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It’s harder than it sounds to endure the quiet discomfort of creativity. To paraphrase Picasso, every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction. Or maybe it wasn’t Picasso who expressed that, but Google loves attributing inspirational quotes to dead men, and this one resonates. I suspect a woman actually said this, and Picasso just repeated it. Anyway. Everything you create belongs to your new identity, and there are consequences of novelty. There’s the daunting blank page: where do you start? How do you end? Can you handle the unsettling, the incomplete, the half-finished feeling? Or will you stop before you even leave the runway?

For me, the creative process is like the mundane moving scenery outside the car window on the drive between two distinct cities. It goes by quickly. You need to be present. Are you paying attention? You will not remember most of it. It’s mostly empty fields between street lamps. Are you hungry, tired, and bored yet? Good. You might get a headache. You might even be unimpressed by your destination. Get back in the car.

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People always want to know: “how do you write a song? What is the process? Do you start with lyrics or melody? Do you start at a guitar or a computer? Where do you find inspiration?”

Despite having written hundreds (maybe even over a thousand) songs, I’d never answer the same way twice. It’s different each and every time. I have some tricks. I used to prefer sitting alone in my room with a guitar. These days, I prefer the mechanical hum of a laptop, a MIDI keyboard to generate human touch, every virtual instrument I could possibly imagine at my fingertips, and a microphone to capture my unfiltered gibberish before I am even able to evaluate it’s worth.

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Often times, that is the key: capturing vulnerability before it has to pass through the floodgates of judgment. It doesn’t really matter where I start. It starts with a step. A snip of the scissors. A word on the page. A hint of fear, and it’s hindered. Moments of genuine inspiration are rare and romantic. It’s mostly sitting through that mid-cut feeling, accepting the temporary words in place of the worthy ones, and allowing the melismas that haven’t yet settled to occupy a sonic landscape.

There’s only one way I can pull this stunt off. I have to shock myself from the outside. The inspiration only ever arrives when I surprise myself. Try to tickle yourself. A specific sensation whose impact is always more striking when it comes from somewhere else. For me to react to my own songwriting, I need to hit a nerve. I need to dive so deep that it shocks me from the outside. I need to sing and speak before I can think. I need to fuck me up. Anything short of extreme vulnerability and I’m completely bored. It needs to feel exotic and familiar, simultaneously. Good luck with that one.

It’s emotional skydiving. You’re a daredevil of sadness, or you’re unimpressed. Optimism is an even more frightening territory to jump into at times. Let’s hope the parachutes work.

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How rare it is to say what we mean, to the people we love, to the people we’ve lost? Creativity and self-expression are the antidote to that feeling for me, assuming I make it through the gruelling process. It’s the place where I get to say what I mean, and if I say it well enough and with enough conviction, you’ll sing it back to me.




KAELA SINCLAIR Comfortably residing in a space all her own - far from the typical cookie cutter singer/songwriter, yet somehow uniquely familiar and inviting, lies the massively gifted orchestral pop songstress, Kaela Sinclair. Drawing from a deep well of influences ranging from Björk, Rufus Wainwright and Regina Spektor to classical composers like Debussy and Chopin, Sinclair is armed with an uncanny knack for writing unforgettably gorgeous melodies, coupled with lyrics that are earnest, reflective and mysterious.

Midway through recording her sophomore album, Kaela was handpicked from hundreds of singers from around the world to join the seminal electro-pop band M83 for the ensuing world tour.






I shouldn’t be writing about this yet. But my travels and my love life are wrapped up as one, blending together in a whirlwind of touring, long-haul flights, and the culinary delights that sometimes lead to a softer physique in a relationship. Until now.

Two trips, two eras. One at the beginning, one at the end. Both exquisite. Both break my heart a little now.

Winter in Europe is a very good excuse to get physically closer to someone. He met me in Utrecht, where I’d just finished the last show of a tour. Literally nothing was more romantic to me than the moments we were floating in. Architecture, history, music and this person who made my head spin, and ahead of us - Amsterdam, Paris, and London.

In Amsterdam we stayed in a hostel and walked around and around the city, obsessed with the canals and the legal drugs. Already high on touring and love, not ready to stop being wild... came truffles. Next, throwing up in the bathroom (me, not him) laughing fits, and a revelation or two. In our Dutch mod-but-80’s bathroom was a spaceship-like black bathtub filled with water that had turned pink from my hair...we thought it looked like a womb.

Don’t laugh, well, do. I don’t regret a thing. At 4 AM we talked about our childhoods.


At 4 AM we talked about our childhoods. The plants seemed to laugh and cry with us.

I was in a phase of my life where I was up for anything, pushing my own limits. We almost missed the morning train to Paris, because we were both that. Paris was raining, but perfect. You can imagine. He grew up nearby, so he took me to his favorite spots and later I wrote everything down, because these were the moments that could fill a memoir. If I ever wanted to do such a thing.



physically ached from desiring the things that were right in front of me, feverishly. Blissful, madly in love with Europe and everything it held for me.

I invested in shoes that could withstand snow and freezing rain. //

Fast forward to this summer...we were in Sicily. I drove us through the hills and the villages that seemed trapped in time. The island’s volcano an existential reminder that endings can come unexpectedly, with sudden strength...because that’s just the way things go sometimes.

That night there was a party at the villa, surrounded by olive trees, hills, and even giant, friendly pigs. Under the full moon we drank wine, we laughed, we knew what was coming but couldn’t face it. Not here. I pointed out red Mars in the sky, glowing much brighter than usual. The god Ares, passionate and untempered. We argued. We collapsed in the bed, sleepy from a day of sun.

In the next days we explored coastal towns, swam in the sea, enjoyed uniquely Sicilian natural foods in villages perched on precariously steep slopes. Once again I did my best to absorb and remember everything that was happening to me. Again in a faraway land with this person who made my world spin.

A few weeks before I had started to feel a dull, but constant physical ache in my chest, and now it was growing, taking up space that was meant for air. Mediterranean air. It reminded me of what I’d felt on our first adventures together, and that was puzzling. If you can put a name on this feeling, tell me what it is. What I do know, now, is that it is the other side of the same coin. It is the heart radiating once again, using it’s power to set us on our path.


I’m on tour right now.
Wearing a coat and thick socks indoors, waging my own personal war
against the frigid temperatures
of overambitious hotel AC units.
It hasn’t been that long since Italy.
I still feel a small, dull ache. At night.
I didn’t mean to write about this.
But I’m glad I did.
What are the rules?
How soon?
For what purpose?
For each other.
He was a gift.
I hope I was too.


So I thank the universe.
For it’s oceans and it’s stars.
For everything that makes my eyes widen and my perspective shift.
It is all a gift.






By Garrett Markenson, Founder of REVERIE

Crowds make me uncomfortable. Not just the people, I enjoy people, but the aesthetic of a space with crowds is so off-putting and not relaxing. Similar to some beauty retail spaces, filled walls of cupcake-colored bottles, mirrors, and textures. As a painter, when the canvas has too many variations in color, in can begin to look muddy or almost lost. We know less is more but sometimes we overthink design. As a hairdresser, it’s not what I cut but more what I leave on the client that matters.


Quietly resisting drives my creative process. If I see something I don’t like, as in life, I resist. I have done hair now for 16 years, owned a salon for 10 years, and owned my brand REVERIE for 6 years. Marketing my business for me is organic. It’s a extension of my art. As an artist, teaching technique is possible but good taste is unique. In some ways the challenge is similar to the idea of teaching someone to be a good kisser. Passion is not teachable but some of my process are.


People’s vanities and bathrooms are not sponsored. Keep this in mind, as your branding and real estate is meant to positively enhance your consumers’ daily rituals. Not look like a NASCAR.  No one prints business cards anymore so there’s no need for your packaging design to reflect that too.



If you’re looking at what everyone else is doing, you’re already behind. As a beauty brand owner, the last thing I chat about is what other brands are doing. My inspiration comes from my personal travels, bottles of wine with friends, or anything really outside my industry.



What worked for you in the past might not work moving forward. The landscape is progressing rapidly. Surround yourself with people that interest you. Working as a hairdresser has been very inspirational. Every hour I meet artists, parents, chefs… choose to be an active listener.



YES the ones you hang on a wall. NOT just things you like on Instagram or Pinterest.  Create a visual script. Juxtapose your culture and strategy. No one can read your mind but they can appreciate how a mood board speaks to them and begin to walk with it.



Consumers: they are in control of what they invite into their space. Everything they add has sounds, scents, etc… story is essential.  Nothing is more enjoyable than wine tasting in Napa and listening to the story of the makers and their harvests. Your product story is now in their space and everyone loves story time. Make that a parent of your design.



How long have you been doing hair? 21 years. I was working as an assistant during high school, and dropped out when I knew high school was a waste of time for me. I moved out of my parents' house at 17 years old and started cosmetology school with my best friend. I was licensed and employed full-time as a stylist at 18 years old. I’ve been doing hair for so long, I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t doing it.

Was there a session during your career that stood out the most? I did freelance for many years and worked on a lot of music video and magazine shoots. As glamorous as that life seems, it’s the most humbling experience I’ve ever had in my career. I strongly suggest every hairstylist try their hand at it, if they have access to that world, just to experience what it’s like. It’s wonderful to see your work on the cover of a magazine or on TV, but it’s not an easy world to be in and the hardest I’ve ever worked, hands down.

Tell us more about your salon and why you opened it? I opened Parlour & Juke in 2011 in a warehouse space with no store front on the 3rd floor. I wanted something that felt tucked away and like a secret. After working in Nashville for 6 years, I felt like there wasn’t a space I wanted to work in. So I thought, why not create one? I honestly never wanted my own business, but it’s worked out super well. I also wanted a shop that merged barbers and stylists. The barbers have since moved on and opened their own space, so I’m happy to have grown that business to what it has become as well. I love change, so Parlour & Juke is constantly growing and evolving as a business. I never want to have a stagnant brand. I like to keep people guessing about what we will do next!

What advice do you have for hairdresser looking to open a salon? My advice would be to limit your budget and start small. I started out after leaving a commission salon as a booth renter, so I could learn the ins and outs of business before jumping all in. I did that for 3 years before having any employees and opening Parlour & Juke. I also think you can be far more creative with limitations. There will be lots of daily wear and tear on things, so why spend all your money on “stuff”? Spend it where it matters. Supplies/color/education for your staff etc.


I think it’s important to build a team where they shine and it’s not about you, as the owner. Most people don’t even know who owns my business. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m not proud, I just want my stylists to be at the forefront, not me.

Curating and building up a team can be challenging. How do you keep focused on your goals? My goals are always evolving and changing along with the changes of my business, the city, and the industry. I try to be flexible and open to new ideas. I also think it's important to recognize that, as a commission salon, no one will be with you forever. Give them the tools they need to be self sufficient, and then let them fly. I’m fortunate enough to live in a transient city, so there are always new folks around.

How do you manage push back? I am always working on this. I personally look at push back as a way to self evaluate and learn how to be a better communicator. Being a business owner has taught me so much about communication.

How do you stay curious? I’m only behind the chair 2 days a week now, so I am drawn to more business and communication things these days. I focused on being a great hairstylist for 20 years, and now it’s time to focus on being a good owner and boss. I listen to far too many podcasts and read a lot. I’m inspired by people like Yvon Chouinard, who founded the brand Patagonia, and his style of management and ownership. I’m also extremely inspired by chefs and the restaurant world. Danny Meyers' book “Setting the Table” about hospitality, is suggested reading to work at Parlour & Juke.


How has social media impacted your career? Man, this one's a double edged sword, huh? The free promotion aspect is incredible. There is a wide reach like never before. When I was younger and self employed, I spent so much money on advertising and getting my name out there. It’s awesome that this generation of stylists has much easier access to that and to education.
I personally don’t post my work anymore because I am not actively trying to build a clientele or promote myself. I’d rather focus on my staff's talent and building them up. I think less focus is put on word of mouth and referrals than it used to be, and that’s gotta change. To me, that is truly the way to build a solid business.

How do you stay driven and not get burnt out? Change. I have to have change or I will get bored. Clients always notice that I am rearranging the shop and laugh about it. They never know where things are gonna be when they walk in. I love that. Keep people alert and curious.


I am still working on the owner/stylist balance. I still love doing hair, but I am feeling more fulfilled these days by being there for my staff and my business. That’s what currently drives me. Seeing them grow and helping them become something awesome.

PHOTOGRAPHY Andrea Behrends


SLEEP Urban Cowboy and The Noelle Hotel: Urban Cowboy's in a old victorian house in the neighborhood I live in called East Nashville. They only have about 5 rooms but they are all unique. The Public House, which is the bar/restaurant is a place I frequent as well. It's super cozy with outdoor fire pits and a great vibe. The Noelle is downtown which most locals tend to stay away from the madness down there. This place is worth your time to check out the rooftop bar Rare Bird alone. The Noelle also houses a great "gift shop" called Keep Shop with all local pieces for sale.

CAFE Steadfast Coffee and Cafe Roze : Steadfast is located in the Germantown Neighborhood and they have such a great menu. I love their breakfast tacos and their coffee soda is unreal. Cafe Roze is in East Nashville and a charming place for breakfast and lunch. They also have a killer wine selection.

SWEETS Dozens Bakery and Little Moskos : Dozens also has one of the best lunch menus in town but their sweets are amazing. I am a huge fan of their snickerdoodle cookies. Little Moskos has the best cookies in town hands down and it's a bonus that they are all gluten free!

VISIT Elephant Gallery : Great Art gallery with super unique stuff. I don't know how to describe it. Super DIY/punk rock. You just have to see if for yourself.

SPA Bucca Reflexology and Salt and Soles : Bucca is my go to place to chill and recharge. It's nothing fancy at all but you can walk in and get 90 minutes of amazing reflexology and massage without an appointment. I tell people about it all the time. Salt and Soles is reflexology in a salt cave so whats cooler than that?? It's a magical place.

LUNCH Mas Tacos and Dozens : Mas Tacos in East Nashville is a staple. Their chicken tortilla soup is my fav. Dozens menu changes daily and they have great, fresh, seasonal things always.

SHOP Gift Horse and Wilder : I am notebook obsessed and Gift Horse has some of the coolest paper products. They also carry great small gift things from unique vendors. Wilder, in Germantown, is my favorite place for incense and small home things. They also have the best fragrance selection in town.

BAR Pearl Diver, Bastion and Wilburn Street Tavern : Pearl Diver is an island themed bar with an insane drink list and the best outdoor space. Bastion has some of the best cocktails in a chill atmosphere and the best nachos in town. Wilburn Street Tavern is my favorite dive and they have the best paloma! There are tons of bars in Nashville that are amazing! We are know for being a drinking town. It's hard to just pick a few.

EAT Rolf & Daughters, Margot Cafe, City House : What I love about these restaurants and a lot of restaurants in Nashville is that people change their menu very frequently based on seasons and whats available. Margot Cafe changes their menu nightly. City House also has the best deserts as well as dinner. Rolf & Daughters is my favorite for a new take on rustic Italian. Again, tons of good food here so hard to pick a few.





20 years of hair is incredible. Congrats. Was there a session during your career that stood out the most?  Moving to NY at 21. Working at Sassoon. Being completely blown away by the giant city and what it had to offer. I learned a lot about myself and the world around me. I think that was probably a huge jumping-off point for me.


The idea of how to feel through visual presentation is very much on the hands of one’s eyes.

You’ve work for Vidal Sassoon and Bumble. What essential craft cultural difference are between them. Did you struggle with hair religion? Sasoon was very technical and precise … it was definitely a classical training in the balance of weight, angles, shapes and lines. Bumble also was very thorough in their training in that regard and also had somewhat of an open-ended freedom of expression which I was drawn towards. Bumble gave me a great platform to develop my styling. Both were so important in my development and provided a natural transition to the stylist I would become.

How do you transition from being technical to visual? When I approach a style or a haircut, there’s a structural plan and technique that goes into what I want to build.. the visual aspect is more a free-flowing idea. The idea of how to feel through visual presentation is very much on the hands of one’s eyes. It’s like less book smart but street smart. 

What advice do you have for hairdresser looking to break into editorial and red carpet/ press release tours?  Assist fashion editorial stylists to celebrity stylists. Learning the etiquette of how to be on set is so important.


I find great inspiration in the next day. I feel very lucky that my work environment changes constantly…

How do you stay curious? when I’m busy and things are flowing well, the inertia of progress somewhat demands curiosity. Curiosity is born of the necessity of art.

I’d enjoyed watching you cut Momos hair, particularly your consultations with her. What are you looking for during a contusions and how do you communicate your vision? I get a feel for what the person wants or is asking for and square that with what I see for them. A lot of times the consultation is super helpful because it gives me a feel for where they are. Their vibe. Sort of an over-view of how they see themselves at that time.

You worked at Taboo Salon in LA for a time. The owner Gill is a friend of mine and many. Her space has been a part of LA hair culture for over 30 years.  What was it like working there? I owe a lot to Jill and my friend Christine Cabrillo for connecting us. It was amazing! In a lot of towns I’ve noticed certain cultural hubs where things are just magical. There is maybe the live music venue which captures those great moments for music… the art gallery where things just sort of line up, the restaurant that just nails it. Jill’s salon was that hidden gem for us. We had the freedom to explore and create the professionals we were to become.



How has social media impacted your career? ha… social media. It is a bit of a like/dislike relationship. Through this public platform, i’ve been able to share and connect with friends, professionals, fans of my clients and companies for collaborations. It’s been awesome! However, it can feel like a part time job some days. I’m still trying to find the balance. I do my best to not to take it too serious…sort of a necessary evil which is sometimes a guilty pleasure.


What is your creative process? My creative process changes all the time. The things that don’t really do much for me one day, I find great inspiration in the next day. I feel very lucky that my work environment changes constantly… it has really helped me to develop my flexibility. I can draw inspiration from the vast expanse of the Tokyo skyline at sunset or my own humble backyard. Also, a lot of times I find inspiration coming from within… inspiration being the beginning of every creative process. It’s a tough question!

Who manages your books? Alex at Starworks manages my books… Love her!

How do you practice the art of hair business? Some tricks I use to practice the art of hair business are… well, humility and teachability, every job offers an opportunity to learn; patience and persistence, being a gentle listener when needed and a finisher when called for; constantly reminding myself that in the day’s end this job is about people… the styling and aesthetics are an important part of the picture that also includes relating to my clients in a way that is human and genuine… which is easy to do 99% of the time because they are so awesome. I guess what I mean is you really need to love being around people and relating to people to do well in the hair business… and again I feel so lucky cause I love it so much!

How do you stay driven and not get burnt out? Ah… how to not get burned out. I do get burned out sometimes but I try my very best to stay connected to the things that inspire me. We’re in the business of giving so I constantly find myself looking for ways to refuel and recharge. I love plugging into nature, Movies, exhibitions, books and magazines to get inspired.

My family—of course my awesome husband and extraordinary son—and pets. They keep me balanced and they keep me grounded so I don’t burn out so easily.

Sometimes traveling will be challenging no matter how ideal the circumstances…but the people I get to spend time with and the extraordinary things I get to see and experience make it easy to stay positive and driven. I am constantly surrounded by people who are amazing at what they do and have been through all the trials and tribulations of our industry… so we are a giant family and that makes it so awesome.




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On being a kid and having musical parents, what advice do you have for parents? I would say if you’re gonna invest in anything musical for the house it should be a standup piano. It doesn’t take up much space, and you can usually find one on Craigslist for free or cheap. Just get it tuned (this is important). The best thing about piano is it’s available and ready for whenever inspiration strikes. No cords, no gear, no plugging in, no amps, just a practical acoustic instrument perfect for babies and kids. When small children play piano, they have an instant intuitive relationship with it, and do surprising things. Toddlers just finger around, and compose little avant-garde pieces, unaware that they’re discovering where the notes they like live. A lot of kids have an innate sense of note relations, so when they’re small little sponges, they’ll inadvertently tackle the most frustrating stage of learning an instrument. Always have an acoustic guitar in the house too, but since it hurts little fingers I wouldn’t push it until they’re older. Even though I’m a guitarist, I think the piano is king. 

What are your thoughts  on hair? It’s so easy to ebb and flow with the trends when you’re at the mercy of your hair stylist, so that’s why working with someone who understands what you’re trying to present is so important. As an artist, I always want to try to match the style of my work with my look, so that for example if you’re in a hotel robe, your haircut is working to represent your style. 

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Do you have a hair horror story? I’ve done everything under the sun to my hair; a lot of fashion bombs and offensive looks and hair harm, most of which were self inflicted. My hair culture as a teen was kitchen shears, bleach and manic panic. Drastic experimentation from ages 14-20, anything that could go wrong in the teen laboratory went wrong on my head, and I’m hoping I can unearth more photos one day. 

What are your tour packing your essentials? A nice leave in (like yours tbh) because I do the Jersey housewife towel move after the shower, so before I comb I have to detangle a little. And I definitely need MARE Mediterranean Sea Mist and RAKE Styling balm (yours is AMAZING and thickening). Since I cut my hair short, I usually let my hair do it’s own thing which is boring straight and smooth (which for long hair could be sweet) but when I use these products on my bob it makes it look a little more done. And if I forget my show-shorts, I have to buy some more, so show-shorts so I don’t flash anybody. 

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Any pre show rituals? We blast a playlist with Decendents, Magazine, The Slits, Black Flag, all the punk greats to set the tone. The sets are pretty organized and laid out so it reminds me to present the real energy and remember my musical roots. 

What do you do when you cant sleep? I usually think I can’t sleep when I’m tooling around on my phone, so first things first; put the damn phone down. Then, drink some herbal tea, and try to pretend like I’m tired. Fake it til you make it. Melatonin sometimes helps, and I recently got a tip to try tryptophan lotion! 

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Thoughts on volubility? You’re asking the person who loves absolute silence in an Uber. I guess it completely depends on where, when and why. Sometimes holding something in reserve is better than having an active external thought process, leaving people feeling like they were a forced spectator. I can either be a low key social fixture or the one driving a conversation, but I pick my moments wisely. Sometimes it’s better to listen than to preach. Of course it’s usually the person least qualified on a subject who’s postulating the loudest, and the experts are letting showy commentary hang there like the bad fart that it is (that was a Peep Show quote). 

As a artist do you struggle with control? No not at all, I could actually use a little bit more chutzpah. I’ve been lucky to have Gothic Tropic all to myself, so there aren’t any collaborators disagreeing with my creative decisions. Logistically, I’m pretty amenable because it matches the resources I have to carry out my vision. I’m not expectant, I know where I am in my growth so listening to feedback from people I profoundly respect is welcome, not unwelcome. 

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Photography and Hair Garrett Markenson

Make Up Javier Mena



Sharing your creative process is incredibly intimate. The ritual is internal and to translate can be a challenge. Our founder Garrett Markenson recently taught a class at Hairstory Studio in Dallas. The class was a demonstration,  transformation cut and styling in a unplugged atmosphere. Hairdressers gathered to learn and discover more about themselves and there craft. Here are his thoughts...

Quantity first, then comes quality. Through process and discipline you refine your craft. Humans need to play more. When I do hair I'm looking to discover. Removing any system that could make the process predictable. 

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Hairdressers methods can sometimes be too religious or cut like mindset. I believe we need to constantly learn, unlearn, and relearn. To challenge ourselves and stay forward. Some of the best film makers and artist never even went to school for it.  As creatives we need to stay loose and present. Open to different ideas and test them. As an artist my work is sometimes received as I hoped and other time the opposite.  In fact some of my most favorite work has been perceived as a bomb. It motivates me regardless. An artist advantage is that we are  students for life. I can't think of a better journey.


Photography by Beau Bollinger



April 10th 2018 at FISK Gallery in Portland OR, we launched MAPS ZERO.  MAPS is an amalgamation of style, culture, and travel. A reimagination of the way we think about hair and styling. It’s a collaborative en- deavor as well. An endeavor that seeks to open doors, make you think or just be. 


The gallery featured live music from CHIP. Original video from the contributing artist and animation from MAPS. Live hair from our founder Garrett Markenson



Our second year in New Orleans as a team. REVERIE opened Bayou St. Blonde, a show presented by The Left Brian Group.  Garrett Markenson, with the help of Roxie, Joi, and Katie presented 5 models. The art direction was centered around "BANGS" provocateur. Gamine Vanguard inspiration to liberate and diversify. Javier did the Make Up focusing on eyes, while complimenting the bangs. Overall a modern minimal finished look. The show was sold out with over 200 hairdressers from around the country. REVERIE MAPS ZERO launched. A magazine created by Garrett and produced by FISK. MAPS is an amalgamation of style, culture, and travel. A reimagination of the way we think about hair and styling. It’s a collaborative endeavor as well. An endeavor that seeks to open doors, make you think or just be. We also launched limited edition "COIFF YOU" crew sweatshirt that sold out. The trip was a success, filled with good food and beignets!!



Once a year we take a holiday to Big Sur. My wife Hillary and her best friend Danielle share a kindred spirt for the magical forest that opens into the northern cost of California.  A guided tour of Big Sur with these two is a magical experience.  Each year we go there are new adventures but theses are just a few of them.  Enjoy God's Country

Coffee-Big Sur Bakery

Breakfast- Deetjens

Hike- Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Discover- Garrapata Sate Park

Lunch- Rocky point

Hot Springs- Esalon  

Dine- Sierra Mar

Sleep- Post Ranch Inn



Describe Yourself in 5 Words
I've had too much coffee. 

You're an extremely talened hair stylist who has launched a coveted range of hair care products. How did you get into doing what you do? 
I was studying art in Florence Italy and met an incredible hairdresser that inspired me to learn the craft. 


You're one of the most creative people we know, and certainly inspire us with your point of view. Where do you go for inspiration? 
Generally, I'm inspired by opposing viewpoints. Something that is new to my eye. Likely through traveling and intimacy. I enjoy reading essays and walking flea markets. Above all its music and scent that derive deeper sense of self, leaving one surprised and renewed. 

You travel to a lot of cool places. Where to next?
This weekend I go to New Orleans then San Francisco. 



For my birthday, Hillary surprised me with a lovely day spent at the new Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles.  This charitable space is a stunning addition to the Arts and Culture of the community.  You'll experience many intimate design aspects that will lead to points of discovery and inspiration.  The space is a perfect size, allowing you to enjoy it all at a leisured pace.  After your visit check out Otium one of the newest places to dine in the city from chef Timothy Hollingsworth.


The Broad is a new contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler and offers free general admission. The museum is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.




The ultimate desert escape. The Parker Palm Springs is a place to relax, retreat and indulge.  Recently went for the first time for Hillary's Birthday.  Lovely grounds and formerly the Givenchy  estate.  I recommend enjoying the space.  Breakfast at Norma's. Drinks by the pool.  Keep a slow pace and stay hydrated. 

Built as an estate and designed by Jonathan Adler, the Parker Palm Springs boasts 144 room including 12 villas and a 2 bedroom house on 13 lush acres. There are 3 restaurants - Norma’s (of NY fame), mister parker’s a sexy, dark and seductive French bistro and the Lemonade Stand, perfect for an afternoon bite or cocktail. The Palm Springs Yacht Club spa at over 18,000 sq. feet is well-known and a place to indulge in a treatment, take a yoga class or just lounge. Additionally the hotel has 4 red clay tennis courts and grounds filled with croquet, petanque, outdoor firepits, fountains, hammocks and so much more.




Recently, Hillary and I got back from our belated Honeymoon.  We traveled to Marrakech, Puglia, and Rome. Both of us had been to the Eternal City before and this time we wanted to discovery a path less travelled, but also return to our favorites.  If you've never been to Rome you most certainly need visit all the great historical structures and  landmarks.  However, when you're looking for a place to eat it can overwhelming. Please enjoy a few of these boutique suggestions should you, or love one journey to  ROMA. 

SLEEP Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

CAFE Sant Eustachio Il Cafe


VISIT The Vatican

SPA Acqua Madre

LUNCH Forno Campo De Fiori

GELATERIA Fatamorgana

SHOP Il Bisonte

VISIT Pantheon

SHOP 104 Pandemonium

APERITIF Trattoria Da Cesare 

EAT Salumeria Roscioli

DRINK Salotto42



We are excited to announce our relationship with Sassoon Academy.  All salons that retail REVERIE will now receive 15% OFF Sassoon Academy education.  These images are from our inaugural event VSXR celebrating our partnership.  The hair was done by Traci Sakosits, Vidal Sassoon North American Creative Director for salons and Academies.  The photography is from Artist Matthew Kazarianism.  See you Sassoon!!



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Hair and Photography Garrett Markenson

Make up Javier Mena 

We spent the day in down town Los Angeles with Madeline Follin of the band CULTS. I first saw them live at FYF in 2010. Their self titled album "CULTS" is played at our salon on repeat. Madeline's sweet innocent vocals mix with a motown vibe creates a dream pop sensation. I've been a fan for years now and have been patiently waiting for their latest album, "Offering". We prep for the shoot at the Ace Hotel. I pressed a wave with a flat iron, she has so much hair. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I broke up her waves with MARE and RAKE. Then we walked to the historical Bradbury Building. We shot till we got kicked out then went through Central Market.  I can't begin to describe how many eyes were fixed on Madeline as we walked down Broadway. 


Who/What do you miss when your on tour? So much.  My family, friends, bed, home cooked meals...but it is so worth it. I’ve got FaceTime, grocery stores and a pillow/blanket from home to get me through it. 

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What do you enjoy most and why? You know, it honestly changes depending on my mood. I am so lucky to be able to do what I do. There is not much I dislike about any part of it besides missing family and friends. When I am writing I am looking forward to recording, when I am recording I am looking forward to touring, and when I am touring I am excited to get back to writing. I love every part of the process. 

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Congrats on your new album. Tell us about the album artwork. Brian and I decided we wanted the cover to be a photo of someone’s hands reaching towards the sky placed in an “offering” type position. We reached out to my friend Scarlett Connolly, who is an amazing photographer, and went upstate to an indoor softball field and shot the cover. It was very homegrown. My mom and stepdad helped with the art direction and lighting and then Taylor Johnson of Mortis Studio put the whole thing together! 

What is your favorite smell? Coconut. Which is very strange because I actually don’t like the taste of it. The smell reminds me of being at the beach/summer. 

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Spirt animal and why? Everyone in my band insists that my spirit animal is a cat. When I am at home I like to chill and lounge out but if you cross me the claws will come out!

Your hair is beautiful. What are your thoughts on hair? Thank you! I hate cutting it. My hair stylist, Candice Birns, lives in LA so I only cut it when we are in the same city/have enough time on a shoot which is usually about three times a year. Even then I beg her to only take off what is necessary. It’s amazing because she somehow manages to make my hair look like it is longer after the cut. She is the best. I only wash it once a week and usually let it air dry, unless I have something I am dressing up for. If that is the case I blow my hair out which ends up taking me an hour!

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What hair/salon experience? I have never worked in a salon but there was a point in time where I somehow become the go-to person for cutting all my guy friends hair. I feel like I was pretty bad at it but everyone kept coming back for more haircuts (probably because they were free.) At a certain point I had to cut them off. I would get so stressed out and worried before/during the cut that the person was going to hate the way it looked. You have to be fearless to be a hairstylist and I definitely was not. 

Where do you want to here your music being enjoyed? I like listening to music most in the car, so I guess that is where I would like people to enjoy our music. There is nothing better than driving in your car alone and being able to listen to your music at whatever volume you want without interruption. 

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What do you enjoy about REVERIE? I love that it is made for everyone. It is not marketed specifically to men or women. Everyone in my band begs to use my all of my reverie products on tour. I also try to use mostly organic products made with natural ingredients. The shampoo leaves my hair clean without feeling dry and it smells so good I want to bottle it and use it as a perfume. 

Where was your fist kiss? I don’t kiss and tell. 

First Album? The first cassette I ever got was Hanson “MMMBop”. I played that thing until the tape fell out. 


ELISABETH - BORN Taunton Massachusettes, October 1983

TOMMY - April Fool’s Day 1982


ELISABETH - YEARS BEHIND THE CHAIR 17 with a break or two in there

TOMMY - 14!


TOMMY - DAILY ESSENTIALS Coffee, dogs, wife and weights. If I’m near a beach, that too.


ELISABETH - MAGAZINE CRUSH Magazines have always been a huge source of inspiration for me. I was introduced to ID and THE FACE in the early 2000’s by my mentors.  My mind was blown by the fashion and interesting people, the artists, and musicians that filled the pages. At the age of 19 those magazines really expanded my ideas about what creativity could mean. Now I don’t get that same feeling when I pick up magazines. I don’t feel that fresh surge of creativity. I never get the sense that I'm seeing something I've never seen before. I don’t know if it's because I'm old now and have seen a lot, or just a result of the internet constantly feeding us new ideas, and the constant change and movement of what's relevant.  I love The Gentle Woman. The colors, styling, and layout are always perfect and I always like the people and topics they feature. Gather Journal is another good one. They tell amazing visual stories and use food as art in a really unique way.  I'm resisting telling you what kind of Instagram people I follow.  It's just too obvious. I want a better answer, but I don’t have one because it's all on there, and we define ourselves and our interests through it.


TOMMY - More and more, it's looking like Instagram is where I go for inspiration. Not actively, but it's always in my face, so following creative people makes sure I've got beautiful, horrible, amazing, thoughtful, new, old, creative things in front of me throughout the day.

We also get out to Cape Cod throughout the year. Just walking on the beach and watching our dogs run is inspiring. Sometimes inspiration isn’t about taking in information. Sometimes, it’s about letting it all go to give your own ideas some room.


ELISABETH - WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU DID HAIR? I started dying my own hair and my friends' hair in my bathroom at 13.  I was into grunge, then punk, in my early teens and my friends would come over and we would bleach our hair and share our manic panic.  I actually learned a lot about what to do and what to not do with a double process in those days. I also learned that if you put green over red you get brown. Basic color theory, very important.

I had a job the moment I was old enough to work. I wanted to be independent and have my own money.  I also wanted to do something where I could be creative while making money. I come from a very blue collar background, and being an artist or a musician wasn’t going to offer the promise of money, so the obvious choice was hair.  I went to a vocational high school where you learned a trade while getting your degree.  I had my hairdressing license and was doing hair behind the chair by 17.  I quit hair at  24 to move to California and go to school for jewelry design.  I did that full time for four years, but when I moved to New York I got back into hair, because I needed stability and I missed the work. Designing in an office wasn’t satisfying and I missed the independence of my old career.  When I got to New York I saw people painting hair and I was totally re- inspired. I didn’t know what it was or how to do it, but the challenge of learning made me feel like I was starting new.


TOMMY - I majored in History when I was at LSU. My plan was to be a History professor. After 2 years, I felt like I was being too formulaic, so I decided to take a year or two off and see what happened. Nothing happened! It was horrible. Without direction, I was making just enough money to pay bills and just paying the bills to be able to work. One afternoon I was talking to a friend of mine about all of it: how I was depressed, how I didn’t really know what I wanted and how I just needed to finish my degree so that I could have some stability. She made, what I now realize was, a joke and told me I should just go to beauty school. There have been 4 or 5 things in my life that I knew were the right thing, right away, in that moment. When I get that feeling I charge at it with everything I’ve got. I literally applied to beauty school the next day and haven’t stopped since. I never wanted to do hair. I never did hair. And I didn’t even realize it was an option. I can’t honestly remember why it felt so right, but I’m very happy it did.

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ELISABETH - HOW DO YOU BUILD YOUR BRAND? One day at a time.  I think aesthetically is where it began for me. The all-white had a certain feeling, and the name WHITEROOM... I don't know, I could just feel it in my bones.  So we started with how the space would look, the name, how the letters look together, then how the word makes you feel. What do you assume about it? I always had a specific idea about how I wanted the space to feel.  I wanted to stay away from the typical salon vibe. I want clients to feel like they are taking part in something, like an art gallery, where the vibe of the space communicates a feeling.  The products we carry are also an important part of the equation.  We stand behind the products we carry and believe the brands have the same goal we do: to provide the client with the best of what beauty has to offer.  

A brand is a complete package, every detail matters, and it needs to tell a story, create a feeling, have a definite vibe, and offer people something they haven’t experienced.  If you aren’t creating that, then you aren’t a brand. You're a room with filled people providing a service. 

TOMMY - This is such a hard question for me to answer. Starting, and running, a business feels like walking backward in the dark with a flashlight. You can't see where you're going, only where you've been and you have to somehow use that information to make decisions. Metaphors aside, I think just staying authentic and true to yourself is the only way to build anything. It's scary though because things don't always turn out the way you thought, hoped or wanted them to. Authenticity is different for everyone, but you know it when you see it. You find out some things about yourself along the way, so you need to be willing to accept those things or work honestly to change them. We have a lot less control over things than we think. But we can control how hard we work. So, work really fucking hard, all the time. What else is life for, anyway?


ELISABETH - How do you conduct a successful consultation? First, I make sure the client is comfortable and feels taken care of (water, wine etc)

I look them in the eye while they tell me what they want and fully listen to their ideas before communicating my own.  I like visual aids. People have different words they use to describe colors and tones and if you rely solely on words it can lead to confusion later.  It's important to me that my clients know where we are going and how we are going to get there, and if it's going to take more than one sitting. No surprises. This also inspires confidence and lets the client know that you know how to achieve what they are asking for. 

TOMMY - I’ve been at this so long that I can usually just see exactly what I’m going to do the moment someone sits down. Not in an egotistical way. But, you can tell if someone wants to keep their long hair, or if there’s a heavy area that needs some work. That’s not to say that there are surprises, so it’s really a process of talking to make sure we’re both on the same page. Ask people what they don’t want. That can actually be easier for some clients. The whole point is to make things easy for them, right? We are in SERVICE! Making someone feel comfortable is important. Letting them see your confidence. That gives you more wiggle room. 

When I was starting out, I'd sometimes be clueless about a haircut, but I'd just fake it. Hesitation creates fear. Being open to doing something you don't want to do is important if you want to be any good. I like to give people information, but leave most of the decision making to them. You can't expect to have some grand vision for every person that sits in your chair. Sometimes the shit is boring. Be into boring. Get excited about chopping someone's hair off, if that's what they want. Be cool with a tiny trim even if their hair is way too fucking long. Guide people, but don't force them. It's more meaningful for them when they decide.


ELISABETH - Do you say no to your clients? All the time.  People are always asking for unreasonable things they see online, that may be filtered or took 10 sittings to achieve.  Some people have color buildup so icy white blond hair just isn’t in the cards for them this year.  I try to frame my no’s as "managing expectations," and let them know what IS possible. I always have ideas for a compromise. Whether they take them or not is another story. 

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TOMMY - Rarely.  Only if the idea isn’t grounded in reality or the client is missing information. So, if you want to chop your hair off but you have thick, fluffy, curly hair I won’t say no. But, I will let you know that it won’t necessarily look like the photo you showed me. But, I’ll also be super into it because who cares if it doesn’t look perfect! 

There are probably 2 haircuts that will make you look your “best.” And probably one that will make you look awful. Who cares? Are you going to make every client get the haircut that gives them a perfectly oval face like you learned in fucking beauty school? Shit, I hope not. I love when a client comes in, really wanting bangs, but never having had them because “every stylist” has said they “wouldn’t work” or look good, or whatever. I’ll give you those bangs. I’ll give you those bangs right now. And you know what? Sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes it’s not. But, now, the client is in charge of that decision. They should be. You should work together. I’ve worked alongside stylists that refused client requests because the thing the client was asking for wasn’t cool enough for them. Fuck that. Get over yourself. You think you’re an artist? No one cares. Get into it and do the boring shit. You’ll learn something.

TOMMY - Do you have a signature approach? Haha, yeah, moving fast! I’m not a “this is the way this thing is done” kind of guy. I’ll use whatever tool or technique or idea I have to get the result I want and to get it done the fastest. Occam’s Razor all the way.


ELISABETH - Whats in your kit? Solaris bleach, Shades EQ,  Framar color brushes, YS park everything else.

TOMMY - Straight razor and various shears. I don’t do set work so this is all salon stuff. Our apothecary has way too many products to keep at my station all the time, so they rotate. My always products are Sachajuan Leave In, REVERIE MILK, Leonor Greyl Baum de Bois, Christophe Robin Volume Spray with Rose Water, David Mallett Australian Salt Spray for sure. Oh, and I’ve started using REVERIE EVER more lately, but you’d be upset because I use WAY too much. Haha.


ELISABETH - Do you enjoy the work or the end product? I like the work. The end is great, but the problem solving and moving my hands is what's fun for me. 

TOMMY - The work for sure. The result is just the physical manifestation of that. It's the data that guides the process. I very much like rule-based art, like some of Sol Lewitt's stuff. The input is a factor inserted into an equation/process. It generates a result. Change the equation with the same input, change the result. Change the input with the same equation, change the result. You get to see the process, in a way. 

Look at any haircut, you're looking at the result. Try to guess the other two, the input and the process. Was it cut with a razor? How was the weight removed? What were the tools? Was anything over-directed? Was there a clear process, or was it more free form?

I only cut hair (I have a very hard time thinking in color) so maybe that’s all it is. The process and result are both important, since I use one to guide the other, and the other to guide the one, but my focus is totally on the work. If I could just shave heads all day, that’s what I would do.


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ELISABETH - What are your thoughts on our craft industry? My thoughts on our industry have changed over the last few years.  I quit hair for a while because I felt uninspired and stuck.  I think the industry has evolved over the last 7 or 8 years in a great way because of things like Instagram.  It's not just the same 5 names getting all the attention. There are lots of voices out there inspiring and innovating and new ideas are coming out all the time.  

TOMMY - I’m afraid this will sound pretentious, but I don’t think of myself as a hairdresser. I just do hair. I have always hated, and still hate, being called an artist. At best, I’m an artisan. I take what I do seriously, but try to not take myself so seriously. We can take ourselves a little too seriously sometimes. I read an Instagram post from someone who talked about us(hairdressers) changing the world. Seriously. Making the world a better place. Really? I’m all for elevating our craft, but I think we should stay in reality. We make people look and feel better. We also provide a basic service. It doesn’t need to go beyond that. It’s already important, has been for a long time and will continue to be. So, we should just work hard and stop patting ourselves on the back. Silent pride.


ELISABETH - Who do you look to for inspiration on Instagram? @lazymom (its not what you think and if you haven’t you should check it out) @tracisak_hair (personal hair hero since right after beauty school) @sightunseen @totokaelo @milk

TOMMY - @kalen_holloman (Best collages of our generation) @somewheremagazine (Full of images that I wish I’d thought of) @strongmanmotivation (There’s no way this one won’t inspire you) @dltxii (Photography that’s so simple, but taken as a whole is mind blowing) @nilsericson (Photos with great use of contrast and shadow)



ELISABETH - Have you ever felt discouraged in your craft? Omg yes. You can get stuck in the day-in and day-out of seeing clients.  It can start to feel less like a creative field and more like a service job. The reality is, it's both. The days can be long and I think the future can look tough. Once you are booked solid 5 days a week, what's next?  That is still a question I want to help answer for my employees. How do you stay inspired and keep moving forward?  You have to be a self-starter in that way. This job is what you make it and you need to keep ideas flowing to create the career you want. It's not always easy. 

TOMMY - Absolutely. Like I said, I never thought of myself as a hairdresser and it was never even a goal of mine. It just kind of happened, I was good at it and the money was good. So, 5,6,7 years went by and I realized I hadn't finished college and had wasted some hypothetical potential. So, I guess my discouragement wasn't about the craft itself, but more just about myself. I think that's where a lot of discouragement can come from: focusing on what-ifs. 

In the beginning, hair is super fun. It's all so new. But, if you're good, you get busy. And when that happens, things start to mechanize, in a way. There was a good 6-year stretch that I was doing over 2,000 cuts a year. I don't know. How much can be new in that scenario? You're grateful for the work, but things just repeat themselves. It's just a hump you have to get over, I think.

I basically just described everyone’s 20’s. Jesus.


ELISABETH - How do you stay golden? Excercise. Getting to a beach whenever I can. Loving my 2 dog friends. Trying to keep my mind moving forward instead of constantly looking back.  Reminding myself it's only a moment in time.  

TOMMY - Ha! I don’t! Shit sucks sometimes. Sometimes, it all fucking sucks at once. But, I’m just old enough(finally) to know that a good night’s sleep will clear most of it up. The future seems more real to me now too, so I’m a little more careful with the present than I used to be. Also, exercise.


Our latest collaboration is with artist Nika AKA ZOLA JESUS.  I've been a fan of her music and esthetic and to be able to create art with someone you admire is a dream.  I was surprised to connect with Nika and discover how approachable she is.  I admire her commitment to her craft and fans.  We worked with stylist Jenni Hensler ( Zola Jesus and Chelsea Wolfe's go to girl) to create a look that was authentic to her.  Rick Owens and Maison Margiela from Maxfields LA. The look was quiet and strong.  Nika's makeup was clean. Focusing on her eyes. Javier's signature dewy skin was the editorial touch to create a dreamy texture.  For her hair I prepped with MILK and hand dried it.  I waved her hair with a flat iron using several techniques to produce a worn dark wave.  I finished with a entire bottle of EVER to create a wet look texture for movement and a high gloss shine. Our photographer Nico Turner of Cat Power took us to the hills of hollywood up Beachwood Canyon. A fitting landscape for Nika.  The day was quick and followed with some wonderful conversation and cocktails at Cafe Stella in Silverlake. Enjoy.

As ever,

Garrett Markenson  

Photography Nico Turner

Hair Garrett Markenson

Wardrobe//Creative Direction Jenni Hensler

Make up Javier Mena

Assistant Joi Webb



Do you miss when your away from home? My husband, my cat, and my family. The quietness of the land and of course my bed. It’s hard to be on tour so much and miss out on the lives of everyone you love. Home is where I reset and become weightless.


First song you wrote? One of the first songs I wrote as Zola Jesus was called “Little Girl”. I’ve written many songs before that but they never had titles. It wasn’t until I learned how to record music that I started taking seriously the idea of writing down my music. 

Your spirt animal? Grey wolf… I have a lot of respect for wolves and their independence. They’re also incredibly loyal to their pack. 

Your favorite smell? Smoke! Burning wood. One of my favorite things about REVERIE is the smell.  Never change it! Not sure why other hair cares lines choose to make there scents after fake fruit.

Are your thoughts on hair? I've always struggled with my hair. From platinum blonde to black.  On styling I keep it natural. My go to is EVER + MILK on wet hair.  For more texture and volume I'll add MARE. I love long hair. It suits me. I love to whip it around and shake it, and I love that I can cover myself and hide from the world if I need to.


Is your favorite part about touring? Getting to see the world and connect with the people who listen to my music. It’s one of the most direct experiences of being a musician. The culture and language inspire me and connecting with my fans. Learning of the impact of my music in peoples lives.

Do you feel like when your creating music? Masochistic, unfortunately. It’s usually a very introspective and difficult process, filled with self-criticism. But I’ve been trying to become more open… the most important thing about creating is shutting your brain off enough so it doesn’t get in the way of making something honest and pure.


Did you know you want to pursue music for your career? My whole life, strangely. Ever since I was young I was obsessed with music, constantly singing. I was told it wasn’t a practical career and was often dissuaded from pursuing music outside of just a hobby. But I didn’t listen, ha. Being a musician is the only job I haven’t been fired from.

They first time you heard your music playing in public? I remember walking into a bar in Chicago and they were projecting my music video for Clay Bodies on a wall. Very surreal experience.

They last time you felt discouraged? Ugh, every day. I have to actively fight against my own self-destructive thoughts. It’s hard. I tell myself to step back - nothing matters.  I take what I do seriously but it's subjective.



Do you get your inspiration for your art direction? From all over. Mostly, it comes from how I digest the environment around me. Sometimes I’ll find some art, or a building, or a book, that feels like it was born inside my own mind. And other times I piece feelings and ideas together to create something that accurately makes sense of all the different parts of what inspires me.

Is your place to travel? I love Eastern Europe. It is a home away from home. I love the smell of the air, the birch trees, the food. When I’m traveling in places like Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, or Russia, I feel as if I’m in my own back yard. It’s a strange feeling.

Would you like to hear your music being played? Antartica

The last place you felt inspired? I was standing alongside a riverbed in a small village in Slovakia early in the morning, there was a man fishing near me. It was very peaceful, and I felt like I could be alive in any century. Timeless, and inspiring.