Where Addiction Happens.

CREATIVE JUNQUI

CREATIVE: The Art Of Patience (Lekien)

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These are the two images I saw on Tumblr that stopped me in my tracks. When I discovered the other works executed by Patience Lekien, I knew I had to find out what made him tick. (His background stories about his pieces alone made me want to know more!) He’s become one of my favorite artists that I’ve (happily) stumbled upon, and hopefully he’ll become one of yours, too!

THE JUNQUI: Can you remember when you first started sketching/drawing? How/when did you figure out it was something you wanted to develop?
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“Interracial Identities”
PATIENCE LEKIEN: I started drawing around 4. I remember I didn’t have many toys growing up, only a few that were dear to me. But it seemed I had an endless supply of paper and so I would just draw what I saw or what came to mind. My parents fueled my creativity by giving me supplies growing up. I didn’t make a conscious decision to develop my drawing skills. They kind of just manifested as I grew up because it was something I loved to do and it helped me escape from reality and create a world of my own, with characters, stories, and so on. I didn’t start taking art seriously until about two and a half years ago.
THE JUNQUI: I got so excited when I saw your “Grown Up Proud Family” work. Please tell me that you are involved in a future project! 
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PATIENCE LEKIEN: Yeah, I plan on creating more Proud Family pieces in the future. I’ve been working on part 2 of the graduation scene as well as other character scnes but it’s all been halted due to my internship and the time it takes. I’ll hopefully be back at it in a month or so. I don’t know where the project will take me, but I’m just glad people have taken a liking to it.
 
TJ: What pieces would you say get the most comments/questions/inquiries from other people?
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PL: Definitely the Proud Family pieces. Mainly because the Proud Family itself is very known and is dear to many people’s hearts. We grew up with it, you know? One of the few black cartoons I had growing up.
(BACKGROUND: After Penny and friends graduated from high school, they celebrated by getting piercings together. Penny, Dijonay, and LaCienega all got stud nose rings. Zoey decided to finally break out of her shell and make a bold statement by getting a septum nose ring. Sticky wasn’t about that life, so he just got his ears pierced. Four years after graduation we catch up with Penny and friends once again.

Zoey graduated from a four year college and received a double major in Psychology and Women Studies. She now travels around the world working for a large nonprofit organization helping underprivileged children and women around the world. She is extremely free spirited and loves what she does.

Penny graduated from a four year college studying Communications with a minor in Race Studies, and graduated Magna Cum Laude of her class. She is now working towards her Masters in Education at Columbia. She also stopped relaxing her hair and went all natural, embracing her naps.

Sticky decided not to go to college and instead pursued his love of music. He is now a full-time producer and DJ and couldn’t be happier. He finally had his growth spurt and can finally fit into his pants. He now prefers to wear clothes that fit him. He has a newborn son whom he loves more than anything: Sticky Jr.

Dijonay went to a two year college to study nursing only to find out she hated it. She decided to drop out of the program. She took her side job of doing hair and made a career out of it, opening up her own salon. She is well known at what she does and it has brought her much fame. Upon dropping out, she also gave birth to her son, Sticky Jr. Her dream finally came true.

LaCienega attended a four year college for two years as undeclared, just because she had the money and the means. During the beginning of her junior year, she was told she had to choose a major. Indecisive, she decided to drop out and do something worth her time. She went into the modeling business and was extremely successful. She is currently working on dropping her first single.)

TJ: What are YOUR favorite pieces and why?
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“One Blood”
 
PL: My number one favorite piece is probably “One Blood”. It’s just very powerful, both visually and emotionally. It focuses on unity within the black race. Every aspect of it was very personal to me while making it.
(BACKGROUND: This piece stemmed from a moment when I was on twitter and saw “#teamlightskin” and “#teamredbone” and for some reasons thoughts just came into my head and it all lead into this.
In this illustration there is a slave mother, holding her dead child. The child was born half white, half black, but because he had black features and very few white features, the father wanted nothing to do with him. The father often took out his anger on the child, and one day, he went too far. The mother is holding the child tight in her arms praying her son can be brought back to life. The blood symbolizes the unity between the two. They share the same blood.

The meaning behind this is to stop all the bullshit with blacks taking sides with skin color. We’re the same people, having gone, and going through the same struggle and we have to hold each other close and keep each other alive.)

 
TJ: I saw multiple pieces on LEVIATHAN, & I fell in love…I want to read that story! Is that a comic/Manga that you are developing and turning into a physical book?
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PL: Yeah, I’ve been working on the first graphic novel here and there for the past two years. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be out anytime soon. But there will be a website launch that will have a basic overview of the story and the characters. It’s probably the project I’m most excited about because it focuses on many different types of struggles people face and these struggles are told through the many diverse characters in the story.
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…also, LEVIATHAN becomes part of a larger universe (something like Marvel Universe or DC, but less tights and body suits, lol) with many different characters by different artists, and the joint project is called NOIR. But in the meantime, I’ll still be creating art to accompany the story!
 
TJ: What’s the story behind Hop Hop League Of Heroes, because I thought that was too dope!
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(BACKGROUND: From L to R: 2CHAINZ: weapon of choice, his two large gold chains, are used to grab far away opponents or objects. The chains are coated with an aura that can turn into intense fire, burning and disintegrating anything it touches in seconds; NICKI MINAJ: able to take the form of other human beings by shapeshifting, by simply touching them. She is also a master of disguise; J COLE: can freeze anything he touches and he can manipulate ice and lower surrounding temperatures at will; WIZ KHALIFA: Holds the ability to set little things on fire. He can also make his opponents hallucinate by affecting their psychological being.)
PL: That started as a fun piece. At first, I didn’t plan on going far with it, but it’s been liked a lot, so that’s changed. I actually restarted the whole project and restructured it, so I can have more freedom in the designs of the music artists I choose. As for the story behind it, you’ll have to wait and see. I’m releasing the new and improved designs pretty soon… 🙂
TJ: Do you need to get into a certain element before you start a piece? (Certain kind of music, environment, food, tons of coffee? Lol) 
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“Hey! Arnold: What If?”
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PL: Nah. All I need is pencil, paper, and an idea, and I’m good to go. Most of my ideas begin on paper, until I execute it in Photoshop, Illustrator, or what have you. The hardest part is getting the idea, or motivation. Once I have that, the wheels just start turning.
TJ: What do you ultimately want others to feel when they view your work? 
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“Black In America”
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“Mukar Athfu”
PL: It honestly depends on the piece. One of the strongest and most reoccurring themes in my art is empowerment. As a black male, I recognize my oppression based on my race, but I also recognize my privilege based on my gender. These often come into play in my art. I like to focus on themes such as black empowerment, female empowerment, social inequalities, and so on. I guess ultimately, I want people to be able to see that through my work. 
Check out more work from PATIENCE LEKIEN and follow him for new updates:
INSTAGRAM: PLekien
DEVIANT ART: PayLe
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CREATIVE: ADIDAS WANTS YOUR IG PICS ON THEIR KICKS

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Sneakerheads who pride themselves on wearing only the most exclusive. Self-proclaimed hypebeasts who jump on the latest trend, no matter what. Someone who doesn’t necessarily follow fads, but wants to preserve a treasured moment in an unconventional way. Thanks to Adidas’ latest groundbreaking news, everyone’s wishes will be granted.

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Starting in August, Adidas will launch their photoprint app for their popular ZX Flux sneaker on iPhone and Android. This will allow you to take your Instagram photos and express yourself to the world in an innovative way. So forget simple “colorways” as the only means of kicks customization. That sloppy burger at that out-of-state diner you loved so much that you just HAD to take a picture of? That unbelievable sunset you captured before you slipped on a hill? The priceless snapshot of you tossing your cap in the air at your graduation? Yes, even your multiple selfies can all be showcased on your feet for the REAL world to see. This might actually take care of that “they’re wearing the same exact sneakers as me” annoying fashion faux-pas. It might also make you a Sherlock Holmes… don’t be surprised if you look down at someone’s feet and discover that you finally found your Instagram stalker!

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Check out the latest from ADIDAS:

SITE // ADIDAS.COM

INSTAGRAM // ADIDAS  ADIDAS ORIGINALS

FACEBOOK // ADIDAS  ADIDAS ORIGINALS 

TWITTER // ADIDAS ADIDAS ORIGINALS

TUMBLR // ADIDAS ORIGINALS


CREATIVE: Queen Elizabeth II Gets the Royal (Artsy) Treatment

If you were an imaginative individual with a bunch of Aussie bucks to spare, you would naturally use those bills as your canvas, right?

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With the knowledge of pop culture and a great sense of visual humor, WordPress user A Bunch Of 5s produces monetary masterpieces that will make you LOL for real. (Sorry, I couldn’t pick just a handful of my favorites, they’re all too dope!)

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Reportedly after the artist completes his pieces, they are released in the hopes that the lucky recipients will “hang them onto their fridge”. Art next to your grocery list…maybe it would help me remember to buy more milk. Or at the very least, some Sharpies.


LIFESTYLE: A Jypsy-of-All-Trades // Jeyfree Brings Her Style + Trip-Hop to BK

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If you were to ask the question, “Who is Jana “Jeyfree” Freeman”, you would undoubtedly get different responses. An eclectic soul; a bright light with a nomadic spirit; a stylish bohemian with artisan creativity; a make-up artist who just so happens to create melodic sounds of a trippy nature. She is all of these descriptions and more.

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She’s no stranger to showcasing her multi-faceted creativity. Known for her skills with a brush — faces, blank canvases, acrylic/wire finger accessories, you name it — she’s recently honed her talents into expressing herself musically. Whether she’s one of the main acts that travels to Houston, ATL or NOLA on The Freak Show Tour, or she’s appearing in local venues in one of the 5 Boroughs, she always leaves her mark. And the occasional trail of Unicorn/Mermaid glitter.

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JEYFREE CATCHING UP WITH CHRISETTE MICHELE!

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BEYONCE’S STYLIST TY HUNTER ROCKING A ONE-OF-A-KIND JEYFREE PIECE!

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Go check out Jeyfree (aka Ms. Misty Moon Day) performing at Friends and Lovers on Friday, May 2nd in Brooklyn, NY!

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For all things JEYFREE:

INSTAGRAM // FB // TUMBLR // TWITTER


STYLE: Margiela-inspired MALCOLM x MARTIN x MANDELA tee isn’t JUST for Black History Month

Another point for Instagram! I came across this tee, and I had to share it:

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“I DESIGNED THIS NOT CAUSE IT BLACK HISTORY MONTH BUT BECAUSE THIS TEE IS BLACK HISTORY…WE ARE HISTORY 365 days of the year…Not just one month…” – Corey Williams

Creator Corey Williams (@Corey_DeMon /@Stolickidd ) revealed how it all happened:

I was watching “A Different World” (lol throwback!) and saw a black history shirt with different leaders on it.. So I started thinking, ‘how I can make one that’s not so gift shop-looking and real clean that’s related to fashion.. immediately Maison Martin Margiela popped in my head!! MALCOLM X and MANDELA fit perfectly with Martin already in place.. then I used the month of February as the calendar with the circle around 28 for ONLY 28 days.. The rest is history.. 

Support this + make sure you check him out:

INSTAGRAM: @Corey_DeMon / @Stolickidd

TWITTER:  @Corey_DeMon / @Stolickidd 


CREATIVE: If PRADA Ruled The World (Imagine That)

Ah, the mighty power of The Logo. Whether negative or positive, it can evoke a feeling that compels us to “just shut up and buy”. For most of us, it’s the main reason why we gravitate toward certain foods, restaurants and stores (my mom told me my first word ever was “Macy’s”. Sad, I know.) But what if the labels that you’ve grown to love were replaced with one entity; a Super-Brand, the Mutha of All Logos? That’s the idea Italian film and art director Davide Bedoni played around with, letting Prada be the Grand Puba of them all.

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Print

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To see more Prada-oriented logos by Davide Bedoni, and to check out his other works:

Prada Tumblr /Davide Bedoni site


ART: Graphic artist AVERY NEJAM spills the tea on why we’re all alot stronger than we think…

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The wide world of Instagram has introduced me to so many amazing and talented people. Everyday I’m exposed to a new kind of art form that makes me want to get to know the actual person behind the creative pieces. That couldn’t be more relevant regarding Mississippi-bred graphic artist AVERY NEJAM. Her bright hues will make you smile, her humor and pop art aesthetic will make you laugh, but her story will make you stand up and cheer. I’m on Team Nejam, and after hearing what drives her, you may want to reach for some pom-poms:

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When did you discover your love for creating visual art?

Skateboarding is where it all started. It’s the root of everything I do. I started skateboarding when I was 5 years old, so you can say somewhere between then and now(I’m 22), a spark of creativity was lit.

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What’s your mindset before you start a new piece?

Stay awake. Stay informed. I like to try and keep four eyes open at all times (do my red glasses count as an extra set of eyes?). I never know where that next piece of the inspiration puzzle might come from. Keeping my mindset open to anyone, anything, anywhere is a vital mantra to nurture my creativity.

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The music that you surround yourself with, do you find that it reflects in your work?

Music is the driving force in my workflow; it encompasses the mood and feel of each individual piece I create. It allows me to visually taste colors and shapes through whatever I may be listening to at the time. It’s safe to say my taste in music is wide and far, crossing over many genres, which I think can be picked up on through my body of work as a whole and some of the music artists I’ve created work around. 

 

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Your signature red glasses are prevalent in a few of your pieces, how long have you had them?
I’ve been wearing my red glasses for years now…while in art school in both NYC and Boston(I attended Parsons New School for Design & The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston) I started to notice people recognizing me by my red glasses; that was the revelation that started it all. ‘Iconify Me.’ is my coined ideology that the characteristics that set us apart, often become our trademarks. What we’re remembered by: What makes you, YOU.'(for me, it’s my red glasses!) Since then, my work has always touched on identity in some form or fashion ever since.
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In terms of the art scene and personal style, what decade/era could you see yourself living in?
I’d say I’m an ‘old soul’ in a sense, because I’m always being influenced by culture/art/music that has come before me…but if I were to choose an era, it’d be the one we’re living in right now. The time is now. With the advancements of technology and the internet and mankind alone, we live in a pretty remarkable time. I mean, think about it…the world is at our fingertips at all times. And for the first time ever, we’re all globally available to each other through technology–which has it’s pros and cons–but I like to focus on the pros. (I’ve got many creative friends all over the world that I’ve kept in contact with for years and we’ve never met in person; all because of the internet.) But anyone and anything you’d like to learn or know is right there.
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What motivates you to keep going when you reach bumps in the road?
In 2012 I had a series of pretty severe health problems caused from Crohn’s Disease. While traveling in Shanghai, China, I had a massive flare of Crohn’s, causing me to be hospitalized over there before finally making it back to the U.S. and having 3 major abdominal surgeries including the removal of my entire colon.
 So, to go back to your original question of,”What motivates me to keep going?”…When it’s all taken away, you start to realize that we aren’t here for very long, so whatever it is you want to say or do…say or do it now. Nothing is guaranteed in this life.
 
In short, my road to recovery has been far from easy and had more bumps and detours than you’re average person would’ve liked to experience, but coming out on the other end, I’ve realized that we’re all a whole hell of a lot stronger than we can begin to imagine: “Tragic events which cause change in our lives are often the root of emerging opportunities.
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Do you have a personal list of favorite artists?
My top two innovators that I feel have changed the game for me would have to be Andy Warhol and George Lois. To cite Warhol as an influence coming from a visual artist and screen printer like myself can be quite cliché, I understand; and although I enjoy the visuals of his work…the genius of Warhol was the way he was able to merge both commercial and fine art, which is a very hard task for any artist, even to this day.
 
George Lois is the father of ‘The Big Idea’ and the original ‘Mad Man.’ His influence on both my workflow and visual communication skills are endless. Here are two quotes and a book recommendation all creative people should read and live by:
 
“If you’re a creative in any business, think of yourself as a doctor giving a patient medicine that will save his life. I’m dead serious.”
 “To me, a true creative spirit means to fight the good fight, always rejecting Con…and creating Icon.”
A Must Read: ‘Damn Good Advice (for people with talent)’ all by George Lois
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For people that come in contact with your work, what would you want them to take away from it?

I feel artists in any field “create to relate” most prominently through music, but if I can create that experience visually…I’ve done my job.

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Check out more awesomeness (her red glasses included!) from AVERY NEJAM:


ART: Daigo Fukawa // “Rough Sketch Products”

Talk about bringing your imagination to life!

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At first glance this seems like your typical, quickly-executed illustration, but don’t be fooled; these aren’t your average doodles, people.

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The basic white backdrop coupled with the ingenious maneuvering of colored wires takes your brain on a wild ride of perception. The functional furnishings were conjured up by Japanese student Daigo Fukawa for his Senior thesis at Tokyo University for the Arts.

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This definitely reminds me of Harold and the Purple Crayon. (if you’re too young to know who that is, Google is your friend.)

If you’re looking for a more aggressive style of sketch furniture ideas, then South Korean designer Jinil Park has you covered:

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On the opposite side of the 3D spectrum is Maya Selway, a British jewelry designer and contemporary artist that’s known for her elegant and more minimalist conceptions.

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So the next time you decide to doodle on a sketch pad, just remember… it doesn’t always have to stay there!


CREATIVE: Viviana Belle // Makeup Artist

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There’s nothing I love more than an innovative individual, and Viviana Belle is no exception!

Owner of  Philly’s Bitten Beauty Bar, this talented MUA (MakeUp Artist) not only gives her clients great face, but she really shines when her creative juices start flowing.  This photo was my first introduction to her gifted artistry:

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I love her use of different color combos and applications; she changes the whole mood of each look! Compare the light and sweet lily to this next dark and mysterious flower:

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She also likes to showcase her love for sweets in a unique way!

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She even finds inspiration in the wildest places…

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…and from decadent accessories!

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Viviana is also a pro at Halloween! Here she is as a Geisha, but don’t think she’s afraid to get down and dirty with special effects:

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Keep up with all things VIVIANABELLE:

INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // SITE


ART: Celebrity Illustrations x Jovan Rosario

The sheer admiration I have for someone that’s artistically inclined is definitely an 11 on a 1-10 scale. Whether it’s with a pencil, paintbrush, spoken word or a camera, I’m usually drawn to their raw talent, especially the ones who are self-taught. To be able to find your passion and just go for broke is beautifully amazing to me. Here is one example: illustrator JOVAN ROSARIO.

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THE JUNQUI: How did you get into illustrating?

JOVAN ROSARIO:  Well drawing was always & still is my passion. My imagination was somewhat different from others in elementary school; I was a bad ass, I would always find myself sketching during class. I really started fashion illustrations 2-3 years ago & have been practicing ever since. With portraits, I’ve only been sketching for about a year. I had no idea what I was capable of until I tried it.

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THE JUNQUI: What are your influences?

JOVAN ROSARIO: Music, Fashion designers & my mood influences a lot of my work. A few people that have influenced my work are Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Olivier Rousteing, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, The Olsen Twins & Beyonce.

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TJ:  Where would you like to travel to draw inspiration?

JR: One of my dreams is to travel to two of the biggest fashion capitals, Paris & Milan.

TJ: How would you describe your work?

JR:  To be honest my work represents me; fashion forward, minimal yet bold & detailed.

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TJ: What do you want people who view your work to take away from it?

JR:  I want people to be inspired to do whatever it is they want to pursue in life. If I can inspire someone everyday, that would be an amazing accomplishment.

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TJ:  I see you illustrate celebs with great accuracy. Have you received feedback from any one of them?

JR:  I have been fortunate enough to have my work seen & acknowledged by Rihanna, Cara Delevingne (model), Rosie Huntington (model), Willy Cartier (male model), Kim Kardashian & Beyonce. Rihanna & Kim Kardashian also follow me because of my artwork. To this day, I still have that feeling of shock; it feels so surreal. I’m just so grateful for all the love and recognition.

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Check out more from Jovan Rosario:

INSTAGRAM // TUMBLR


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LIFESTYLE: 12 year old Charlize Glass dances to ‘YONCE

She’s 12 years old…serving it like her soul has been here for twice that long. You’ll see what I mean!


CREATIVE: Haunt Couture x Hayden Williams

Illustrator Hayden Williams serves Designer Halloween Realness with his latest installment. I can’t get enough of his works, and he always uses his pencils to bring fashion and sassy confidence to life! (On paper, that is!) I would love to see these beauties as barbies or have them translated into actual live models. They would be some fierce Halloween heroines! May I present to you (from L to R) Rattling Chains, Hocus Pocus, Treasured Possession, and Under Wraps, aka HAUNT COUTURE by Hayden Williams!

I personally love Miss Under Wraps (being drawn to all things Egyptian) and I would love to recreate this look next Halloween. Which character are you drawn to? (see what I did there? LOL)

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