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Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmakebelieve Weekend Hashtag...

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 22:39

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmakebelieve

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s prompt was #WHPmakebelieve, which asked participants to explore their imagination and make photos that capture out-of-this-world moments in everyday life. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

Re-creating Egypt’s ‘beautiful era’ with @w_elkhateb To see...

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 15:46

Re-creating Egypt’s ‘beautiful era’ with @w_elkhateb

To see more of Walaa’s photos, follow @w_elkhateb on Instagram.

Twenty-five-year-old Walaa ElKhateb (@w_elkhateb) lives in a small town in Upper Egypt in a house filled with extended family. In her bedroom, she finds peace and quiet, surrounded by tokens from Egypt during its “beautiful era” — which ended in the 1950s. “My dream is to create something that reflects who I am,” says Walaa. It all started with her rummaging through family heirlooms and bringing them to life through art. Her collection includes a vintage rotary dial phone, a red classic View-Master and an assortment of old cameras. And it’s not just objects that Walaa collects from the past — she also paints iconic figures of the era. A recurring image in her work is Umm Kulthum, arguably Egypt’s most influential singer. “I feel empowered by women like Umm Kulthum,” she says. “People still listen to her, know her songs by heart and idolize her. She is one of those icons no one can forget.”

Meeting the Priestess, the Queen and the Damsel with...

Sun, 10/18/2015 - 21:58

Meeting the Priestess, the Queen and the Damsel with @leticiabanegasart

To discover more female archetypes, follow @leticiabanegasart on Instagram.

(This interview was conducted in Spanish.)

Leticia Banegas (@leticiabanegasart) overcame her fear of exposing her art to the public after her paintings had consumed every room in her mother’s house. “One day my mum said, ‘You either give them away, throw them away or exhibit them!’” says Leticia, who lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. It was an ultimatum that would eventually turn her into a successful full-time artist.

In Leticia’s family, women have always played a dominant role. In her art things aren’t different, as magnificent female characters fill Leticia’s paintings. “I paint a queen, a priestess and a damsel. I really like to explore archetypes and use mythology,” she says. “I feel like we are all those women. All those archetypes live inside of us.”

One of her favorites is “La Matriarca” (The Matriarch), a Queen Elizabeth I look-alike who represents her grandmother. “She has always been the pillar of the family, and I painted her when she was younger, in her climax, when she was 45 or 50 years old. That’s when you can see the energy she’s always transmitted.”

The Week on Instagram | 205 News CNN: The power of pictures:...

Sun, 10/18/2015 - 16:31

The Week on Instagram | 205


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Kacy Hill Doesn’t Want to Sing Trendy Songs, Just Good Ones To...

Sun, 10/18/2015 - 16:29

Kacy Hill Doesn’t Want to Sing Trendy Songs, Just Good Ones

To see more photos from Kacy, check out @kacyhill on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

Kacy Hill’s (@kacyhill) proverbial “big break” was being cast as a dancer on Kanye West’s Yeezus tour — which is ironic, considering she can’t dance.

“I’ve actually never been a dancer,” she says cheerily from her kitchen table in Los Angeles, where she’s sitting while chatting on the phone. “I went on tour with Kanye as a — I’m doing air quotes right now — ‘dancer,’ but actually they hired three American Apparel models to work with nine really incredible professional dancers. Basically, they wanted three people who could not dance at all. I fall in the category of ‘cannot dance at all.’”

Such a down-to-earth attitude is charming in a former controversial model and an about-to-be-a-big-deal artist, especially a 21-year-old singer that Kanye signed to his G.O.O.D. Music label off the strength of one (and at the time, only) single, “Experience.” But it doesn’t take more than a song to recognize that Kacy’s soprano is like a bird’s at dawn, bright, pellucid, insistent. Less than a year after he scooped her up, her debut EP Bloo is out and she now can hire background dancers of her own.

Growing up in Phoenix, Kacy played the saxophone and oboe and sang in choirs, but she also was so practical she didn’t think music was a viable career. Besides, she was “super” into school and the trajectory of her young life was toward attending a distinguished college. But when she graduated, she realized she didn’t have enough scholarships. “I just didn’t have the proper funding and I wasn’t really able to get myself into debt that young with student loans. I couldn’t support myself being in school and trying to work full time,” she explains.

She might be sensible, but she was still 18 years old. So she set off for L.A.

“I moved out here with $1,500 and my little ‘97 Camry,” she says, laughing. “I think the thing that was appealing is that [L.A.’s] still really close to where I’m from. There was always a safety net that if s— really hit the fan, I could drive home.”

Because she had very little cash, no job and no desire to live in a dump, she turned resourceful, sifting through Craigslist posts until she found a lady who was willing to rent Kacy her living room. One of her first pals in the city was a photographer who was friendly with the creative director of American Apparel. With her amber hair, roses-and-cream skin and the dusting of freckles across her scrubbed-clean face, Kacy was a no-brainer for the company. She was ecstatic, less because she loved to model than because she needed money.

Soon, her crew included creative sorts like Jaylien Wesley, who produced “Experience,” and Stephen Garnett, who directed its video. “I thought my voice was kind of weird. They initially created this spark in me to be like, OK, I think I’m half decent at this,” she says. “It was something that kind of fell into my lap and I decided to go for it in the biggest way I possibly could. And it worked out!”

Of course, after Yeezy heard “Experience” and set up a meeting with her, she wasn’t feeling quite so Kanye-confident. “I was definitely nervous. I couldn’t stop sweating,” she says.

Now that wooing Ye is out of the way, however, her biggest challenge is staying true to herself.

“At the beginning of recording, I was really focused on what’s ‘cool’ right now,” she admits. “I don’t think that’s the right way to write songs because at the end of the day, they’re just gonna go out of style. I don’t want anything to be trendy. I just want them to be really good songs.”

— Rebecca Haithcoat for Instagram @music

Dog Days in Black and White with Photojournalist...

Sat, 10/17/2015 - 21:55

Dog Days in Black and White with Photojournalist @cherylsenter

To see more of Cheryl’s black-and-white photography of her dogs Rudy and Bella, follow @cherylsenter on Instagram.

Cheryl Senter (@cherylsenter) was warned that the deep, direct stare of the husky mix puppy she was adopting frightened people, but she felt an immediate connection. “People fear what they don’t understand,” says Cheryl, a photojournalist based in New Hampshire. “I got it right away — Bella was a visual being, just like myself.” Cheryl calls her other dog, Rudy, a Chihuahua-schipperke mix, a “godsend” for coming into her life during hard times. Rudy had a magical calming effect on Cheryl’s parents, one of whom was suffering from Alzheimer’s, and the other from dementia. “When things started getting intense with my parents, my images started to reflect my dark emotions,” she explains. “So I started focusing more on my dogs. Taking and posting images of Bella and Rudy gave me a positive thing to focus on.”

Be Yourself: The Grunge Art of Illustrator LaKendra Huckaby To...

Sat, 10/17/2015 - 16:29

Be Yourself: The Grunge Art of Illustrator LaKendra Huckaby

To see more art from LaKendra, check out @le_huck_badu on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

You could say LaKendra Huckaby’s (@le_huck_badu) art career began when she was a crying toddler. “Some parents will put you in a corner, but my mom was giving me paper, a pencil and some crayons,” says the Columbus, Georgia, native.

Encouraged by an art teacher, LaKendra would later work in the print shop of her local school district, eventually receiving an associate’s degree in multimedia design from the Art Institute of Atlanta. Currently, she’s enrolled at the Savannah College of Art and Design, while making a living creating her own digital prints, watercolor and acrylic paintings, sketches and even some custom clothing.

LaKendra describes her work as “grunge art,” something that elicits raw, human emotion while also exploring the themes of empowerment and self-expression. “I feel that in our society, a lot of people are walking around, not doing what they really feel they want to do,” she says. “In my art, I try to express fully how I feel about things. Grunge is just being you and not being afraid to show who you are in the rawest way possible.”

She gets a lot of that inspiration from Miguel, one of her favorite musicians. In fact, LaKendra was able to get a copy of the psychedelic, rainbow-like print she made of the R&B star into the hands of his drummer, who then gave it to Miguel, who then shouted her out on Twitter. “I cried,” she admits. “I’ve been in love with his music since like 2006.”

Then there’s the painting she did of Frank Ocean, which she drew on a paper bag she got after buying a Tyler, the Creator album. “There was a song that was playing when I was walking out of the store and it was ‘White’ by Frank Ocean,” says LaKendra. “I just felt inspired. I didn’t have a sketchbook, I didn’t have anything but the paper bag, so I took the CD out and said, ‘I guess this is my medium now.’”

For LaKendra, inspiration can also veer toward the more personal. In the “Catch,” she drew a beautiful, Afro’d woman, surrounded by different colors, cityscapes and Biblical phrases. The piece came at a point of career frustration, when she thought she wouldn’t be able to afford to travel and show her work at an art festival. “I guess you could say I thought all hope was lost,” she admits, noting the resulting piece is one of her deeper works. “I have words in that painting — words like ‘frustration,’ words like ‘love,’ words like ‘confused.’ The colors all reflect how I was feeling, because I have red in there for anger, but I also have blue in there for trying to stay calm.”

Whether she’s portraying them realistically in watercolor, or in a psychedelic, mystical way with acrylics, LaKendra’s images of black women are all marked with the tag #curvygirls.

“Throughout my childhood, I was bullied for parts of my body I couldn’t control,” she says. “Being a black woman, I’m curvy and people always talk about my lips because they’re larger. As I got older, I noticed that more women were going through this and it honestly infuriated me. These are women being discriminated and treated terribly because of their natural bodies — beautiful things that God gave us.”

One image in particular is called “Chill Wave,” which shows a woman sitting at the edge of a pool, enjoying her day as an “unbothered black girl,” as LaKendra puts it. It’s her way of sending a message, one that’s helped her become such an excellent, eclectic, promising artist. As she explains, you just have to “go out there, have fun and be yourself.”

— Dan Reilly for Instagram @music

Highlighting Natural Beauty with @sunkissalba For more of...

Sat, 10/17/2015 - 15:57

Highlighting Natural Beauty with @sunkissalba

For more of Alba’s story, follow @sunkissalba on Instagram. For more voices from the Instagram beauty community this weekend, explore the #BeautyconNYC hashtag and follow @beautyconofficial on Instagram.

Two things used to be missing from the world of expert beauty advice, according to 27-year-old Alba Ramos (@sunkissalba): chemical-free products that are actually available in Latin America, where she is from, and Spanish speakers. “I grew up on an island, in the Dominican Republic, so our grandparents and ancestors used natural ingredients from the yard,” says Alba. “But then we come to America, we fantasize about the American dream, and we kind of lose that.”

So, she started a Spanish-only beauty channel from her home in New York City, and began providing Spanish translations in her captions on Instagram. Her work focuses on DIY beauty solutions, like homemade facials and hair masks. “A lot of my Spanish-speaking viewers write me saying that I’m the only person online they’ve ever seen embracing natural hair, natural beauty or even thinking of safer ways to still look and feel beautiful.”

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmakebelieve Weekend Hashtag...

Fri, 10/16/2015 - 22:23

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmakebelieve

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

The goal this weekend is to explore your imagination and make photos and videos that capture out-of-this-world moments in everyday life. Here’s how to get started:

  • Dream up a fantasy world and bring it to life through staging a scene with creative costumes or props, or look for naturally occurring moments around you that appear to be defying reality in some way.
  • Use light to your advantage. For example, especially dramatic lighting or photographing at dawn or dusk can help add a dreamlike quality to your images.
  • Pay attention to your setting. Look for outdoor scenes that may resemble another planet, or transform your own home into an imaginary scene inspired by another place or time.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPmakebelieve hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured Monday.

#whereartthou: Exploring ‘The Asylum’ at London’s Frieze Masters...

Fri, 10/16/2015 - 17:47

#whereartthou: Exploring ‘The Asylum’ at London’s Frieze Masters Art Fair

For more on the Frieze Art Fair, follow @friezeartfair on Instagram.

This week at Frieze Masters art fair in London, Helly Nahmad Gallery is breaking from the convention of a minimal, white-wall setting for its art. Instead, the gallery presents works by the French artist Jean Dubuffet, who sought inspiration in numerous visits to mental institutions in the 1940s, alongside a vivid set based on those experiences and the art that he found there. “It was equal parts surprising and refreshing because one rarely sees a booth at an art fair devote such space and resources to making the artist’s inspiration legible,” says Patricia Cronin (@patricia_cronin), who lives in New York City. “As an artist, I find other artists’ creative processes incredibly inspiring and this made me want to get back in the studio ASAP.” Frieze (@friezeartfair) and “The Asylum” by Helly Nahmad (@hellynahmadlondon) are open until Sunday.

@christinehmcconnell Combines Retro Glam with a Little Bit of...

Thu, 10/15/2015 - 22:02

@christinehmcconnell Combines Retro Glam with a Little Bit of Creepy

To see more of Christine’s photos, follow @christinehmcconnell on Instagram.

Christine McConnell’s (@christinehmcconnell) baking aesthetic is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands: retro glam with a little bit of creepy. “I’m not into Goth in the classic way with lots of black eyeliner,” says Christine. “I’m into poking fun at something actually scary. I like toying with that.” Trained as a hair and makeup artist, Christine, who lives in Twin Peaks, California, taught herself to bake by watching online videos. She crafts everything from Motörhead “Warpig” cakes to waffle cones that look straight out of Little Shop of Horrors, and then stages them – and herself – in late ‘50s motif. “That’s the style of woman that I grew up thinking was perfect,” says Christine. “When people say, ‘You were born in the wrong era,’ I’m like, ‘No, no, no. I like where we are now.’ But I do like the aesthetic of the time.” Baker, photographer, seamstress, set designer – Christine does it all. “There’s no one else involved. It’s literally just me,” she says. “People go to bars and have friends and have children and families. This is really what I do. It is a sacrifice in some ways, to do this all the time, but it’s fun and I love it.”

This Is Their Revival: Body Painting with David Gilmore, Jesse...

Thu, 10/15/2015 - 16:17

This Is Their Revival: Body Painting with David Gilmore, Jesse Pattison and Selena Gomez

To see more from Selena, check out @selenagomez and #REVIVALStories on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

“I’ll admit it’s been painful, painful / But I’ll be honest; I’m grateful, grateful. It’s my, my, my time to realize / What I’ve learned is so vital / More than just survival / This is my revival.”

Artist David Gilmore (@davidgilmore) is in a studio on the west side of Manhattan, watching the multicolored paint dry on the body of his friend and model Jessie Pattison. Standing next to them, holding a blow-dryer, is pop star Selena Gomez (@selenagomez). “Jesse approached me about two weeks ago with this idea of doing something for Selena’s album, so we bounced some ideas back and forth,” says David. The idea they landed on was a re-creation of the cover of her new record, Revival. “We had the hope that maybe she would share it. That was the intention.”

Meanwhile, Selena was formalizing plans to turn that same theme of redemption back on her listeners. She had already told her story, now she wanted to hear theirs. The relationship between Selena and her fan base has always been a two-way conversation — an outlet to connect with people around the world like David and Jessie. Perhaps it was kismet, then, that the duo’s creation was first shared by viewers before making it all the way to Selena herself.

“My fans were sending me this image for four days straight,” she says. “Some of them made their own things, and they were like, ‘Wait, this is way better. Look at this.’” She admits that putting a hashtag out into the ether can get back mixed results, which is why she relies on her dedicated followers to alert her to the best material. For Selena, Jesse and David’s art and story worked perfectly. Not only did they re-create her album cover in a unique way, but David had his own revival to boot: Twenty years ago, he began body painting for a brief period of time, then switched over to ad agency work. But body painting was always on his mind. He eventually decided to let his creative vision roam free and never turn back.

“The fact that this was somebody’s vision for a revival is stunning to me,” says Selena. “Ultimately, that’s what I want to represent, and what my music and my album represents. And I thought it was perfect. It struck me as beautifully complicated.”

Selena has faced a lot in 2015, both through newfound creative control — in addition to handling executive producing, writing and performing duties on the record, she also took charge of the artwork and marketing efforts — and an unfortunate body shaming experience she went through earlier in the year.

“I’d never felt that in my whole life. And it was hard for me to understand. Once I was able to step out of my mind and my thoughts and what people were projecting on me, I just wanted to be heard,” she says. “I felt like I had an opportunity to really say what was authentic and what was real, and I wanted the album to be that. I spent a year and a half trying to figure out how I was going to say it. And midway through, I came up with the title Revival, because everybody in their own way has that in their life.”

Selena has been in the spotlight since she was 10 years old, and has gotten used to people seeing her mistakes. She wanted to step away from all of the nonsense and chaos and present something genuine and authentic to the world, something her fans readily identify with.

“Revival, to me, is about setting your creativity free, and what truly fuels and fires you,” says David. “And this body painting is definitely a snapshot of my creative process.”

“What’s great for me and my direct fan base is that my generation, they’re eager to be heard and tell their stories,” says Selena. “I’ve lived my life in front of everyone. And I have wanted to give up so many times. But when I hear their stories, it reminds me of wanting and needing to be a voice for these people too.”

— Instagram @music

Scarcity is the Mother of Creativity for Artist...

Wed, 10/14/2015 - 22:00

Scarcity is the Mother of Creativity for Artist @linsey_levendall

To see more of Linsey’s photos, follow @linsey_levendall on Instagram.

Growing up in South Africa’s poverty-stricken Cape Flats, artist Linsey Levendall (@linsey_levendall) didn’t have many resources — but he turned that scarcity into his strength. “I’m classified as colored back home, and as a colored boy, you don’t really have those opportunities,” says the 32-year-old, who now lives in Saskatchewan, Canada. “It afforded me a way of thinking that I could see my peers never had. I’m not a purist. Even if I do paintings, I don’t just stick to one medium. I jump around.” That might mean he uses a pricey Kolinsky sable hair paintbrush to shade a portrait that he’s drawn over his two-year-old daughter’s doodles, or that he pulls out a ballpoint pen to sketch a fantastical world on the butcher paper acting as a restaurant’s tablecloth. “I don’t see less worth within myself because I never went to those art schools. I feel less tainted. I don’t have preconceived ideas,” he says. “You drift further into this art world and it’s all about champagne and networking — and you get lost in it. When I do my work, there’s this thinking at the back of my mind that I’m representing for my people who haven’t made it, my community back home. I’m always trying to not forget.”

Pretty in Pink: Singer Kali Uchis is Ready to Share Her Vision...

Wed, 10/14/2015 - 19:13

Pretty in Pink: Singer Kali Uchis is Ready to Share Her Vision with the World

To see more of Kali’s visual art, check out @kaliuchis on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

Kali Uchis (@kaliuchis) never wanted to be the center of attention. The downsides of fame are long and plentiful — too much drama, too much criticism, too much exposure. That’s why, as a self-described music dork, she was more focused on being a producer or creative director than an actual pop star.

“There’s a lot of baggage with being a performer,” says the 22-year-old singer. “You don’t really get to have a regular life, you don’t get to have regular relationships with people. Being an artist is almost like running for president. You want everyone to vote for you, you want everyone to believe in you. I never wanted to have to do that.”

Now, Kali is on the verge of releasing a full-length album, and working with the likes of Tyler, the Creator and Diplo. So, what changed? The response to her debut mixtape, Drunken Babble, which she recorded on a whim when she was 19. So Kali ran with it, devoting herself to singing and songwriting, eventually releasing an EP, Por Vida. She then took control of her image by directing her own music videos, designing her own merchandise and curating her own aesthetic — a dreamy, cloudy wonderland of pinks and pastels.

“I feel so strongly about my visuals. I have to edit them by myself,” she says. “People get tired of my bulls—. Like, why aren’t you happy with this? It’s like, it’s not right yet. You’re the only person, as a creative individual, who is going to take your art so seriously and want it to be perfect more than anyone else.”

Kali’s need to direct the way she looks, feels and sounds as an artist isn’t just admirable, it’s necessary — particularly as she looks to grow her career and become more than just a performer, as she has plans to direct music videos and do creative direction for other artists. For now, though, she’s more concerned with her own work, especially after coming to terms with that whole limelight thing.

“I used to work at a grocery store, I used to sleep in my car with my cousin and I didn’t really know what was going to happen to me,” she says. “Now I have my own apartment and I am able to live in Los Angeles and work with so many talented people. It’s really been a humbling experience to see it change my life. I am excited to see how it will help other people.”

— Instagram @music

Looking Behind Closed Doors in St. Petersburg with...

Wed, 10/14/2015 - 15:58

Looking Behind Closed Doors in St. Petersburg with @st.petersburger

To see more of Sergey’s photos, follow @st.petersburger on Instagram.

(This interview was conducted in Russian.)

Moscow is the capital of Russia, but St. Petersburg is the undisputed architectural crown jewel — with sites like Nevsky Prospekt, the Hermitage Museum and Kazan Cathedral. And while their grand exteriors are well-documented tourist destinations, Sergey Prokopenko (@st.petersburger) has another way to look at these buildings. “It’s hidden from intruders behind closed doors and security locks, inside the courtyards,” Sergey says, referring to the beauty he finds indoors. “This is the world of century-old stained glass, old oak staircases and abandoned attics, which still keep the possessions of the long gone occupants of the tenements.” The local doctor calls his trips to photograph interiors a quest: “For me, finding such locations becomes somewhat of a gamble: you never know what to expect behind the closed doors — an angry janitor or a gorgeous fireplace that hasn’t been affected by time.”

Documenting the ‘After-Mouth Life’ with @chewingscum To see...

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 22:05

Documenting the ‘After-Mouth Life’ with @chewingscum

To see more of Sanne’s photos, follow @chewingscum on Instagram.

Most people see chewing gum on the ground as a nuisance to avoid. Not Sanne Couprie (@chewingscum), who documents every sticky blob he finds. “Each one is unique and intriguing,” says Sanne, a photographer in Amsterdam who is drawn to gum’s “after-mouth life” – the dents and colors it acquires once left on the ground. “For me the streets are packed with chewing scum, unseen and underappreciated, but hidden treasures that keep triggering my curiosity as a photographer.”

Trajano!, the Madrid Post-Punk Group Fit for an Emperor To see...

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 16:24

Trajano!, the Madrid Post-Punk Group Fit for an Emperor

To see more behind-the-scenes photos of Trajano!, check out @hello.lois, @carlosmun, @positiverolemodel and @alvaronaive on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in economics to know how rough it is being a full-time musician in 2015. Diminishing album sales and a fractured fan base has left some groups looking for other means to support their art.

That’s how the members of Trajano! (@trajanoband) are able to accomplish their goals. Singer and guitarist Lois Brea (@hello.lois) is a freelance graphic designer, bassist Álvaro Naïve (@alvaronaive) used to run a secondhand clothing store and drummer Carlos Mun (@carlosmun) is an accountant. Then there’s keyboardist Álvaro Gutiérrez (@positiverolemodel), who spends time managing bands — including his own.

“We tour on weekends! It’s kind of hard because we have to sync our agendas,” says Gutiérrez of the work-to-music balancing act, before Lois chimes in: “You better have flexible bosses.”

He would know. Lois was asked to leave his last gig due to a hectic schedule, leading him to the freelance design and music life. “I realized that rock music doesn’t go well with office work,” he says. “It’s a tragedy.”

Trajano! got its start five years ago, after Lois and his friend moved from the north of Spain to Madrid. There, they met Álvaro Naïve and drummer Carlos Mun, and began making music. Gutiérrez joined later on, after signing up to be the group’s manager.

“He started working for us and after a short time he just came into the band,” says Lois.

For the last year and a half, Trajano!, which was named after a Roman emperor (as Lois says, “If it’s good for a Roman emperor, it’s good for a band”), has been touring all over Spain, and Europe, performing tracks off their alt rock-meets-post-punk record Antropología. The highlight was a slot at the annual music festival Benicàssim.

“If you were born in this country and make music in this country, playing at Benicàssim is all you’re talking about when you’re 16 years old,” says Lois. “It’s the dream. And it was amazing.”

Luckily, switching between full-time jobs and road life hasn’t dampened their spirits. Gutiérrez posts plenty of fun backstage pictures and selfies, while Lois shares goofy photos both on and off stage. Now, they’re looking to take a break from concerts to work on new material — because even rulers need their rest.

“We want to concentrate on writing new songs and recording the album,” says Lois. “We started this week, actually.”

“We don’t have any idea of how it’s going to sound,” says Gutiérrez. “Do we Lois?”

“I do,” he says. “I always do.”

— Instagram @music

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPcamouflage Weekend Hashtag Project...

Mon, 10/12/2015 - 23:17

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPcamouflage

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s prompt was #WHPcamouflage, which asked participants to make photos and videos of subjects that blend into their surroundings. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

Taming the Tedium of Molded Plywood with @one_forty_three To...

Mon, 10/12/2015 - 15:54

Taming the Tedium of Molded Plywood with @one_forty_three

To see more of Logan’s masterfully molded furniture, follow @one_forty_three on Instagram.

When Logan Hendrickson (@one_forty_three) finished building his Henderson, Nevada, log cabin, he began to fabricate lamps and furniture to outfit the space, sharing photos of his creations online. When he opened an Etsy store at the urging of his readers, he says he was “instantly swamped with orders.” All of a sudden, he was in business.

The son of a cabinetmaker, Logan learned carpentry as a kid, and picked up welding, upholstery and other skills along the way. “I try to make things with the least amount of materials as possible while still keeping it functional and original,” Logan explains. The preferred medium for his midcentury-inspired furniture is molded plywood. “It’s a tedious process of trial and error involving layers of wood and glue and molds,” he says. But the payoff — creative flexibility, incredible strength and clean lines — makes the extra effort worth it.

Rewriting My Labels, by @jordandoww For more from Jordan’s...

Sun, 10/11/2015 - 22:03

Rewriting My Labels, by @jordandoww

For more from Jordan’s #nationalcomingoutday story, follow @jordandoww. For more LGBTQ resources, follow @humanrightscampaign and @trevorproject.

“#Hellomynameis Jordan Doww (@jordandoww). I am 20 years old and from Detroit, Michigan. Growing up, I always knew something was different about me, but I didn’t know what. It frustrated the living hell out of me. Everyone else seemed to be moving so far ahead in their lives and I felt stuck. This confusion turned into self-hatred. There were times that I couldn’t even physically look at myself in the mirror and recognize myself.

During my senior year of high school, I realized I liked boys. Accepting that simple thing about who I am has turned me into a completely different person — I’m happy, and I finally feel my life moving in a positive direction. But whenever I think about ‘coming out,’ I get nervous and confused. Come out of what? Come out of where? Now that I have found out who I truly am, why does everyone want me to make a grand announcement to the world?

I now realize that I am lucky to have a platform through social media to share my experiences with the hopes of helping others. So here it is: I am gay, and I’m proud of being part of the LGBTQ community. I am now proud to identify with the label ‘gay’ and the amazing community this word encompasses, but I also know that being gay is one part of me. Who we are and who we love exists on an amazing spectrum that is literally light-years wide. When you peel back all the labels, we are all human. And more than anything, that’s how I identify.”