This week I wanted to spotlight a very talented young artist, Marla Verdugo! Marla, a stylist/makeup artist/hair stylist/photographer extraordinaire is basically a one-woman show! Creating beautiful images is like second nature to her. There is so much mood and emotion behind her photos, and I couldn’t wait to share her work with you!
Recently, Marla photographed an event we attended in Los Angeles, and I was able to catch up with her to give you guys some background, fun FAQs, and even some tips on styling and photography! Take a look below for some of her beautiful work and an exclusive interview.
I love the pose and editing in this photo!
The heavy metal jewelry plays perfect off of her blunt bangs and dark eyes.
Interview with Marla Verdugo
Intro to yourself:
I’m a California girl who can’t sit still. I’ve lived up and down the coast. Currently I live in Hollywood but miss the San Francisco life. Been doing makeup and pinup-vintage inspired photography for a few years. But I like to try things that intrigue me…like styling and fashion photography. You can also find me doing other things like; obsessing over Lindsay Lohan, thrifting, finding odd treasures on the street, stalking my friends, driving getaway cars, blogging, watching The Simpsons and making messes in the kitchen…and cracking jokes that only crickets respond to.
How did you get into fashion photography?:
I first started with vintage/pinup-inspired photography…(my main love)…but after years of doing makeup on several fashion shoots, I decided to to test out my skills in shooting fashion. So I’ve been dabbling in it ever since–I love it! And I learn things everyday.
Tips for the photographer just starting out:
Seize the day. Go for your dream! Don’t let anyone discourage you. Take a class at a community college. Ask friends to model for you.Find what genre appeals to you, research different photographers…but develop your own style.
Favorite beauty products:
Lipbalm: love Kiehl’s and Cherry Chapstick
Primers!!! They do wonders for your makeup.
Sunscreen: everyone should use it.
Kevin Murphy and Sunsilk: they’re on totally different ends of the spectrum, but I find they are both carry amazing hair products.
What are your “go-to’s” when styling?:
Honestly…I am very random.
1. I love textures…in dresses, pants…
2. But generally, I would have to say vintage. No matter if I’m styling for a different era or present day looks—I love to thrown in vintage. It keeps the world going and it keeps me going. Makes me happy.
Why is fashion important to you?:
Fashion is another way to express yourself, fashion is beautiful. We all have different styles…and we may not like them all and some may not like our style, but what it comes down to…is what makes us feel good. Fashion is like we are…changing, evolving, reinventing, and also going back to our roots.
Make sure to keep up with Marla on her blog and her own personal website! Happy New Years! xoxo
If you’re into chunky knitwear, then this blog is for you.
Crafted by Amsterdam-based textile designer Nanna van Blaaderen, “the sculptural handknitted collection ‘More or Less’ is inspired by organic forms, animal life and nature. Using thick woolen yarns in off-white colors, [she] experimented in combining knitting techniques with braiding techniques. This resulted in various expressive garments of voluminous structures and forms.”
Pretty sweet, huh? Plus, she’s really into nature, animals, and sustainability, so she gets extra brownie points.
Ahh . . . I just want to cuddle up with one of these creations and sip hot toddies by the fire!
Check out more of Nanna’s amazing work on her website!
Some artists have a gift for bringing their subjects to life on canvas. Now, some people over at Booooooom have given us the gift of the “Remake” project, which challenged art lovers all over the world to actually bring works of art to life. LOVE this.
The challenge: take a classic work of art, (Booooooom master Jeff says: “I’m not looking for remakes of contemporary artwork, album covers, or fashion photography”), and “remake” it in a photograph (Jeff also stresses: “This is a PHOTO project! I’m looking for photos only. This means no paintings, drawings, collages. The idea is to put all your creative energy into re-creating and re-staging the image. All the work here happens before you take the photo, rather than afterward. Please refrain from adding special effects and other things to your image on your computer.”).
And, voila! My faith in humanity is restored.
Inspired by a contest in the UK hosted by Adobe, Jeff created a challenge of his own, open to submissions from all over this wonderfully creative planet. Users uploaded their submissions to Booooooom’s Facebook page, and then Jeff posted the majority of them on the site. One lucky winner will walk away with the entire Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection ($899). I’m just glad I don’t have to pick the winner. I was, however, more than happy to select a whole bunch of my personal favorites.
Some contestants chose to recreate some pretty darn close copies of the original artwork (above), while others took the subject and reimagined it in modern, original, or even silly ways (below). Not to be biased, but my favorites definitely have a creative twist to them.
I love the way that Wanda Martin reinterpreted Vermeer’s “Girl reading a letter by an open window” as a woman holding a telephone by an open window (below). Love the simple, modern touch.
Similarly, the way Or Eitan recreated Edward Hopper’s “Automata” in a McDonald’s (above) makes a powerful, yet subtle statement.
However, if I had to choose, I think these two might be my favorites:
Georges Braque’s “Woman with a guitar” recreated by Niklas Enhag:
And Emily Kiel’s remake of “Ohhh…Alright…” by Roy Lichtenstein:
So much cooler than planking….
If you want to see more, and there is a lot more to see, go ahead and check out the rest of the submissions (new ones are popping up all the time), and watch for the winner! Just be ready to spend A LOT of time scrolling through…
Ever wonder what it’s like to be an artist?
Today we have a behind-the-scenes interview with a fashionable artist: Brooke Shaden!
1. So, you were raised in PA, what brought you to LA?
I graduated from college in Philadelphia in December 2008 and decided then to pick up my still camera. I went about creating self portraits, and soon after moved to Los Angeles to pursue film making. It wasn’t long after the move that I decided to do photography instead of film making, and have been living in LA ever since creating art!
2. Where do you get inspiration for some of the looks in your photos?
I am constantly inspired by timeless wardrobes. I love something that looks like it could be from any time period and helps to tell a story. I am inspired by long flowing gowns and the way that wind catches in fabric.
3. What’s your favorite time period?
I love the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood of painters, they inspire me so much!
4. Do you have an amazing dress and prop collection?
I like to think so! Though, admittedly, I have ruined most of them by dragging them through the mud or slopping them around in creeks. I have probably 20 or so dresses that I use on photo shoots and take with me to workshops, all of various styles but all of them timeless as well.
5. What is your fascination with water?
Aside from my name being Brooke . . . I am fascinated with the way that water is a foreign element for the most part. We as humans are not naturally water creatures, and so water seems to be a place where a new world can easily be formed. I like how fluid it is, the way that it can softly pour over skin and hide body parts that are in the water. It has so many meanings associated with it, like life and death.
6. How long does it take you to prepare for a shoot?
I spend at least a few hours per photo conceptualizing and planning all of the details. I always know what I am going to shoot before I pick up my camera, so half of my entire process is spent planning while the shooting takes about 10 minutes.
7. What do you splurge on for your photo shoots?
Usually my big splurges come from props! I recently purchased a giant octopus for a photo, something that I had been wanting for a very long time but never had the guts to buy. I will splurge on a dress if I think it can be versatile enough, too.
8. One thing that is very unique about your photography is that you use solely a square format. Why the square?
To me, the square format allows for the viewer to see into a whole new world instead of a photograph. Suddenly the traditional photographic frame is gone, and instead of focusing on the medium the concept can shine through even brighter.
9. You also have a background in film and English, do you still write or film?
I have not yet jumped back into film, but I know that I will someday. I don’t feel that it is right quite yet because I don’t have the means to properly translate my ideas. I am infatuated with photography still, but I am sure that sometime, maybe soon, I will get the itch to make my images move. As for writing, I keep my blog updated very regularly with essays and musings. I love writing about photography and philosophies on photography. I am also writing a book which I hope to publish in 2012 all about inspiration and creating new worlds.
10. Tell us about your upcoming workshop in New York.
My workshops for the fall are numerous, as I will be teaching in New York, Los Angeles, Florida and Texas. The New York workshop is an 8 hour day full of hands on shooting and editing a levitation photograph. Each workshopper leaves with their own creation from the day. I go through my process, start to finish, on how to shoot and edit a levitation image. I teach how to make people fly!