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July 10, 2014

GIRL GUIDE: Caley Vanular

We’re going to take a gander and say that you’ve never met a Jill of all trades quite like Caley Vanular.

Though she has a creative portfolio that covers everything from art direction to design to marketing, first and foremost, this Vancouver native considers herself an athlete. So if a client list citing Aritzia and Herschel Supply Co. wasn’t enough to get you to put down that medium pizza(?) and get *out there*, then the fact that this superbabe/supergirl IS ALSO AN ATHLETE will definitely be incentive enough.

Oftentimes, traditional mindsets prevent people from understanding that we live in a day and age where our work can span a multitude of fields – and there’s no need to be confined by one thing. Living and working doesn’t have to be separate – and according to Caley, work doesn’t really seem like work when you love what you’re doing. Make your own opportunities, work hard, and keep pushing even in the bleakest of situations. So from crazy travel stories (that sound like something out of a movie), to general life/work advice, it’s time for you, too, to get inspired by this #WellTravelled storyteller. read more…

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July 9, 2014

MIXTAPE: Courtney + Kurt 4ever

It might sound like the stuff of urban legends, but Lorde, singer of teen angst and supporter of broody lip stains, once wore a head-to-toe pink suit. Of course, only an occasion so monumental in size and setlist could evoke such fabled sites as the teen dream zombie queen in shades of kobi, all whilst Annie Clark played front woman to Dave Grohl on the drums. The event in question, Nirvana’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, brought about said dreamy scenes along with appearances by ladyrockers Joan Jett and Kim Gordon.

Though the band only received their musical honor this past April, Kurt + Courtney have long since pledge allegiance to our fave couples of yesteryear club (Johnny + Kate also hold honorary membership). As Lady Love turns a young 5-0 today, we’re celebrating with an ode to the duo that was. In hardships, in loveship, in matching blond bobs, here’s to a pair that made history both together and apart. We’ve got covers, original tracks, and even songs that name drop the big K.

I mean, what better way to celebrate turning half a century young than with a reggae cover of “Come As You Are” – amiright? read more…

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July 7, 2014

GIRL GUIDE: Rachel and Nicole Effendy

You know how they say two is better than one? Or how good things come in pairs? How about two = double the trouble, double the fun? Okay, perhaps that last one was a bit of stretch, but nonetheless, Rachel and Nicole Effendy have managed to convince me that having a sidekick is the algorithm for success.

Amongst an infinite number of fashion blogs floating around in an (inherently) over-saturated WWW, Rachel and Nicole literally sparkle, shine, and glimmer like diamonds – as their namesake blog, Rachel et Nicole, houses some of the most creative, well-thought-out content in the fashion blogosphere. From styling to creative direction to photography and design, these Brooklyn-based sisters work around the clock to do…pretty much everything (while STILL managing to find the time to sleep, watch Netflix, and look generally fabulous).

It’s one thing to do art for arts sake – but when it comes to brand work, there’s a fine line between feeling like you’re “selling out” and maintaining artistic integrity and doing work you actually believe in. That said, one of the most validating moment of a creative’s career is to be hired by a brand who completely trusts your creative vision. And when you’ve got to that point, you know that you’re doing something right.

To these gals, keeping it “organic and real without the noise of commercialism clouding our final product” is one of the most valuable things about having complete control over a project. And with a pair of keen, affluent eyes, the aforementioned isn’t a difficult fete.

From humble beginnings to even humbler successes, it’s time for you to acquainted with this creative powerhouse. FORA readers, meet Rachel and Nicole! read more…

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July 4, 2014

GIRL GUIDE: Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische’s website index defaults to – and since internet URLs never lie (case in point: Facebook = book of faces, Myspace = …your space), there’s no need for us to question the fact that she’s anything but awesome.

While she may have been cited as one of Forbes’ 30 to Watch Under 30 (twice), there’s a good chance Jessica’s household-name status stems from her work on Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom – as the yellow title script was done by none other than her hand. However, to us design school grads, Jessica has been a hot topic of conversation for years; her straightforward design mentality (read: Should I Work For Free?) being not only an inspiration, but also a guide to the way in which we operate as creatives. As such, it’s safe to say that besides being awesome, Jessica Hische has also helped shaped our design consciousness since we were conscious enough to have a design consciousness – and that’s why we had our own “awkward sweaty fangirl” moment when we secured this talented letterer, illustrator, and self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady” as one of our GIRL GUIDE features.

Design school taught me to cut embellishments, skip unnecessary anecdotes and get straight to the point. So without further ado, it’s time for me to stop raving and let you see for yourself as to why this all-around coolgal is one of our (and soon to be your) biggest design-spirations ever. read more…

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June 26, 2014

An Ode To: Future Islands

Back in the days when relentlessly filtering through ‘Similar Arists’ on was a generic after-school activity, I found myself on a steady pursuit to find a new “favourite” band. And while a great deal of my iPod’s ‘Recently Added’ constituted of dreampop artists whose sounds were almost hyperbolic, I was never one to abide by the “if you like it don’t change it” mentality. So as much as twinkly percussion and smooth female vocals was important to me, I was in no position to shun artists that obscured the confines of’s ‘Similar Artists’ correlations. Especially when one of said artists was Future Islands.

Quite a departure from all the Mates of States and Tilly And The Wall I had on heavy rotation in 2009, I found love in the perfect synth-y trio – and they happened to come in the form of three grown men from Baltimore. With non-subtle hardcore influences, agressive growling, and uncomfortable/(comfortable) intensity, Future Islands was everything that idealistic indie pop lacked – and thus, their 2010 album, In Evening Air, really struck a chord. Fast forward to today, the guys of Future Islands are still striking chords (literally, figuratively, etc) – except they have new music and I got to see said music live at Toronto’s NXNE. read more…

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June 18, 2014

GIRL GUIDE: Spencer O’Brien

Since I’m not exactly a frequenter of mountainous slopes, up until a couple of months ago, I had yet to cross paths with snowboarder Spencer O’Brien. But luckily, technology is awesome and Instagram is readily available to allow non-cool girls like myself to connect with girls cool enough to compensate for my aforementioned non-coolness. And, within days of sending out a (lovingly) handwritten Instagram DM, I had an email from this Vancouver-based snowboarder sitting in my inbox.

As a two-time World Champion and newly seasoned Olympian, this professional athlete/ fashion luvVveERr/ generally cool girl dishes on the guilty pleasures lurking on her playlist, her musings about #sports, and how she stays motivated in an inherently competitive field. read more…

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June 11, 2014

GIRL GUIDE: Romilly Newman

Even though my “culinary” capabilities are limited to microwaving frozen things and boiling water (on a good day), I have always been an intense appreciator of eating/looking at/Instagramming #foodporn…and I find myself constantly amazed at the edible masterpieces that come out of some people’s kitchens. While this could be because I am constantly hungry, I think it has more to do with the fact that cooking is truly an ~art~ that requires a certain intuition – and since I don’t possess this intuition, I am all the more impressed by those who do.

Enter Romilly Newman: A 16 year old culinary prodigy who has already set the taste buds of people thrice+ her age on fire. Inspired by the Food Network, Romilly started a blog called Little Girl In The Kitchen in 2009 – documenting her journey into the world of creating ~culinary masterpieces~. Now, 5 years later, she’s come into her own – still influenced by seasoned chefs, but garnering her own following of international readers with ravenous appetites.

So whether she’s serving up a spiced apple crumble or kale aux lardons, her tagline of “teenage girl, adult food” rings true. And with that said, Romilly Newman – I love you. #poetry

PS: The next time your batch of biscuits doesn’t work out…I’ll take them. read more…

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June 4, 2014

GIRL GUIDE: Jessica Walsh

If Jessica Walsh’s work/Jessica Walsh herself wasn’t a regular topic of conversation between you and your design-obsessed/general friends, take a second to acknowledge that life as you know is about to change (for the better). Aside from penning Forty Days of Dating (the social experiment/type-enthusiasts’ dream that went viral last year), this multidisciplinary designer and art director has been making waves in the design industry – 2012 being the game-changing year in which the legendary Stefan Sagmeister (whose award-winning work appeared in every textbook I bought during my 4-year post secondary studies in graphic design, FYI) announced that he would be renaming his design firm, Sagmeister Inc., to Sagmeister & Walsh; deeming Jessica, then 25, as his business partner.

Though she got her start at age 11 coding and designing websites, her current body of work includes photo illustration, branding, typography, and everything in between. Even still, Jessica recognizes that having the technical skills is only half the battle of being a designer. Creating aesthetically pleasing things and conceptualizing effective ideas is key, yes, but the biggest battle is “selling your work to the client and staying persistent through production” – and that drive and persistency is truly an integral part of what makes Jessica so successful. Well…that, and maybe the techno & house music she listens while she works to keep her focused. #dulynoted read more…

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June 2, 2014

GIRL GUIDE: Olivia Bee

They say that age is nothing but a number – and Olivia Bee, a 20 year old photographer and director based in Brooklyn, New York (by way of Portland, Oregon), is definitely no exception.

Though her “big break” came at 15 years old when Converse “discovered” her via Flickr (and subsequently commissioned her to shoot an ad), this talented ladygal has spent the past half a decade working hard to establish herself in an industry that often regards age as a standard for success. Even though her client list is far-reaching, and her fan-base even moreso, she acknowledges that “older men are still confused as to how I have my job and why it’s not theirs.”

Despite the naysayers, it’s pretty unnecessary to dwell on Bee’s age; because at the end of the day, she is insanely passionate about her work – and she is doing it insanely well. Whether she’s shooting commercial campaigns or documenting her adventures/misadventures, her dreamy, nostalgia-inducing photographs tell intimate stories. And to that end, age is truly irrelevant. read more…

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April 17, 2014

DJ CRUSH: 8 New York Boys To Watch

I, like 89% of females, have a very specific type: cute boys doing musical things.

Though these “musical things” are typically more in the vein of bands (and the folk in them), I don’t think anyone can deny the appeal of a good/aesthetically-pleasing DJ.

Since we’ve already articulated our non-creepy appreciation for verified H0ttIEz/popular spinners (like Ryan Hemsworth), this time around, we decided to scour ~The Internet~ to find a collective of [equally crush-worthy boys] who don’t have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to their name. Based out of New York, these 8 guys spin anywhere from the hippest clubs to the most elite of fashion parties – and, since they’re all fairly new to the game, they’re totally attainable as new BFFs or boyfriends. Lol.

So, even though we might’ve said that it’s a fact that gals go harder, for the sake of stud-ly eye candy etc, here’s our list of TOTEZ HYPE DJs that we TOTEZ have simultaneous crushes on!

…Field trip across the border, anyone? read more…

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