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The Controversy Of Art




All our lives, we have been surrounded by art in many forms; paintings, music, dancing, writing, pottery and so many more. You may use art as a self-expression tool, or to heal or simply as a means of relaxation. For most artists, they use their craft as a source of income, as a lifeline, they are bonded to their art. However, due to recent controversial tweets and comments on social media, some people have made it their mission to justify separating the art from the artist.


I have very contradicting views on this. Sometimes as I writer and illustrator I find myself wondering, do I see parts of myself in what I am producing? Or am I simply producing work that isn’t necessarily up to par with my standards but I know will satisfy my readers? One of the most painful feelings has to be living for the pleasure of other people, often art is a means by which you may easily change that dynamic. If we think of it this way, there are two ends to this, the artist and the receiver. You are the person producing the art for people to view it, you can simultaneously be the receiver and the artist. This comes without saying; the source of art is within yourself, you are using your own hands to write, your own mind to create, how could you possibly want to separate an extension of yourself? Once the art is made, it will forever be bonded to you in one form or another because it originated from your mind, YOU are your art, it’s a beautiful thing. Some people profit off this idea, what makes my art stand out, for example, is the fact I use my vulnerability for my art, it is an extension of me, without it I believe, my art would lack authenticity.

I feel as though separating the art from the artist is an idle and simple way of viewing things. However, we can empathize in certain cases. Have you ever liked a song so much but felt a certain level of uneasiness listening to it because you loathed the artist? It feels odd thinking about it, sometimes you have to realize that regardless of how a person has maligned you, talent and persona aren’t mutually exclusive. You don’t have to like a person to be mature enough to take a step back and realize they have a gift and have found their calling. It is no secret that some artists are unpleasant people. In life, not everything is black or white. Life is shall I say made up of 50 shades of grey… Humans will pick and choose who they want to support and be reluctant to support others based on their views. I think there is almost a hierarchy in which we classify artists who can be separated by their art and those who are shunned by society; people also tend to weigh the worthiness of an artist based on the severity of their transgressions.

There have been many protests and petitions made against museums for displaying the work of artists who are alleged sexual abusers, visitors often find themselves questioning whether or not museums should be responsible for withholding certain values and ethics. These institutions have been deemed insensitive for keeping the paintings, this comes back to the same debate around the separation of the art from the artist. Should these exhibitions be censored? Should there be a disclaimer on the art being exhibited? The latter wouldn’t even have an effect due to the slow peril of autobiographies, in museums, millennials just don’t want to read them. Should we really be celebrating the legacy of an artist despite their transgressions? They say ignorance is bliss, some may be able to admire the work of these artists but others are unable to see the paintings in the same light with the knowledge that they have a sinister meaning behind them.

Most artists know they don’t lack in talent, even if they do; our overinflated egos would never allow us to show our insecurities. As a consequence, they don’t mind being associated with their art because they want people to know it came from them.Some artists simply don’t want to be associated with their art because they don’t want the fame, or don’t need it, they simply want to coexist side by side their art, they prefer the anonymity and think it allows people to admire their art more objectively. It almost feels as though there is a ‘drain in art’ because of this deliberate disassociation.

To conclude, I don’t know much, but I do know this; I am my art, my art is an extension of my being, no matter the distance or the person I become, I never want to be separated from it. I am not perfect, I am a hypocrite, I may not follow the advice I give, but what’s the point of making art if it’s not going to be a raw part of yourself? In other words, take us as we are, or watch us as we go. In art, like everything else in the world, there are extremists, it leads us to wonder if where we can find a middle ground, but then again, what criteria are we basing ourselves upon, there is no rule book to life.

Article by @Queenofthickthighs on Instagram (Damilola Toriola

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IF Nothing Else I Have This

“If nothing else I have this” is what I constantly tell myself when I feel like giving up writing. There are so many things I wish I could have told my younger self before I entered the creative field. There are so many factors that would make you want to leave the creative field all together. When you’re an outsider you wouldn’t always understand why we complain about certain things, or more of you wouldn’t be able to relate to what they are going through. But you know what they always say, don’t judge situations you have not lived through because it could become yours in a nanosecond. 

You will receive a lot of rejections, sometimes it feels like when you finally take 1 step forward the world pushes you 20 steps back. You have to build a thick skin and know the value of your craft because so many things in life will push you towards doubting something you were once so sure about. You have to get used to being knocked down, magazines telling you they can’t publish the work you’ve been writing for months. There’s also a sense of rejection from social media, it’s very easy to feel alone when you post your work and there is a lack of interactions.


Don’t allow this to translate into a lack of talent. One of the worst forms of rejections is when people try to manipulate you into giving them your craft in exchange for exposure rather than money. It’s almost insulting, don’t you think my work is good enough for me to make a profit off it? I believe working for exposure is only worthwhile if that exposure will reach a larger audience than the one you have. Always know your worth as a creative.

People will dehumanize you to the point they assume you are robotic simply because you are talented at something. The will romanticize your pain in any way they can, you could be writing about the most intimate and frightening moments of your life and readers would still find a way to link it to beauty. It’s so painful when people want to be involved with you simply to boost their egos when they think they could serve as inspiration for your next project. When you give advice as a writer, people will always come and ask for help, which is completely normal, however next to none of them would even think to ask you: “how are you?” or “are you in the right mental state to be able to help me?”.

Its lovely being a safe space for strangers all over the world, but it’s awful being emotionally drained to the point you can no longer help yourself. These unrealistic expectations put so much pressure on writers to constantly uphold that facade of perfection when in reality, you’re hurting as much as everyone else. I wish I had known it was okay to take a break, because most people don’t care about your mental health, it is okay to deactivate your account or your blog for a while until you’re in a better space mentally, at the end of the day you have to out yourself first or else the quality of your craft will never be up to par.


People get so upset and resentful when they find out you don’t stick to one creative field and want to explore other options, especially people closest to you. There is no creative rulebook, you can be a dancer as well as an artist, you can be a singer as well as a writer, don’t ever limit yourself to one field, talents aren’t mutually exclusive to each other. When you pick up a new interest, people will mask their jealousy with snarky comments like “when were you ever interested in singing?”, stay far away from people who doubt you, this will also serve as motivation to want to prove these people wrong. Some people will never accept that you’re growing and leaving them in the same place you both started. If you see someone picking up a new interest, always encourage them and push them to better themselves.

A lot people will never support you, it’s almost shocking the extreme lengths to which certainn people go in order to post and support celebrities rather than their own friends. I always used to support other creatives whatever the path it is they chose to follow, but in 2017 when I entered the creative field, I could count on one hand the number of people who supported me without me having to nag them to post my craft.


Most of all what I wish I knew was that writing will free you from all boundaries the world has set for you. I think when you start as a creative it’s always more of a hobby you do in your free time then it becomes an Elysian feeling to excel at something that isn’t the norm. Take your time and cultivate this hobby because it will bring great things in the future. When you’re a creative, you always have something to look forward to, a lifeline to hold onto when nothing else makes sense.  


Article by Queen of thick thighs (Damilola Toriola) 

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Roses On Roses

The upscale brand that gaps the bridge between streetwear and lifestyle apparel

Meet Adhiraj the mind behind the up growing brand from Saratoga, California, who started his brand from his home garage.
Tell us about yourself and who you are
I’m Adhiraj, the founder of Roses On Roses. I’m from Saratoga, where the brand was founded and where all manufacturing operations were initially run. I currently study Computer Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. When I’m not designing apparel or strategizing the next moves for the brand, I honestly don’t know what I’m doing other than schoolwork. I was never too fond of passing time watching TV or playing games other than Doodle Jump if that even counts.
Tell us about your brand ( how did you get the idea ) I started the brand in my sophomore year of high school, after I found myself dissatisfied with the merchandise that popular retailers held. To me, the perfect shirt possesses a combination of comfortable fabrics, meaningful artwork, and durability. It was ridiculous how I would have to continuously buy new shirts for my wardrobe after they would get ruined after a few washes. My goal was to create a clothing brand with designs which resonated with me and with materials that could withstand the test of time.
When did you start excuting Though the website officially didn’t go live until January 17, 2017, since the summer of 2016 I had been playing with mockups of shirts to find the perfect material and overall product that consisted with my vision. A lot of Q3 and Q4 of 2016 was spent creating the website, creating the first line of pieces, shooting pictures with models, and spreading the word via my social media accounts.
What are the obstacles that faced your brand While building a brand, there is just so much to do that if one is not fully dedicated it is very easy to fall off. To list of a few: garnering attention, fulfilling all the orders manually, configuring the website and consistently updating it, thinking of and delivering the best possible marketing campaigns via emails and social media.
Do you see yourself as an artist
I see myself as an entrepreneur, visionary, and artist. I think being an artist is so much more than simply being able to draw. I feel it’s more the ability to conceptualize and then create things that elicit an emotional response from oneself, and then others. I imagine the true artist to be one that can transpose what is experienced within the fabric of one’s creative source and craft it into something that can be expressed to share in a tangible form—clothing in this case.
Who does your designs I design my pieces and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every design you see on the shirts is directly inspired by things that happened in my life, each portraying a different concept. Over time, the brand has come to serve as an outlet for my thoughts and emotions with each shirt essentially being a blank canvas for my mind to paint.
What are your dreams for your brand
I want to expand from just being an online retailer to a brick & mortar store which I would be able to design and build to my liking. In addition, I would love to host a fashion show one year for the launch of a new line.
Why the name roses on roses There’s really no elaborate backstory to how I came up with the name. I suppose it just came naturally to me. In my backyard at home we have a rose bush and it is really pretty, with roses on roses stacked endlessly on top of each other.
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Turn Her Up

29 fast-rising independent female artists join forces to tackle gender inequality on International Women’s Day. On Friday 8th March 2019, International Women’s Day (IWD), 29 of the fastest rising female artists from 7 countries are joining forces to release a powerful compilation album. T​urn Her Up (album) will face up to the astonishing gender imbalance that exists within the music industry, whilst celebrating the vital role that female artists have played in shaping the discourse of popular music. Artists including, ​Pixie Lott​, ​Emma Heesters​ ​and ​Mariana Nolasco​ ​will each release a stunning rendition of tracks originally performed and/or written by iconic female musicians. Released as part of the ​#TurnHerUp​ campaign, the group who have a combined social reach of 35+ million are raising awareness of the startlingly disproportionate gender divide across the music industry.
With all areas considered, the industry is estimated to be ​70% male vs 30% female​. Equally concerning statistics show that just 30% of senior music executives, 17% of PRS registered songwriters, and a mere 5% of UK sound-engineers, are female. These statistics are often overlookeddue to the massive success of a handful of female mega-stars. However, the harsh reality of such success is that it is often dictated, orchestrated and packaged by an industry that is rife with misogyny.

“More women need to feel empowered and feel that they’re not alone in this industry. That’s why the Turn Her Up campaign is important to me,​” said Phillipino singer-songwriter Clara Benin, who is covering Lorde’s hit “Team”. In such a tumultuous environment, it can be extremely difficult for talented female artists to both, breakthrough, and then sustain a career in music. That’s why the campaign aims to celebrate the resilient women who are doing just that and smashing it. “Celebrating, calling attention to, and taking action around International Women’s Day is really important because I want to see a music industry where there’s 50% women in my lifetime. I’m only 14, but I already see the problem… and I want to be a part of fixing that problem in the Gen Z community,​” explained singer and internet sensation Jayden Bartells, who is dropping a cover of Billie Eilish’s “Hostage”. All of the cover art for the campaign has been created by female designers, including ​Emmy Smith​, who has built a large online following through her work. #TurnHerUp is all about celebrating and empowering females across music & the wider creative industries. “This campaign is huge for women in music who have fought to be represented all throughout history. It’s important that we lift the women in our world up. My inspirations are my mother and so many powerful female artists around the globe. Very proud and excited to be a part of this movement,​” said Emily Blue, who is covering Blondie’s “Call Me”. Each artist will release a single on International Women’s Day (8th March 2019), whichwill also feature on the Turn Her Up compilation album, out the same day. Shareable link: ​ 

(live on Friday 8th March)The full list of contributors is as follows:
PixieLott​,​CarlyPaige​,​ISA​,A​ rcticLake​,​BaileyJehl​,​AmandaYang​,​LizzieLoveless​,​Jayden Bartells​, ​Emma Heesters​, ​Julia Ross​, ​Mia Gladstone​, ​Madeline Kenney​, ​Clara Benin​, Jasmine V​, ​Kathleen​, ​Sophie Rose​, ​Mariana Nolasco,​ ​Dyson​, ​Sarah Walk​, ​RuthAnne​, ​Emily Blue ​, ​Lyves​, ​Maygen Lacey​, ​Linney​, K​ atelyn Tarver​, ​Kara Marni​, ​Yasmeen,​ ​Evalyn​, ​Alexa Goddard
The track listing:

  1. My Favourite Game – Arctic Lake
  2. Bleeding Love – ISA
  3. You’re Still The One – Bailey Jehl
  4. Cool – Katelyn Tarver
  5. Can’t Hurry Love – Julia Ross
  6. Survivor – RuthAnne
  7. What’s Love Got To Do With It – Pixie Lott
  1. Need Somebody – Kara Marni
  2. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – Lizzie Loveless
  3. The Circle Game – Sarah Walk
  4. Love On Top – Sophie Rose
  5. Heart Of Glass – Evalyn
  6. Hostage – Jayden Bartels
  7. Leave – Amanda Yang
  8. Call Me – Emily Blue
  9. Nick Of Time – Madeline Kenney
  10. Alexa Goddard – Dreams
  11. Maygen Lacey – Wolves
  12. Into You – Emma Heesters
  13. Big Yellow Taxi – Mari Nolasco
  14. Stone Cold – Yasmeen
  15. Dreams – Lyves
  16. Team – Clara Benin
  17. It’s Too Late – Mia Gladstone
  18. Only Girl In The World – Dyson
  19. I Think We’re Alone Now – Linney
  20. Best Mistake – Carly Paige
  21. Both Sides Now – Kathleen
  22. Hands To Myself – Jasmine V