18 Questions with Kiara Lopez

1. How much of your closet is thrifted? 

A: To be honest I think at least half of my closet is thrifted. It’s gotten to the point where I need to get rid of stuff to fit new thrifted items into my closet. 

2.What price is too high for a thrifted item?  

A: Hmmm. That really does depend. Never pay over $10 for jeans, that’s for sure. But there have been situations where I would tell myself that I shouldn’t spend a certain amount for thrifted items, but sometimes there are those very rare moments where they just fit you like a glove and in those moments I have spent over my desired limit, so I am guilty of that. Oh and If anybody plans on altering a piece of clothing (DIY), I recommend that they don’t spend too much on the item just in case you mess up or something and didn’t waste like 20 bucks on a crappy DIY. But for me, I’ve usually never spent more than $10 bucks on a piece of clothing from a second hand shop. 

3. What’s the highest you’ve ever paid for a thrifted item?  

A: The highest I’ve ever paid for a thrifted item has to be my LEE brown denim jacket and I paid about $14 bucks for it and I use it ALL the time. I really am a cheapskate when it comes to buying thrifted clothes. I don’t really spend a lot on just one item. I like to get my money’s worth. 

4. How do you deal with cleaning your clothes for after the purchase? 

A: You know, usually the clothes I get only smell like the thrift store itself. I’ve never gotten something with like a food stain or whatever. But usually just washing it in your handy dandy washer machine will do the trick. Put a little extra fabric softener or even those little scented in wash flakes will make them smell so much better. 

5. What’s the lowest you’ve ever paid for a thrifted item?  

A: My cheapest thrifted item actually was an Asos black bodycon/pinup inspired LBD for only $1 at goodwill as part as a deal they had going on that day. I was so shocked. Haven’t worn it out yet but it was definitely worth wayyyyy more than a dollar. 

6. When and why did you start thrifting? 

A: I started thrifting in high school. I remember I went on a woman’s retreat for some church event with my sister down in Ventura just to accompany her, and while she was doing her thing with Jesus, I went to go sightseeing around since it was my first time there and I walked into a thrift store and back then I was into the whole “Cosby” sweater trend (I know most of us have been there, done that) and I saw a really cool looking one and when I checked to see what the price was I was like really?! Damn, that’s cheap. I also copped a streetlight manifesto shirt. I walked out with a huge bag of clothes that day and regretted nothing. My thrifting obsession sprouted from that day on. 

7.Is thrifting a fad or a way to save money for you personally? 

A: When I had free schooling back in high school, I can see how it can be a fad, but it’s definitely not now. I go to college and work part time and live at home with my parents so money isn’t cheap. Honestly growing up I’ve never really had money or an allowance to go buy myself clothes all the time, or at least enough to keep up with fashion trends. My mom would be the one to choose the clothing she would buy for me (which I greatly appreciated, nonetheless). I remember I would always want to partake in trends back in middle school and early high school and wouldn’t have the expenses for it and I would DIY a lot of the stuff I already owned to make it look somewhat trendy but in my own way. You can literally find anything at the thrift stores. You want some mom jeans? Thrift store. Maybe you even want a wedding dress? Thrift store! There are even popular name brand clothing that would usually retail for way more than what the thrift stores sell it to you for. There are so many options that will help you build your unique wardrobe without having to spend so much money on just one piece of clothing at a retail store. 

8. Do you ever alter your thrifted clothes after the purchase to make them appear more modern? 

A: Of course! The other day I got some cool burnt orange high-waisted corduroy pants that fit me at the waist but had long wide legs that were way too big for me so I just turned them into shorts. I also cut dresses that are too long for me since I am pretty short and usually I run petite. 

9.What are some unexpected areas in the thrift that usually have really good finds? 

A: I like to check the men’s t-shirt selection for cool graphic tees. I’m a sucker for t-shirts with cool fonts. 

10. Do you ever have trouble finding things in your size? Do you have any tips on how to avoid or fix size issues?

A: Usually pants that are a little too big for me are an easy fix with a cute belt. As for shirts, I like to tie a knot in the front to make it looked more cropped, instead of cutting the whole shirt up. It’s easier to fix a bigger sized clothing item than it is to solve one that’s smaller. 

11.Who are your fashion inspiration?

A: Most of my inspiration comes from and are not limited to Velma and Daphne from Scooby Doo, Yeha Leun, and Kat von D, 

12. Are you inspired by other things?

A: Music: Dirty art club, Tame Impala, and Corners

13. What’s more important to complete a look; make up or accessories?

A: Oof, that’s a tough one. I think I’m going to have to go with makeup. You can dress up or down with a makeup look.

14.What items do you splurge on?

 A: I definitely splurge on shoes more than anything. Used clothing over used shoes always, for me. I think quality is a very important factor when it comes to buying shoes. Or maybe I’m just grossed out by other people’s feet? Mmmm, yea. 

15. What are your favorite brands and stores

A: One of my favorite brands at the moment would have to be Deandri. As for stores, I’ve been shopping quite a lot at Wetseal (super cute and cheap accessories), and Forever 21, although I feel shitty shopping at sweat shops, which is one of the reasons I prefer to shop at second hand stores. 

16. Do you use ebay, etsy, or similar inexpensive shopping sites?

A: I use Etsy, Depop, Ebay, and Alie Express. 

17. What was it that sparked you to become swank and trendy with the way you dress?

A: Honestly, it all began when I first started getting comfortable with my body. Like many people, I had insecurities. I didn’t like the way my arms looked in short sleeves, so I would avoid wearing them, even if it was 100 degrees outside. I didn’t like my legs so I wouldn’t wear dresses either. With great help and support from my loving boyfriend, I started feeling way more comfortable with my body and stopped limiting myself to certain styles, clothing pieces, and even makeup. I’ve always loved fashion, but I haven’t been able to express myself to the fullest up until now. It’s funny. I used to care about what I looked to other people. People who don’t even give 10 seconds of a damn about you before they change the subject. So I say go and wear whatever the hell you want because you’re the only one going to bed thinking about it. 

18. What are your plans for your future career? Would it be something in fashion? 

A: As of right now I’m trying to get done with my Associates in Business, but I am planning to either go to makeup school or fashion school. Hey, maybe even both! I’m still trying to find my calling but I know for a fact it will have to be something to do with fashion.

Check out more of Kiara's photos on her Instagram @gurlfartz

Softie Served - Cristal Trujillo

(I’m the one in the white jacket, Mia Mc Call is my lovely model in all of them.)

"'Softie Served' was based off of some frustration I had towards situations at the time. I’m not very good at expressing anger, which you can ask any of my friends in case you’d like confirmation, and I am very passive. I am terrified of causing problems and I suck at confrontations, so on Valentine’s Day of 2016, I decided to let some of that steam out. I started thinking about all of the qualities I’d liked in someone and how surreal everything with them had been. After a while of stirring up all these weird emotions, I began to draw the “imperfectly perfect” person. Hearty Boy. Thus, “Softie Served” was born. He basically represented a person who wasn’t so “ideal” that they were unattainable. Hearty Boy is totally attainable because he values all of what you are. And after that, I kept on creating either scenes that were playing out in my head or little characters based on people in my life.

I love playing around with different kinds of shapes and colors. I’ve always been a very big 80’s fan and admire the music and art very much, so you can see me incorporating a lot of it into my art. My digital imaging teacher, Ms. Yugovich (who totally rocks your socks), has given me all of the support I’ve needed as well as helping me out with my t-shirt printing. Through her, I’ve been learning all of the great sorcery and witch-craft that comes with using Photoshop. I usually have a hard time picking up on things like playing instruments, or playing sports, but digital imaging comes to me with ease. I hope to continue creating more exciting and vibrant designs as well as trying to keep up a little better with the t-shirts. If you like creating stuff, I recommend you keep doing it. Photoshop forever. <3 "– Cristal Trujillo, 17

Checkout more of Cristal's work on Instagram @televiews and @softieserved. 

Candace Odendaal

"I don't know if being an artist is ever a choice. I don't know if it equates to deciding one day you'll start doing yoga or establishing a new routine in the morning. Personally, even if I had a choice I probably would still choose this life. It was never a choice I had to make. It was like choosing to breathe everyday. I was born to do this, it had nothing to do with choice. I believe that I was destined to be an artist for the sake of living this life the best way that I can. I'm supposed to be one. I have a duty to myself and to the world to be one, because I have a voice and I have a soul that I need to share with everyone, a voice and soul that needs to leave my body somehow. I'm lucky that I was able to harness my abilities. I've been an artist since I could hold a pencil and draw a line. I've been drawing women exclusively, since I could arrange a legible image. I get so emotional when I draw or paint, and I think you can see it in my art. I have a very deep connection with my girls and with selling every painting I sell a part of myself, but not in a sad way. When I sell my art, the little that I do sell, I'm not selling that one piece of paper or canvas with pigment on it. I'm selling them this creation that took 16+ year to become what it is, all the crumbled sketches and doodles on my math homework, all the disappointment that I got for deciding to be an art major, all the probably thousands of dollars I've put into teaching myself at least a dozen mediums. With my art comes me. It was never a choice, it has always been my life.

 

I have a hard time thinking about what inspires me because I'm a very individual artist. I don't ever really talk to other artists, I don't have my personal work criticized, it has gotten very little exposure due to insecurities and lack of networking on my end. I'm just inspired by women, all women. I'm VERY inspired by artists that I follow on instagram like @rosellenswenson, @nomi_chi, @lucasbavid, @eilyjenkins, and a whole lot more I couldn't imagine I'd remember. A huge inspiration also for me is ball-jointed dolls like posted by @emilie.steele or @popovysisters because they are just otherworldly and to DIE for. There is a lot of oil painters that inspire me but one of the biggest inspirations while I was first learning was my friend Michael Gross (@shrapnel_grade_glitter). It wasn't just his technique, while I absolutely hate him for and admire so much, but he was my first artist friend that took it just as seriously as me, the first friend I ever had that was an art major like me, and he made me feel so welcomed into the community and I will never forget him as my favorite painting bud. Other oil painters are ones like @meda.alice, @seancheetham, and my favorite professor Glen Knowles who has made me an even better artist than I thought I could ever be by pushing me to limits I didn't know I had and helping me overcome them. The list goes on, but I am greatly influenced by myu fellow art community and widely support art, not just my own. My biggest inspiration will always be myself, and to aim to be better with every brushstroke and watercolor wash." -Candace Odendaal

Checkout more of Candace's work on Instagram @screamingbabies.