Artist Spotlight: Sonia Barcelona

Sonia Barcelona (aka Seelinger) represents Las Vegas as a musical muse who celebrates the beauty of brown skin, true friendship, and love in her lyrics. Her voice is smooth as honey and as cool as a Sade classic.

I had goosebumps listening to her performance during her April 1st video release party for her newest single “Higher.” Joining Barcelona, we’re local artists David.cuf, Elmer Albapo, and Rasar of The Lique. The collective came together to put on an amazing performance at Zet Gold’s studio (The Bakery).

During our interview, Sonia revealed that she was a late bloomer when it came to music but she always had a natural talent for it. “I played the flute and didn’t practice…but somehow I was first chair [in high school],” Sonia said with a smile and a shrugged.

Growing up, Sonia helped her mom with her shop at the Broadacre’s Swapmeet, which was one of the reasons she never committed to music in her youth. She was wearing mala beads that she wore as a lucky charm to remind her of how far she’s come in life. “I’m grateful to be playing music for what I do now,” Sonia stated. She continued, pointing to the mala beads, “I remind myself that I could be in 100-degree weather for six hours so things could be a lot worse.”

Sonia just finished touring the West Coast, stopping through San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland. Next up, Sonia makes her way to San Diego to record some new gems.


Photo Gallery

Muse Moments: Angela Johnson

MUSE MOMENTS is an interview series that focuses on the stories of creative women to help inspire and enlighten others.

Take a moment w/ Angela Johnson. She is an artist, creative director at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the President of AIGA. Angela shares her journey of success despite facing major obstacles, as well as discussing her artwork centered around connecting with people.


Photo Gallery

Double Exposure: Featuring Andi Artigue

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Double Exposure is a new collaborative series that features the work of an admired artist along w/ my own photographic work. The first featured artist is Andi (Andrea) Artigue–an amazing photographer native to Las Vegas.


Perspective: Norma Jean
Title: Androgynous Gaze

Most people don’t understand my obsession w/ film but that’s exactly why I was drawn to Andi for this collaborative project. Andi was the girl I met in my first year of black & white photography. Naturally, I grew to admire her work for how intimate, ethereal, and beautiful her captures were. They were memorizing, to say the least.

When I approached Andi about working together, I didn’t realize how much I would take away from the experience. It was a chance to connect. A chance to unload creatively. An opportunity to take the time to craft something amazing with an incredibly beautiful soul.

My biggest takeaway was our meetings for the project, where we had the chance to get to know one another on a deeper level. Sharing intimate stories about family and how we met our boyfriends. All the while geeking out about our love for film.

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Photos of Andi:
The focus of the photos is about representing an androgynous beauty. One that breaks the norms of what the media and society classify feminine beauty as. The purpose is to cast a light on gender fluid thinking.

Details: Kodak 200 film | Nikon FM


Perspective: Andi

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When Norma Jean and I first met up to discuss our ideas and plans for this shoot, at one point she brought up how she was inspired by a close friend of hers who had recently gone through some hardships. She explained in depth the need she feels to create, and when it’s been too long since she has, she feels as if something is missing.  I saw a few tears form in her eyes as she looked into mine, I cried too. Maybe it was the pot we just smoked or maybe it was two artists connecting knowing exactly how the other felt.

Norma Jean is a visionary who knows what she wants to capture within herself and makes it happen. I flow more with my surroundings and as I look into my viewfinder I wait. I wait for that fleeting moment when my mind tells me now, because of this, we were able to ignite each other.

When she was taking my photograph, after I heard the sound of the shutter there were multiple times I would hear her say “ that is gonna be a good one” I knew exactly what she meant. Our minds crave photography. It’s our passion that at times can be hard to explain. Through that, we get each other. It’s comforting, overwhelming, and lovely to find someone you can share that with. Thank you, Norma Jean.

-Andi

Details: Kodak Portra | Contax t2 and Fujifilm 400H Pro | Hassleblad 500C/M

Group Hug @ PublicUs

 

Josh Walker is the founder of a new exciting event held at PublicUs, called Group Hug. Held every second Saturday of the month,  Walker’s goal is to help fuel the art and music culture in Las Vegas. After living in Los Angeles for six years, Walker wanted to emulate the art shows and DJ performances he experienced out there. “One of my passions is to bring people together, but my biggest passion is music,” Walker said.

PublicUs helped aid in his vision after it became a staple for Walker when he moved back to Las Vegas two years ago. “I would come in every day when I lived in the area and the owners, Kimo and Lane, we’re unbelievably kind.” The idea sprung into fruition when Walker discovered a small event space adjacent to the main coffee shop. “I thought that I could raise awareness for PublicUs, because it’s an amazing local shop that everyone should know about,” Walker said.

The featured artists, Zet Gold, Angela Johnson, and Ian Racoma, brought on an electric array of art that the crowd continually circled around to observe. With Walker and Tony Comfort spinning groovy tunes throughout the evening, Group Hug was a successful night of art, music, and good vibes.


PHOTO GALLERY

 

 

 

Beach Goth Vlog

Here, I documented our little trip in California. Initially, we came for the Beach Goth music festival but after a storm came through and flooded the venue, my friends and I made fun elsewhere. Check out our adventure through the musical fun and the spontaneous activities!

Interview with Battle Born Pins

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Meet Gabe Allred and Holly Rae Vaughn, the creative masterminds behind Battle Born Pins. What started as an obsession for Gabe, turned into an overnight success for the couple. After releasing their unicorn pin, inspired by Blade Runner, the duo was shortly discovered by Vice’s, The Creators Project. Get to know more about how they started, their creative process, and more in our Light Leaks interview.

 

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Style Profile with Fashionnica

 

 

Nica Moten (aka Fashionnica) has been spotted doing everything from modeling clothes for local brands (like Crykit’s Playhouse and KYNEW), hosting RAW Femme’s first inaugural artist showcase and empowering women with her new business, HER Collection. She is a model, freelance fashion stylist, and an online shop boutique owner. To top it all off, Fashionnica is proud to be launching her self-named clothing line in November.

Meeting Nica for the first time, her warm, bubbly, and enthusiastic personality is refreshing and up-lifting. During our interview, she described herself as someone who loves her city and is someone who wants to contribute to the growth that Las Vegas has been experiencing. “Vegas has been unique all along. We are slowly changing the way our culture looks at our city. Not for the sin, but for the beautiful structure and substance we have from all the amazing artists this city harbors,” Nica said.

Although born in San Diego, Nica moved to Las Vegas at a young age and has always appreciated the diversity of cultures she grew up around. “In high school, every ethnic culture was at my school…since it’s a transit town, everyone is in and out but while people are here they bring their values, cultures, and art from their hometowns. It’s a beautiful thing,” Nica said.

Always growing her repertoire of talents, Nica received her cosmetology license from Euphoria, attended Fashion Careers International in Los Angeles for merchandise marketing where she also received her fashion buyers license. Sometime in mid-November, she will be presenting her own clothing line, Fashionnica. Highly inspired by the 90s and elements in nature, the Fashionnica line will have a mix of basic pieces and edgy pieces.

Nica was gracious enough to collaborate on an interview and styling video with me to showcase her talents. Watch our interview to learn more about the boss babe and check out how she styles summer pieces into Fall appropriate outfits.


Summer to Fall outfits

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Photo Recap: Life is Shit and Life is Beautiful

Here’s a little photo diary from the week of Life is Shit and Life is Beautiful:

 

Big thanks to Bad Moon Booking and Life is Shit for putting together a night that locals could throughly enjoy. If you’re up for seeing more great local shows here’s what Bad Moon Booking has coming up:

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For more, check out this interview with the Director of Life is Shit and founder of Bad Moon Booking, Tsvetelina Stefanova: http://wp.me/p6r9vr-m7

 

Artist Spotlight with Zet Gold

Zet Gold’s art is playful, childlike, and occasionally backed by clever puns. She calls the process of creating art “birdwatching” which expresses stories made from daily observations.

Born in Saudi Arabia, Gold grew up praying in underground churches with styrofoam windows. Her father moved from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia for work, where he was also a missionary pastor. Concealing her Christian faith in a Muslim country gave Gold an interesting perspective to view the world from. After burying their Bibles in the ground, Gold and her family left Saudi Arabia for San Diego, then eventually to Las Vegas.

Gold recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a BFA in graphic design and has exhibited countless art shows.  The Bakery, is where you can find her creating most of her work—she shares the studio with her brother, Miah (fashion designer), and Jasmin (fashion photographer). She credits street graffiti as her doorway into the art world. “It kinda started off just hitting up trains with my brother, then a year after I started to take art more serious,” Gold said.

Besides “birdwatching” Gold has collaborated with various local artists, musicians and businesses—Flora Pop, Echo Stains and Chase R. McCurdy to name a few. Her next show will be a The Bakery on November 12th with musician, Sonia.