast food culture I came from. While I may explore new recipes and kitchen techniques acquired from my travels, I keep it simple in the kitchen due to my Midwest preference to get in and get out without all the fuss. I may drink fancy wine from carafes but that doesn’t mean I will ever have a matching set of wine glasses--and I’ve realized now that that’s okay, because in the end what my upbringing and travels have taught me is that the act of eating together and sharing experiences over food is universal, no matter what is on the table.

Kristina Todini, RDN is a registered dietitian living in San Francisco, CA. She photographs and writes about food, travel, and sustainability on the blog Fork in the Road when she isn’t tasting her way across the globe. You can connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.