The Artistic Role

The role of the artist is to evoke emotion and possibly tell a story through their work. Just like a writer likes to create a black and white picture through their words, an artist likes to create compelling work that has deep meaning. Therefore, inspiration is put into place. Not everyone will understand it or accept it; but if you are in the present moment of true artistry, nothing else matters.

Brandan Odums Visual Art

Fashion designers, contemporary artists, filmmakers, and actors all complement each other because they express their truth when they present their work in an authentic and raw spirit. I’m referring to artists who work hours on end and let the work speak for themselves and follow a daily routine. Greatness just does not pop for artists instantaneously. They are talented but they also never stop working. They usually do not crave attention on facebook due to their discipline but there is definitely an “unsettling” of sorts within. I refer to that ‘uneasiness’ as the burning desire to create something magical while fighting with the desire to stay inside their shell. Whether it is self doubt, fear of judgement, or an introversion — I view this as an asset in many instances. This dichotomy has produced some gorgeous creations.

Cheryl Koo Fashion and Choreography

Whether it is a fine/contemporary/pop artist that makes you stop and just feel, a designer working on a collection that tells a story through each garment or an actor that invites you to disappear into their character, they all give us the opportunity to leave our chaotic world for a minute and enter a magical one. Personally, I feel most artists tell a poignant story and it can be beneficial to listen. Just like authentic friendships, listening and acceptance makes for better relationships and understanding.

Brandon Sean Pearson (Actor)
Lillian Shallom Jewelry

We all judge ourselves in general. It’s simply human nature. Although there are those rare few who don’t (and I envy them). Yet I do feel that artists and designers can be especially hard on themselves when they push so hard to achieve greatness versus “being in the zone” of one’s craft. There is so much rejection that your mental game needs to be strong and willing to face adversity. Ultimately I see the majority of artistic expression as their release, a hint of who they are, a way to bring joy to others, but most importantly; they are learning to embrace and love themselves.  This is how one grows (as a person and an artist) plus the addition of hard work on a daily basis. After interviewing many fashion and jewelry designers, contemporary artists, filmmakers and actors, they seem to share a common thread: they cannot live without their art. It is their work and it sustains them — regardless of type. That is the artistic role, even with the expected frustration. I also find the diversity of artists to be beautiful and something that should be acknowledged and celebrated. What a lovely way to come together.

Deborah Thomsen Walker Art


Bonnie Strauss Clothing

I know someone who inspires me all the time with his photography. It’s not a big deal to him because it’s his work. To me, his craft has captured 18 years of partnership, three children, and some amazing moments and memories. Not all have been memorable, but somehow looking back I am incredibly grateful that he photographed them. Do his photos make me feel? Absolutely! Each one and the risks he was willing to take.

Finally, evolved artists trust the process, the rejection, and the growth. Yes, that is much easier said than done but staying focused is an art within itself. More than anything else, trust the diversity within art. It’s an education and one you will not receive in school but a great life lesson. It’s a human connection, an overall love and just maybe, a hopeful path to unity.

John Collazos Photography


John Augustavo – Film and Video Director



FearlessFashion with DeMode

Fashion is ever changing, just how trends come and go in the blink of an eye, especially for Angelenos.

LA designers frequently launch new collections as the next “it brand,” so it’s exciting when an LA-based brand is created that makes you look at fashion differently, and makes you reconsider wardrobe choices from a personal perspective. Such is the case with the Démodé Collection.

Démodé was founded and created by LA-based photographer Mike Gonzalez and his partner Maya Yogev. This line has the potential to become an integral part of fashion’s future — both in LA and elsewhere. It’s a refreshing and new concept on individual style mixed with unique and vintage elements. Démodé is French for “out of fashion” which Gonzalez and Yogev created the brand to re-establish that fashion does have a personal style, which comes from a place of authenticity.


“The idea of personal style is a bit lost at the moment and with the fashion industry being so mainstream, it has really obliterated the idea of personal style,” Gonzalez says.

Démodé in its true meaning embraces what Gonzalez and Yogev say they feel about fashion in general. At the moment, “anything goes” in fashion which is fun, but at the same time, the concept has a breaking point. The market becomes oversaturated to the level where fashion can actually be “out of fashion.” This allows for a rebirth or newness of sorts and Démodé is an taking part of this rebirth.

Gonzalez and Yogev have established a specific vision for Démodé that embodies individuality. The looks are specific styles with easy, relaxed pieces, but yet still put together in an unconventional way, and remaining wearable. What woman does not desire this type of style? Therefore, the duo focuses on bringing in designer vintage pieces as well as one-of-a-kind pieces.

The inspiration for Démodé is “fearless people.” Gonzalez does feel that LA is always a great place in terms of style and that there is a sense of ease in LA, which is “just right and never too dishevelled.” Although, overall the brand is inspired by everyday people. People who are not trying to be anyone but themselves, and they in turn, are fearless with their style because they do not care what others think. Instead, “They care what they think and that’s very striking to see,” says Gonzalez.


The collection falls into three categories: Démodé, Démodé Marché and Designer Vintage. The Démodé collection also houses the line “Je Suis Demode” sweatshirts and tees — which is perfect for the casual LA vibe. Démodé Marché is the brand’s collection of new styles, that have an unique design about them while also having the ability to speak or relate to people with a different style of dress. Designer Vintage consists of unique and designer vintage pieces. This includes everything from 80s James Galanos, to a rainbow silk column gown from the late 60s. The garments in this collection are quite stunning and in excellent condition.

Both Gonzalez and Yogev love the thrill of the hunt when sourcing apparel. They scour the nation whenever possible to uncover pieces that are irreplaceable.

“I have never thought of it in that manner,” Gonzalez says, about his photography influencing his fashion. “In the imagery I create for Démodé, I make sure the editorial images are a bit fantastical and tell somewhat of a story. For the actual product images, I keep them simple and let the clothes do the storytelling.”

Gonzalez credits Yogev as a “genius stylist, and one who just effortlessly knows how to create a look that is new, unexpected and wearable all at the same time.”

This line is current, contemporary and most importantly: empowers women. Démodé encourages women to feel good in their clothes and to wear items that speak to them regardless of what others think. That’s a beautiful message, and for Gonzalez and Yogev, it is one that they want to extend beyond fashion.
To see more of Demode, you can visit http://thedemode.comunnamed-3